Pres. Obama appointee to headline 2011 Women of Color Entrepreneurs Conference

Spencer McClenty

Gwendolyn Keyes-Fleming was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2010 as the first African-American U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4 Regional Administrator.

Jackson State University will host the 2011 Women of Color Entrepreneurs (WE) Conference, November 1-2 at the Mississippi e-Center @ JSU, located at 1230 Raymond Road in Jackson. The conference is sponsored by the Department of Entrepreneurship in the JSU College of Business.

Themed “Creating Economic Opportunities,” the conference will provide workshops covering topics such as: SBA Certification and Training; MDA Certification and Training; Making Your Business Bankable; Global Opportunities in Contracting; Social Entrepreneurship; and Funding Opportunities for Women-Owned Small Businesses.

 “The WE conference will serve as a catalyst to empower women entrepreneurs to increase their contracting capabilities in order to partner with the public and private sectors,” said Mary White, conference director and chair of the JSU Department of Entrepreneurship. “The overall goal is to create jobs by demystifying the process of contracting and assisting women-owned small businesses in initiating and completing the certification process.”

 The guest speaker will be Gwendolyn Keyes-Fleming, the first African-American U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4 Regional Administrator. Keyes-Fleming was appointed to the post by President Barack Obama in September 2010. In 2005, Keyes-Fleming became the first African-American and first woman to serve as DeKalb County, Georgia District Attorney. She will speak on the topic: “Educating, Enhancing and Empowering Women Entrepreneurs” during the Opening Plenary Session from 9- 9:45 a.m. on November 1.

Other guests will include Winston Pittman, Sr., and his wife Alma Pittman, founders of Winston Pittman Enterprise, the sixth largest black-owned auto dealer in the United States. The Pittmans will speak during the Entrepreneurial Achievement Awards Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. on November 2.

There also will be a networking reception and business expo, among other activities.

The conference is open to men and women. The general registration fee is $200 for non-students and $50 for students. For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit or call 601 979-2541.


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