The Solutions Series: Past, Present, and Future

In 2012, the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. held our 2nd School of Chamber and Business Management (SCBM) in July, in Washington, DC. Attendees found so much value in the event, and expressed the need for the experience on a local level.


Out of this need, the Solutions Series was born. At first, we were unsure of how the smaller, local version of SCBM would impact our chamber members. Fast forward three years, and we have hosted 11 Solutions Series programs in Phoenix, Miami, Atlanta, Austin, Columbus, Charlotte, Dallas, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Los Angeles and New Orleans. We could not have accomplished this without our committed chamber leadership and the continued support of our key corporate partners. Because of their diligence, the Solutions Series continues to thrive and evolve.

Our most recent Solutions Series took place in the rich, and lively city of New Orleans, LA on November 26, 2014. Despite Thanksgiving being on the very next day, the New Orleans business community still made it a priority to attend, and learn best practices for growing their businesses. The Solutions Series was one of the many empowering events couched within The Bayou Classic Week. The week included the Black Enterprise Elevator Pitch Competition, Battle of the Bands, Thanksgiving Parade and more. Throughout my stay in New Orleans, I established new and invaluable relationships with chamber leadership and business owners from Memphis, Houston, Dallas, New Orleans and Jackson.

The week culminated with the big game, The Bayou Classic. Grambling vs. Southern. The energy was so high, I could literally feel the arena shaking before the first whistle blew. Historically, the Bayou Classic has fueled the rivalry between these two prominent HBCUs. Out of 40 matches, each team was tied with 20 victories each. This game was a tiebreaker, and the anxiety in the crowd was unmatched! At the end of the game Southern was able to hold Grambling off from a game-tying touchdown on the
one yard line. Although the game was a highlight, the entire week assured me that our businesses and futures are in good hands. From politicians, to sports fans, to vacationers, alumni, family or friends, there was something for everyone to love about the Bayou Classic week.

We are thankful for our partners; Google, The Native American Contractors Association (NACA), IBM, SBA, MBDA and Black Enterprise for participating and providing their business expertise to our members. And we, as an organization, are also thankful for such a successful event. Words cannot express how thankful I am to Ms. Patrice Williams-Smith, President of the New Orleans Regional Black Chamber of Commerce (NORBCC), for her visionary leadership and tireless commitment to advocating on behalf Black businesses in the NOLA area. I would also like to thank Ms. Dottie Belletto, Bayou Classic Managing Director, and President of the New Orleans Convention Company for her hospitality during the Bayou Classic events. The Bayou Classic definitely added a fun-filled dynamic to the Solutions Series. Congratulations to the Bayou Classic and NORBCC team! It's great to know that we are looking forward to a bright future.

Our next Solutions Series will be in Cincinnati, OH on T uesday, February 24th at the historic National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Attendees will receive expert advice on a plethora of topics, from accessing capital to growing your business in the digital age. The panelists will include representatives from Google, Macy's, Cincinnati Regional Bank, the Ohio Minority Business Assistance Center and more. Do not miss out on this opportunity to network, and grow and improve your business or chamber. Register soon to save your seat!

In the Spirit of Success,
Ron Busby, Sr.
President & CEO
U.S. Black Chambers, Inc.