March , 2019

Eavesdropping law rewrite could affect how body cameras, footage can be used CHICAGO, IL — ...
  Comptroller warns of state’s growing expenses   Springfield, IL – Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka released the ...
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced that a new life insurance contract, approved by ...
Springfield, IL – In light of the Centennial of International Women’s Day, Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford ...
New America Media By Paul Kleyman Image: From Cover of “Beyond ...
Symantec and HBCUConnect.com to host VIP networking event for African American Professionals in the IT ...
  Cleveland, OH (BlackNews.com) -- In an unprecedented move, Ohio swore in its first African-American County ...
Grants support Eleanor Network, providing job skills training and other programs to help working female ...
NAACP condemns the shooting of two Ferguson police officers Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are ...
Nationwide (BlackNews.com) -- Get ready Columbus, Ohio! The Original King of Comedy will be in ...

Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Mortgage Industry Leaves Millions of Prospective Home Buyers on the Table

Posted by Admin On August - 31 - 2018 Comments Off on Mortgage Industry Leaves Millions of Prospective Home Buyers on the Table
September conference aims to increase homeownership and financial capability
By Hazel Trice Edney
(TriceEdneyWire.com) – The home mortgage industry across the U. S., now on “sound footing” since the crisis of 2007, is still leaving prospective homeowners behind, according to a recent Harvard University study.
“By many metrics, the U.S. housing market in 2018 is on sound footing,” said Chris Herbert, managing director of the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies in the center’s annual State of the Nation’s Housing report. “But a number of challenges highlighted in the first ‘State of the Nation’s Housing’ report 30 years ago persist today, and in many respects the situation has worsened for both the lowest-income Americans and those higher up the income ladder.”


This dearth in homeownership – largely affecting African-Americans – is the reason that an upcoming annual conference is crucial says Marcia Griffin, founder and president of HomeFree-USA a leader in home mortgage counseling. The 14th Annual HomeFree-USA Reaching Millions conference is set for Sept. 17-19 in Washington, D.C.
The inspirational, educational and leadership development conference will feature nationally renowned speakers. They include author/speaker Stedman Graham, the Rev. Jamal-Harrison Bryant; Gospel artist Bishop Marvin Sapp; and the Rev. Dr. DeForest Blake “Buster” Soaries, Jr., all aiming to teach and inspire financial independence and debt free lifestyles.


“This conference is a very important gathering of leaders – nonprofit, faith-based,

Marcia Griffin

government, mortgage and banking leaders,” says Griffin. “It’s crucial in order to elevate the issue of homeownership in general but also the financial stature of people of color specifically. This conference delivers new ideas to capture the millions of potential homebuyers who want to buy but need guidance and encouragement. The unique aspect of the conference will be a mixture of education and inspiration with a goal of establishing a synergy for partnerships,” Griffin says.


“We will all come together to learn from each other, and gain ideas to increase mortgage approvals and reduce denials among people of color,” Griffin continues. “It is going to take partners working together to give homebuyers the kind of guidance they need to sustain homeownership and weather the financial challenges that arise in life.”
The conference is designed to:
  • Increase homeownership and financial success among low-to-moderate income people.
  • Elevate the stature and increase the impact of government, nonprofit and for-profit housing and homeownership providers
  • Create and strengthen public/private partnerships
Reaching Millions is for professionals and leaders whose focus is on:
  • Affordable lending
  • Increasing homeownership in low-to-moderate income communities
  • Personal and professional leadership development
  • Developing new public and private partnerships to further their mission and expand affordable housing
  • Ways to reach more qualified homebuyers
According to the latest stats from the U. S. Census Bureau, general homeownership rates in the second quarter of 2018 revealed significant room for growth. Overall, the rate is 64.3 percent in the second quarter of 2018, growing slightly by .6 percent from the first quarter.
However, a closer look at the Census Bureau breakdown of the homeownership rate by race shows communities of color still lagging far behind White homeowners, despite historic efforts to close the gap, including the Fair Housing Act of 1968. According to the Census Bureau, the following are the current stats broken down by race:
  • Non-Hispanic White householders was highest at 72.9 percent.
  • Asian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander householders was second at 58.0 percent.
  • Hispanic householders was at 46.2.
  • Black householders was lowest at 41.6 percent.
“Although the changes in homeownership by race and ethnicity were seen as mostly positive, Black households are the one group that has made no appreciable progress,” says the Harvard Joint Center study.


