(315) 469-1106 INFO@COHI-INC.ORG
Click to Register Now


Life is not a dress rehearsal…this world needs what you have to offer! There’s a lot to accomplish in the minority community, and you won’t learn the in’s and out’s of business strategy accidentally. So come discover how to maneuver through this changing economic and political generation. It’s the biggest summit of the year…and we want YOU to join us! We’re talking about an iron-sharpening weekend to recharge your long-term motivators and inspire business innovation in a really big way.

Why #MWBEES2018?

Timely & Relevant

Current events are shaping the landscape of our cultural economy. Find out how things are changing for the better.

Innovative Ideas

You may be brewing the next big trend in your industry. Come share your ideas with like-minded leaders across multiple fields.

Technology Insights

Stay ahead of the curve. Come to #MBEES2016 to see how technology integrates within the scope of your expertise.

Powerful Speakers

What’s trending upon minority leaders? Be a part of the discussion, and let your voice be heard during this awesome leadership summit.
Click to Register Now


The Honorable Ben Walsh

Mayor of Syracuse, NY

On January 1, 2018, I became the 54th Mayor in the history of the City of Syracuse. I was elected on November 7, 2017 with 54 percent of the vote as an independent in a four-person race. 
With experience working in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, I have had the privilege of playing a lead role in some of the most transformational projects in Syracuse’s recent history. From the creation of the Greater Syracuse Land Bank to the successful redevelopment of the Hotel Syracuse, I have worked hard to earn a reputation as a pragmatic and collaborative leader who brings the right people together to get the job done. 

My approach to leadership and public service was shaped at an early age growing up on Syracuse’s west side in a family of proud public servants. My own call to public service first came into focus during my time at the renowned Maxwell School at Syracuse University, where I earned a master’s degree in public administration (MPA). From Maxwell, I went to work for the Metropolitan Development Association (MDA) where my efforts to develop and implement innovative job creation and urban revitalization strategies served as a foundation for much of the success I achieved during my six years as the City of Syracuse’s deputy commissioner of neighborhood and business development. 

I currently reside on the city’s west side with my wife, Lindsay, and our two daughters. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my girls, watching Syracuse University sports, and exploring urban and rural landscapes alike.

Dr. John Hope Bryant

CEO Operation Hope

American Banker magazine 2016 “Innovator of the Year”, Inc.’s “The World’s 10 Top CEOs” (honorable mention), and one of Time magazine’s “50 Leaders for the Future” named in 1994, John Hope Bryant is an American entrepreneur, author, philanthropist, and prominent thought leader on financial inclusion, economic empowerment and financial dignity.

Bryant is the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Operation HOPE, Inc. the largest not- for profit and best-in-class provider of financial literacy, financial inclusion and economic empowerment tools and services in the United States for youth and adults; chairman and chief executive officer of Bryant Group Ventures and The Promise Homes Company, the largest for-profit minority-controlled owners of institutional-quality, single-family residential rental homes in the U.S., and co-founder of Global Dignity.

Sonia Booker

Real Estate & Wealth Expert

Sonia is among the nation’s top ‘Go To’ thought-leaders on wealth creation and real estate investing.  She is also one of most sought-after speakers and real estate coaches. 

Sonia is the author of  “Real Estate and Wealth: Investing in the American Dream.”  This bestseller is a simple, step-by step guide to purchasing real estate as a form of wealth building. Her second book “Self Wealth For Women: An Inspirational Book & Journal”  shares her own personal story of wealth building along with those of other women. The book encourages women to be more on the forefront when it comes to their finances. 

Sonia is prominent in the media, she’s been featured in several publications, including O, The Magazine, Entrepreneur, Onyx Woman and Black Enterprise to name a few. She host a weekly wealth building show on Biz 1190 AM and can be seen regularly on TV One’s Sister Circle Live and NBC affiliate stations sharing her financial knowledge. Booker is a real estate coach with Think Reality, with a new television show which releases in the spring of 2018.  

Zibu Masotobe

International Speaker, MDA (Unisa SBL), MBA (Stellenbosch)

Zibu is a teacher, a coach, and a speaker, but most of all she is a woman in society exercising the courage to co-create a future worth living. She has an MBA from the University of Stellenbosch Business School, MDP from UNISA School of Business Leadership, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Science and Information Technology from the University of Zululand.

Zibu has been selected as one of the top “40 Top Women Under 40” in South Africa, has been featured in Elle Magazine online (July 2015) and as an influential woman in society in recognition of her work with SA youth through her young people’s Ibutho program.

