Local business and civil rights leaders were given special recognition at the African American Chamber’s 11th Annual Business to Business Exchange and Expo held on September 29 at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Downtown Cincinnati.
Presented by Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati and Toyota, this year’s theme was “Developing Businesses to Grow, Prosper, and Succeed: Your GPS Guide to Success,” during which the African American Chamber celebrated successful minority businesses that are collectively changing the economic landscape of Southwest Ohio.
The keynote speaker was James H. Lowry, Senior Advisor and Global Diversity Director for the Boston Consulting Group. Lowry is considered an expert on workforce diversity, ethnic marketing and minority business development. Lowry also serves as an advisor to the White House and is the author of Minority Business Success: Refocusing on the American Dream. In his speech, Lowry presented the seven key challenges facing minority businesses and outlined the steps that businesses should take to overcome those challenges so that they can fully contribute to our national competitive advantage and prosperity.
Master of Ceremonies Richard Dyer of News 5 WLWT-TV Cincinnati presented this year’s business awards. Winners included All Power Ohio, Inc. dba Interstate All Battery Center (Emerging Business of the Year); Speedy Signs & Apparel (Small Business of the Year: 1-5 employees); Environmental & Safety Solutions, Inc. (Small Business of the Year: 6+ employees); PEP (Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award); Port Authority of Greater Cincinnati (President’s Regional Partner Award); and The Cintas Corporation (Corporation of the Year). The Chamber also recognized civil rights leaders Anthony Simms-Howell and the Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones.
Presented in partnership with the City of Cincinnati and the Ohio Department of Development Minority Business Enterprise Division, the Business to Business Exchange & Expo featured workshops led by panels of local business experts. Workshops covered Alternative Business Financing Solutions, Tier II Contracting, and Inorganic Growth. The day also included an Expo with 66 local corporations and minority-owned businesses exhibiting their procurement opportunities as well as their goods and services. The annual Expo presents the greatest opportunity for business networking and opens the doors to contract opportunities.
WDBZ-AM’s Lincoln Ware Show broadcasted live from the 2011 B2B Expo (l-r): Lincoln Ware and James A. Parrott of the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati, a presenting sponsor for the 2011 B2B.
Alternative Business Financing Solutions workshop presenters (l-r): Panelists Gerald Fortson, Dept. of Community Development, City of Cincinnati; Christopher Young, The Business Backer; Allen McConnell, Ohio Department of Development, MBE Division; Moderator Roy Mitchell, Kunimura Mitchell
Recipients of 2011 B2B Awards (l-r): Larry Johnson and Montoya Moses, PEP; Waughney Yarrell, Speedy Signs & Apparel; Lonnie Grayson, Environmental & Safety Solutions, Inc.; Deborah Robb, Port Authority of Greater Cincinnati; Rodney Swope, Interstate All Battery Center; and Adison McNeil and Pamela Coleman, The Cintas Corporation.
B2B guests networked with keynote speaker James H. Lowry (l-r): Ed Rigaud, the Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones, Clyde Gray, Ron Wiley, James H. Lowry, Ron Busby, and Sean Rugless, President and CEO of the African American Chamber.
Chamber members exhibited and networked during the 2011 B2B Expo.
Representatives from Toyota attend the 2011 B2B Luncheon. Toyota was a presenting sponsor of the African American Chamber’s 11th Annual B2B.