MEDIA & PRESS COVERAGE OF THE bwsbe

2018 BWSBE PRess

download.png
 MAY 18, 2016: CLICK LOGO ABOVE for title story: Bob Wright Symposium to feature “world-class” business leaders

MAY 18, 2016: CLICK LOGO ABOVE for title story: Bob Wright Symposium to feature “world-class” business leaders

 JUNE 28, 2016: CLICK LOGO ABOVE for title story: Panelist Announced for 2016 Wright Symposium

JUNE 28, 2016: CLICK LOGO ABOVE for title story: Panelist Announced for 2016 Wright Symposium

 AUG. 9, 2016: CLICK LOGO ABOVE for title story: Bob Wright Symposium on Aug. 18th aims to inspire people to their "full potential"

AUG. 9, 2016: CLICK LOGO ABOVE for title story: Bob Wright Symposium on Aug. 18th aims to inspire people to their "full potential"

 

2016 bwsbe press

http://www.foxcarolina.com/clip/12670482/bob-wright-business-symposium-hits-columbus-trade-center-thursday

INTERVIEWS

·         iHeart Radio

·         PMB Broadcasting

·         Connections Small Business Magazine

·         The Dee Armstrong Show/ WLTZ Television

·         Georgia CEO.com

·         Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

·         Columbus Times Newspaper

·         The Courier/Eco Latino Newspaper

·         Georgia Small Business Development Network

 

NEWS ARTICLES

Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Speakers at Bob Wright symposium inspire, enlighten attendees

ALVA JAMES-JOHNSON, AJJOHNSON@LEDGER-ENQUIRER.COM

August 21, 2015

(This article also appeared on 4-trader.com on August 21, 2015: http://www.4-traders.com/AFLAC-INCORPORATED-11556/news/AFLAC--Speakers-at-Bob-Wright-symposium-inspire-enlighten-attendees-20896052/)

Aflac President and CEO Dan Amos expressed great admiration Thursday for a man who overcame significant obstacles to become one of the most successful businessmen in Columbus.

Amos described Dr. Bob Wright as a dear friend who epitomizes what it takes to succeed in life and business.

“In the ’60s as a graduate of Ohio State University, Bob applied for a job and got it, but when he showed up, the job was pulled because of the color of his skin,” Amos said. “Let me say, if that had happened to me, I’m not sure how I would have viewed life going forward. But not Bob. Bob always looked for the positive and did not let bitterness prevail. And that is the reason that Bob is my hero.”

Amos made his comments as keynote speaker at the first Bob Wright Symposium on Business Empowerment, which drew about 300 people to Columbus State University’s Cunningham Center. The audience consisted primarily of black professionals who packed an event hall for the daylong event.

The symposium was moderated by Byron Pitts, an anchor and reporter for “ABC News,” and featured a lineup of black business leaders and top executives from across the country.

The event also included remarks from U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, state Rep. Calvin Smyre, Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce President Brian Anderson and Linda Hadley, dean of the Turner College of Business at CSU. Hadley awarded $2,500 scholarships to two students on behalf of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., one of the event’s sponsors. She said the money came from net proceeds from the event, which cost $150 per person.

In his introduction, Pitts said the goal of the symposium was to inspire, enlighten and encourage. He interviewed the entrepreneurs in a living-room like setting that contributed to a relaxed atmosphere.

One entrepreneur interviewed by Pitts was Gayle Hill, a Columbus native who owns and operates two McDonald’s restaurants in Columbus, Ohio, with annual sales of $6 million and 120 employees. Hill, owner of AJH Inc., said her life as an entrepreneur began with General Motors, where she worked in sales and marketing right out of college. After working there for 26 years, she was recruited for the company’s first women’s retail initiative program, which led to her own dealership in Buffalo, N.Y.

Though the business venture failed, Hill said she learned many lessons.

“As an entrepreneur, people have to understand, even though you may end up successful at some point, there are some unsuccessful years that go along with that,” she said. “You will probably fail with your first venture. As an entrepreneur, though, you just pick yourself up and keep trying again. You’ve got to have a tremendous amount of psychological stamina to be an entrepreneur. It’s got to be in your head, your heart, your gut, that you can make it.”

Another person interviewed was William Pickard, CEO of Global Automotive Alliance in Bloomfield Heights, Mich. His business has annual sales of $585 million and close to 2,000 employees around the world.

