About the Business Leadership Council

Our Mission

The mission of the Business Leadership Council is to advocate to Chicago land corporations, non-profits, local, county and state government about the importance of doing significant business with African-American owned firms on a consistent and on-going basis, primarily through organized contacts with the leadership of the entities.

The Business Leadership Council believes that all of these entities must recognize the value of working with African American owned businesses and do more to provide contracting opportunities to African Americans doing business in every professional service as well as traditional construction and real-estate related businesses, which benefits the African American community.

Inherent to this mission is the development of young corporate professionals and business owners to become the next generation of corporate and political leaders.

The Purpose

Influence policies and business practices to increase opportunities for African American inclusion.

The Business

Advocacy through organized contacts with the leadership of corporations, institutions, and with elected officials.

The Values

Growing African American owned businesses to scale and capacity, advancing the careers of African American corporate professionals, developing the next generation of leadership, raising the standard of living in the community.


Council History

The Beginning – History of the Business Leadership Council

In 2010, several prominent African American corporate professionals and entrepreneurs came together and pooled their resources to support African American leadership in politics and business.

The group realized that the African American business leaders needed to speak up for the community as well as be a representative voice to advocate for economic parity, effective political representation and with regard to social issues affecting us all, thus the Business Leadership Council was formally organized in February 2011.

Founding Members

  • Frank Clark
  • Jim Reynolds
  • John Rogers
  • Tony Anderson
  • Robert Blackwell
  • Melody Spann-Cooper
  • Dr. Leon Finney
  • Hermene Hartman
  • Elzie Higginbottom
  • John Hooker
  • Larry Ivory
  • Marty King
  • Paul King, Jr.
  • Lyle Logan
  • Lester McKeever
  • James Montgomery
  • Ralph Moore
  • Langdon Neal
  • Marty Nesbitt
  • Steve Pugh
  • Tim Rand
  • Eric Reeves