ODUNDE Celebrates its 35th Annual Festival with Diplomat VIP Reception

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ODUNDE Celebrates its 35th Annual Festival with Diplomat VIP Reception. Guests Include His Imperial Majesty, Alayeluwa Oba Okunade Sijuwade Olubuse II, The Ooni of IFE and His Excellency Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Executive Governor, OSUN State, Federal Republic of Nigeria

35th Annual ODUNDE Festival

An important gathering of the Philadelphia business community and African trade leaders, including many heads of state, which provides an open forum for free discussion about doing business and building enterprise here and in Africa.

The organizers of the ODUNDE African and African-American Festival, as part of its 35th anniversary celebration, will host an African diplomat VIP reception, honoring His Imperial Majesty, Alayeluwa Oba Okunade Sijuwade Olubuse II, The Ooni of IFE and Prince Olagunsoye Oyinloa, governor, OSUN State of Nigeria, on June 11, 2010. More than 100 diplomats, local and state government officials and business people are expected to be in attendance.

Hon. Jannie Blackwell will be presenting the Ooni of Ife and Governor of OSUN state the Philadelphia Liberty Bell and City Council citations, in addition to a special award from the Mayor’s office.

Stanley L. Straughter, chairman, Mayor’s Commission on African and Caribbean Immigrant Affairs, and board member of ODUNDE, describes this annual event as, “An important gathering of the Philadelphia business community and African trade leaders, including many heads of state, which provides an open forum for free discussion about doing business and building enterprise here and in Africa.”

On Saturday, June 12, ODUNDE will present the African Business Roundtable, where visiting African Diplomats will make presentations on new business, trade, and investment opportunities between Philadelphia and African businesses.

The ODUNDE Festival, initiated in 1975 by Lois Fernandez and Ruth Arthur, has gained a national reputation as one of Philadelphia's brightest cultural jewels. The yearly programs and events reach audiences of more than 500,000 persons.

Sponsors of this year’s activities include: Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Commerce and Economic Development and the Pennsylvania Lottery.

WHO:            

  •     Stanley L. Straughter, chairman, Mayor’s Commission on African and Caribbean Immigrant Affairs, and board member of ODUNDE
  •     Oshunbumi Fernandez, president and CEO, ODUNDE Inc.
  •     His Imperial Majesty Oba Okunade Sijuwade Olubuse II, the Ooni, IFE
  •     His Majesty Daniel Ohene Agyekum, ambassador, Republic of Ghana
  •     Prince Oyinlola, executive governor, OSUN State, Federal Republic of Nigeria
  •     Professor Adebowale Adefuye, ambassador, Federal Republic of Nigeria
  •     Hon. Robert Brady, congressman, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  •     Hon. Jannie Blackwell, councilwoman, City of Philadelphia
  •     Hon. Marian B. Tasco, councilwoman, City of Philadelphia
  •     Hon. Shirley Kitchen, Pennsylvania State Senator
  •     Hon. Ron Waters, Pennsylvania State Representative
  •     100 diplomats, local and state government officials and business people

Diplomat VIP Reception
WHEN:    Friday, June 11, 2010
                     6:00pm – 8:00pm

WHERE:        City Hall, Room 201
                     Mayor’s Reception Room Hall
                     Philadelphia, PA 19107

African Business Rountable
WHEN:    Saturday, June 12, 2010
                     10:00am – 1:00pm

WHERE:    Philadelphia Department of Commerce
                     1515 Arch Street, 18th Floor
                     Philadelphia, PA 19107

Biography of Oshunbumi Fernandez

Oshunbumi Fernandez is a native Philadelphian and a life-long resident of South Philadelphia. She attended the city’s public schools and later went on to earn her bachelor of arts degree in biology from Temple University and a MBA degree, specializing in management, from LaSalle University.

Ms. Fernandez is self-employed, owning and operating BUMI Productions, a full-fledged event planning company. The firm has provided consulting services for the PECO Jazz Festival, Sunoco Welcome America, independence Seaport Museum, Universal Companies and a host of other entities and events. As the daughter of the iconic ODUNDE founder, Lois Fernandez, Bumi has managed the daily operations of ODUNDE, Inc., since 1995.

The ODUNDE Festival, which attracts more than 500,000 people, includes more than 300 arts, crafts and food vendors, covers 12 city blocks and has two stages of live entertainment. The event has been held on the second Sunday in June for the past 35 years.

