|Kenneth Harris (right), Founder/CEO of IDBE (International Detroit Black Expo), presented Gov. Jennifer Granholm with the Marcus Garvey Community Empowerment Award at the Success Ensured Expo at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.|
Nearly a year ago, the International Detroit Black Expo, Inc. held its first empowerment forum and networking event. Hundreds of area urban professionals were in attendance with the aim of empowering local businesses with vital tools, information and resources needed to thrive in the 21st century global economy.
Since that time the organization has grown by leaps and bounds through an aggressive grassroots approach. The patronage it has received has been revelatory, the concepts created and exchanged revolutionary.
"This is another piece to the puzzle," said IDBE CEO/President Kenneth Harris. "It's a new day and the game has changed and due to the technological savvy of our modern-day global society, we have to be prepared to think outside the box."
Talk vs. Reality
The most recent expo was titled "Success Ensured," which brought together a panel of representatives from Metro Detroit's leading insurance companies to dialogue on various types of insurance coverage for business, comprehensive insurance options and how to avoid high insurance costs.
With an emphasis on education, the audience was led through a Q&A session.
"People are tired of paying membership fees with organization with no impactful benefit," Harris said.
The panelists and guest speakers included Charles Briggs, president, National African American Insurance Association; Dana Cleveland, assistant vice president, Commercial, Lewis & Thompson; Martel M. Peguese, agent, State Farm Insurance Company; Tyrice Grice, owner/operator, Farmers Insurance Group; Tia Lee, senior financial specialist, Options Investment Group; and Herb Gibson, director, Meadowbrook Insurance Agency.
The event also featured a discourse from keynote speaker Jennifer Granholm, who talked about her plan to cut insurance premiums, level the playing field for minority businesses along with earmarking monies for start-up businesses and entrepreneurs. She is the latest in a line of celebrity dignitaries to speak at the expo.
Harris also used the occasion to present Granholm with a Marcus Garvey Community Empowerment Award, an honor bestowed upon individuals who are dedicated to empowering the community through economic and entrepreneurial business coalitions.
The organization has also thrived in fundraising at previous events. The May expo, for instance, raised $85,000 through corporate contributions.
"There is a revolution happening on the underbelly of the Metro Detroit business community," said Harris. "But the weapons of choice are the exchanging of information, networking and merging the haves and the haves-notes to create a synergy that will change the business landscape of this city."
Visit www.detroitblackexpo.com for information regarding future monthly expos and the International Detroit Black Expo next Memorial Day weekend.
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