2018 Black Professionals Summit:

Save the Date! - Sept. 29th

Leverage Your Power!

The Black Professionals Network is a 501C3 organization with the mission to develop motivated and goal-oriented black professionals into industry-ready leaders for the organizations and communities they serve. Black Professionals Summit® serves as our premier annual event convening our best and brightest across various career roles and pursuits. The conference encourages an exchange of information and resources under the organization's guiding principle ``together each achieves more.``

Conference Begins on September 29th:

Why Attend 2018 BPSummit?

Hosted every year in beautiful and sunny South Florida, the Summit introduces new thought leaders of our community, reconnects several generations of leaders from all different industries while forming meaningful connections and sharing invaluable knowledge and resources.
  • Network and form relationships across a wide range of career paths and job functions.
  • Get the knowledge and training from dynamic speakers to push your professional and personal aspirations to new levels.
  • Be empowered and energized by your peers under the guiding principle together each achieves more!

What to Expect

Come to form a collaborative network across industries, job functions and interests, all while learning best practices to excel in your field!

Summit Includes:
  • Career and Exhibitor Fair
  • Onsite Professional Headshots
  • 5-Star Luncheon provided by Juanita’s Kitchen
  • Dynamic Leadership Sessions and Workshops

Who Should Attend?

This event is ideal for motivated, goal-oriented, and ambitious 
  • High School Seniors
  • College Students
  • Industry Professionals
  • Administrative Professionals
  • Middle Management Professionals
  • Industry Executives
  • CEO, Business Owners and Startup Founders

Business leaders enjoy a tailored networking experience in the Executive Lounge.

 Join us in Miami, Florida on September 29th

Review 2017 Speakers and Schedule

Nona C. Jones

Keynote Speaker

Strategic Partner Manager of Communities for Facebook

Nona C. Jones is Strategic Partner Manager of Communities for Facebook, the world’s leading social networking organization. In her role, Nona is responsible for helping Facebook realize its bold mission of empowering its 2 billion members to build community and bring the world closer together. Nona’s work facilitates strategic partnerships between Facebook and communities of faith, communities of color and communities of youth to leverage Facebook’s suite of technology platforms and business partnerships to broaden their reach and deepen their impact.

Prior to Facebook, Nona served as Chief External Affairs Officer for PACE Center for Girls, the Florida-based, statewide network of 19 Centers where she led Federal and State Legislative Advocacy, Program Expansion, Resource Development and Brand Strategy. Immediately prior to PACE, Nona served as Public Affairs Director for Gainesville Regional Utilities where she received the American Public Power Association’s Robert F. Roundtree Rising Star Award as national peer recognition of her leadership while under the age of 35.

Read More

Economics of Politics

...because political apathy is costly

Moderator – Cedric McMinn
Political Savant

The “Economics of Politics and Advocacy” is a featured panel during the 2017 Black Professionals Summit with prominent local elected officials and community advocates. The session helps instill to the largest voting block – career/working professionals the importance of staying an active civic community member, learning and understanding the government process while staying on top of the issues.   Meet a few of our panel members!

Russell Benford serves as Deputy Mayor of Miami-Dade County, the largest county in the State of Florida and the eighth largest in the United States.

Dale Holness serves as District 9 County Commissioner of  Broward County,the second-most populous county in Florida and the 17th-most populous in the United States.

Valencia Gunder founder and Director of Make the Homeless Smile, which provides services to homeless people in Miami and Atlanta. Vee is the first Miami Native to receive the Soros Justice Fellowship from the Open Society Foundation (2017) for her proposal L.I.F.T.

Christin “CiCi’ Battle Young People For’s first alum to serve as Director. Hailing from Miami, Florida by way of Denver, Colorado, Cici is a vivacious youth engagement expert who brings rich experiences leading youth-centered movements both in domestic and international spaces to the work of leading the YP4 Program.

Summit Speakers

Well known industry leaders and emerging talents

  • Paul



    Ms. Paul serves as Founder and Event Chair for the Black Professionals Summit

  • Finney

    Michael A.


    Opening Keynote, President & CEO of Miami-Dade Beacon Council

  • Hall



    Presenter - Owner & Senior Managing Partner of MediumFour

  • Messam



    Presenter - Senior Vice President of Development of Messam Construction

  • Westbrooks



    Presenter - Registered Dietitian at Florida Hospital Diabetes Outpatient Center

  • Phillip

    Brian N.


