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An Icon of Industry: Ella Baker – A Diplomat Legacy Builder

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As part of the launch of our Legacy Houses, a community building initiative which underscores our unwavering commitment to support the legacy builders within our community and empower black households, we take a moment on the journey to delve into the remarkable achievements of trailblazing individuals from the past. In our 2024 Black History Month series: Icons of Industry, we invite you to reimagine with us the legacies of these iconic figures, pondering what type of legacy builder they would be and which BPN Legacy House they would belong to – Tycoon, Diplomat, Luminary or Guardian.

Tycoon: Pioneers of possibility and innovation, the Tycoons drive opportunities and growth, breaking barriers and creating pathways to success for future generations. Charles R. Drew

Diplomat: Masters of impact and diplomacy, these trailblazers excel at forging bridges and fostering collaboration, uniting communities and championing for the soul of society. Ella Baker

Luminary: Beacons of inspiration and enlightenment, Luminaries illuminate paths to progress and fulfillment, igniting passion and driving positive change in their wake. Gordon Parks

Guardian: These individuals are the steadfast protectors of ideals and values, embodying resilience and fostering a sense of community wherever they go. Mary McLeod Bethune

As you immerse yourself in the stories of these remarkable individuals, you’ll discover the diverse pathways to success and draw inspiration from their extraordinary achievements. Each Legacy House represents a unique facet of professional excellence, guiding our present impact and shaping our collective vision for the future.

As we step into the vibrant month of February, we embark on a journey of celebration, reflection, and inspiration. In this reimagined interview with Ella Baker, learn more about his contributions to his community and society at large as a Diplomat legacy builder.

Interview with Ella Baker (AI-generated based on real historical facts)

Interview with Ella Baker

Interviewer: Welcome, Ms. Baker. Thank you for taking the time to speak with us today. Let’s delve into your remarkable journey and contributions to the civil rights movement.

Ella Baker: Thank you for having me.

Interviewer: To start off, could you tell us about your early involvement with the civil rights movement and your role in founding the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)?

Ella Baker: Certainly. My journey in the civil rights movement began long before the founding of these organizations. I started my work with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in the 1940s, focusing on grassroots organizing and activism. However, I realized the need for a more inclusive and decentralized approach to organizing. This led me to collaborate with Martin Luther King Jr., and other leaders, to establish the SCLC in 1957. Three years later, I played a pivotal role in the formation of SNCC, which empowered young activists to take leadership roles in the struggle for equality.

Interviewer: Your dedication to grassroots organizing and empowering marginalized voices is evident. Speaking of empowerment, your approach seems to align with the traits of a diplomat and legacy builder. We believe you would be a Diplomat, a legacy builder within our organization who aims to carry out missions of impact that drives positive change throughout society. What about your journey would you say makes this distinction accurate?

Ella Baker: I appreciate the recognition of my efforts. Throughout my journey, I have always prioritized fostering collaboration, empowering individuals, and fostering long-term change rather than seeking personal recognition or glory. My work has been focused on building lasting movements that endure beyond any single leader or organization. By emphasizing the importance of collective action and grassroots organizing, I aim to cultivate a legacy of activism that inspires future generations to continue the fight for justice and equality.

Interviewer: Your commitment to collective action and long-term impact is truly inspiring. How do you envision the role of diplomacy within social movements, particularly in navigating complex challenges and fostering meaningful change?

Ella Baker: Diplomacy plays a crucial role in social movements by facilitating dialogue, building alliances, and bridging divides within communities. In the face of adversity, it’s essential to seek common ground and engage in constructive dialogue to effect positive change. Diplomacy allows us to navigate the complexities of social issues, build coalitions, and mobilize diverse groups towards a shared vision of justice and equality. It requires patience, empathy, and a willingness to listen to differing perspectives, but ultimately, it is instrumental in achieving meaningful and sustainable progress.

Interviewer: Thank you, Ms. Baker, for sharing your insights and experiences with us. Your dedication to grassroots organizing and empowering marginalized communities serves as an enduring example for activists around the world.

