The National Black MBA Association® and Prospanica® Empower Professionals of Color!

2017 Annual Conference and Exposition in Philadelphia

National Black MBA Association® & Prospanica® 2017 Annual Conference & Expo Official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony - Philadelphia (Photo: Business Wire)

PHILADELPHIA--()--The National Black MBA Association® (NBMBAA®) and Prospanica® held their 2017 Annual Conference & Exposition in Philadelphia, Pa., with record attendance, on September 26 – 30, 2017 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The Conference hosted over 10,000 attendees and 292 corporate partner exhibitors on a 58,000-square-foot career expo floor where over 600 interviews were conducted for jobs with leading Fortune 500 companies.

This year’s Conference, “The Power of Performance: Leadership At The Next Level,” inspired many professionals to invest in themselves through programming designed to empower and spark career growth and progression. Attendees were exposed to a wide variety of topics from advice on climbing the corporate ladder to taking the entrepreneurial track to career fulfillment and success.

This year’s Honorary Conference Co-Chairs were JoAnne Epps, Executive Vice President and Provost, Temple University; Verdun Perry, Senior Managing Director, Blackstone and Co-Head, Strategic Partners; Francisco J. Sanchez, Chairman, CNS Global Advisors and Cid Wilson, President & CEO, Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility.

Marriott International hosted the Welcome Reception which kicked off the week-long conference with programming that featured some of the industry’s top executives and thought leaders offering inspiring and motivational content. The week-long conference included keynotes from authors and world-renowned speakers: Dr. Eric Thomas, ETA, LLC and Dan Pallotta, popular TED Speaker and author of Uncharitable. Moderated panels and interactive workshops that explored a variety of topics including International Business, Technology and Digital Innovation, and Dynamic Leadership were also part of the conference’s program.

“The CEO’s Luncheon” presented by Nationwide featured Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Office, Marriott International, Inc., Lisa Wardell, President & Chief Executive Officer, Adtalem Global Education, Bill Lacey, President & Chief Executive Officer, GE Lighting, moderated by Carla Harris, Vice Chairman, Wealth Management, Morgan Stanley offered advice on taking steps to increase your performance to ensure career progression. “Meet the Experts” presented by Nationwide with panelists Gale V. King, EVP & and Chief Administrative Officer and Brad Davis, AVP, Marketing Brand Strategy reinforced the importance of mentoring and preparation to advance your career.

Popular breakout sessions addressed entrepreneurship, technology, innovation and leadership. The inaugural Higher Ed Expo featured hundreds of collegiate partners that helped high school students navigate their journey to understand the process in seeking higher education.

The week was filled with amazing prize winners and inspiring award honorees. Mercedes-Benz and Mercedes-Benz Financial Services raffled off two 24-month car leases, an E300 4Matic and an SLC-Class Roadster. The Scale-Up Pitch Challenge sponsored by FedEx awarded Atima Lui of NUDEST with the $50,000 Scale-Up Pitch Challenge grand prize as well as the $1,000 People’s Choice Award. The second and third place winners were and Composio.

Prospanica® Annual Brillante Gala, hosted by Christian Cázeres, NBC 10 Philadelphia and Telemundo 62 Multimedia Journalist, celebrated the year’s achievements and recognized the recipients of the Brillante Awards, which honor the individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the educational, economic and social well-being of the Hispanic community. The 2017 Prospanica® Brillante Awards recipients are Dr. Juan Andrade for Community Service Excellence, ExxonMobil for Corporate Excellence, Georgia State University J. Mack Robinson College of Business for Community Educational Excellence, Gabriel Mandujano for Entrepreneurial Excellence and Alejandro Roman for Prospanica Member Excellence. Entertainment was provided by DJ Rahsaan and Funk Salsa Urban.