    Presenter - CEO of Brian Phillip & Associates, LLC - Finaid Loan Consolidation Services

  • Thomas

    Ashlee K.


    Presenter - Co-Founder of Miami Urban Contemporary Experience and South Florida Webfest

  • Cooper



    Presenter - Supreme Court Certified Mediator and Negotiator

  • Jones



    Presenter - Attorney and Entrepreneur of Josh Jones Law, P.A.

  • Davids

    Mary V.


    Presenter - Executive Career & Leadership Coach & Founder of D&M Consulting

  • Calloway



    Presenter - Licensed Realtor at Real Estate Resource Group, Entrepreneur & Professor

  • Bethel



    Presenter - Owner & CEO of Jali Creatives, Content Writer

Summit Schedule

Full schedule of keynotes, sessions & workshops


Registration & Exhibitor Fair

Continental breakfast and registration for BPSummit'17. Pick up your name badge and browse the exhibitor tables or take your professional headshot.
9:30AM - 9:45AM2nd FLOOR
Kenasha Paul
Kenasha Paul

Founder and Chair

Opening Remarks

Enter the conference main room, session includes conference overview and introduction of Opening Keynote Speaker.
9:45AM - 10:15AM2nd FLOOR
Michael A. Finney
Michael A. Finney

CEO at Beacon Council

Opening Keynote

President and CEO of the Miami-Dade Beacon Council opens the 2017 Black Professionals Summit. As President & CEO, Mr. Finney champions the County’s efforts to market Miami-Dade as a world class business destination, grow local companies and help shape the county’s economic future. He collaborates with key stakeholders, including Miami-Dade County, Career Source, the Miami-Dade Council of Chambers and private sector leaders throughout the community, to attract and retain businesses and the workforce needed to expand a growing and dynamic economy.
10:30AM - 11:15AMFirst Floor

Morning Workshops

  • Mary V. Davids - Leveraging Relationships and Opportunities in the Workplace
  • Brandon Cooper - The Great Compromise: Communicating to Get What You Want
  • Phillip Calloway - Learning the ABCs of the Real Estate Buying Process
  • Josh Jones -  Business Building on a Budget
  • Juana Bethel - How Storytelling Can Drive Your Bottom Line 
11:30AM to 12:30PM2nd FLOOR

Economics of Politics and Advocacy Panel

The Economics of Politics and Advocacy panel features an open-discussion with elected officials and community leaders on issues facing the community and addressing the solutions to take us to the next level.
  • Deputy Mayor of Miami-Dade County, Russell Benford
  • Broward County Commissioner, Dale Holness 
  • Community Advocate, Valencia Gunder
  • Executive Director of YP4, Christin "CiCi" Battle
Moderator: Cedric McMinn
1:00PM to 1:30PM2nd FLOOR


Sweet Butter Dinner Show is coming to the Black Professionals Summit! It's a one-of-a-kind luncheon experience with soul food from all parts of the region and a live band. What better combo where we feed your development and your food soul! Buffet lunch provided by Ernisha Randolph, CEO of Juanita's Kitchen and Sweet Butter Restaurant.

1:30PM to 2:00PM2nd FLOOR

Luncheon Keynote Speaker

The 2017 Black Professionals Summit theme is "Own Your Voice: Leveraging Your Authentic Self." This year touches on the importance for career professionals to assert themselves in the workplace and add their unique perspectives, creativity, and ingenuity. Hear from this year's luncheon keynote Nona Jones, Strategic Partner Manger for Facebook
2:00PM - 2:45PMFirst Floor

Afternoon Workshops

  • Steve Messam - Leading Up: Leveraging Influence Without Being In Charge
  • Brian N. Phillips - Making Money Sense out of Your Loan Debt
  • Jasmine Westbrooks - Eat Your Way Fit: Look Bad and Eat Boujee
  • Michael Hall - The art of love. The love of business. 
3:00PM2nd FLOOR

Power Up Panel

Power Up panel consists of professionals who are breakout leaders amongst their peers. They will impart their knowledge and wisdom on how to leverage opportunities, identify strategic partnerships and provide overall power moves to further your goals.
Brandon Okpalobi, Founder and CEO of DIBIA Athletics and DIBIA DREAM
Starex Smith, Founder and CEO of The Hungry Black Man
Felecia Hatcher, Co-Founder and CEO of Code Fever and Black Tech Week
Mario Bailey, Senior Government Relations Consultant at Becker & Poliakoff, P.A.
Hear how to make your next move your best move to power up in your professional goals!
4:30PM1st FLOOR

