This week on The Urban Business Roundtable, UBR Contributor Jason Smith talks with Gregory R. White, the co-founder and CEO of Promet Energy Partners L.L.C. Based in Chicago, the natural gas and electricity supplier earned revenues of $85.8 million in 2010 to land at No. 43 on the Black Enterprise 100s list of the nation’s largest Black-owned industrial/service companies.
Promet Energy works with leading energy companies to provide electricity to industrial consumers in deregulated states. Prior to launching Promet Energy in 2004, White built a management career at Commonwealth Edison. Since then, he’s led the company to consistent success, including teaming with Intergys Energy Services to become the first minority marketer of electricity to Cook County, Illinois. Promet Energy was also named Minority Supplier and Distributor of the Year by the U.S. Commerce Dept. White sits down with Smith at the roundtable to share the path to leadership of one of the nation’s largest minority-owned energy businesses.
Also, UBR Contributor Renita D. Young speaks with Keshia Walker, the founder and president of the Atlanta-based firm Insight Marketing and Promotions. Walker is an award-winning marketing pro with nearly two decades of experience specializing in the African American and Latino consumer segments. Her clientele includes Magic Johnson, Alonzo Mourning, the Coca-Cola Co. and Anheuser Busch. Walker stops by the roundtable to explain why entrepreneurs must build healthy relationships in order to gain the connections vital to a healthy business and career.
In addition, in my “Alfred’s Notepad” segment, I talk about what Steven M. R. Covey of The Global Speed of Trust Practice calls the single most important competency of leadership: trust. Last week, I had the pleasure of hearing Covey, a best-selling author and world renown expert on leadership, ethics and high performance, speak at the National Black MBA Association Conference in Atlanta, where he made a compelling case for why trust is not just a soft social virtue, but an economic driver. In addition, Covey believes that trust is a learnable and measurable competency. This means that it’s possible to transform a low-trust organization into a high-trust one—and vice versa. I found Covey to be so convincing that I downloaded his book, The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything (Free Press), to my iPad library.
And finally, every week on UBR, you’ll get motivation and inspiration from author and entrepreneurial icon Farrah Gray, a weekly wrap-up of business news from USA Today business correspondent Charisse Jones, our Patient Investor Report from Ariel Investments and key economic intelligence for small business owners from our UBR economists Derrick Collins and Rasheed Carter.
If you have a question you want answered or a topic you want addressed on The Urban Business Roundtable, connect with me at BE Insider, the social media network for people who are serious about Black Enterprise. You can also find me on Twitter and Facebook.
Alfred Edmond Jr. is the senior VP/editor-at-large of Black Enterprise and the host of the Urban Business Roundtable, a weekly radio show, sponsored by Ariel Investments, airing CST Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m., Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. on WVON-AM 1690, the Talk of Chicago. You can also listen live online at WVON.com. Check back each week for UBR Spotlight, which features additional resources, advice and information from and about the topics, entrepreneurs and experts featured on the show.