Ella Baker: It has been my pleasure. Thank you for the opportunity to reflect on my journey and the ongoing struggle for justice and equality.


Want to see if you are a Diplomat as well? Visit mybpn.org/legacy-house-quiz to discover what type of Legacy Builder you are!

An Icon of Industry: Charles. R. Drew – A Tycoon Legacy Builder

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As part of the launch of our Legacy Houses, a community building initiative which underscores our unwavering commitment to support the legacy builders within our community and empower black households, we take a moment on the journey to delve into the remarkable achievements of trailblazing individuals from the past. In our 2024 Black History Month series: Icons of Industry, we invite you to reimagine with us the legacies of these iconic figures, pondering what type of legacy builder they would be and which BPN Legacy House they would belong to – Tycoon, Diplomat, Luminary or Guardian.

Tycoon: Pioneers of possibility and innovation, the Tycoons drive opportunities and growth, breaking barriers and creating pathways to success for future generations. Charles R. Drew

Diplomat: Masters of impact and diplomacy, these trailblazers excel at forging bridges and fostering collaboration, uniting communities and championing for the soul of society. Ella Baker

Luminary: Beacons of inspiration and enlightenment, Luminaries illuminate paths to progress and fulfillment, igniting passion and driving positive change in their wake. Gordon Parks

Guardian: These individuals are the steadfast protectors of ideals and values, embodying resilience and fostering a sense of community wherever they go. Mary McLeod Bethune

As you immerse yourself in the stories of these remarkable individuals, you’ll discover the diverse pathways to success and draw inspiration from their extraordinary achievements. Each Legacy House represents a unique facet of professional excellence, guiding our present impact and shaping our collective vision for the future.

As we step into the vibrant month of February, we embark on a journey of celebration, reflection, and inspiration. In this reimagined interview with Charles R. Drew, learn more about his contributions to his community and society at large as a Tycoon legacy builder.

Interview with Dr. Charles Drew (AI-generated based on real historical facts)

Interviewer: Dr. Charles R. Drew, thank you for taking the time to speak with us today. Your contributions to medicine and society are truly remarkable.

Dr. Charles Drew: Thank you for having me.

Interviewer: Let’s start with your groundbreaking work in the field of blood banking. Can you tell us about your discovery of the method for long-term storage of blood plasma?

Dr. Charles Drew: Certainly. In my research, I found that by separating plasma from whole blood and refrigerating it, we could extend its shelf life significantly. This breakthrough allowed for the creation of blood banks, where plasma could be stored and readily available for transfusions, saving countless lives.

Interviewer: Your efforts in organizing America’s first large-scale blood bank are widely recognized. What inspired you to undertake such an endeavor?

Dr. Charles Drew: My primary motivation was to address the critical need for a steady supply of blood for transfusions, particularly during times of war. I saw the devastating impact of blood shortages firsthand and knew that establishing a centralized blood bank system was essential for saving lives on a large scale.

Interviewer: Your tenure at Howard University and Freedmen’s Hospital is also noteworthy. Can you tell us about your mission during that time?

Dr. Charles Drew: Absolutely. My goal at Howard University was twofold: to train young African American surgeons to the highest standards and to advocate for the inclusion of black physicians in medical societies and organizations. I believed that by empowering future generations of black doctors and fighting against discrimination in the medical field, I could make a lasting impact on healthcare and society as a whole.

Interviewer: We believe you would be a Tycoon, a legacy builder within our organization who aims to stimulate opportunities or innovations that are in support of society’s trajectory. What about your journey would you say makes this distinction accurate?

Dr. Charles Drew: I appreciate the recognition. Throughout my career, I have always strived to push the boundaries of what is possible in medicine and to use my platform to advocate for equality and access to healthcare. Whether it was pioneering blood banking techniques or fighting against racial discrimination in the medical profession, I have always been driven by a desire to make a meaningful and lasting impact on society. I believe that my dedication to innovation, social justice, and improving the well-being of others aligns well with the values of a Tycoon within your organization.