Pickard, a native of LaGrange, Ga., said his family moved to Flint, Mich., when he was about 14 years old. When he left high school, he could barely get into a community college with his ACT and SAT scores. He was told it would take eight years to get through just two years of college, but his mother convinced the school to just give him a chance.

When asked how he overcame his academic hurdles to become a successful entrepreneur, Pickard said, “You sit down with yourself and you realize that unfortunately, ‘I did not look like Billy Dee Williams. I couldn’t play basketball. My mother was a day worker and my daddy worked at General Motors. And I said, ‘They work 40 hours a week, therefore, I shall study 40 hours a week, no exception.’”

Pickard holds a doctorate from Ohio State University and a master’s from the University of Michigan. He said he’s an avid reader and encouraged the audience to make learning a lifelong venture.

Pickard said his friendship with Wright has also helped make him successful.

Wright, who holds a degree in Optometry from Ohio State University, currently serves as chairman and CEO of FE Holdings Inc., which invests in the growth of private and public sector companies. He also serves as chairman emeritus of Sentel Corporation in Alexandria, Va., a company now run by his son, Russell Wright, who was also one of the presenters.

Prior to his current positions, Wright founded Dimensions International Inc., which provided technology solutions to businesses and government agencies. He started the business with three employees in 1985 and built it into a global business with 100 offices and 1,500 employees.  

Wright sold the company to Honeywell International Inc. in 2007. As a community leader, Wright served three executive terms on Columbus Council, and he has served on the Aflac board of directors for a decade.

In his remarks, Amos told the story of a Vietnamese family who escaped to Columbus after the Vietnam War ended in 1975 because of political turmoil. The parents and five children left on a boat not knowing where they were headed.

When they arrived in Columbus, the family experienced hard economic times, yet today all five children have college degrees and are successful professionals living the American dream.

Amos said his father and uncles built an insurance company with a similar sense of determination. They didn’t have experience in the insurance business but wanted to succeed. Now, Aflac is a successful company committed to diversity, he said.

Amos said 67 percent of the company’s workforce comprises women, 43 percent are minorities, and 33 percent are minority women. He said the company is also committed to doing business with women- and minority-owned businesses.

“What you’re doing at this conference is encouraging people to seek the American dream,” he told the audience. “Some people are going to have higher hurdles to climb than others, and most of us will face rejection at some point in time. But this is still the land of opportunity, no matter where you’re from, no matter the color of your skin.”

 

WRBL.com

Aflac CEO speaks at inaugural Bob Wright Symposium

By Brennan Reh

August 20, 2015

 

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Hundreds gathered at the Cunningham Center on Columbus State University’s main campus for the inaugural Bob Wright Symposium on Business Empowerment Thursday.  The symposium focused on presenting people with a new way of thinking in the business world.

The event featured business leaders and executives from across the country who spoke to the sold out crowd about their experiences.  Keynote speaker Dan Amos, CEO of Aflac, discussed the importance of diversity.  He told the crowd Aflac carries on the tradition of diversity in their workforce that started when the company began 60 years ago.

“We’ve been very fortunate to have a multicultural group of executives that have helped grow our business so for that we’re grateful and we think it’s been a wonderful decision on our part,” Amos explained.

He said he is proud that one out of every three of Aflac employees are minority women.  Amos also spoke about the importance of paying attention to what his employees are thinking because he values what motivates them.

Amos told News Three it was an honor to be invited to the symposium.  Bob Wright is a successful Columbus businessman and philanthropist.

 

Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Bob Wright business symposium begins today

BY ALVA JAMES-JOHNSONajjohnson@ledger-enquirer.com

August 20, 2015

 

Sixteen years ago, William F. Pickard created a minority-owned group of plastic parts suppliers to serve the top three U.S. automakers. Five years later, the alliance had grown to 1,200 employees and $200 million in sales.

Today, Pickard, CEO and chairman of the Global Automotive Alliance in Bloomfield Heights, Mich., will share some of the secrets to his entrepreneurial success as one of the speakers at the first Bob Wright Symposium on Business Empowerment. The sold out event will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Columbus State University's Cunningham Center, 3100 Gentian Blvd.

The symposium is the brainchild of Dr. Robert L. Wright, a successful Columbus philanthropist and businessman. It will be moderated by Byron Pitts, an anchor and reporter for "ABC News," and it will feature a major lineup of business leaders and top executives from across the country. Aflac Chairman and CEO Dan Amos is scheduled to be the lunch keynote speaker.

The event is being held the Thursday before the annual Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum, which is Aug. 24-25 at the Columbus Convention & Trade Center. The headlined speaker at that event will be former President George W. Bush and his family.