This conference contributes to the efforts to turn these deplorable statistics around. Conference attendees will leave with a roadmap, partnerships and resources to capture the homebuyers that we are leaving behind. Working together the mortgage industry, nonprofits and government leaders will be able to deliver the tools families need to become successful homeowners.   .


More information about the conference can be found at www.HomeFreeUSA.org/rm2018. Contact MilanG@homefreeusa.org for information on a limited number of discounted registrations.

$1.2 Trillion Black Buying Power Addressed at MODE Symposium in Newark, NJ

Posted by Admin On May - 21 - 2018 Comments Off on $1.2 Trillion Black Buying Power Addressed at MODE Symposium in Newark, NJ

2018 Marketing Opportunities in Business and Entertainment (MOBE) Symposium Connected Major Brands to the Nearly $1.2 Trillion Dollar Buying Power of the African American Consumer


MOBE Symposium in Newark, NJ

Newark, NJ (BlackNews.com) — More than 250 entrepreneurs, marketing and advertising executives attended the 2018 Marketing Opportunities in Business and Entertainment (MOBE) Symposium recently held at Kiyo Sakaguchi Hall in the Prudential Tower, Newark, New Jersey. The event was sponsored by Prudential Financial, Inc and co-sponsored by P&G.

Welcome remarks were presented by host Dorinda Walker, vice president of Cultural Insights and Activation, Brand Marketing and Advertising, at Prudential. She was joined by Yvette Moyo, Co-founder of MOBE and Real Men Cook; Curtis Symonds, Conference Chairman and CEO & Founder of HBCUX Network; and Lela Coffey, Brand Director, Beauty – Multicultural of P&G, the Symposium’s co-sponsor.

“Prudential was honored to host the 2018 MOBE Symposium in our hometown of Newark, NJ! We understand MOBE’s mission – the importance of bringing together entrepreneurs and large corporations to cultivate strategic business alliances – and value being a part of efforts that support the economic progress of the black community,” said Walker.

Legendary cable executive Leo Hindery of InterMedia Partners, Alfred Edmond Jr, SVP of Black Enterprise and Louis Carr, President, Sales at BET presented keynote addresses. Panelists included senior executives from BET Her, Essence, Morgan Stanley, iOne Digital/Hello Beautiful, American Heart Association, BlackDoctor.org, NBA Players Association, WNBA, NFL, NASCAR and the Newark Office of Film and Television.

The inaugural MOBE Awards recognized veteran advertising and marketing executives. Each award recipient was presented with a piece of framed artwork donated by the Harlem Fine Arts Show. The distinguished honorees included:

* Pepper Miller, President of The Hunter Miller Group and Ken Smikle, President & Founder of Target Market News received The Spirit Of D. Parke Gibson Award.

* Chuck Morrison, former executive of UniWorld Group, Burrell Advertising and Coca-Cola USA and Carol H. Williams, President of Carol H. Williams Advertising received the MOBE Legends Award.

* Long-time MOBE supporter Clyde Allen, President & Founder of Allen & Partners, received the MOBE Corporate Pioneer Award.

MOBE Symposium Founder, Yvette Moyo stated, “Sharing information, acknowledging our brilliance and that we drive the tone and tenor of this country in entertainment, fashion, and sports; this is the MOBE Way. Understand that our power to work together, to recognize and leverage our buying power, to celebrate and do business with each other and those who respect our value will be the key to our financial survival.”

The next MOBE Symposium will be held in April 2019 and smaller events are being planned during the year. Updated information can be found on their website, www.mobesymposium.com

About MOBE:
MOBE (Pronounced “moe-bee”) delivers business building, education and mentoring resources to African-American marketing, technology, sports & entertainment professionals with growing businesses. The MOBE Symposium provides a place to initiate strategic alliances with larger corporations.