Want to see if you are a Tycoon as well? Visit mybpn.org/legacy-house-quiz to discover what type of Legacy Builder you are!

Celebrating Black Men in Excellence: Chicago Chapter’s Dynamic 2024 Honorees

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The Black Professionals Network (BPN) Chicago Chapter has taken a bold step in recognizing the outstanding achievements of Black men in various fields—career, business, and social good. This year’s honorees showcase the city’s diverse talent pool and the positive impact they have made in their respective spheres. Let’s dive into the remarkable stories of these ten individuals who are leaving an indelible mark on their communities.

Brandon Pope – Journalist and Mentor: Emmy-winning journalist, media critic, and host of “On The Block.” President of the Chicago chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists, he focuses on mentoring the next generation of journalists and fundraising for scholarships. Also, an adjunct professor and recipient of the Ball State University “Hall Of Beneficence” award.

Jahmal Cole – Community Leader and Philanthropist: Founder and CEO of My Block My Hood My City, dedicated to social justice, education, and community service. Awarded an honorary Doctorate Degree in Humanities from DePaul University, recognized as the 2022 Activist of the Year by Chicago Reader, and named one of the 25 Most Powerful Chicagoans by Crain’s Magazine.

Alan B. Conley – Faith Based and Community Leader: A 21st-century communicator of “Good news,” Alan is the Director of the Office of Faith Based Initiatives in the third largest school district in the U.S. Instrumental in cultivating faith-based partnerships city-wide, impacting the lives of over 60,000 students. Also, an actor, producer, and writer, contributing to local film and theater productions.

Zack Day – Entrepreneurship and Mentorship: Senior Counselor for Youth Guidance’s BAM program by day, and Director of Brewing Operations at Funkytown Brewery by night. A recipient of the 2022 Michael Jackson Foundation Scholarship for brewing, Zack focuses on mentoring youth and bringing diversity to the craft beer industry.

Christian Harris – Entrepreneurship and Community Leader: Entrepreneur, coach, and consultant, Christian has a diverse background, from founding MS Clean and Sons LLC to serving as Director of DEI and Operations for marketing firm DM Burton LLC. Passionate about community work, Christian co-founded the group Walk the Walk and established the Oak Park Reparations Task force in 2021.

Rich Bloomfield – Business Leader: CEO and co-founder of Funkytown Brewery, Rich has over 10 years of project management experience, specializing in education equity. Holding certifications in project management and cloud computing, his current role at Funkytown Brewery focuses on bringing diversity, equity, and inclusion to the beer industry.

Delante Greer – Wealth Advisor and Mentor: Investment Advisor Representative with Opulentia, Delante has over 10 years of experience in self-directed investments. A TEDx speaker and founder of a nonprofit, Delante is committed to equipping the younger generation with vital financial tools and knowledge, actively participating in various community and industry roles.

Anthony Curtis, Jr. – Advocate for Education and Mentorship: Senior Manager of Volunteer Programs Manager and Organizational Culture at NFTE, Anthony leads initiatives devoted to equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging. As a coach affiliate at Developing Capacity Coaching, LLC, he coaches people to effectively lead for equity and justice, emphasizing his commitment to empowering marginalized communities.

Gregory Williams – Business Leader: Program Manager at Wesco-Anixter and Co-Founder/Sales Director of Funkytown Brewery, Gregory combines over 15 years of business management experience. A key figure in Funkytown’s brand expansion, he actively supports Diversity and Inclusion efforts within the craft beer industry.

Dr. Lawrence A. White, DDS – Health Advocate and Business Leader: Dentist and practice owner on Chicago’s south side for over 30 years, Dr. White serves diverse communities. Currently the Vice Speaker of the House of Illinois State Dental Society Board of Trustees, he continues to contribute to the field of dentistry and community health.