Closing Toast

A conference tradition, the closing toast includes a poetry performance and a declaration piece committing ourselves to excellence, professionalism, and success.
Mary V. Davids
Mary V. Davids

Career Coach

Leveraging Relationships and Opportunities in the Workplace

Are you having trouble figuring out how to be successful in your career?  Learn 5 powerful must have’s and key elements to maximize relationships and opportunities within the workforce.
When you attend this engaging workshop, you’ll learn how to be successful in leveraging relationships with others, leading with confidence and how problem-solving in the workplace can work well for you to help strengthen your professional brand. You’ll learn how to manage conflict and motivate others to become more productive. This workshop will help you gain new perspectives on how to connect, manage, lead and build lasting connections, expanding your professional development.
Josh Jones
Josh Jones

Attorney at Josh Jones, PA

Business Building on a Budget

Every business has multiple moving parts: Marketing, Sales, Finances, staff, and the actual service itself. Oftentimes this feels costly to implement and taking shortcuts hurts your quality of service and reflects badly on your business -- especially black-owned businesses. In order to to remove the stigma that quality of service is compromised by doing business with a black-owned company,learn how to strengthen these moving parts through automation, implementation of policies, systems, and procedures in cost-effective ways to ensure that the business is providing customers with a high caliber service that will make them come back and refer their friends and family.
Juane Bethel
Juane Bethel

CEO of Jali Creatives

How Your Story Can Drive Your Bottom Line

In this two-part session, learn how to bring your business to life through storytelling. Building a business requires mastering the technical side of operations and finance but pulling in clients and profits means fine-tuning your unique business story. Learn how to use stories to boost awareness and engagement and see examples of powerful and successful story-based campaigns used by national brands.
Phillip Calloway
Phillip Calloway

Licensed Realtor

Learning the ABCs of the Real Estate Buying Process

Appraisals? Bids? Closing Costs? It's an alphabet soup and navigating all the moving parts when purchasing real estate whether its your first home or first investment property can feel overwhelming. In this session, learn how to create an effective strategy and timeline that will guide you through purchasing real estate and learn about available resources that are at your fingertips to make one of the greatest investments in your life easy as saying your ABCs.
Brandon Cooper
Brandon Cooper

Certified Mediator

The Great Compromise: Communicating to Get What You Want

Communication is defined as means of connection between people or places. the imparting or exchanging of information or news. The only way to be an effective leader is to be an effective communicator. The only way to broker a negotiation or compromise is to purposefully adapt to a communication style that will effectuate positive results given a certain situation. Learn how to adopt effective negotiation strategies and communication strategies to reap results and get what you want.
Steve Messam
Steve Messam

Company Executive

Leading Up: Leveraging Influence Without Being In Charge

You are called to be a leader. You don't have to be in charge (have authority), to lead. More than likely you have been called to carry someone else's vision, execute on decisions that are not yours and expected to serve cheerfully. Leading up is the ability to influence authority without having authority. It’s how you leverage your influence to make a difference in your organization without being in charge. This workshop will help you recognize the current opportunities to lead and make a difference in your current role. Your ability to lead up now influences your ability to move up later.
Jasmine Westbrooks
Jasmine Westbrooks

Registered Dietician

Eat Your Way Fit: Look Bad and Eat Boujee

I don’t have time, I am too busy! I will start next week! I can’t afford it! What is your biggest excuse to not adopt healthier choices? Is healthy eating all too overwhelming for you? Join registered dietitian, Jasmine Westbrooks as she drills into core nutrition recommendations that will get you on the right track. Come on the journey to learn the 7 tips to optimize your health through food by offering meal planning tips, a dietitian's guide to grocery shopping, reading labels and learning key nutrition recommendations. Get the real on fad diets and discover what is fact or fiction when trying detox diets and trendy quick fixes.
Brian N. Phillips
Brian N. Phillips

FinAid Consultant

Making Money Sense out of Your Loan Debt

You went to college to reap the benefits of a promising career and a big paycheck. You may have took school loans to invest in that dream only to come out with a job that can barely make your loan payments and with little money management know-how to tackle life's other milestones. With over 25 years of financial aid administrative experience, Mr. Phillips will teach attendees proactive strategies on how to take control of their loan payments, and their life. Get educated about current laws governing loan repayments and how to keep more of your money in your pocket and not to the loan collection agencies, or to the government!
Michael Hall
Michael Hall


The art of love. The love of business.

