Since 2014, the Black Professionals Summit has attracted ambitious Black professionals together with opportunities to connect and develop professionally. To kick off the 2021 Black Professionals Summit held inaugurally at the Seminole Hardrock Hotel and Casino, BPN held an exclusive VIP reception at The Red Rooster lounge in Overtown.
An intimate crowd of movers and shakers mingled the evening away, enjoying specialty cocktails and appetizers while indulging in the photo booth and taking in the rooftop views in the historic district.
Following the opening reception, the summit ensued bright and early at the grand Seminole Hardrock Hotel and Casino ballrooms, brimming with hundreds of attendees all with one common goal – connection. After a year apart, coming together once again to aid each other navigate their journey.
The conference began with the inaugural Chairman’s Leadership Breakfast hosted by Yolanda Cash Jackson of Becker in honor of Jim Allen, CEO of Seminole Gaming. South Florida’s most prominent community stakeholders came together with notable Black leaders such as Dr. Jaffus Hardrick of Florida Memorial University, Mayor Wayne Messam of Miramar, and Keith Tribble, President, and CEO of Jackson Health Foundation.
Following an early morning breakfast, headshot sessions, and opening remarks from BPN founder Kenasha Paul, “Building a New Tech Mecca” ensued. The esteemed group of panelists Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Matt Haggman of Beacon Council, Saif Ishoof of the office of Mayor Suarez, and Ted Lucas Chairman of Technoloji moderated by VC Founder Jeanine Suah, sharing insights on the evolving role of tech within the infrastructure of society.
Following the tech panel, Jim Allen, Seminole Gaming CEO & Chairman of Hard Rock International lead a Fireside Chat, sharing the experience and wisdom accrued from his vast experience developing Seminole Gaming into one of the world’s most successful casinos.
A wide array of informative and scintillating breakout sessions provided numerous learning options for those in attendance. Whether you absorbed the “Benefits of CBD on your Wellness” with Dr. Joshua Moore, listened in on “Position Your Next Promotion” with Latesha Byrd, CEO of Perfeqta, or learned pro-active approaches to managing your business’s budget with Tarsha R. Jacobs, CPA PLLC, knowledge was at the root of all breakout sessions. “Powering Up a Wakanda” attracted a full room, as enticed attendees listened to panelists in leadership within Miami-Dade County navigate the development of urban communities.
Lunch in the main ballroom was followed by a Fireside Chat with Keynote speaker Ayesha Seldon, millionaire investor and author of “Mud to Millions.” Ayesha shared her inspirational and authentic story of growing up in limited financial means in Philadelphia, breaking the generational cycle of poverty to reach success in the world of high finance.
Following Ayesha’s captivating journey, the Black leadership team at Hard Rock shared an inside look at their career journey and development within the iconic franchise.
The second round of breakout sessions drew attendees in for an afternoon of more learning, development, and exposure. “Barbershop Speaks: Crypto, Blockchain, and NFT’s Oh My!” held by Jefferson Noel, Miami-Dade Cryptocurrency Chairman Elijah “Blockchain” Bowdre, and tech attorney Janeen Lofton highlighted the cryptocurrency wave sweeping the city and nation. “The Relationship Game” by Alechia Reese, Founder of RGLP, and “Government Contracting for Professional Services” held by Marketing and Government Specialist Vivian Olodun each provided insights on bettering your personal and professional wellness and success.
In between the opportunities for learning and advancement, attendees flexed their professional style on the pink carpet, taking pictures and interviewing with Emmy nominated stylist Ashley Michelle Miller and I as we hosted the fashion segment of the summit. We took the stage along with the fashion designers of brands Keeyari and Jayce Daemon to announce the winners of our fashion raffle featured below in the peach cape suit and the black and white ensemble.
Following the fashion component of the summit, the “Certified Legacy Builders” panelists Keyah Martin, designer of Keeyahri, Bilal Little of BlackRock, Dr. Bernard Ashby, Victor Demesmin, Esq., Founding Partner of Demesmin and Dover with moderator Del Ro of Double A Management, shared what building a legacy means to them. Deriving from different fields, panelists were brought together with the common goal of unity, success, and passing on generational wealth to extend their legacies.
A closing toast and affirmation ended the Black Professionals Summit, a tradition to celebrate the Black excellence at the heart of the event and the heart of the organization while setting our attention for professional and personal success.
The conference concluded on Sunday in partnership with SocialXchange Miami featuring DJ Envy of the Breakfast Club at The Easton Pool and Lounge with hundred of black professionals swag surfing under the Fort Lauderdale skyline.
Thank you to our sponsors Hard Rock International, Demesmin and Dover PLLC, Florida International University, CareerSource South Florida, and Becker Lawyers.