Greg Hudgison, a local public relations and media consultant, has been marketing the symposium on behalf of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. of Columbus, which is one of the sponsors. He said the event is Wright's way of sharing his extensive business contacts with the Columbus community. One of the speakers will be his son, Russell Wright, who is chairman and CEO of SENTEL Corp., a multi-faceted technology company in Alexandria, Va.

"These are people he knows personally who have built businesses in various fields, everything from automotive to franchising to architecture and design," Hudgison said. "And the goal is to bring them together and help them share their knowledge with those who may be considering becoming entrepreneurs or those who are just learning about different aspects of business within their own organizations, whether it's HR and managing people, whether it's leadership."

Tickets for the symposium cost $150 per person. Hudgison said the event was sold out by Wednesday, with many local corporations purchasing tables for employees.

In addition to Pickard and Russell Wright, others scheduled to speak at the event include:

Deryl McKissack, chairwoman of the board of McKissack & McKissack Construction in Washington.

Earl Stafford, CEO of The Wentworth Group in Reston, Va.

Emanuel Jones, Georgia state senator and president of Atlanta-based Legacy Automotive Group, which owns the Chevrolet dealership in Columbus.

Gale Hill, owner and operator of AJH Inc., a McDonald's franchise operator based in Columbus, Ohio.

Khary Lewis, chairman and CEO of locally based Infinite Services & Solution Inc.

Sylvester Hester, vice president and chief operating officer of Global Automotive, Duluth, Ga.

Veranda Dickens, chairman of Seaway Bank and Trust Company in Chicago.

Thomas W. Dortch Jr., chairman emeritus of 100 Black Men of America and chairman and CEO of Atlanta-based TWD Inc.

Alva James-Johnson, 706-571-8521. Reach her on Facebook at AlvaJamesJohnsonLedger

 


Columbus CEO.com

Wright Symposium Features National Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs

July 17, 2015

 

The inaugural Bob Wright Symposium on Business Empowerment will feature corporate leaders and executives sharing their business insights, knowledge, and experience.

 

The symposium’s founder is Columbus native Bob Wright, who presently serves as Chairman and CEO of FE Holdings, Inc., a firm dedicated to the investment and growth of private and public sector companies. He also serves as Chairman Emeritus of Sentel Corporation, located in Alexandra, Va.

 

In 1985, Wright founded Dimensions International, Inc., a provider of technology solutions in government and private sectors. Beginning with only three employees, he expanded Dimensions International into a global leader with more than 1,500 employees located in 10 countries.  Wright served as Chairman and CEO and then later Chairman Emeritus and Senior Advisor of Dimensions International until 2007 when the company was sold to Honeywell International, Inc.

 

An advocate for small businesses, Wright was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to serve as Associate Administrator for Minority Small Business with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

 

Wright developed the symposium as a means to educate and inspire current and future business leaders. The speakers are highly respected leaders within their fields and nationally recognized as successful entrepreneurs and industry trailblazers.

 

“The speakers will share their inspirational stories of success, along with the obstacles they have had to overcome,” said Wright. “The symposium will help enlighten the community and hopefully inspire others to start a business.”

 

Aflac Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dan Amos will serve as the keynote speaker at lunch.  The symposium will be moderated by Emmy award-winning journalist Byron Pitts, who joined ABC News in April 2013 as an anchor and Chief National Correspondent. Speakers for the symposium include:

  Dr. William F. Pickard, Chairman and CEO of Global Automotive Alliance, LLC, of Bloomfield Heights, Mich.

  Deryl McKissack, Chairwoman of the Board, McKissack & McKissack Construction, of Washington, D.C.

  Earl Stafford, Chief Executive Officer, The Wentworth Group, LLC, of Reston, Va.

  Emanuel Jones, Georgia State Senator, President of the Legacy Automotive Group, of Atlanta, Ga.

  Russell Wright, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, SENTEL Corporation, of Alexandria, Va.

  Gale Hill, Owner and Operator, AJH, Inc. dba McDonald’s Restaurants, of Columbus, Ohio

  Khary Lewis, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Infinite Services & Solution, Inc., of Columbus, Ga.

  Sylvester Hester, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Global Automotive, LLC, of Duluth, Ga.

  Veranda Dickens, Chairman of Seaway Bank and Trust Company, of Chicago, Ill.

  Tommy W. Dortch, Jr., Chair Emeritus of 100 Black Men of America, and Chairman and CEO of TWD, Inc., of Atlanta, Ga.

