National Black MBA Association® – the non-profit, member-based organization that leads in the creation of educational, career and wealth-building opportunities for Black students, professionals and entrepreneurs – hosted its 2020 NBMBAA® Conference & Career Fair: A Virtual Experience for the first time fully online on September 23 – 25. The highly-successful event welcomed close to 10,000 registrants as well as 200 leading corporate, academic and non-profit partners. The Virtual Conference & Career Fair featured powerful speakers and seminars, engaging and informative panel discussions, and outstanding career opportunities. Recruiters from some of the world’s top companies chatted and conducted online interviews with candidates, extending offers to many of them on the spot.
With the 50th Anniversary theme “Celebrating Visionaries,” this year’s conference received outstanding feedback from attendees. “We are pleased and gratified by the terrific participation in and highly favorable response to our first-ever Virtual Conference,” said Bruce Thompson, Interim President & CEO, NBMBAA®. “Being able to provide high-quality and relevant content to attendees was extremely important to us, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. We wanted participants to take away insights and information to enhance their personal and professional lives. We also are delighted to provide a platform to connect candidates with job opportunities in the midst of a challenging economic environment.”
Key Conference highlights included:
- Opening Kickoff: Leading with Heart and Soul featuring Jemele Hill, Emmy Award winning journalist, and Emmanuel Acho, Sports Analyst & Host, Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man
- Empowerment Stage:
- Money Talk: Success Secrets of Black Billionaires featuring Dr. Dennis Kimbro, CEO, P. Kimbro Group, empowered by Walmart
- Celebrating Visionaries featuring Iyanla Vanzant, NY Times Best-Selling Author, empowered by Nationwide
- A Woman’s Place is in the C-Suite featuring Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama, empowered by LVMH and Wells Fargo
- How Does Black America Recover? featuring Congressman and Majority Whip James Clyburn, U.S. House of Representatives, and Van Jones, CEO of REFORM Alliance, CNN host and NY Times Best-Selling Author
- Meet the Experts: Empowered to Lead, Equipped to Succeed: The Art of the Pivot – Featuring Pinky Cole, CEO & Founder, Slutty Vegan ATL, and Dr. Lynn Richardson, Financial Expert/Radio & TV Personality, sponsored by Nationwide
- Scale-Up Pitch Challenge Finals sponsored by FedEx – 1st Place winner: Kayla Michele of Pedul, Inc. won $50,000; 2nd Place went to SecondKeys and Medhaul took 3rd Place
- National Black MBA Association Undergraduate Case Competition® sponsored by Walmart. Winners were 1stPlace, Howard University; 2nd Place, Xavier University; 3rd Place, University of Southern California. Scholarship prizes totaled $30,000.
- National Black MBA Association Graduate Case Competition® sponsored by FCA. Winners were 1st Place, University of Texas at Austin; 2nd Place, Georgia State University; 3rd Place, New York University. Scholarship prizes totaled $50,000.
- 2020 Award Winners: Academic Partner of the Year – Howard University School of Business; Chairman’s Award – Professor Afolabi Soyode; Entrepreneur of the Year – Kimberly A. Blackwell, Entrepreneur, Investor and Philanthropist; H. Naylor Fitzhugh Award of Relevance – Dean Erika James, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; Silver Torch Award – Liberty Mutual Insurance
“To win first place at the National Black MBA Association® Scale-Up Pitch Challenge is beyond full circle for me,” said Kayla Michele, Founder of Pedul, a college scholarship app. “I learned the fundamentals of business development, operations, strategy, market research and business planning from the National Black MBA Association’s Leaders of Tomorrow® high school program. Not only am I a product of NBMBAA’s long-standing commitment to professional development, they’re also the reason why I had the confidence to create, build and scale Pedul out of my dorm room at Rutgers University. It’s an absolute honor to have won and I’m excited to invest the $50,000 into scaling my business and continuing to democratize access to education for young people worldwide.”
This year, NBMBAA® key strategic partners include American Family Insurance, Bank of America, Discover, FCA, FedEx Corporation, Fiserv, Ford, Johnson & Johnson, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Nationwide, S&P Global and Wells Fargo.
National Black MBA Association® plans to hold its 43rd Annual Conference and Career Exposition in Chicago, IL – September 14 – 18, 2021. For more information, visit www.nbmbaa.org.