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The theme of this year’s Black Enterprise/Bank of America Entrepreneurs Conference is “Smart Moves: Leveraging Power, Wealth and Influence.” The conference will draw more than 1,200 executives and entrepreneurs from around the country to network and participate in sessions and workshops May 10 to 14 at Disney’s Contemporary Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Speakers and sessions will cover business financing through private equity capital, family-owned businesses, business turnarounds, wealth building, taking your company public and consumer marketing. Other conference highlights include The Exchange: Business-to-Business Expo, Kidpreneurs(tm) Konference, a Town Hall Meeting and the be Entrepreneurs Awards Gala Dinner, which honors exceptional African American small business owners and the nation’s largest black-owned businesses.
The black enterprise Small Business Awards categories include: be Emerging Company of the Year, be Business Innovator of the Year, the be Rising Star Award and the be Kidpreneurs Award.
To receive information about the 2000 BE/Bank of America Entrepreneurs Conference or to receive a nomination form, call our conference department at 800-543-6786 or log on to blackenterprise.com.
Emerging Company of the Year Award
This award recognizes businesses that are poised for future growth because they’ve carved out a well-hidden niche for themselves and have adopted creative marketing techniques.
All American Meats: Shawn Buchanan, president of All American Meats Inc., has grown his beef-producing firm from $5.3 million to $15 million in revenues in just three years. Launched in 1996 with little money and no track record in the industry, Buchanan’s firm has achieved success through the SBA’s 8(a) program and will target new areas for customer-based growth, including hotel restaurants, casinos, institutional facilities and exports. He will also reach out to government agencies.
Ivy Planning Group: Janet Smith, founder and president, and Gary Smith, co-founder and senior partner, of Ivy Planning Group were excelling at their core business-strategic planning and performance measurement-when they realized there was an area that offered growth opportunities: diversity consulting. With $3 million in revenues, the seven-year-old management consulting firm excels because it has hired a diverse staff and used it to competitive advantage, attracting Fortune 500 firms and other large organizations.
Siplin Enterprises: As the owner of nine Churchs Chicken franchises in the Florida and Georgia areas, Lewis Siplin, president and CEO of 10-year-old Siplin Enterprises, has made tremendous strides. He started in 1965 in the Churchs system at age 16, climbed through the ranks and today employs more than 170 workers and has annual revenues of more than $11 million. After establishing record-breaking sales in 1992, Siplin was asked by Churchs management to take over three additional restaurants that were closed in Jacksonville, Florida. In 1997, he acquired the markets in Albany and Thomasville, Georgia, and expanded into Tallahassee, Florida, last year.
Business Innovator of the Year Award
This award honors companies that have successfully set trends and broken new ground in a particular industry.
S&W Innovative Solutions: When Sedessia Spivey, president of S&W Innovative Solutions, started her software engineering services firm in 1992, she faced adversity and hurdles in a predominantly male industry. Today she heads up an $870,000