MOBE is where Marketing, Technology, Sports & Entertainment professionals converge with early-stage/growing businesses, business professionals and corporations. Since 1992, the MOBE series has delivered business building, education and mentoring resources for African-American professionals; sports, entertainment and other entrepreneurs. The organization has facilitated deals between young companies and large corporations to grow their businesses. MOBE’s registrants have directly influenced the spending power and impacted a vastly larger urban consumer base. An estimated $200 million in business was generated to African-American companies as a direct result of associations conceived at MOBE symposiums.

About Prudential:
Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a financial services leader with more than $1 trillion of assets under management as of March 31, 2018, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Prudential’s diverse and talented employees are committed to helping individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth through a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds and investment management. In the U.S., Prudential’s iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century. For more information, please visit www.news.prudential.com.

Media contact: Robin Beaman, 312-751-9689, rbeaman@beamaninc.com
Symposium contact: Pat Shields, 310-568-9091, mobesymposium@gmail.com

Photo Caption: (Left to Right): Dion Clarke, Harlem Fine Arts Show; Yvette Moyo, Founder, MOBE & Real Men Cook; Dorinda Walker, Prudential; Lela Coffey, P&G; Curtis Symonds, Chairperson, MOBE Symposium


State Rep. Flowers to Expand Opportunities for Minority Businesses in State Contract Selection

Posted by Admin On May - 21 - 2018 Comments Off on State Rep. Flowers to Expand Opportunities for Minority Businesses in State Contract Selection

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – With a focus on inclusion of historically underserved and ousted business owners, Illinois State Rep. Mary E. Flowers, D-Chicago, is co-sponsoring a measure that would promote greater cooperation between the State of Illinois and minority contractors.

“The tax base in the State of Illinois is full of all kinds of diverse people from different backgrounds, so it only makes sense that the businesses we contract with reflect that diversity,” said Flowers. “This bill will close the communication gap between small minority-owned businesses and the state when it comes to the qualifications and availability of opportunities to do quality business and create jobs in underserved communities.”

Flowers is the co-sponsor of Senate Bill 3106, a measure that establishes the Minority Contractor Opportunity Initiative. This initiative would require the Business Enterprise Council and each Chief Procurement Officer to provide information related to minority-owned, women-owned, person-with-disabilities owned and small businesses. This information would include outreach to these businesses, education on state contracting and procurement and notification to these businesses about State contracting opportunities. Additionally, the Comptroller will maintain an updated online database of State contracts with these businesses.

“It is time we bring transparency to the State contract bidding and procurement process,” said Flowers. “When we level the playing field for businesses who have constantly been at a disadvantage, we will see these benefits shape change, not only on the job-site, but back home in the community where we are bringing good-paying jobs and opportunity.”

Senate Bill 3106 recently passed out of the Senate unanimously and is expected to be heard for consideration in the House State Government Administration Committee in the near future.

Flowers represents the 31st district, which includes portions of the Auburn-Gresham community in Chicago, Oak Lawn, Chicago Ridge, Countryside and others. For more information, please contact Rep. Flowers’ constituent service office at 773-471-5200 or email her at maryeflowers@ilga.gov.

African Small Business Expo: It’s All About The Students…and Entrepreneurship

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On May - 17 - 2018 Comments Off on African Small Business Expo: It’s All About The Students…and Entrepreneurship
By Dr. Juanita Bratcher
Author, Editor & Publisher, CopyLine Magazine

Little while ago, Andrea Graham was awarded the “Dr. Melida A. Harris Barrow Empowering Humanity Award” by Love Truth and Peace Global Initiative. She was the first Chicagoan ever to receive the Ambassador award. She is also known as a Goodwill Ambassador of the Golden Rule. Graham has been the recipient of several awards for her skills and activism helping students, and deservingly so. But to Graham, it’s all about the students and entrepreneurship, for them to own their own businesses. She sees that as a plus for them, and has taken a lead role in helping them to accomplish their goals at a young age.

On Friday, May 18, 2018, Graham’s International Youth Ambassadors Club, in conjunction with the Africa Global Chamber of Commerce AGCC, will host the African Small Business Expo at Sullivan High School, Chicago, 6631 N. Bosworth Ave., from 9 AM to 4 PM., with a networking session afterwards with businesses and students.

This year’s theme is: “Empowering Young Entrepreneurs and Connecting our Community.” The event is open to the general public and Federal, State, City of Chicago Agencies and businesses will attend.