BPN Chicago Chapter’s Black Men in Excellence honorees represent the best in their fields, embodying resilience, leadership, and a commitment to positive change. Their stories inspire us to strive for greatness, leaving a lasting legacy for the generations to come. As we celebrate their achievements, let us also recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion in fostering a vibrant and successful community.


WHO: Black Professionals Network (BPN) Chicago Chapter

WHAT: 2024 Black Men in Excellence Networking Mixer

WHEN: Thursday, February 22, 2024, 6:00PM to 9:00PM 

WHERE: (Chicago) – Hue Chicago, 67 E Cermak Rd, Chicago, IL 60616

Register to attend here

Celebrating Excellence: The Unparalleled Achievements of Los Angeles’ 2024 Black Men in Excellence Honorees


Los Angeles, a city renowned for its diversity and cultural richness, is home to ten extraordinary individuals recognized for their outstanding contributions to career, business, and social good. Black Professionals Network (BPN) Los Angeles Chapter’s Black Men in Excellence initiative sheds light on the remarkable journeys of these honorees who have not only excelled in their respective fields but have also made indelible impacts on their communities. Let’s delve into the stories of these exceptional individuals who embody the spirit of excellence

Stanley Cortez Webster – Business Owner and Mentor:
Stanley’s journey from a small town in Alabama to becoming one of the youngest Chick-fil-A franchise owners is a testament to resilience and community impact. Mentored by Anita Costello and inspired by Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers,” Stanley not only excelled in business but also became a mentor, coach, and father figure. His commitment to community-building organizations sets him apart as a true leader shaping lives in Los Angeles. Legacy House: Diplomat

Aaron Hall – Non-Profit Leader and Youth Advocate:
Aaron’s story is deeply intertwined with the Crenshaw community, where he found inspiration and purpose at the Crenshaw Y. Returning to Los Angeles as Executive Director of the Crenshaw Family YMCA, Aaron’s journey showcases his dedication to community service and his commitment to empowering individuals. His career with the YMCA has become a legacy, impacting lives across communities.

Rakeem Addison – Community Advocate:
Rakeem Addison is not just a servant but a dedicated advocate addressing food insecurity, financial stability, mentorship, and providing quality sneakers to those in need. Through the Spread Love Foundation, Rakeem’s commitment to fulfilling diverse needs in every aspect of life exemplifies the spirit of excellence and compassion.

Joseph Ward-Wallace – Enterprising Community Advocate:
As the Co-Founder of South LA Cafe, Joseph Ward-Wallace is at the forefront of fighting racial and economic inequality. His mission is to provide a safe space for local residents, ensuring equal access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food. Additionally, as Co-CEO & President of the South LA Community Foundation, Joseph is breaking the shackles of systemic oppression and inequality in South Central Los Angeles.

Benjamin Carlton – Entrepreneur and Philanthropist:
Benjamin Carlton is a transformative force for social change, recognized for his leadership in the national movement celebrating Black aspirations. As a co-founder of BMe Community, he has not only influenced national policies but has also invested millions in local community leaders, impacting over 2 million families. Beyond his roles as an actor, activist, and author, Benjamin’s core principle of asset-framing promotes recognizing individuals for their contributions, and he actively advocates for the rights and fair treatment of the Black and LGBTQ communities, with a global impact through initiatives like STAN for LOVE.

Alrick “Butta” Augustine – Entertainment Entrepreneur:
Alrick Augustine, known as “Butta,” is a trailblazing entertainment entrepreneur with a keen eye for creating impactful experiences. His contributions to the entertainment industry have not only elevated his career but have also influenced the cultural landscape of Los Angeles. Butta’s entrepreneurial journey reflects resilience, creativity, and a passion for making a lasting impact.

Doc Campbell – Youth Advocate and Philanthropist:
Doc Campbell, a native New Yorker and visionary founder of Yacht (Young and Creating History Together). His lifestyle brand is dedicated to illuminating and sharing fundamental principles and innovative approaches aimed at enhancing spiritual, mental, and emotional well-being which sets him apart as a beacon of excellence in the city.

