Magic Johnson, Herschel Walker and Governor Deval Patrick Headline GNEMSDC Awards Gala Weekend in Boston April 23-24

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NBA Legend and Businessman Earvin “Magic” Johnson and NFL Great Herschel Walker headline a weekend of business events and activities sponsored by the Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council (GNEMSDC). On Friday April 23, the "Sports, Media and Minority Entrepreneurship" conference will take place at the Westin Copley in downtown Boston. Wendy Lewis, Executive Vice President of Major League Baseball is the keynote luncheon speaker on Friday. This will be followed by panel discussions featuring businesses owned and operated by former professional athletes. Included on the panel are Magic Johnson Enterprises, H. Walker Enterprises and Sayers40. This panel will be followed by a panel of procurement executives from Walt Disney Corporation, Aetna and Pepsico. These corporate reprsentatives will talk about the hundreds of millions of dollars available for high quality certified minority business enterprises. On Saturday, April 24, the Awards Gala will take place at the Fairmont Copley Hotel. Earvin "Magic" Johnson is the keynote speaker. Award recipients include Massachussets Governor Deval Patrick and other outstanding corporations and minority business enterprises.

Earvin "Magic" Johnson

Fred McKinney, President and CEO of the GNEMSDC stated that this event will bring much needed attention to the role minority businesses play in the New England economy."

NBA Legend and Businessman Earvin “Magic” Johnson and NFL Great Herschel Walker headline a weekend of business events and activities sponsored by the Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council (GNEMSDC).

The events start with a Luncheon on Friday, April 23, at the Westin Copley Hotel. Wendy Lewis, Executive Vice President of Major League Baseball is the keynote luncheon speaker. Ms. Lewis is one of the highest ranking African American women executives in professional sports. Alberto Vasallo, Publisher of El Mundo is the MC for the day.

Following Ms. Lewis will be a panel that will feature Herschel Walker, owner of H. Walker Enterprises, Tim Sayers (son of NFL Hall of Famer, Gayle Sayers) of Sayers 40, and Christine Simmons of Magic Johnson Enterprises. This panel will cover the topic of the transition from the world of sports to the world of business. The panelists will discuss the challenges that they faced and overcame to build their businesses and the steps that they took to prepare for entrepreneurship while they were still playing. These are lessons that the professional sport industry, college presidents, college athletic directors, high school coaches, other minority entrepreneurs, the media, large corporations, and the general business community can benefit from. These enterprises are all certified minority businesses. ESPN SportsCenter anchor Jay Harris will moderate this panel.

Following the first panel, a group of senior corporate procurement and supplier diversity executives from Walt Disney, Aetna and PepsiCO will discuss the importance minority businesses play in their businesses and how minority businesses can get a larger share of the billions of dollars of money these and other GNEMSDC corporate members spend. ESPN is the Spotlight Sponsor of the Friday Program.

On Saturday evening, April 24, the GNEMSDC will celebrate the Annual Awards Gala at the Fairmont Copley Hotel in downtown Boston. This event highlights the achievements of outstanding minority businesses from around the region and the accomplishments of corporate members of the GNEMSDC in the area of minority business development. The keynote speaker for the evening is Earvin "Magic" Johnson. In addition to other awardees, Governor Deval Patrick will be presented with the GNEMSDC President’s Award for his commitment and support of minority business development in Massachusetts. Over 600 attendees are expected at this black tie affair.

When asked why it is important to recognize the achievements of certified minority businesses, President and CEO of the GNEMSDC, Dr. Fred McKinney stated: "Minority businesses are one of the fastest growing segments of businesses in the U.S. economy whose share of employment and employment growth is increasing, and too often their achievements are overlooked and not fully appreciated. So it is important for organizations like the GNEMSDC to highlight these achievements and the work of our corporate members who provide opportunities for minority businesses to grow."

For more information on the event, visit GNEMSDC or call 888-874-7114.

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