Graham started working at Sullivan High School five years ago. She volunteered at the school prior to her employment there in a Title One position and was also the Parent Advisory Chain. At that time, her children were students at the school. The other parents voted her in as Chair. They had a budget. It was a project reauthorized by the Bush Administration and later the program was changed to “No Child Left Behind.”

Graham started the club because there were “many African Americans at the school.  Some had started a business at the school – Tye Dye African inspired shirts and they were fashion designers and some of their clothing were tied into American outfits.

The girls liked dancing “so I got costumes for them and they performed at the club and at our Expo last year. I wanted to introduce, expose, inspire and engage young people to the world of global trade, exporting and importing goods internationally.


I have a relationship with Dr. Melida Harris Barrow, who is also an author. She  is trying to help people and bridge the gap between companies and countries – South America, Central America, and Caribbean island. She is doing that by going to one of Panama City Panama, one of the largest places in that particular region – People from Peru, Ecuador and Argentina. She noticed that there were no African or Caribbean representation at Extocomer. It has been going on now for 37 years and Africans still have not made its presence there yet.

Graham said they will take a contingent of students to Panama City Panama/Extocomer and other places on March 25, 2019 and return on March 31.  The consulate of South Africa will give the keynote address to students, and businesses will be there to promote their businesses and students.

“It is open to the public and vendors can pay a small fee if they’d like to participate. It will help to raise money for students who will make the trip in March. We also have a few pledges of support that will help pay for students’ trip. A Chicago TV personality has pledged $2,000 and Copa Airlines will work a package out for them and will also bring some Panamanian folklore. She is working on that. She’s doing it to help the students because many of them can’t go to Expo. They can’t travel because they don’t have the proper documents to travel; that’s why we’re having Expo at the school.”

Additionally, In July Graham said they will have an Entrepreneurship Youth Summit with Africans and African Americans coming together.

When Graham received her Goodwill Ambassador of the Golden Rule, she also received The “Dr. Melida A. Harris Barrow Empowering Humanity Award”.  During the Golden Rule Award Ceremony during Black History Month Celebration, hosted by Dr. Gladys Loggin, USA Africa Economic and Business Development Center, it was noted that “Graham is a change agent that demonstrates her belief in helping others through action.  As a networker, she conceives, arranges, and completes all the work necessary to bring people together for the betterment of all involved.  As her mentor, professor emeritus Dan Creeley Jr. once said, “She has vision and the passion of a missionary, with the skill of gentle persuasion to get others to want to listen to her ideas.”

Thank you Andrea Graham for your initiatives.  We all love you…

Graham said: “I like putting partnership alliances together and bring resources to the school. I like international affairs. I do it all for the students.”

Applications Now Available for Minority Entrepreneurship Program

Posted by Admin On May - 10 - 2018 Comments Off on Applications Now Available for Minority Entrepreneurship Program

The Rauner Administration program will be held in the Quad Cities, Champaign and South Chicago regions

CHICAGO, IL – The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced today that applications for the 2018 Advancing the Development of Minority Entrepreneurship (ADME) program are now open. Applications can be found online at www.illinois.gov/dceo and will be available until May 31, 2018.

“A main focus of the Rauner administration has been expanding our support for talented individuals and entrepreneurs in every community within Illinois,” said Illinois Department of Commerce Director Sean McCarthy. “We have made a lot of improvements to the program this second time around to better equip the participants with real-world knowledge and give them a leg up as they embark on the next phase of their business.”

The ADME Program is designed to nurture a business-friendly environment that supports and facilitates small business, with a focus on minority populations, to assist and lead entrepreneurs in long-term economic success. ADME offers start-up companies an exceptional level of support from subject matter experts, business professionals, and non-profit organizations. Additionally, participants will gain access to an array of services, including assistance with a business plan, one-on-one session with an attorney, a loan prequalification assessment for each borrower to assess loan readiness in advance of their completion of the program and the opportunity to pitch their business to banks, investors and microlenders during a demo day.