Jacques Saint Fleur – Executive Leader and Mentor:
Jacques Saint Fleur, a first-generation Haitian-American, has overcome humble beginnings to become the President of the NETwork Los Angeles and Culture Ambassador for AT&T’s National Business Team. With a background in the U.S. Navy and over 20 years of leadership development, he is now a certified Performance Coach, dedicated to empowering underserved communities through personal and professional development workshops in Los Angeles.

Eugene “Big U” Henley – Community Activist and Mentor:
Eugene “Big U” Henley’s impact as a community activist and mentor is profound, leaving an indelible mark on Los Angeles. His commitment to creating positive change, particularly in underserved communities, reflects a dedication to social good. Big U’s influence extends beyond his entrepreneurial ventures, making him a respected figure in community development.

David P. Anderson, MSSE – Youth Development Advocate and Philanthropist:
David P. Anderson is a nationally recognized leader in afterschool programs and youth workforce development, serves as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Los Angeles Urban League. With a profound commitment to education and philanthropy, he has significantly impacted over 100,000 students through afterschool initiatives, showcasing his passion for creating positive community change and exemplifying true leadership in transformative endeavors.

The stories of these ten exceptional individuals from the BPN Los Angeles Chapter’s Black Men in Excellence initiative illustrate the diverse and impactful ways they contribute to the city’s cultural fabric. Their journeys, marked by resilience, innovation, and community engagement, serve as an inspiration for all. Los Angeles is not just a city of stars; it is a city where these remarkable individuals shine bright, leaving an enduring legacy of excellence and positive change.


WHO: Black Professionals Network (BPN) Los Angeles Chapter

WHAT: 2024 Black Men in Excellence Networking Mixer

WHEN: Wednesday, February 21, 2024, 6:00PM to 9:00PM 

WHERE: (Los Angeles) – The Gathering Spot LA, 5211 W, ADAMS BLVD. LOS ANGELES, CA 90016

Register to attend here

Building a Legacy of Excellence: Miami Chapter’s 2024 Black Men in Excellence Honorees

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South Florida’s vibrant culture and diversity are not just reflections in its art and music but also in the remarkable individuals who shape the city’s landscape. Black Professionals Network (BPN)’s Miami Chapter has embarked on a mission during Black History Month to spotlight and honor individuals who have not only excelled in their careers but have also made significant contributions to business and social good. The Black Men in Excellence honorees for this year represent a diverse tapestry of talent, leadership, and community engagement. Let’s delve into the inspiring journeys of these honorees, each a trailblazer in their own right and making an indelible mark on South Florida and beyond.

Ja’dan Johnson – Visionary Entrepreneur:
From launching the largest hackathon in the English-speaking Caribbean at the age of 15 to leading a citizens-driven COVID-19 response project, Ja’dan Johnson epitomizes innovation and commitment to societal well-being. As the Founder & Director of Miami Hack Week and a venture scout at Craft Ventures, Johnson continues to pave the way for future tech leaders.

Jefferson Noel – Educator and Orator:
Jefferson Noel, a professor at Florida Memorial University, is a three-time published author, TEDx speaker, and founder of Barbershop Speaks. Noel’s influence extends far beyond the classroom, engaging communities in intelligent discussions.

Wilton L Triggs II, MD – Industry Pioneer and Mentorship Advocate:
Dr. Wilton Triggs, a Plastic Surgeon and former Chief Resident at the University of South Florida recognized as the first black chief resident of plastic surgery. However, Dr. Triggs not only excels in his medical career but also dedicates himself to mentorship. His commitment to giving back led him to establish the Dr. Wilton Triggs Foundation, supporting education for historically under-represented populations. Additionally, he holds an with Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine in Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Assistant Professorship allowing him to teach both medical students and medical residents the intricacies of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Zachary Rinkins – Journalist and Economic Advocate:
Zachary Rinkins, once a freelance journalist and always an advocate for economic growth, has interviewed notable figures and contributed to outlets like Black Enterprise and Ebony Magazine. Currently managing communications for the Miami-Dade Economic Advocacy Trust, Rinkins plays a pivotal role in ensuring Black residents participate in Miami’s economic development.

