Through the dates of July 17 through July 20, I had the pleasure of attending Black Tech Week in Cincinnati, OH with current SCMBA member Edgar Powell. This was my second year attending this conference and it was an amazing experience. For the second year in a row, I shared a room with visionaries, change agents, and leading figures not just in the area of technology, but also in life. Being surrounded by thought provoking conversation stimulated by individuals who look just like you, sound like you, and share the experiences as you is an experience that is indescribable. It not only gives you hope, but it gives you inspiration. Working in the minority business development space, attending this conference allowed me to be rejuvenated with an unshakeable spirit to perform my work at the highest levels possible!
The week started off with valuable information from Lindsay Sims on the topic of Google Analytics. The focus was geared towards using data to gain insights that help you make business decisions. A memorable quote from the session was “Data makes your briefcase heavy; insights make you rich.” Following this session, I was able to sit in on a presentation from JobsOhio, REDI, and the Minority Business Development Division that was focused on the benefits the city of Cincinnati and the state of Ohio have to offer minority businesses. As a Tier 1 MBAC center, Chief Monica Womack gave a shoutout to the SCMBA team and the work we are doing here in Stark County.
One of my most memorable experiences came from a session led by Damien Hooper-Campbell, Chief Impact Officer for StockX. His session, focused on innovation and culture, detailed the importance of making sure you show up to work as your authentic self every day. He went into detail about how to make sure your personal brand aligns with the company brand and if these are not in line, then you are not aligned with your best self. He also discussed how to make sure culture is included in all your conversations as a company so that you are mindful of the individuals you serve to always be wary of needed innovation in the work you do. As a man, husband, and business professional, I have the upmost respect for Mr. Campbell.
Felecia Hatcher, CEO of Black Ambition Opportunity Fund, gave a great presentation geared “Finding Your Genius.” This is when you are operating at your most ideal, most effective, and most efficient self. She made a comment that truly stuck with me. She detailed how when you are working outside of your zone of genius, the cost can be detrimental. The analogy she used was if her value to her company is $1million hourly, for every moment she works outside of her zone of genius, she costs the company $1million in revenue!
I’d like to thank JobsOhio for the opportunity to attend BTW for a second year in a row. This opportunity has been extremely rewarding to me both personally and professionally. I look forward to this event yearly and I’m excited to attend Black Tech Week 2024!