 

The one-day event will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, at the Cunningham Center located on the campus of Columbus State University. Individual registration for the full conference is $150.00.

 

The event is sponsored by the Delta Iota Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and the Alpha Georgia Education Foundation. For additional sponsorship opportunities, contact Douglas Bryant, 706-566-5875, or douglasbryant@ml.com.

 

Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Aflac’s Dan Amos to speak at inaugural Bob Wright Symposium

Aug. 20 event features major lineup of business leaders and top executives

BY TONY ADAMS, tadams@ledger-enquirer.com

July 10, 2015 

 

The first-ever Bob Wright Symposium on Business Empowerment has landed Aflac Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dan Amos as it lunch keynote speaker.

The inaugural event, scheduled 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 20, will feature a major lineup of business leaders and top executives from across the U.S., organizers said, with speakers “sharing invaluable business insight, knowledge and experience” with attendees at the Cunningham Center, 3100 Gentian Blvd., which is on the campus of Columbus State University.

“I am extremely pleased that Dan has agreed to be a part of the program,” the symposium’s namesake, Bob Wright, said in a statement. “I am sure our participants will benefit from his experience in leadership, business and building an award-winning diversity program at Aflac.”

Amos heads a Fortune 500 supplemental health and life insurance firm founded by his father and two uncles in 1955. Doing business in the U.S. and Japan, it has grown to annual revenues of nearly $23 billion in 2014.

Aflac was recognized by Black Enterprise Magazine earlier this year for its workforce diversity. About 34 percent of the company’s employees are African-American, with 27 percent African-American women. Its work force is heavily female in general, with two of the firm’s top executives African-American women.

Businessman, entrepreneur and philanthropist Robert L. Wright is a Columbus native who graduated from Spencer High School and Ohio State University, returning home to become a eye doctor and also serving three terms on Columbus Council in the 1970s.

A Republican, he founded a national political consulting firm, eventually being appointed by President Ronald Reagan to oversee Minority Small Business at the U.S. Small Business Administration. He also started a business, Dimensions International, growing it into a company with more than 100 offices in 10 countries and 1,500 employees. His firm was bought for $230 million-plus by conglomerate Honeywell International in 2007.

Wright’s philanthropic efforts have included donations to Columbus Technical College, where the Robert L. Wright Health Sciences Center bears his name. A scholarship in the name of his late mother, Pauline T. Wright, assists nursing students financially at the college.

The first Wright Symposium will take place the Thursday before another major event, the Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum, which will be held Aug. 24-25 at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center. Former President George W. Bush and his family are headlining that gathering. Amos has spoken previously at that event.

Tickets for the Wright Symposium are $150 per person. Contact Douglas Bryant at 706-566-5875 for information and sponsorship opportunities.

With ABC News anchor and reporter Byron Pitts moderating, here are the event’s other speakers:

• William F. Pickard, chairman and chief executive officer of Global Automotive Alliance, Bloomfield Heights, Mich.

• Deryl McKissack, chairwoman of the board of McKissack & McKissack Construction, Washington, D.C.

• Earl Stafford, CEO of Wentworth Group, Reston, Va.

• Emanuel Jones, Georgia state senator and president of Atlanta-based Legacy Automotive Group, which owns the Chevrolet dealership in Columbus

• Russell Wright, chairman and CEO of Sentel Corp., Alexandria, Va.

• Gale Hill, owner and operator of AJH Inc., a McDonald’s franchise operator based in Columbus, Ohio

• Khary Lewis, chairman and CEO of locally based Infinite Services & Solution Inc.

• Sylvester Hester, vice president and chief operating officer of Global Automotive, Duluth, Ga.

• Veranda Dickens, chairman of Seaway Bank and Trust Company, Chicago, Ill.

• Tommy W. Dortch Jr., chair emeritus of 100 Black Men of America, and chairman and CEO of Atlanta-based TWD Inc.
Read more here: http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2015/07/10/3807807_aflacs-dan-amos-to-speak-at-inaugural.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

 

Aflac Chairman and CEO Dan Amos to Speak at Wright Symposium

Staff Report From Columbus CEO

Friday, July 10th, 2015

Aflac Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dan Amos will be the keynote lunch speaker during the Bob Wright Symposium On Business Empowerment scheduled for Thursday, August 20, 2015, from 8:00 am until 4:00 pm, at the Cunningham Center, Columbus State University (CSU).

The conference will feature world class business leaders and executives sharing invaluable business insight, knowledge and experience, in addition to networking opportunities for attendees.

