Next, a conference pre-reception was hosted by conference sponsors Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and the Michigan Minority Business Development Council. There, speakers ranging from former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer, to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Sr. VP and Chief Tax Officer Claire Babineaux-Fontenot (a member of B.E.’s 100 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America), to MMBDC Marketing Director Kenneth Harris, shared their belief in the promise of the Motor City, and that healthy minority-owned businesses are key to realizing that potential.
Last was the official Entrepreneurs Conference welcome reception, hosted by title sponsors GM and ExxonMobil, along with the Detroit Convention & Visitors Bureau. No less than newly elected Mayor David Bing, the NFL Hall of Famer and B.E. 100s CEO of The Bing Group, declared the Entrepreneurs Conference a harbinger of greater things to come for a new Detroit.
To be sure, the pain, the need for change, is not over for Detroit, any more than they are for the rest of the nation. However, the theme echoed repeatedly at each of these events, can best be expressed in a paraphrase of motivational speaker Willie Jolley: Motown’s setbacks are just a setup for a comeback. Don’t bet against Detroit, not matter how tough things are today.
I’m thinking this may turn out to be one of the best Entrepreneurs Conferences ever. You can look for future blog posts here at BlackEnterprise.com, as well as follow me on Twitter, to see if I’m right. But even if I’m not, I’m glad that at Black Enterprise, we chose to stand with Detroit. Let’s do this.
Alfred Edmond Jr. is the editor-in-chief of BlackEnterprise.com