Dr Joel Martin, Iyanla Vanzant and George Fraser

Networking guru George Fraser proselytizes to black professionals the core values and guiding principles that will lead to economic success and empowerment at this year’s PowerNetworking Conference held at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.

Fraser, who emphasizes effective networking and research as the basics to achieve your professional objectives, is proud to share with attendees that he “finds joy and happiness teaching others how to effectively network … [and that] relationships are critical.”

The PowerNetworking Conference, which celebrated it’s 10th anniversary, was a three-day event filled with edifying workshops, awards luncheons, powerful plenary sessions – being led by Fraser, chairman and CEO of FraserNet, Inc.; Kym Yancey, CEO, eWomen’s Network; and Cheryl Broussard, author, speaker and entrepreneur — and live parties because Fraser is a self-proclaimed “gangster.”

At Friday’s “Phenomenal Woman Awards Luncheon,” honorees included Broussard; Sheila Bronner, publisher, Upscale magazine; Lisa Jackson, administrator, EPA; Debra Nelson, VP, MGM Resorts International; and Iyanla Vanzant, author, speaker and entrepreneur.

“We must support those companies, institutions and organizations that support us.” He acknowledged the 32 sponsors who’ve supported the PowerNetworking Conference over the years, including Toyota and Exxon Mobile, and admonished BMW for not investing in the community. “I don’t know what BMW does for black people, but we buy more BMWs per capita than any other cultural group. If you are going to give me all of your money and expect nothing in return, I am simply going to take all of your money. Until we stop BMWs or at least scare the hell out them, nothing will ever change at BMW,” said Fraser during his opening address.

"Unlock the Millions ..." panelists Dan Sturdivant, Dept. of Homeland Security; Tiffany Levy, SEC; LaRoy Williams, OSDBU; and Joe Jackson, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Additional awards recipients for the coveted Professionals of the Year honor were Hilton O. Smith, EVP, Turner Construction (corporate professional of the year – male); Sheri L. Cooks, manager, Business Diversity Outreach at Prudential (corporate professional of the year – female); James Lowry, senior adviser and global diversity director, The Boston Consulting Group (national community service award); Michael Roberts, CEO, The Roberts Company (entrepreneur of the year); Sonja Williams, founder, Shock Theory, Inc. (entrepreneur of the year); and Joe Beasley, founder, The Joe Beasley Foundation (living legend).

The workshops covered the gamut from entrepreneurship and business development including “Unlock the Millions in Government Contracts Through Strategic Alliances” to career development including “Power Persuasion Sales Strategies that Close Deals.”

Other notable thought leaders were Drs. Julianne Malveaux, president of Bennett College; Randal Pinkett, CEO, BCT Partners, Inc.; and Glinda Bridgforth, president and CEO, Bridgforth Financial & Associates, LLC.

Earlier this year, Fraser was inducted into the Minority & Business Hall of Fame Museum in Los Angeles. –yvette caslin

Yvette Caslin

I'm a writer, image architect & significance marketer. Love photojournalism, creative expression & originality.