NBMBAA® Impact Awards presented by BMW, Georgia-Pacific, and Philips were hosted by award-winning broadcast journalist Tamron Hall, with a special appearance by actor Larenz Tate. Award recipients were: Academic Partner of the Year, The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business; Entrepreneur of the Year, Irving Matthews, President and Owner of The Matthews Automotive Group; H. Naylor Fitzhugh Award of Relevance, Dr. Lawrence M. Drake II, President and CEO of LEADership, Education and Development (LEAD) and Silver Torch Award was awarded to FedEx. Other awards included: Chairman’s Award, Ronald Thompson, Non-Executive Chair of the Board of Trustees of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA) and Lead Director of Fiat Chrysler Automotive (FCA) and Helping Hands Award, William W. Wells Jr., President/CEO, W. Wells & Associates, LLC. Special thanks went to NBMBAA® Academic Sponsor, University of Florida, Hough Graduate School of Business.

The 2017 Graduate NBMBAA Case Competition® in collaboration with Prospanica®, sponsored by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US, LLC, winners were: First Place, The University of Alabama; Second Place, Georgetown University and Third Place, Boston University.

2017 Undergraduate NBMBAA Case Competition® in collaboration with Prospanica®, sponsored by Delta Air Lines, winners were: First Place, Indiana University; Second Place, South Carolina State University and Third Place, Alabama State University. The MBA of the Year went to Britta M. Wilson, Ed.D.

Chapter Awards recipients were: Chapters of the Year Central Florida and Dallas. Chapter LOT Program of the Year, Indianapolis; Channel Award – Education, Austin; Channel Award – Career; Raleigh-Durham; Channel Award Entrepreneurship, New Jersey; Channel Award Lifestyle, Detroit and Channel Award – Leadership, Charlotte.

One of the highlights of the week was the announcement with NBMBAA® and Year Up for a mentorship partnership that aligns with NBMBAA® strategic goal of leveraging professional development through mentorships. Year Up and NBMBAA® will work together to identify mentors and mentees in markets where Year Up sites and NBMBAA® local Chapters exist.

The Conference concluded with fun-filled lifestyle events and fundraisers which included MBA Live hosted by legendary DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Leaders of Tomorrow® 5K Charity Walk in partnership with Black Girls Run® and the Leaders of Tomorrow® Charity Poker Tournament.

NBMBAA’s 40th Annual Conference & Exposition will be in Detroit, Michigan from September 25 – 29, 2018 entitled One Voice, One Mission - Determined.Empowered.Tenacious.Respected.Objective.Inspirational.Trusted. This will mark the fourth appearance of the conference being held in Detroit, Michigan. (1979, 1986, and 1998).

Prospanica’s 2018 Annual Conference and Career Expo will be held from September 12 - 14, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The 2018 conference will be the stage for the organization’s 30th year anniversary.

About National Black MBA Association® (NBMBAA®)
NBMBAA® is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) professional member-based organization which leads in the creation of educational and career opportunities for black professionals. Representing more than 11,000 members within 45 professional chapters, 33 Leaders of Tomorrow® (LOT®) chapters, and 300+ corporate and university partners, the organization is dedicated to developing partnerships that create intellectual and economic wealth in the Black community through its five channels of engagement: career, education, entrepreneurship, leadership and lifestyle. For more information, visit

About Prospanica®
Prospanica®, is the non-profit organization dedicated to empowering Hispanics to reach their full educational, economic, and social potential. Founded in 1988 as the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA), Prospanica® is The Association of Hispanic Professionals with more than 46 Professional and University Chapters across the U.S. and Puerto Rico dedicated to help professionals, graduate and undergraduate business students, entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 partners build on connections and career development to fortify the Hispanic workforce. For more information, visit


For National Black MBA Association
LaTonya Story, 757-696-2349
Sami Haiman-Marrero, 917-589-4229

Release Summary

The National Black MBA Association® (NBMBAA®) and Prospanica® held their 2017 Annual Conference & Expo in Philadelphia, PA., with record attendance.


For National Black MBA Association
LaTonya Story, 757-696-2349
Sami Haiman-Marrero, 917-589-4229