“In anticipation for our second cohort, the Department has hosted a number of ADME Business Workshops throughout the state,” said Derrick Champion, Deputy Director of the Office of Minority Economic Empowerment at DCEO. “These workshops have been met with great excitement and have been a great recruitment tool for the ADME 2018 Cohorts.”

The Women’s Business Development Center along with the Illinois Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) network will administer ADME’s curriculum through the Department and will help facilitate investment opportunities through the Advantage Illinois program. Additionally, several community partners will help facilitate the program including Accion, CIBC BANK, Chicago Urban League and Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce.

The first ADME cohorts were held in 2017 in Rockford, Chicago and Peoria. The second year will continue to focus on minority communities, including women and veterans, in South Chicago, Quad Cities and Champaign region.

DC to Host the Largest Black Business Conference

Posted by Admin On May - 3 - 2018 Comments Off on DC to Host the Largest Black Business Conference

Power Networking Conference, the largest continuous held event for black executives, professionals and entrepreneurs, to be held July 5-7

The 17th annual event will launch wings financial education centers and provide expert training and coaching, designed to tackle financial illiteracy, grow businesses and teach the 4 pillars for the inter-generational transfer of wealth in Black America.


George Fraser, President & CEO of FraserNET, Inc.

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — FraserNet, Inc., has announced that its 2018 PowerNetworking Conference (PNC) will be held July 5-7, at the Gaylord Hotel and Conference Center, on the National Harbor in Prince George’s County, Maryland. This year’s conference top global experts will focus their training on financial literacy, business development and wealth building through personal “subject matter” excellence, effective networking and collaboration.

“Financial illiteracy is an American problem according to the Wall Street Journal, but it is 10x greater in Black America. All the studies, surveys and statistics predict if nothing changes within our community we will be financially destitute and enslaved by 2053. A November 2017 front-page headline in the Boston Globe said, “Black Bostonians median net worth really was $8.” Thus, we must effectively and aggressively address financial illiteracy and building million-dollar businesses in Black America. At PNC, we will do both and launch our national “faith-based” WINGS Financial Education Centers and Curriculum with the goal of 10,000+ centers up and running by 2028. Our curriculum will focus on a mindset shift of “instant gratification to delayed gratification” and the 4 pillars for the inter-generational transfer of wealth to include; proper management of accumulated wealth, real estate, business development and proper insurance,” said Dr. Fraser

The PowerNetworking Conference, widely recognized as America’s largest continuous held conference in the world for Black executives, business professionals and entrepreneurs. This year, the PNC is expected to draw more than 1,200+ attendees from around the world. In 2015, the PNC was named one of the “Top 5 Can’t Miss” Conferences in America by Forbes Magazine. Since its inception, the PNC has produced over $750,000,000 in new business startups and deal flow and sixteen (16) conferences across the United States. “I’m overjoyed to have been the first Black Conference to be selected for this prestigious annual recognition from the premier business magazine in the world. We have always felt this way, but now the world knows it,” said Fraser.

PNC, the creation of international speaker, author and networking guru, Dr. George C. Fraser, Chairman, FraserNet, Inc., a 31-year old highly respected company focused on mission-driven entrepreneurship, the PNC has been held in progressive cities such as Cleveland, Atlanta and Dallas. In 2016, the conference was moved to the National Harbor, located between Washington, D.C. and Maryland.

Key sponsors this year include: Wells Fargo, First Financial Security, Greenlight Consulting Corp. Key components of PNC include keynote presentations, over 60 workshops/lectures featuring 50 global experts, two awards luncheons, a National Town Hall meeting and networking events designed to uplift African-American entrepreneurs and to encourage successful African Americans to lift others as a means of positively changing the world and changing their communities. “We must learn, earn and return,” proclaims Dr. Fraser.