Zibu has earned the prestige of being selected as a Mandela Washington Fellow and had the honour of meeting President Barack Obama who is the patron of the Fellowship. Zibu MaSotobe is an astute businesswoman, motivational speaker and coach.

Jorge Villar

Marketing Advisor

President/Founder of RME360, Tampa, FL.  Jorge is one of the original founders of RME360 and is the creator of the Seminar Success marketing program. Under Jorge’s leadership, RME360 developed the original sales process, the invitations of the concepts for the “social” neighborhood dinner events. Jorge is a recognized speaker at the numerous national marketing events across the country.

Angel Rich

Inventor/CEO, The Wealth Factory

Creating an algorithm for the stock market to win Goldman Sachs Portfolio Challenge, selling her first marketing plan to Prudential, becoming a founding employee of FINRA, authoring the first ever African American Financial Experience study, inventing the top financial literacy product in the world, and being named the “Next Steve Jobs” by Forbes – all by age 30, Angel Rich has earned the title Wealth Pioneer. 

In 2009, Rich became a Global Market Research Analyst for Prudential Financial. After leaving, Rich founded The Wealth Factory with a mission to provide equal access to financial literacy across the world. Today her company designs WealthyLife financial literacy education technology games, gaining world-class recognition for their first product, CreditStacker. 

In early 2017, Rich also released her first book – The History of the Black Dollar – with the foreword written by Dr. Maya Rockeymoore. The book takes readers on an economic journey through history to depict the major milestones, historic figures and upcoming leaders. In 2018, the United Nations named her one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in the African Diaspora and one of four Icons.

Alexis Spight

Recording Artist

Alexis Spight is formally known as the fiery young red-haired, three-time Stellar Award Winning, NAACP Image Awards, and Grammy Award considered Gospel recording artist from Houston TX. In such a short period of time Alexis has become one of hottest trailblazers in the industry. Her unique talents have afforded her major TV performances, appearances in large arenas, churches, and outdoors venues throughout the United States. Alexis has also has had performances and tours abroad in areas such as The United Kingdom, Canada, The Bahamian Islands, U.S. Hawaii just to name a few. After coming just short of the crown for BET’s television singing competition series, “Sunday Best”, Alexis was signed to Music World Gospel. Furthermore, she released her freshman album “L.O.L. (Living Out Loud), debuting at #3 on Gospel Billboard Charts. Just months after “L.O.L.” released the blazing album reached #1 in the country. Alexis’ first single’s from L.O.L., “Imagine Me”, (Kirk Franklin remake) and self-written hit single “Steady”, remained on Gospel’s top 100/ Gospel Billboard Charts consecutively for over 20 weeks, landing her first two Stellar nominations for “Contemporary Female Vocalist of the year” and “New Artist of the Year”.


Registration: $75 / $25.00 Students w/ID

Registration Includes:
– Continental Breakfast and Lunch on Saturday
– 2 Banquets
– 8 Plenary Sessions
– Free MWBE & MBE Certification Consultations
– Networking Opportunities

Saturday – 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Marriott Syracuse Downtown
100 East Onondaga Street
Syracuse, NY
Phone: 315-474-2424

What Business Conundrums Are You Facing?

  • Raising Capital for Your Small Business
  • How Can We Recreate A New Urban Ecosystem For Minority Business Opportunities
  • Marketing & Sales: How To Acquire New Clients Using Targeted Lead Generation Engines That Will Continually Bring “Motivated Prospects To You”
  • Accelerators: Find Out What It Really Takes To Start, Run, And Grow Your Own Business
  • Building Your Personal Brand: Tactics for Successful Career Branding


How Can I Take My Business To The Next Level?

  • Understanding The Upstate Strategy For The URI In Order To Grow Your Business
  • The Alphabet Soup For Minority Business Certification
  • Accessing Capital from Government Funding
  • A Global Vision For Your Businesses In A Digital Age


Marriott Syracuse Downtown
100 East Onondaga Street
Syracuse, NY

Phone: (315) 474-2424

Ask for the MWBEES group discounted rate.


Syracuse Hancock International Airport is Central New York’s gateway to the world. With dozens of direct flights across the East Coast and Midwest, Syracuse is a great place to begin your journey.

There will be representatives on-site to provide consultations regarding various state and federal certifications (MBE, MWBE, etc).

Ben Walsh, Mayor of Syracuse, NY
John Hope Bryant, CEO, Operation Hope
Angel Rich, Inventor/CEO, The Wealth Factory, Inc
Gwen Webber-McLeod, CEO, GWEN, Inc
Me’Shae Brooks-Rolling, Franchise Owner/Operator, