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 love jazz and think there are stories on Black lifestyles that have been mistold, untold and need to be retold. Chicago is the greatest city and is where the world lives. Nothing like a bike ride on the lakefront in the summer time. Tennis anyone?
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.
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.
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.
I’ve mastered the ability to elevate small talk into medium talk. Try me! My biggest pet peeve is negative people. Why? Ain’t nobody got time for that.
We are our brother’s keepers.
To whom much is given, much is expected.
Among the hallmarks of our operations is an abiding commitment to provide strong customer relations and customer service, and to apply best industry practices and the latest technological solutions available around the world.
Success is not about how smart you are. It is about how much passion and determination you have to relentlessly pursue your dream. You must be self-confident. Some may call it an ego. But you must believe in yourself, because there will be many others that will not believe in you or your idea.
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.
- 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