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School Hosts Leading Minority Business Executives for Day of Idea Sharing

October 07, 2012
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The School of Business on Sept. 26 hosted The ICABA Executive Business Forum , which brought together black professionals from all over South Florida to share their business expertise.

Launched in 2008, ICABA (Identity, Connect, Activate, the Black Accomplished) aims to create a platform for members to make successful contacts and enhance their business development aspirations. ICABA helps members connect through their events and online profile directory. 

Over 100 entrepreneurs and professionals participated in the day packed with workshops and speakers. Mark Lee, vice president of brand development and marketing communications for Florida Blue, delivered the forum’s keynote address.

Lee discussed the approach behind rebranding Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida to Florida Blue. The intention of the repositioning was to create a more personalized experience for consumers.

“With Florida Blue, we showed that we were putting Florida first,” Lee said.

To get their new name out there, Lee said they hired two advertising firms – one African American and the other Latin American – for help in appealing to the diverse population of South Florida.

Lee encouraged members of the audience to stay focused in reinforcing their organization’s brand image.

Attendees also participated in workshops on topics such as raising and managing capital as well as marketing and social media.

Ken Colwell, director of entrepreneurship programs at the School of Business, shared his expertise in moving new ventures from initial success to explosive growth.

And Barry Johnson, president and CEO of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, was joined on for a panel discussion with Lorna Owens, CEO of Lorna Owens Inc; Basil Bernard, president and CEO of Apricot Office Supply and Furniture; and Courtney Cunningham, president of the Cunningham Group.

The panel discussion focused on entrepreneurship and allowed the panelists to share the lessons they have learned in achieving success. 

To find out more about ICABA and its events, visit icabaworld.com.

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