The 2018 Global Expert line-up includes but not limited to:
* Reverend Dr. Freddie Haynes, Pastor, Friendship West Baptist Church, TX
* Dr. Randal Pinkett, CEO, BCT Partners, Inc. NJ
* Dr. William Pickard, CEO, Global Automotive Group, MI
* Dr. Michael Roberts, CEO, The Roberts Group, MO
* Linda Clemons, CEO, Sisterpreneur, IN
* Anthony Browder, Director, ASA Restoration Project, DC
* Dr. Linus Okorie, CEO, GOTNI, Lagos, Nigeria
* James Coleman, CEO, Prince George’s County Economic Development Corp.
* Dr. Jackie Mayfield, CEO, ComproTax, Inc, TX
* Earl Erasmus, CEO, The Dream Center, Cape Town, South Africa
* Farida Akidiri, Consultante En Stratégie d’Affaire, Paris, France
* Bishop Dr. James Dixon, Pastor, Community of Faith, TX
* Allyson Byrd, CEO, The Profit Accelerator, TX
* Delano Johnson, CEO, Jonsehn, Inc., NY
* Dr. Ron Daniels, President, Institute of the Black World, NY
* Cerita Battles, Senior Vice President, Wells Fargo, FL
* Emmett Vaughn, Director, Diverse Business Dev., Exelon Corp., PA
* Imaj, Award Winning Country & Western singer and Activist, TX
* Dr. Emma Fraser Pendleton, CEO. Emma, Life Coach, GameChanger
* Dr. Ken Harris, President/CEO, National Business League, MI
* Dr. George C. Fraser. Founder/CEO, FraserNet, Inc. OH

As is done annually, several individuals and corporations of national prominence will be receiving awards at the PowerNetworking Conference Awards Luncheons. They are:

Lifetime Achievement Awardee:
* Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, Director, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art

Black, Cool and Brilliant Awardees:
* Orrin Hudson, CEO, BeSomeone, GA
* Shawn Dove, CEO, Campaign For Black Male Achievement, NY
* Delano A. Johnson, CEO, Johnson Enterprises, Inc., NY
* Lance London, CEO, Carolina Kitchens, and NeVitica, Inc., MD

Entrepreneurs of the Year Awardees:
* Vanessa Braxton, CEO, Black Mama Brands, NY
* Dr. Terrence Cash, CEO Greenlight Consulting, NJ

Corporation of the Year Awardee:
* First Financial Security, Phil and Debbie Gerlicher, Atlanta, Georgia

Photo Caption:

George Fraser, President & CEO of FraserNET, Inc

About Dr. George C. Fraser
Dr. George C. Fraser is Chairman and CEO of FraserNet, Inc., a company he founded some 31 years ago, to lead a global networking movement for people of African descent. Born in Brooklyn, NY, he was an orphan and foster child for 15 years. He’s written 6 best-selling books to include: Success Runs in Our Race, Click and recently, Mission Unstoppable: Extraordinary Stories of Failure’s Blessings, a book he co-authored with Les Brown. Upscale Magazine named him one of the “Top 50 Power Brokers in Black America,” and Black Enterprise magazine called him “Black America’s #1 Networker”.

In addition, Fraser has been featured on 7 national magazine covers, and has received 350 awards and citations to include: Induction into the Minority Business Hall of Fame and Museum, 3 Honorary Doctorate Degrees, a Chaplaincy and Ambassadorship. Dr. Fraser is most proud of the 2 African-centered charter schools that he helped found 14 years ago, which educate 300 inner-city Black children, of which 60% are boys. He’s been married 45 years, resides in Cleveland, and has 2 sons and 2 granddaughters.

About FraserNet
FraserNet is a global leadership network committed to economic development through education, training, and empowerment for Black people. Its focus is to train, educate, and equip Black people with new skills, new thinking and new approaches for personal, professional and financial success in the 21st Century. They have a continuing-relationship business model including, books, CDs, conferences, lectures, memberships, subscriptions, workshops and long-term coaching and mentoring agreements with their 91,000 global network members.

For more details about FraserNET, visit www.frasernet.com

For more details and/or to register for the PowerNetworking Conference, visit www.powernetworkingconference.com

Illinois Recognized as Top Tech Employer and for Achievement of Technology Enhancements

Posted by Admin On April - 26 - 2018 Comments Off on Illinois Recognized as Top Tech Employer and for Achievement of Technology Enhancements

SPRINGFIELD, IL – It’s Information Technology Month and the Illinois Department of Innovation & Technology (DoIT) is highlighting the state’s digital transformation and the positive impact on state operations.

The agency, established by Governor Rauner in 2016 through Executive Order, is charged with building an enterprise IT organization for the State of Illinois to improve government efficiencies through innovation, enable state agencies to more effectively serve Illinois citizens and improve the overall cybersecurity of the state.

