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.
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.
I am a history buff and humanist. Learning of the struggles and triumphs of my ancestors has helped me better understand my plight and responsibility. Everybody has a story and there is so much that we can learn about others through hearing their experience. Chicago is a big city but feels like a small town, and I enjoy every corner of it through its rich history, art, culture, architecture music and people that call it home.
My greatest growth has come at times when I have stepped outside of my comfort zone.Part of my purpose in life is to bring people together around common goals and shared interests.
My personal path to success is exemplified by the following poem that I live by: I’m tired of sailing my little boat, far inside the harbor bar. I want to go out where the big ships float, out on the deep where the great ones are. And should my frail craft prove too slight for waves that sweep those billows o’er, I’d rather go down in the stirring fight than drowse to death at the sheltered shore.
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.
I was always taught to leave people and situations better than I found them. My goal both personally and professionally is, and always has been, to do just that.
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 interest and passion revolve around the journey of our youth …. “From City Streets to Wall Street”. Our future depends on our investment in our youth today from the corporate world, Public Sectors to Entrepreneurial Ventures. This drives my passion with Learning, Sharing and Scaling within our communities.
To whom much is given, much is expected.
My drive and commitment is founded on the belief that it is important to the health and well being of our community to have balance and collaboration between the business, civic, economic and social elements of the city of Chicago.
- 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