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Isiah L. Thomas III to keynote the 51st annual Chicago Business Opportunity Fair

Former NBA All-Star & CEO to address economic empowerment for minority-owned businesses

The Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council (ChicagoMSDC) and Allstate have teamed up to bring the Chicago Business Opportunity Fair to Chicago for the 51st year. The two-day event brings together the Chicago region’s supplier diversity community, consisting of corporate government buyers and certified minority business suppliers, for the purpose of facilitating networking and business opportunities. Isiah L. Thomas III, Chairman & CEO of Isiah International LLC, an investment holdings company, will serve as this year’s keynote speaker. The Chicago Business Opportunity Fair will take place on Tuesday, April 24 and Wednesday, April 25 from 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Chicago located at 151 E. Upper Wacker Dr.

A native Chicagoan, Isiah L. Thomas III has a career that spans more than three decades in business and sports. He is a former NBA point guard and 12-time, NBA All-Star. In 1996, he was named as one of the NBA’s “50 Greatest Players” in celebration of their Golden Anniversary season. As Chairman & CEO of Isiah International LLC, Thomas is also the owner of five companies: Isiah Real Estate, a development firm specializing in commercial properties; TAND Properties, a property management, private equity, and asset management firm; Isiah Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations; and GRE3N Waste Removal. Thomas also co-owns the waste removal’s sister company, RE3 Recycling, with his daughter, Lauren.

The Chicago Business Opportunity Fair is the longest running, multi-day conference and trade fair focused on the economic empowerment of minority business enterprises. The ChicagoMSDC signature event, originally called The Chicago Business Opportunity Day at its inception in 1968, continues to contribute to the success of interactions between corporations and minority-owned businesses as well as highlights the strategic benefits of supplier diversity. More than 1,000 certified minority-owned businesses, buying organizations, and advocates within the supplier diversity community attend the Chicago Business Opportunity Fair annually.

In addition to public workshops, a lunch and learn session, and a trade fair, guests will hear from the Honorary Chairs of the 51st Annual event: Bridget Sakach, Network Security & Privacy Specialist, AIG Property & Casualty; Doug Sparkman, Chief Operating Officer, Fuels, North America, BP America, Inc.; Dr. C. Adam Callery, President, Sagesse Lumiere; Debra Johnson, Senior Director, Supplier Diversity, BP America, Inc.; Ruby McCleary, Director, Supplier Diversity, United Airlines; Linda Hou, President, American Chrome Company; and Rico Martinez, President/CEO, Water Integrated Treatment Systems; Thomas McCleary, President, Endow, Inc.; Tamara Max- well, Director of MOWB, EXIM Bank; and Sheila Morgan, President & CEO, ChicagoMSDC.

The Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc. (Chicago- MSDC) is a premier organization for increasing business opportunities between major buying organizations and minority-owned businesses. The ChicagoMSDC exists to create partnerships between minority businesses, corporate America and government as well as to promote basic fairness in the marketplace for all.

The ChicagoMSDC partnership includes over 250 private and public-sector buying organizations and more than 1,100 minority businesses. Today, the ChicagoMSDC is one of 24 affiliate councils of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC).

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