Since 1967, the corporate buyers, government agencies, minority business enterprises and key stakeholders in the Chicago area with education, networking, awards and business development opportunities designed to empower Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) and highlight achievement. The tradition continues this spring with the 50th Annual Chicago Business Opportunity Fair #CBOF50, presented by Allstate, April 20-21, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.
Emmett Vaughn, director, Office of Diverse Business Empowerment at Excelon and honorary chairperson for #CBOF50, praised the event for its impact on the city, saying, “ComEd is pleased to be among the founding members of this excellent business diversity and advocacy group that has contributed greatly to Chicago.”
“Investing in the Gold Standard,” is the theme of the #CBOF50 Sponsors Breakfast on April 21, during which renowned journalist, author and syndicated columnist, Roland S. Martin, will host a panel discussion featuring Anne Pramaggiore, president and CEO, ComEd, and Chris Kennedy, chairman of Joseph P. Kennedy Enterprises, Inc.
Martin is the host and managing editor of TV One’s “NewsOne Now,” the first daily morning news program in history to focus on news and analysis of politics, entertainment, sports and culture from an explicitly African American perspective. Prior to joining TV One, Martin spent six years as a contributor for CNN, where he won a Peabody Award (2009) for his contributions to the network’s coverage of the 2008 presidential election.
Chicago Business Opportunity Fair (CBOF) has connected Martin’s Chicago roots run deep, having worked for WVON-AM, first as mid-day host and later as morning drive host. He is also the former executive editor and general manager of the “Chicago Defender,” the nation’s most historic Black newspaper.
In addition to the Sponsors Breakfast, #CBOF50 will include the 50th Anniversary Celebration Reception and Dinner on April 20. The 2017 event pays tribute to the legends and leaders that began the Chicago Minority Supplier Diversity Council’s (ChicagoMSDC) historic journey toward transforming minority businesses and minority communities locally, nationally and globally.
Each year, more than 3,000 people attend CBOF, the signature conference of the ChicagoMSDC. Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American business owners and international organizations will convene to make new connections, strengthen established relationships, share experiences and celebrate successes. This dynamic, multi-day conference presents a distinctive networking experience for MBEs, corporate America and government agencies, offering a unique opportunity to build strategic, mutually beneficial partnerships that drive economic growth. Currently, Chicago MSDC members report over $5 billion in annual purchases from minority-owned firms that maintain more than 98,000 employees annually.