highest-ranking African American at Polaroid.
Williams expects a “multipronged” relationship with Polaroid that will include representing the company, a promotional campaign to introduce her book, and speaking at company-sponsored seminars for black employees.
“In a very short period of time,” says Williams, “you understand that folks come here with a sense of purpose.”
William G. Mays, president of Indianapolis-based Mays Chemical Co. Inc., a $150 million be industrial/ service 100 company, hit a grand slam at the Entrepreneurs Conference by advancing a $40 million deal that had been in the works for some time.
The deal was with Radio One Inc., the largest black-owned station group, which agreed to purchase four broadcasting properties from Mays.
“Negotiations had been ongoing prior to the conference,” Mays recalls, “but at the Entrepreneurs Conference, I got the chance to talk face-to-face with Radio One Chairman Catherine Liggins Hughes and President and CEO Alfred C. Liggins III, and that sealed the deal.”
When asked if the conference provided an atmosphere for deal making, the answer from the participants, a resounding, “ab-so-lute-ly yes.”
Join the Black Enterprise/Bank of America 2001 Entrepreneurs Conference May 15-20 at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. Call 800-543-6786 for more information.
CONTACTS AND CONTENT
Highlights from the 2000 Black Enterprise/Bank of America Entrepreneurs Conference
One of the keys to contracts and business growth is networking. And more than 1,400 black entrepreneurs and executives gathered at what has become the premier networking event for the nation’s black business class-the Black Enterprise/Bank of America Entrepreneurs Conference. The theme “Smart Moves: Leveraging Power, Wealth and Influence” set the tone for the event, which was held May 10-14 at Disney’s Contemporary Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Said Earl G. Graves, chairman, editor, and publisher of BLACK ENTERPRISE magazine: “This year’s conference was specifically designed to provide you with the information you will need to build wealth as you embark on your entrepreneurial journey or the resources to propel your established business to the next level.”
Session topics included financing your business through private equity capital, taking your business public, developing a strategic e-commerce program, and managing your cash flow. Conference speakers included Dwayne Walker, president and CEO of ShopNow.com Inc., Scott Royster, executive vice president and CFO of Radio One Inc., Terry Jones, president and general partner of Syndicated Communications Inc. (SYNCOM), Donald Coleman, president and CEO of Don Coleman Advertising Inc., and Anthony March, founder and co-CEO of March/Hodge Co.
Key networking opportunities could be found through a number of activities, ranging from the Entrepreneurs Conference golf outing hosted by Bank of America and the golf reception hosted by Wittnauer, Titleist, and Schieffelin & Somerset to The Exchange: Business-to-Business Expo, where more than 80 exhibitors displayed their products and services .
Successes and Highlights
Examination of the short- and long-term outlook for affirmative action and its impact on the African American business community took center stage. “Advantageous programs for minority businesses have been under attack publicly, privately, politically, and economically for more than a decade,” said Earl G. Graves Sr., chairman, editor, and publisher of Black