Timothy Merriman Jr, MBA – Real Estate Trailblazer:
A distinguished commercial real estate broker, Timothy Merriman Jr. has navigated complex transactions, earning recognition as Broker of the Year and becoming an owner of NAI Miami | Fort Lauderdale. With expertise in various property types, Merriman is a leader in commercial real estate, committed to achieving optimal outcomes for his clients. Legacy House: Tycoon

Michaeljohn A. Green – Advocate for Economic Development:
Michaeljohn A. Green is the Chief of Economic Development & Strategy for the Miami Downtown Development Authority Agency. In this role, he focuses on attracting and retaining businesses in the Miami DDA district, contributing to the city’s economic prosperity. With a background in financial institutions and community development, MJ has been recognized for his impact, particularly during the pandemic, when he managed the RISE Fund, lending money to 900 businesses and saving 4,500 jobs in Miami-Dade County. Additionally, he is actively involved in various boards and organizations, advocating for access to capital and equitable opportunities in urban communities.. Legacy House: Tycoon

Jeremy Jones – HR Strategist and DEI Advocate:
Jeremy Jones, an HR Business Partner at Starboard Cruise Services, is recognized for his talent management strategies and employee engagement initiatives. Serving as Co-President for LVMH Employees of African Decent, Jones actively contributes to diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies within the company. Legacy House: Guardian

Stevo’n Evander McGill – Community Builder and Strength Coach:
Stevo’n McGill, known as Coach Von, has dedicated his career to community service, initially as a firefighter and later as a strength and conditioning coach. Through initiatives like TopShelf Performance and publishing a children’s novel, McGill empowers communities in Miami, Tampa, Atlanta, and Philadelphia.

Adrian K. Felix – Litigation Expert and DEI Advocate:
Adrian K. Felix, a Partner in Bilzin Sumberg’s Trial & Litigation Group, is a passionate advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession. Serving as Chair of Bilzin Sumberg’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee, Felix actively addresses social injustice issues nationwide. Legacy House: Diplomat

David J. Castro II – Innovative Entrepreneur:
As the CEO and co-founder of Dungeon Forward, David J. Castro II is driven by authenticity and innovation. Through his brand, Castro not only creates innovative headwear but also tells stories of triumph, promoting diversity and creativity within the community.

Black Professionals Network (BPN) Miami Chapter’s Black Men in Excellence honorees represent a mosaic of talent, dedication, and community impact. Their stories inspire us to strive for excellence, contribute to societal well-being, and pave the way for a more inclusive and vibrant future in Miami and beyond. As we celebrate their achievements, let’s also recognize the collective strength and resilience they bring to the city’s rich tapestry.


WHO: Black Professionals Network (BPN) Miami Chapter

WHAT: 2024 Black Men in Excellence Networking Mixer

WHEN: Thursday, February 15, 2024, 6:00PM to 9:00PM 

WHERE: (MIAMI) – John Martin’s, 253 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables, FL 33134

Register to attend here

Practical Strategies for Career Advancement

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In the dynamic landscape of today’s professional world, career advancement is a journey that requires strategic planning and continuous growth. To thrive in your career, consider implementing these practical strategies:

  1. Set Clear Goals: Define your short-term and long-term career objectives. This clarity will guide your decisions and actions, ensuring they align with your aspirations.
  2. Invest in Continuous Learning: Embrace a mindset of lifelong learning. Stay abreast of industry trends, acquire new skills, and seek opportunities for professional development. This not only enhances your expertise but also positions you as a valuable asset.
  3. Build a Strong Network: Cultivate meaningful professional relationships both within and outside your organization. Networking opens doors to new opportunities, provides valuable insights, and creates a supportive community.
  4. Show Initiative: Demonstrate a proactive attitude by taking on additional responsibilities, proposing innovative solutions, and volunteering for projects. Initiative is often a key differentiator in the eyes of employers.
  5. Effective Communication: Hone your communication skills, both verbal and written. Clearly articulate your ideas, actively listen, and foster open dialogue. Effective communication is crucial for collaboration and leadership roles.
  6. Adaptability and Resilience: In a rapidly changing world, adaptability is a prized quality. Be open to change, learn from setbacks, and showcase resilience. Employers value individuals who can navigate challenges with grace.

