Earlier this month, Bleu had the opportunity to grace the National Black Chamber of Commerce’s 22nd Annual Convention in Chicago. Bringing influencers together to discuss best practices and sustainability among the Black business community, the conference featured all-star speakers and VIP guests paving their own paths to success in today’s market. The Chamber took over the Sheraton Hotel & Towers in Chicago from July 10-12 for the convention.
Each morning started with a workout session led by David Otunga, WWE professional wrestler and host, Harvard-learned lawyer and actor. (You may also remember that he’s engaged to none other than Grammy Award-winning Jennifer Hudson.) At the crack of dawn, Otunga took conference-goers through fitness routines that can be done at home or on the fly with anything from canned corn to a gallon water jug. While coaching participants through each exercise, Otunga explained which muscles were being worked and broke down how nutrition plays into maintaining your body.
On Friday, July 11, the former White House Social Secretary for President Obama gave her keynote speech. Desirée Rogers, now the CEO of Johnson publishing, left us with some powerful advice. “It is time that African Americans support their own vigorously, just as other groups in this country have done,” she said. “In many instances we are still trying to catch up economically and emotionally. We often take for granted the importance of binding together to get what we want accomplished. We underestimate the [impact] of our economic power.”
It is time that African Americans support their own vigorously, just as other groups in this country have done. In many instances we are still trying to catch up economically and emotionally. – Desirée Rogers, former White House Social Secretary for President Obama and current CEO of Johnson Publishing
Later that evening, Bleu represented at the NBCC Fashion House presentation. (Check the picture below of J. Alexander Martin and supermodel Claudia Jordan in front of the step and repeat!) African-American and student designers from around the country featured their designs in the company of super model and new Rickey Smiley Morning Show host, Claudia Jordan, FUBU co-founder J. Alexander Martin and celebrity culinary entrepreneur Chef Roble, who was in attendance promoting his new fragrance, Clique by Roble.
Following the fashion show, 50 copies of the latest issue of Bleu Magazine boarded the Elite Chicago Yacht and sailed off from Chicago’s Navy Pier for a private VIP networking and drinks mixer hosted by Keymanna Management. After the 3-hour cruise, Bleu went home with conference VIPs and industry influencers coming from all over the globe.
Last but not least, Saturday closed the conference off on a high note with the Very Interesting People (VIP) Panel chaired by Jordan, Martin and Roble, and moderated by your favorite hip hop artists’ financial consultant, Rob Wilson.
For a visual summary, hit the pictures below to get a glimpse of just some of the faces Bleu went home with during the conference.
To get more of the 5Ws of the conference, you can visit www.NBCCNow.org.
About the Author: Desirée Chavis
Desirée Chavis is a communications professional and freelance writer in the New York City area. Keep up with this entertainment enthusiast via Twitter & Instagram: @Desiree_Manuela. Learn more about her at about.me/DesireeChavis.