“Our teams have made it a priority to modernize technology, so we can work smarter and protect the personal information of our hardworking citizens,“ said Governor Bruce Rauner. “Over the past couple of years, staff at DoIT has been focused on upgrading old, antiquated systems that had been neglected for decades and bringing our state into the 21st Century.”

Illinois ranks 5th in the nation when it comes to tech employment, adding more than 437,000 people to the state’s workforce and about $45 billion dollars to the state’s overall economy, according to the 2018 Cyberstates study, published by CompTIA.

DoIT teams are building a strong defense for the state, with a focus on enhancing cybersecurity and protecting sensitive information for all employees and citizens of Illinois. More than 46,000 state employees have received cyber awareness training and nearly six billion records have already been secured, as part of the State of Illinois Cybersecurity Strategy, which was released in 2017.

Through the multi-agency blockchain Initiative, DoIT worked with DCEO, DPFR and others to explore distributed ledger technology and evaluate how to capitalize on opportunities for the state. Several practical uses are being explored including health provider registries and continuing education tracking. As a result, the state received the Illinois Capital Innovation Award for Government Solutions for its advancements with blockchain in the public sector.

DoIT is also helping local jurisdictions build up their digital systems and save money through its Smart State initiatives. Earlier this year, DoIT introduced a Smart Street Lighting Program that will allow municipalities to utilize the state’s master contract to find qualified and competitive street lighting vendors to save money and offer more functionality for their communities.

“We’ve made impressive strides with advancing technology in Illinois,” said DoIT’s Acting Secretary, Kirk Lonbom. “Emerging technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, and data analytics hold great promise as Illinois strives to become the first ‘Smart State’ in the nation.”

And, thanks to DoIT technicians and engineers, Illinois residents and businesses have more access to state websites and services on their mobile devices, going from mobility of only 3 percent in 2016 to over 50 percent currently.

DoIT continues on an accelerated digital transformation and modernization strategy to improve technology in Illinois. DoIT announces IT milestones that have been accomplished in Illinois, as well as what lies ahead for the state through news found on DoIT’s website.

Illinois Department of Transportation Will Host a Two-Day Conference for Female- and Minority-Owned Businesses

Posted by Admin On March - 8 - 2018 Comments Off on Illinois Department of Transportation Will Host a Two-Day Conference for Female- and Minority-Owned Businesses

Today’s Challenge, Tomorrow’s Reward: Creating Opportunity for Female- and Minority-Owned Businesses


Conference helps small firms grow through skill-building, networking


SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Transportation will host Today’s Challenge, Tomorrow’s Reward on March 19 and 20 at the President Abraham Lincoln Springfield Hotel and Bank of Springfield Center. The two-day conference provides female- and minority-owned businesses with opportunities to make connections and develop skills to increase their competitiveness.

“Building a high-quality, diverse workforce strengthens the Illinois economy and promotes more competition on state projects,” said Gov. Bruce Rauner. “Getting our small business owners the tools they need to succeed is a small investment that pays off for years to come.”

The annual conference, presented by IDOT’s Office of Business and Workforce Diversity, offers workshops, seminars on best practices, and networking opportunities for firms and contractors wanting to do business with the state through the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program.

Topics covered will include: advanced financing, work category expansion, the Highway Construction Careers Training Program, erosion control, small businesses and tax plan changes, subcontractor payment tracking, changes to the supportive services program, labor agreements, marketing strategies and more. A special awards presentation will conclude the conference.

“The Illinois Department of Transportation is committed to making diversity a priority,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “Today’s Challenge, Tomorrow’s Reward  was designed to foster a more inclusive business environment by helping disadvantaged businesses grow through networking and skill-building sessions, enabling them to more effectively compete for state projects.”

The event is well attended by subcontractors and prime contractors in construction, trucking, engineering and other consulting services. Click here for registration information and other event details.