By incorporating these practical strategies into your career approach, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the competitive landscape and propel yourself toward continuous growth and advancement. Remember, success is not just about climbing the corporate ladder but about the journey of becoming the best version of yourself professionally.

Our Top Book Picks for Aspiring Leaders

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Explore essential reads that inspire and guide every aspiring leader on their path to success.

In the realm of professional development, the journey is as significant as the destination. BPN not only recognizes this, but also actively facilitate it through our unique Legacy Houses. These houses are more than just groups; they are incubators of success, each with a distinct focus to help you carve your own path to greatness. To complement this journey, we’ve curated a list of essential reads that align with the values and aspirations of each Legacy House.

1. The Guardians: ‘Dare to Lead’ by Brené Brown The Guardians are the architects of change, and Brené Brown’s “Dare to Lead” is their manifesto. This book teaches the art of brave leadership, encouraging leaders to create a culture of empathy, understanding, and boundless potential.

2. The Diplomats: ‘Good to Great’ by Jim Collins For the Diplomats, who thrive on transforming good into great, Jim Collins’ work is a treasure trove of wisdom. “Good to Great” explores what elevates a company from average to extraordinary – a fitting guide for leaders aiming to make a significant impact.

3. The Luminaries: ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ by Stephen R. Covey Luminaries are the beacons of innovation. Stephen R. Covey’s classic “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” provides the toolkit for personal and professional effectiveness, a must-read for those who aim to shine brightly in their careers.

4. The Tycoons: ‘Extreme Ownership’ by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin Tycoons are leaders who take charge and lead by example. “Extreme Ownership,” authored by U.S. Navy SEALs Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, delves into the leadership principles that enable SEAL teams to achieve extraordinary results, mirroring the Tycoon’s ethos.

As you navigate through our programs and explore the unique environment of your Legacy House, these books can serve as your companions, providing insights, strategies, and inspiration.

Alongside these tailored recommendations, we also suggest essential reads for all our members, regardless of their Legacy House:

Your path to leadership is not just about acquiring skills; it’s about embracing a mindset of growth, innovation, and resilience. Let these reads be the wind beneath your wings as you soar towards your professional and legacy goals.

BPN Miami Spotlight – Tim Merriman Jr.

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  1. Tell us more about yourself, like where you are from and what you do. 

My name is Timothy Merriman Jr, originally from High Point, North Carolina. I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Shaw University, and later obtained an MBA from Nova Southeastern University. I am a Commercial Real Estate Broker with a vast array of experience in industrial, multi-family, office, retail and several other property types. I additionally provide services such as expert witness testimony, property/asset management, also providing services in the area of distress asset. I am recognized as one of the top Commercial Real Estate professionals in the country and was extended an invitation to join the elite group of black professionals, REEC (Real Estate Executive Council). I am also partner and owner of multiple NAI Global offices covering the West Coast and South Florida.

2. What is one of your greatest achievements?

My most prized achievements when I became a partner in a nationally and globally recognized Commercial Real Estate firm.

3. Who or what inspires you?

I have several mentors and inspirational people that have mentored me. Too many to name without offending those that I may forget to mention. I am the result of more that 25 people from all walks of life who took the time to encourage and fill the gap in my most challenging times.

4. How would you like to be remembered?

I would like to be remembered by the success of those that come behind me and achieve far more than I could have ever dreamed.  I really want to be remembered for inspiring some the same way that so many inspired me that got to this point.

