The U.S. Black Chambers Inc. (USBC) has remained committed to being an advocate for economic empowerment for a decade. The organization is celebrating 10 years of growing business leaders and cultural influencers with its national conference.
Held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, the three-day event opened with the Chairman’s Welcome Breakfast and CLA Kickoff on Monday, Aug. 19, 2019.
Speakers included Ron Busby, CEO of USBC; Charles O’Neal, chairman of USBC; Regina Heyward, senior vice president and head of supplier diversity at Wells Fargo; Susan Allen, CEO of U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce; Justin Nelson, president of National LGBT Chamber of Commerce; and Ramiro Cavazos, CEO, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
After breakout sessions and workshops, the “State of USBC Luncheon” featured a keynote address by Karen Price-Ward, who serves as community affairs and grassroots regional leader at Southwest Airlines Co. Price-Ward provided several audience members with $100 gift cards, and she also received an award for her company’s dedication to the USBC.
“We love supporting small business owners and helping make connections in the community,” Price-Ward told rolling out. “I was here to surprise and delight by giving out gift cards in celebration of the 10th anniversary, but the surprise ended up being on me. I am extremely grateful and appreciative of all the work they have been doing.”
After the luncheon, the event featured workshops on social media branding and a discussion sponsored by Wells Fargo titled, “The Value of Black Culture.” Hosted by Ed Gordon, “The Value of Black Culture” discussion featured commentary by Darnell Hunt, who is currently the chair of the Department of Sociology at UCLA. The second part of the discussion featured actor Laz Alonso, who shared insight on how he continues to find ways to reinvent himself in the ever-changing landscape of Hollywood.
Through the creation of resources and initiatives, the USBC supports African American chambers of commerce and business organizations in their work of developing and growing Black enterprises.
The conference continues on Tuesday, Aug. 20.