National Black MBA Association Leaders of Tomorrow Awards


Dion Williams, Mamie Williams, Deborah  Watson, Anna Smith, Gwendolyn Smith, Edward Thomas, Lamont  Watson at the National Black MBA Association’s Leaders of Tomorrow Awards.

Nestled in the Oakland Hillsat the Highlands Country Club,  the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) hosted its 2017  Leaders of Tomorrow  (LOT) Honors Night  on Saturday, November 18. Guests enjoyed entertainment by Oakland’s own Kev Choice and Friends and the velvety voiced KBLX broadcaster, Armand Carr, served as master of ceremonies.

Keynote speaker, Tariq Meyers Head of Inclusion and Diversity of Lyft shared how his work at the Greenlining Institute prepared him for leadership with the ride share titan.

The NBMBAA – SF Bay Area Chapter has operated for nearly 30 years developing partnerships that create intellectual and economic wealth in the Black community.

Deborah Watson, President of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, was proud to announce a new collaboration with Salesforce  as well generous support from Macy’s and Kaiser. Watson also discussed how two of her chapter’s students had the opportunity to compete at the annual business conference in Chicago.

“We want to expand on what we’ve begun and keep the momentum going,” said Watson. “We will continue our leadership panel discussions with LinkedIn and provide resources and programs for entrepreneurs college students and career professionals.”

Honorees included Yvette Radford Vice-President External and Community Affairs who received the Special Recognition Award. Kaiser Permanente and Nicole Mason, Director of Marketing Strategy for Macy’s received the Partner in Learning Award.  The Trailblazer Award was presented to Merrill Lynch’s Director Supervision Executive Wealth Management Michelle Avan and Leyla D. Seka, Executive Vice President at Salesforce received the Community Partner of the Year Award. Jacqueline Jones, Manager of Engagement and Development Programs, at LinkedIn received the Corporate Award.

A special presentation of scholarships was provided by Marilyn Galiothe.

The NBMBAA-SF announced their undergraduate scholarship winner E’Loni Morris for her “Oakland and the World Enterprise” essay. Morris is a first generation college student at San Francisco State University. The graduate scholarship winner was Caron Gugssa-Howard for her “The San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the National Black MBA Association” essay. Gugssa-Howard is an MBA candidate at the Lory I. Lokey School of Business and Public Policy at Mills College and currently an MBA fellow at ICA Fund Good Jobs.

The event raised funds to benefit the National Black MBA’s Leaders of Tomorrow program to mentor and coach high school students in leadership, social engagement and goal setting.

“Providing deserving students who are excelling with scholarships is our goal. This will have a major impact on their educational options,” said Watson.

At last year’s inaugural LOT Honors, with support from Hands Helping Hands, the NBMBAA-SF was also able to award $10,000 in scholarships to two Bay Area students.

“We utilize five channels of engagement, including career, education, entrepreneurship, leadership and lifestyle, said Watson. “Nationally, the organization has awarded $5 million dollars in scholarships to deserving youth and minority students and we strive to increase awareness and facilitate access to graduate and business education programs within management fields.”

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