“I am extremely pleased that Dan has agreed to be a part of the program. I am sure our participants will benefit from his experience in leadership, business, and building an award winning diversity program at Aflac,” said Bob Wright. “I am looking forward to hearing Dan’s presentation and appreciate his willingness to share his perspectives with our group of current and future business leaders.”

The conference will be moderated by ABC News Anchor/Reporter, Byron Pitts, and some of the additional leaders scheduled for the event include:

 

Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Inaugural Bob Wright Symposium on Business Empowerment will be Aug. 20

BY TONY ADAMS - TADAMS@LEDGER-ENQUIRER.COM

July 10, 2015

(This article also appeared on Bloomberg.com on July 11, 2015: http://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/news/article.asp?docKey=600-201506111602KRTRIB__BUSNEWS_5008_12749-1&ex=true&ticker=VAC:FP)

Columbus businessman, entrepreneur and philanthropist Robert L. Wright is launching an annual symposium this August, bringing to the city a lineup of speakers aimed at enlightening and fostering minority business and community leadership.

The inaugural Bob Wright Symposium on Business Empowerment will take place 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 20 at the Cunningham Center, 3100 Gentian Blvd., which is on the campus of Columbus State University.

“The symposium is designed to expose members of our community to successful entrepreneurs who are industry trailblazers and respected thought-leaders within their fields,” Wright said in a statement. “This is also the first event of its kind to take place in my hometown of Columbus, Georgia, the proud home of several influential minority business and community leaders.”

Cost for the event is $150 per person, with nearly a dozen business leaders and executives on the schedule. The symposium will be moderated by Byron Pitts, an anchor and reporter with ABC News. Linda Hadley, dean of CSU’s Turner College of Business, is helping to coordinate the event, which has a goal of offering “invaluable business insight, knowledge and experience,” along with networking opportunities, to those who attend, organizers said.

Among those scheduled to speak at the symposium:

William F. Pickard, chairman and chief executive officer of Global Automotive Alliance, Bloomfield Heights, Mich.

Deryl McKissack, chairwoman of the board of McKissack & McKissack Construction, Washington, D.C.

Earl Stafford, CEO of The Wentworth Group, Reston, Va.

Emanuel Jones, Georgia state senator and president of Atlanta-based Legacy Automotive Group, which owns the Chevrolet dealership in Columbus

Russell Wright, chairman and CEO of Sentel Corp., Alexandria, Va.

Gale Hill, owner and operator of AJH Inc., a McDonald’s franchise operator based in Columbus, Ohio

Khary Lewis, chairman and CEO of locally based Infinite Services & Solution Inc.

Sylvester Hester, vice president and chief operating officer of Global Automotive, Duluth, Ga.

Veranda Dickens, chairman of Seaway Bank and Trust Company, Chicago, Ill.

Tommy W. Dortch Jr., chair emeritus of 100 Black Men of America, and chairman and CEO of Atlanta-based TWD Inc.

The new symposium’s namesake grew up in Columbus, graduating from Spencer High School before heading to Ohio State University to pursue an optometry degree. Returning to Columbus, Wright began his eye-doctor practice while diving deeper into local politics, serving three terms on Columbus Council after his initial election in 1970.

A Republican, he founded a national political consulting firm, eventually being appointed by President Ronald Reagan to oversee Minority Small Business at the U.S. Small Business Administration. He also started a business, Dimensions International, with it growing into a company with more than 100 offices in 10 countries and 1,500 employees. His firm was purchased by conglomerate Honeywell International in 2007, fetching more than $230 million.

Wright’s philanthropic efforts have included donations to Columbus Technical College, where the Robert L. Wright Health Sciences Center bears his name. A scholarship in the name of his late mother, Pauline T. Wright, assists nursing students financially at the college.

Earlier this year, he was appointed to the advisory council of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

The Bob Wright Symposium on Business Empowerment will take place the Thursday before the annual Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum, which is Aug. 24-25 at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center. The latter event, marking its 10th anniversary, will be headlined by former President George W. Bush and his family — former First Lady Laura Bush and their daughters, Barbara and Jenna.

The Wright symposium is sponsored by the Delta Iota Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and the Alpha Georgia Education Foundation. Others wishing to sponsor the event should contact Douglas Bryant at 706-566-5875 or at douglasbryant@ml.com.

Ledger-Enquirer staff reporter Chuck Williams contributed to this report.
Read more here: http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/news/business/article29458957.html#storylink=cpy