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Always Positioning For Growth By Lord Mic Williams

As we ease into September and ready ourselves for the harvest from of our best laid plans, the Chamber continues to see through the commitments and long form initiatives that distinguish us in the marketplace. The ILBCC is staying the course forging new relationships that promise new, exciting and lucrative business adventures lead by Black professionals and entrepreneurs. There’s an overlooked and deeply underestimated diversity within the Illinois Black business community. The Chamber’s upcoming Healthcare Symposium will be a great touch point to see that depth of diversity on display as well as a real-time opportunity for a wide swath of Black businesses and professionals to identify, shape, and then tap into their opportunity stream!

The theme for the Illinois Black Chamber Of Commerce’s 14th annual state convention in August was “Positioning Ourselves for Growth” and the Chamber not only displayed an array of components and counterparts critical to achieving that positioning across the wide spectrum of industries, with a heightened focus on the “Industry Groups” that the Chamber has formed committees to give them a most comprehensive understanding and base in, but they also exhibited why they’re the key organization to help Black and Minority businesses achieve that positioning also.

As always, this year’s program booklet served as a manual or “step-by-step booklet for you to get…” to quote the Great American poet Notorious BIG. The live panels, high-impact workshops and matchmaking sessions laid out the critical cornerstones of an opportunity network and doing real business with key State agencies and corporations.

This year’s keynote, and dear friend of the Chamber, Maggie Anderson, delivered a fiery and rousing oration centered in her books concept of deliberately buying black for a year. The journey that brought her to our dais was a truly incredible and motivating story that we were all privileged to receive. We can all strive to buy black without compromising product or service quality and integrity… now let’s do it! We encourage you to get a copy of her book then allow it to inspire and guide you through your year of buying black.

Board chair Bob Dale joined by his lovely family, delivered a tender and moving acceptance speech for the Arthur Fletcher Outstanding Leadership Award. The Chamber’s deep appreciation and gratitude for Chairman Dale’s service to the Board and his lifetime of service to the Black community and to the pro Black business agenda was echoed by former President Barack Obama’s handwritten letter of love and appreciation, which was delivered and read to the general assembly by Chairman Dale’s son. It was quite a moment.

The Chamber’s State conference is usually filled with memorable moments but this year is special for so many reasons. The awards and stature of the recipients themselves is tremendous with their level of deservedness. The high level of professional relationships and confidence in the Chamber and the Chamber agenda is beyond impressive. President Obama’s letter to Chairman Dale will ring in the annals of history…and of course, the hospitality was 5 stars!

When things come together as well as they did it can be easy to overlook the enormous efforts that are essential to producing an event along the scale of the Chamber’s State convention. The tireless and sometimes thankless works of the entire ILBCC staff was fully realized as the convention came to life on August 7th, and the scores of relationships began to sprout and flower right before everyone’s eyes over the next two days! A sincere thank you goes out to the Chamber staff for consistently making it happen.

As alluded to earlier, the Chamber has slated a couple of brilliant, billion dollar symposiums to close out 2019 & to get the first quarter of 2020 popped off with vigorous initiative and a resounding bang. This is where “the rubber meets the road” in terms of engaging in a couple of the thriving industries that the Chamber works tirelessly to uncover opportunities for our constituency. We’re thrilled to see the Healthcare Symposium launch under the guidance and direction of our Healthcare Industry Group Chair, Dr. Jeffrey Sterling and Co Chair Joyce Johnson, as well as the rest of the project development team.

Great things are on the horizon for Black businesses and communities so stay tuned and stay engaged! Please know that the Chamber is here for YOU! We want you to plug in and begin your journey of personal and professional growth and development too. That’s very important to us!

Follow us @IllinoisBlackChamber across the socials and @Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce on LinkedIn. Get a bird’s eye view of what’s important to the Black business community by texting ILBCC to 22828 for a free subscription to our Black Business News Journal.

For more information on the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce visit