Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce Hosts its Inaugural State of Black Business Conference


DETROIT, June 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — The Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce’s (MBCC) State of Black Business Conference is Thursday, June 23, 2011, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Doubletree Guest Suites/Fort Shelby Hotel, Crystal Ballroom, 525 West Lafayette Boulevard, Detroit, Michigan 48226.

The purpose of MBCC’s State of Black Business Conference is twofold: first, to present the “condition” of black business in the state of Michigan; and second, to determine an action plan as a result of the conference’s contributors and exchange of ideas for going forward.

Also, the State of Black Business Conference will serve as the kick-off for MBCC’s state-wide membership drive; and the chartering of its local chambers of commerce throughout the state of Michigan. Starting this July, Grand Rapids Black Chamber will be the first local chamber to charter. Followed by the Lansing Black Chamber in August, and the Detroit Black Chamber in September 2011. The membership drive and local chartering campaign of chambers will culminate in the organization’s Inaugural Michigan Black Chamber “State of Black Business Convention” to be held in November 2012.

Highlights of the June 23, 2011, State of Black Business Conference include greetings from MBCC’s leadership; opening remarks from Mayor Bing; remarks from U.S. Black Chamber President Ron Busby, Sr.; a State of Black Business Presentation by keynote speaker George C. Fraser, national speaker, author, and president and CEO of FraserNet; a panel discussion on How to Change the “State” and the creation of a plan of action for going forward.

“More than150 African American business owners participating in the conference, black leaders from Michigan and across the country are coming together to acknowledge and examine the ‘condition’ of black business; and establish an agenda of success for going forward,” says Ken Harris, the chamber’s president and CEO.

“As the voice of black business and through its aggressive advocacy, the Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce will change and improve the ‘condition’ of black businesses in Michigan and achieve economic parity,” Harris says. “This conference is a fundamental and strategic step towards that economic empowerment and the sustainability of African American businesses in Michigan.”

The conference presents a powerful panel including the moderator Dr. Geneva Williams MBCC’s Board Member and former president and CEO of City Connect Detroit; and panelists President/CEO Michael A. Finney of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation; Gerald L. Moore, director of the Small Business Administration Michigan District Office; Karl D. Gregory, Ph.D. Distinguished Professor, Emeritus, Oakland University and KDG & Associates, Management & Economic Consulting; and Rumia Ambrose-Burbank, president of Vendor Management Solutions (VMS). The panel discussion is followed by a presentation about opportunities in the city of Detroit given by George W. Jackson, Jr., president and CEO of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation.

MBCC will issue a report of findings and the action plan for going forward – from its State of Black Business Conference – to the community during its “State of Black Business Convention” in November 2012.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is the presenting sponsor of the conference. Other strategic partners and conference sponsors are the U.S. Black Chamber, Inc., Comerica Bank, InStar, DTE Energy, Rickman Enterprises, All Pro Printing, TR3.com, Strategic Partners, Rodgers Chevrolet, W3R Consulting, Vendor Management Solutions and the Doubletree Guest Suites/Fort Shelby Hotel.