5. How did you get involved with BPN and why?

I am always looking for minority groups to join and affiliate. My profession is 97% white with me rarely seeing another person of color. Not only for the professional connections but for the camaraderie of likeminded minority professionals.

Black Business Month with BPN

August’s Black Business month shines a spotlight on the innovation and entrepreneurship that empowers the Black community to thrive and build generational wealth. The concept of Black Business Month derives from two Black entrepreneurs, engineer Frederick E. Jordan and John William Templeton, president and executive editor of eAccess Corp, who wanted to help others in the community achieve success in entrepreneurship.

According to the U.S. small business administration, as of 2018, there are over 3 million Black-owned businesses that generate total sales of over $200 billion.

BPN’s robust Black Business month programming included everything from special networking opportunities to an informative masterclass on securing a federal contract. The month kicked off with CEO Night Out: Miami Dolphins v. Atlanta Falcons for a special opportunity to enjoy football while making connections.

The Miami chapter’s networking mixer held at Office Logic on August 17th was a great opportunity to connect across generations, industries, and business sectors. BPN teamed up with community partners to make a greater impact, including the Miami-Dade Economic Advocacy Trust, the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce, the Haitian-American Chamber of Commerce, the National Sales of Network of South Florida, the Greater Miami Conventions Visitors Bureau, and the Miami-Dade Black Advisory Board.

Panelist speakers from the varying organizations provided knowledge to further provide opportunities for business-owners to thrive and for those looking to go into business.

Following the Black Business Month mixer, BPN continued with programming and content with the Connect & Co-work Nonprofit Edition on the 22nd at Co-Space to further elevate connections. The Masterclass: Securing a Federal Contract on the 29th guided business owners to gain access to all contracts and resources available to them.

While Black business month comes to a close soon, BPN aims to provide a platform of community and support for Black business-owners and professionals year-round.

BPN Miami Chapter Team Spotlight

As the Black Professionals Network grows, so does the team! From membership, to events, and communications, the committees are made up of volunteers that contribute to the growth of the organization. New team members Eunice Flowers and Daniele Gordon share insights on their excitement about joining the BPN team.

Eunice Flowers, Educator at Miami-Dade County Public Schools CEO/President of Red Hearts of Hope

What made you want to join BPN as a member?

I decided to join the Black Professionals Network because of the incredible networking opportunities it offers. Being able to connect with other Black professionals across various industries is invaluable for expanding my contacts and potentially exploring new business ventures. Additionally, the sense of community and support within the network is truly inspiring. It’s empowering to be part of a group that understands the unique challenges we face and provides a safe space for sharing experiences and supporting each other’s growth and success.

What are you looking most forward to by being on the Miami chapter team?

I am looking forward to being part of the Miami chapter team of the Black Professionals Network for several reasons. Firstly, I am excited about the enhanced networking opportunities within the local community. Being part of the Miami chapter will allow me to build stronger connections with fellow Black professionals in this region, fostering relationships that can potentially lead to collaborations, career advancements, and new friendships.
Secondly, being on the Miami chapter team means I can actively contribute to the local community’s growth and empowerment. By engaging in events and initiatives organized by the team, I hope to play a part in creating a positive impact on the lives of Black professionals in Miami. It’s essential for us to support each other’s journey and advocate for greater representation and equality.  Being on the Miami chapter team of the Black Professionals Network aligns perfectly with my goals of networking, community involvement, and personal development. I’m thrilled to be part of this dynamic group and contribute to the advancement of Black professionals in Miami.

Daniele Gordon, P.A. Broker Associate, Coldwell Banker Realty

What made you want to join BPN as a member?

The opportunity to network and collaborate with like-minded individuals across various industries, all while promoting the professional growth and empowerment of Black individuals in South Florida.

What are you looking most forward to by being on the Miami chapter team?

I am anticipating the chance to connect with like-minded professionals who share common interests and aspirations, creating an environment that fosters growth and offers valuable learning opportunities.