African-Americans have a rich history of entrepreneurism, that Americans seldom read about in history books. Despite, and as a result of, segregation and Jim Crow laws, Blacks had to be able to establish their own banks, hospitals, hotels, movie studios and other businesses. Sometimes these Black businesses and towns were physically destroyed by envious whites, as was the case in Rosewood, Florida, massacre in 1923. On Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, the National Sales Network (NSN), a non-profit, which meets the professional and developmental needs of current day Black sales and management professionals, will be celebrating at a State of the Organization (SOTO) Jazz Brunch at the Embassy Suites Camelback in Phoenix, Arizona.
The NSN was founded in 1992 in Newark, New Jersey. There are 20 chapters throughout the US. It has hosted an annual national conference since 1996. This year it is in Atlanta, with over 1400 expected to attend.
The Phoenix Chapter was established in 2007, just when it was most needed. Phoenix was one of the cities most negatively impacted by the recession, which began in 2007. African-Americans were among the hardest hit. By 2010, when the recession was supposed to be ending, less than 55% of working age Black males were employed in Phoenix. NSN was designed to help Black entrepreneurs get the sales, organizational, business management, communication, leadership and other skills they need to develop their careers.
“I am excited about our platform of workshops and events in 2016,” says Phoenix Chapter President Larry Harper, a financial services professional. “The Phoenix Chapter’s goal is to be recognized as the premier organization for sales professionals in Arizona. We hope everyone can join us at the State of the Organization Jazz Brunch on Saturday.”
Roslyn Williams, host of the radio show Life Matters Today, adds, “NSN is a phenomenal organization that will help one take his/her career in sales to the next level.”
When faced with continuing discrimination in education, corporate employment and membership on boards of directors, African-Americans can help themselves and their communities by creating and growing their own careers and businesses in sales. NSN can provide the training, career development strategies, resources and networking needed to succeed in these challenging economic times.
Black History Month is a time to remind Arizonans of past Black business success and to encourage new generations to pursue economic independence.