About the Business Leadership Council
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.
Influence policies and business practices to increase opportunities for African American inclusion.
Advocacy through organized contacts with the leadership of corporations, institutions, and with elected officials.
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.
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.
I was nineteen years old, sitting in my dorm room, feverishly flipping through the pages of the autobiography of the late Reginald Lewis, founder of the private equity firm TLC Group. I was already fascinated by the fact that Lewis, a trained attorney, purchased an underperforming sewing pattern company for $22.5 million. But when I learned that he financed the transaction with only 16% equity, I was awestruck. And when I learned how in just three years he was able to increase efficiencies, improve sales, strengthen cash flow, and sell the company for $65 million, I was sold. At nineteen years old, I realized that I would one day acquire a company, improve it, sell it for a measurable gain, and repeat.
My personal path to success hasn’t been very personal, but a shared journey with a lot of help from many others (my wife, parents, mentors, colleagues and friends). Since I’ve had a lot of help along the way, I am passionate about mentorship and helping others achieve their goals and successes in life (particularly our youth).
One of the most significant challenges facing the African American Community is the quality of education provided to our youth. It is important that all of us contribute to the improvement of education in our community. In my spare time, I enjoy golfing and traveling abroad.
I am an avid golfer. It not only provides relaxation, exercise and a friendly competitive spirit, it is a great way to talk business among colleagues. My firm belief in the mantra, “To Whom Much is Given, Much is Required,” motivates me into giving back and helping others. Taking the time to mentor the next generation is a priority for me.
Chicago is a world class city. Being from this elite city allows me to have world class thoughts. At a very young age, I realized that I was the author of my fate and that fate includes helping others and being around people that didn’t think alike. Helping others achieve their goals brings me gratitude. My life is as unique as the architecture you see throughout this beautiful city
You have to be careful who you share your dreams with because people will tend to share their fears. What you are actually hearing is what they can’t do.
We are our brother’s keepers.
Leadership to me means having passion about what you do and perseverance to achieve your goals. I believe that leaders are ordinary people who accept or are placed under extraordinary circumstances that bring forth their untapped potential, producing a character that inspires the confidence and trust of others.
Understanding that I stand on the shoulder of giant’s, I view it my responsibility to take advantage of every opportunity afforded to me. Not just for my benefit, but also so that the generation that follows will have the opportunity reach even higher heights.
Retirement is great once you adjust to it. It allows my wife and I to enjoy Chicago in the spring and summer, and enjoy traveling a great deal for the rest of the year.
- 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