pursue some of their favorite hobbies while enjoying the camaraderie of fellow achievers.
As for the future, Mr. Graves has put no limits on the business opportunities that the division may pursue. To keep readers abreast of all new developments of B.E. Unlimited, B.E. will introduce Unlimited Options, an ongoing reader service page in the magazine. Starting in the February, 1998 issue, Unlimited Options will chronicle the latest products and event developments that will enhance the professional and personal life of BE readers.
Earl Graves mandate to the B.E. Unlimited staff is the same as it has always been for the magazine: To produce the best possible product that will serve the needs of the African American community. BLACK ENTERPRISE readers deserve nothing less.
The B.E. UNLIMITED Team during planning sessions for the launch of the new division Sherry Browne Program Coordinator, Entrepreneurs Conference
John Graves Senior Vice President
Ingrid Ebanks Administrative Assistant
Melvin Crenshaw Program Manager, Kidpreneurs
Christine Gilliam Administrative Assistant
Patricia Crocker Director Product, Development & Strategic Planning
LaQuanda Murray Sponsorship Coordinator
Renee Best Executive Director, B.E. 100s Initiative
Andrea Delph Program Coordinator, B.E. Challenge
After years of hosting various types of seminars and conferences targeted to business owners, B.E. launched the Black Enterprise/NationsBank Entrepreneurs Conference in 1996 at Walt Disney World Resort. In only two years, the event has become the most important gathering of African American entrepreneurs in the country. More than 1,000 attendees gather in Orlando for four days of seminars, networking and the sharing of ideas.
Each year the Entrepreneurs Conference focuses on a different aspect of business ownership. In 1997, for example, the theme was Entrepreneurial Strategies for the 21st Century. To kick-off each conference, Black Enterprise Publisher and CEO Earl Graves sets the tone for event by providing an understanding of the latest challenges that black business owners will have to overocme in the year ahead. The various conference sessions address topics such as technology, opportunities in international business, creating joint ventures and strategic alliances, and securing capital. Also, by popular demand, the event includes a Sister CEO session targeting women entrepreneurs. In order to provide attendees with a broad mix of expert information, B.E. enlists speakers as diverse as Ed Dugger, President and CEO of UNC Ventures, Inc., a venture capital firm, Michele Hoskins, Founder and President of Michele Foods, a manufacturer of specialty foods, Bob Johnson, Chairman and CEO of BET Holdings, Inc., and the noted motivational speaker and author, Les Brown. In addition, the award-winning editors and writers of BLACK ENTERPRISE Magazine serve as moderators throughout the Conference.
In addition to the information-packed sessions, the Entrepreneurs Conference provides attendees with the perfect backdrop to do business as well. Whether it is the stellar list of sponsors headlined by NationsBank, the many companies who participate in The Exchange: Business-to-Business Expo, the CEOs of the B.E. 100s companies, or the small business owners in attendance, the opportunities to conduct business at the Entrepreneurs Conference are truly unparalleled. And when its time to network in a more relaxed environment, the attendees enjoy activities such