American Dream Business Pitch Competition Starts U.S. Tour with Black Expo America

Posted by Admin On March - 6 - 2018 Comments Off on American Dream Business Pitch Competition Starts U.S. Tour with Black Expo America

Washington, DC –  ‘American Dream Business’ announces the US tour with Black Expo America ‘American Dream Business’ pitch competition will travel across the U.S. hosting casting calls for business owners to pitch their business idea or concept to win $1,000, after the 2018 tour, American Dream Business Pitch Competition will award $20,000 at the finale in Washington, DC The Black Expo America tour kicks off in Washington DC on March 10, 2018 at the Renaissance Hotel 999 9th Street from 10 am – 6:00 pm.

Contestants are invited to register to pitch their business to qualify to become one of the Top Ten to pitch on stage to win $1,000. Business icons serving as judges include Warren Brown, Celebrity Chef at CakeLove, Denise Rolark Barnes, Publisher of The Washington Informer Newspaper and others.

‘American Dream Business’ (ADB) is the brainchild of D. Yvonne Rivers, Principal of Phoebe Marketing Group and Creator and Producer of DC Shark Tank established in 2015. Business Pitch competitions are popping up across the globe. ADB beings a fresh and unique approach and perspective to pitching your business. Win or lose a pitch competition, business owners will be linked with business resources in all cities to grow and sustain a profitable business which is the ‘American Dream Business. ADB will be filmed on September 27th to produce a trailer to market to television networks.

About Phoebe Marketing Group (PMG) www.phoebemarketing.com ceo@phoebemarketing.com

  1. Yvonne Rivers has been the Principal of The Phoebe Marketing Group since 1997, a business development, marketing and training company serving globally and headquartered in Washington, DC. She also provides motivational speaking to social entrepreneurs to grow globally with webinars, books, tapes and LIVE events. Yvonne is a graduate of Lincoln University in Pennsylvania and studied graduate marketing at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia.


Yvonne has over twenty-five years of business experience and is the creator and producer of ‘ DC Shark Tank ‘and ‘Phoebe Pitch Tank’ now, ‘American Dream Business’ which is a business pitch competition established in 2015 that has developed tremendous accolades including being featured ‘Black Enterprise Magazine’ and speaking and pitch competitions across the United States. Yvonne has expanded to Johannesburg, South Africa, London and Tamale, Ghana with her business ventures.

About Black Expo America Inc.: www.blackexpoamerica.com info@blackexpoamerica.com


Black Expo America Inc. was established by Mark Anthony Jenkins in 2013 in New York City. Black Expo America Inc. is a tradeshow, expo planning, and marketing company that has produced business expos and conferences in major cities such as New York, NY, Newark, NJ, and Philadelphia, PA. Black Expo America Inc. will emerge as the leading event planner uniting distinguished African-American, Caribbean and African entrepreneurs, business owners and professionals by showcasing their products and services nationwide. Black Expo Inc. will travel to 30 tour cities in 2018 with Black Expo America and Phenomenal Black Woman Expo events to cities including: Washington, Baltimore, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, Memphis and more. Our mission is to restore, revitalize and re-energize the African American, Caribbean and African community through the promotion of entrepreneurship coupled with personal growth and business development.

We seek to encourage African American, Caribbean American, and African business owners to follow their dreams, whatever they may be; and to inspire the belief that the capacity for success and greatness lies within oneself.


New FTC Website Helps Small Businesses

Posted by Admin On May - 10 - 2017 Comments Off on New FTC Website Helps Small Businesses

When scammers and hackers attack small businesses, it hurts not only the businesses’ reputations and bottom line, but also the integrity of the marketplace. Today, FTC Acting Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen announced a new FTC website, FTC.gov/SmallBusiness, to help business owners avoid scams, protect their computers and networks, and keep their customers’ and employees’ data safe. If you own a business you’ll want to check it out!

At FTC.gov/SmallBusiness you’ll find:

  • Tips on how to avoid scams that target businesses
  • Advice to help you protect your customers’ and employees’ sensitive data
  • Videos that show what you can do to secure your business’s networks

You can also find the FTC’s newest article Small Business Computer Security Basics, which has tips to help companies protect their files and devices, train employees to think twice before sharing account information, and keep their wireless network protected. The article also tells you what to do if a hacker gets into your computers or networks.

Go to FTC.gov/SmallBusiness, bookmark it and visit it often. And subscribe to the FTC’s business blog to stay connected.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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