State Economic Programs for Veterans and the community

DERRICK CHAMPION was the recent guest on the America’s Heroes Group radio talk show with Host Cliff Kelley. Champion discussed the services and programs offered by the Illinois Department of Commerce, where he is the Deputy Director of the Office of Minority Economic Empowerment. The panelists pictured from l-r are: Sean Claiborne, Cliff Kelley, and Attorney Ernesto Borges.

Returning to the America Heroes’ show a second time was the Deputy Director in the Office of Minority Economic Empowerment (OMEE) at the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, Derrick Champion. Host Cliff Kelley and Champion were joined in the studio with panelists the show’s Executive Producer Glenda Smith, Co-Producer Sean Claiborne, Roch- elle Crump, Dr. Damon Arnold, Ernest Borges on the November 3, 2018 in the WVON Studios.

Champion serves as the key contact and spokesperson with respect to OMEE and possess the authority to commit resources for OMEE Programs. Champion is responsible for planning and formulating policy and managing the OMEE, including programs for veterans, women, minority and small business issues, research and development of new program initiatives, and integrates the office into a cohesive statewide OMEE business program.

Derrick is a graduate of Edward Waters University in Jacksonville, Florida and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice and is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

Champion discussed the focus of the Office of Minority Economic Empowerment and how it promotes opportunities for all minority communities across the state through targeted programs, resources and advocates. The goal is to ensure minority enterprises have an equal opportunity to contribute to the growth of the Illinois economy and serve as an advocate for businesses, entrepreneurs and start-ups in traditionally economically-disadvantaged groups.

Minority owned firms and entrepreneurs are a growing demographic. OMEE’s objective in assisting this demographic is to spur economic development in underserved communities, facilitate job market growth in minority communities and increase minority entrepreneurship.

Several programs he informed the listeners about include the Advancing the Development of Minority Entrepreneurship (ADME), Advantage Illinois – Fame Program, ADME Workshops and the Business Enterprise Programs. More information on these programs is available on the Illinois  Department of Commerce website at

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