This session is about the balance of obsession and understanding of starting / operating a successful business. The same passion, understanding and compromises must be made. The communications of a healthy relationship transfer to business. While on the other side, learning some things are just for the LOVE of it all.
10:30amExecutive Lounge

Eye of the Entrepreneur

Miko Branch is the co-founder and CEO of Miss Jessie's LLC. She is celebrated for transforming the hair-care industry by pioneering an entirely new category of products specifically for natural and curly hair. She was featured on the cover of Women's Wear Daily and appeared on the cover of Beauty Inc. as a trailblazer, and Ebony listed her as one of its Power 100 Innovators and Influencers. Miko continues to develop innovative, original and effective solutions for curly hair needs and she has acquired numerous accolades as a result of her remarkable tenacity. Richard Chance is an evangelist for education and entrepreneurship. He is the founder and CEO of i2 Labs and i2 Labs Academy, a bootcamp school for cybersecurity and web development. He is also the Chief Innovation Officer for the Lynx Companies, a conglomerate of companies operating in real estate holdings and development, education, healthcare, technology, and financial sectors. He believes opportunities for wealth building has never been more accessible than present day due to technology. Tamara Phillippeaux is a 20 year veteran in the multimedia company, starting with her family the longest running Afro-Caribbean news and media company. She serves as CEO of IslandTV
2:00PMExecutive Lounge

Art: The Billion Dollar Industry

 Ashlee Thomas
CEO of Miami Urban Contemporary Experience
"I bought some artwork for one million. Two years later, that sh... worth two million!" - Jay-Z.

In terms of dollars, nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences produced more than $1 billion in direct spending according to the Arts & Economic Prosperity study by Americans for the Arts.  Learn from Ashlee Thomas, Executive Director of Miami Urban Contemporary Experience how to get involved in the arts and culture economy in a big way whether consumer or producer.
3:00PMExecutive Lounge

Industry Elites

Bridgette Lumpkins, CAIA, is the Head of Business Development for Investment Analytics Miami, an asset management company employing a systematic strategy to invest in global stocks.
After earning an MBA from Wharton as a Mitchell Fellow, Brigette managed relationships with hedge funds, pensions, and other institutions invested in European equities for Lehman Brothers and Barclays. She later marketed private equity funds of funds for Hamilton Lane before joining Goldman Sachs. There, she advised families on diversified investment portfolios and estate planning.
A passionate philanthropist, Brigette serves on boards for The Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade and the Florida Memorial University School of Business. She earned a master’s degree in psychology from the University of Michigan as a Rackham Fellow and a bachelor’s degree from Spelman College, summa cum laude.
Robert Garrick is a Director of Stores for a Fortune 500 company.  As Director of East Coast operations for dd’s Discounts, a division of Ross Stores Inc., Robert is responsible for stores operating in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  With over 25 years of management experience in the retail industry Robert is highly skilled in Customer Service, Sales, Strategic Planning and Multi-Unit Management.  He is a strong professional with a B.A. focused in Economics from the University of Florida and is currently pursuing his Masters of Business Administration.
Kerry Ann-Royes, is CEO of YWCA of Greater Miami-Dade. A 20-year veteran of the social sector, founded Arrow Consulting where she worked with organizations on corporate social citizenship, non-profit strategy, and collaborative community development issues, all with a passion for improving the lives of families and children in South Florida.
Prior to launching Arrow Consulting, Royes served as executive director of Community Advancement for the YMCA of South Florida, where she was responsible for leading the strategic direction of its Children’s Advocacy Center. Her work resulted in strong, multi-sector alliances that created extended learning opportunities to address academic achievement gaps, graduation disparities, and summer learning loss for thousands of children.

What are you waiting for?!

Lock in the lowest price for the conference by purchasing tickets before September 14th. Make the low-cost investment to energize your goals and propel your career forward. For group pricing discounts and custom packages e-mail us.

Power Up Panel

...because success isn't 0 to 100

Moderator – Jill Tracey
Radio Personality

The path to success isn’t ‘0 to 100’, hear the ‘on the cusp’ stories so often missing from the discussion about reaching success. Power Up panel consists of professionals who are breakout leaders amongst their peers. They will impart their knowledge and wisdom on how to leverage opportunities, identify strategic partnerships and provide overall power moves to further your goals.

