Joe Handy is the president and CEO of the National Black MBA Association. Photo provided by Meredith LeJeune
Joe Handy is the president and CEO of the National Black MBA Association. Photo provided by Meredith LeJeune

The 43rd Annual NBMBAA set for Sept. 14-18

The National Black MBA Association will host its 43rd annual conference from Tuesday-Saturday, Sept. 14-18, at McCormick Place.

The National Black MBA Association was founded in Chicago 51
years ago with a mission to create opportunities for Black people to
advance in their careers and ensure that companies are looking for pipelines for Black talent.

Joe Handy, president and CEO of the National Black MBA Association, felt a pull on him from a passion and a necessity in the community to help more people look at different career paths and wanted to join the organization.

Throughout the years the organization has evolved to understand
that not everyone takes the conventional way to a career. There are
people who look at entrepreneurship as a career path. The goal of the National Black MBA Association is to help those who matriculate
through college and those who are in a career who want to advance to a higher level, also entrepreneurs who are looking to develop themselves and build their business.

“One of the interesting things we’ve discovered is 90% of Black
owned businesses are sole proprietors in the sense that they don’t
have any employees. What we want to do is step into that space, and we want to help those individuals grow their business, because we know as Black businesses excel they’ll hire Black people,” Handy said.

Helping black businesses grow so they will hire Black people creates
an ecosystem where business owners are able to reach back and pull people up with them, it has a generational impact and ensures they are set up for success.

The conference gives companies the opportunity to see the Black talent from the community and allows members of the organization and conference attendees to see companies that have made a commitment to hiring Black talent. Attendees can upload their resume prior to the conference and there are also opportunities to hire on the spot.

“We have a number of successes in the sense of people that are now
seasoned executives in their career that found their first job or started at that company by way of matching or getting that job at the conference,” Handy said.

Attendees will receive information about the wraparound services
available from the organization, scholarships it provides, and have the opportunity to hear from speakers.

In talking to the founders of the organization, Handy heard their commitment to Black people and they wanted to ensure Black
people were getting looked at for job advancement. He added, in many cases Black people haven’t been in a position where they could advance, something that was prevalent 51 years and still is today.

Handy said the organization wants to make sure companies live
beyond the hashtag, after the tragic events of last year. Now, the organization needs to make sure those companies show the commitment to Black people they purported to have. Given the buying power of Black people, it is incumbent to make those companies fulfill their commitment. When it comes to what companies can do to improve, Handy said, they should do what they say and be authentic.

“When you commit to advancing, when you commit to our community
show it not only in a media schpeel, show it by the actions and
elevation within your company,” he said.

Interested in attending this year’s conference? Email media@nbmbaa. org. And also an email address will be selected at random to receive a complimentary registration.

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