National Black MBA Association® Hosts 40th Anniversary Conference and Exposition in Detroit

ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The National Black MBA Association® – the non-profit professional member-based organization that leads in the creation of educational and career opportunities for minority students and professionals – hosted its 40thAnniversary Conference and Exposition in Detroit, MI, September 25-29, 2018 at the Cobo Center. The conference welcomed 8,700 attendees, over 250 leading Fortune 500 companies on the Career Expo floor and over 45 colleges and universities participating in the Higher Ed Expo. The conference highlighted powerful seminars and workshops and engaging panel discussions.

With the theme “OneVoice.OneMission,” this year’s conference inspired attendees to invest in themselves through conference programming designed to empower and ignite career growth and progression. Attendees came together for a week of exploration in the areas of education, leadership, career opportunities and networking connections that enable professional development. Each year, the NBMBAA® Career Exposition features some of the world’s top companies that spend time speaking with career candidates, conducting interviews and hiring several hundred attendees on the spot.

The conference featured sessions with one on one networking opportunities including the invitation only “NBMBAA Gold Key Access®” session reserved for NBMBAA® members at the Director and above level. Target Corporation presented the compelling session, Who You Are is Non-Negotiable featuring Caroline Wanga, Target’s Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. Marriott International continued the Beyond Barrier Summit featuring actress, Taraji P. Henson. Due to the 40th Anniversary of the NBMBAA® Conference, a tribute was paid to not only the legacy members but also to the two founding members of the NBMBAA®Conference: Bill Brooks and Barbara Mahone.

Key Conference highlights also included:

  • Fitting in Fitness: Silent Fitness sponsored by Johnson & Johnson with Q. Parker of 112

  • Thursday Luncheon: The Power Known as YOU presented by Nationwide featuring Marianne Williamson

  • Scale-Up Pitch Challenge Semi-Finals and Finals sponsored by FedEx Corporation featuring Founder & CEO, Frederick W. Smith

  • Meet the Experts sessions sponsored by Microsoft, Wells Fargo, CAPCO, Nationwide, Bank of America, CenturyLink and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US, LLC

  • National Black MBA Graduate Case Competition® – sponsored by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US LLC

  • Impact Awards sponsored by BMW of North America featuring Lamman Rucker and Tamika D. Mallory

The NBMBAA® continued the traditional business case competition at the undergraduate and graduate level which gives students an opportunity to pitch a business case for a chance to win scholarships. The 2018 Graduate NBMBAA Case Competition®, sponsored by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US LLC, winners were: first place, University of Michigan Ann Arbor; second place, Rutgers University; and third place, The Ohio State University. The Undergraduate NBMBAA Case Competition® winners were: first place, South Carolina State University; second place, Clark Atlanta University; and third place, Bethune-Cookman University.

The Scale-Up Pitch Challenge finals – the competition for professionals to pitch their innovative yet scalable startup business ideas to a group of judges – sponsored by FedEx Corporation, awarded Kwame Boler of Neu, Inc. – a hotel-like solution to turnover Airbnb’s for next guests – with the $50,000 grand prize. The second and third place winners were A Dozen Cousins and A Dozen Cousins also took home the People’s Choice Award.

This year’s Honorary Co-Chairs included David J. Bronczek, President & COO, FedEx Corporation; Dr. William F. Pickard, CEO & Chairman, ARD Logistics LLC; Ms. Suzanne Shank, Chairwoman and CEO at Siebert Cisneros Shank Co., LLC; Dr. David A. Thomas, President, Morehouse College; and M. Roy Wilson, M.D., M.S., President, Wayne State University. This year’s NBMBAA® key strategic partners included Nationwide, FedEx Corporation, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US LLC and Marriott International.

The National Black MBA Association® will hold their 41st Annual Conference and Exposition in Houston, Texas- September 24-28, 2019, with the theme “Transcend the Power of You: Empowered to Lead, Equipped to Succeed.” For more information, visit

About National Black MBA Association®

National Black MBA Association® 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 over 14,000 members within 40 professional chapters, 33 Leaders of Tomorrow® (LOT®) chapters, and over 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

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