Felecia Hatcher s a White House Award-Winning Entrepreneur, Globally Sought after Speaker and Author who works to rid communities of innovation deserts and creates cool books, products and courses to help Start-Ups, Creatives and Broke Entrepreneurs follow their most EPIC Dreams!

Brandon Okpalobi  journey from the lively streets of New Orleans to becoming the founder, president and CEO of DIBIA Athletic Development and DIBIA Dream, Inc., is a remarkable story in and of itself.

Starex Smith is an accomplished and experienced public administrator, fundraiser, foodie, and culinary business developer who has committed himself to maximizing the Black experience in the United States! CEO and Founder of Hungry Black Man.

Mario Bailey is a Senior Government Relations Consultant and Lobbyist in the Becker & Poliakoff, P.A. Government Law & Lobbying Practice Group. He concentrates on government relations and lobbying in South Florida and Tallahassee.

Conference Tickets

Save up to 30% off on prices when you purchase your tickets before September 14th

Need additional pricing info? Get in touch for custom and high-volume pricing.

What people have said about the conference

  • It was exciting to see black professionals from all walks of life in a room with the common goal to achieve career success together.

    Tonya L.

    Tonya L.

    2016 Attendee
  • The conference is a need in our community. It allows for professionals to have a platform to share their knowledge and create meaningful connections

    Coach Cass

    Coach Cass

    2014 Presenter
  • It provides great value to all who participate whether as an attendee or supporter. It reinforces our collective mission at the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce to advocate for economic empowerment

    Eric Knowles

    Eric Knowles

    2016 Sponsor
  • Anytime we can come together and exchange our knowledge and reaffirm ourselves amongst our peers - success!

    Brandon Okpalobi

    Brandon Okpalobi

    2015 Presenter

Conference Features

Early bird rates end September 14th, save more than 30% off so grab them before they are sold out!


  • Professional Headshots
  • 5-Star Luncheon
  • Career and Exhibitor Fair
  • Conference Materials
  • Internship Credits Provided
Get Ticket


  • Career and Exhibitor Fair
  • Professional Headshots
  • 5-Star Luncheon
  • Conference Materials
  • Continuing Education Credits
  • Get Ticket


  • Exclusive Executive Lounge with Government and Business Leaders
  • Caffecito Workshop Sessions and Open Bar Afternoon Sessions
  • VIP Access Pass to All Sessions
  • VIP Conference Bags
  • Get Ticket

Sponsors & Partners

A huge thanks to all our amazing partners. We couldn’t have a conference without you!

Interested in becoming a sponsor?

If your company is interested in sponsoring the Black Professionals Summit this year, we’d love to hear from you. Send us a quick email and we’ll get right back to you with some more information and our sponsorship brochure

Join Our Exhibitor Floor

Promotional and Marketing Opportunities

Whether you are recruiting for new hires or looking to generate leads, #BPSummit gives your company a unique opportunity to gain exposure with a ready to engage audience at rates that maximizes your investment. Contact us for our packaging and promotional opportunities.Contact us today!

Promotional Blast

  • Get a dedicated post about your company and brand leading up to the conference
  • Contact

Program Book

  • Put your company’s services and special promotions in the full color official quick reference guide given to all attendees.
  • Contact

Exhibitor Booth

  • Staff the right company ambassador to interact with attendees, recruit new talent or generate a high ROI leads
  • Contact

Marketing Bundle

  • Exhibitor Booth
  • 2 Social Media Blast
  • Full Page Advertisement
  • E-mail Promotional Blast
  • Contact

Latest News

Press Release and Media Features

Conference Venue

Location that you'll be looking for

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Destination From

Destination To


Roz and Cal Kovens Conference Center 

3000 NE 151ST North Miami, Florida 33181


The Roz and Cal Kovens Center is located in the beautiful city of North Miami and minutes away from Aventura and Sunny Isles Beach. Utilize UBER or LYFT to get to and from.


There is plenty of parking available. Your best option is to use the ParkMobile. Make sure you ask staff at the conference venue for a discount card before you leave at the end of the day.

Places To Stay

Make the most of your visit and stay the night. If you want to be super near the conference venue then you can’t get any closer than Courtyard Miami Aventura Mall. Or you could find a unique experience via AirBnB.

Additional Details

If you are having any issues please e-mail us at info@bpsummit.org or call us at (305) 999-5362.

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