Ms. Fernandez currently resides in South Philadelphia with her two sons, Adeniyi and Abayomi Ogundana.

Biography of Stanley L. Straughter

Mr. Straughter serves as Director of International Business Development in the financial management consulting practice of Thompson, Cobb, Bazilio & Associates, PC. With nearly thirty years experience in international development he has lived and worked in several countries on the continents of Africa, Central Asia, the Caribbean and Russia. As a finance specialist, Mr. Straughter has provided services to foreign governments in governance and transparency, worked with Finance Ministers and provided advice and counsel to governments on trade policy and foreign direct investment.

Mr. Straughter speaks French and has considerable experience working with bilateral and multilateral financial development entities such as USAID, African Development Bank, African Development Foundation, Eastern Caribbean Investment Promotion service and U.S. Trade and Development Administration and Mr. Straughter has experience in the following countries: Cameroon, Egypt, India, Cote d 'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Haiti, Jamaica, Kenya, Israel, Niger, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, Senegal, Togo, Virgin Islands, South Africa, Russia, Uzbekistan, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Mr. Straughter advises public and private sector entities on issues related to international trade, exporting and importing, marketing analysis, and preparing market penetration strategies to emerging markets for small and medium sized businesses. The firm organizes trade and investment missions to emerging market countries and organizes investment promotion seminars in the United States on behalf of developing countries, particularly African and Caribbean countries. Successful trade missions have been organized to Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea, Senegal, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Mr. Straughter is also a specialist on issues affecting small and medium enterprises in developing countries and the United States.

Mr. Straughter provides consulting services to OIC International, Inc. a NGO serving, Poland, Philippines, Haiti, and eighteen (18) countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. As a senior advisor to the president of OIC International, he has assisted the organization in the design, implementation and funding of projects in the countries of Guinea, Ghana, Togo, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Angola, Uganda, Nigeria.

Mr. Straughter has served as a senior advisor to the International Foundation for Education and Self-Help (IFESH). For IFESH, he has participated in the organization of the African African-American Summits. He has organized workshops and seminars for the organization’s bankers for African programs and has provided counsel on its government relations activities for African countries.

Mr. Straughter serves as advisor to the World Conference of Mayors (WCM). This organization is composed of mayors from around the world. Founded by Mayor Johnny Ford, Tuskegee, Alabama, the organization convenes seminars and conferences for its membership to network and exchange views on democracy and governance, civil society advocacy, government ethics, legislative oversight and local government transparency. Mr. Straughter advises the Director General of the World Conference of Mayors and organizes delegations to sub-Saharan African countries.

In the area of Finance some of Mr. Straughter’s engagements have included serving a Senior Finance Advisor to the government of Togo on the design and implementation of a production farm to provide training and income to small farmers. For the Republic of Niger, Mr. Straughter served as a Senior Finance Advisor to that country’s Agricultural Credit Bank. He participated in an exercise to restructure the loan portfolio of the institution. As a Senior Advisor to the African Development Bank, Mr. Straughter assisted the institution in its successful efforts to sell its securities in the United States to public sector retirement funds.

As a Senior Advisor on Trade, Mr. Straughter represented the Eastern Caribbean Investment Promotion Services (ECIPS) in the United States. He organized in-bound and out-bound trade missions between the United States and the member countries of ECIPS. He was directly involved in the increased foreign direct investment into the ECIPS member countries from the United States. The investments benefited small and medium enterprises in the Caribbean. Mr. Straughter served as a Senior Advisor to U.S. Virgin Islands Government Employees Retirement System (GERS). Mr. Straughter assisted the GERS in the restructuring of its loan portfolio and the design of a system of accountability and reporting to management.

Mr. Straughter is also a specialist in state and local government issues and has served as the Executive Director of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL). NBCSL is an organization of 600 legislators from 44 states and the US Virgin Islands. He was executive director from 1986 to 1990. He now serves as senior advisor to the president of NBCSL on international matters. Mr. Straughter has organized delegations of state legislators to African and Caribbean countries and Foreign delegations to study trade and economic development issues in the United States for NBCSL.

Contact:
Oshunbumi Fernandez
ODUNDE Inc.
Tel: 267-808-8510
Email: oshunbumi (at) gmail (dot) com

Jennifer Chapple
Millennium 3 Management
Tel: 215-922-7184
Cell: 215-260-4767
Email: jchapple (at) m3mgmt (dot) com

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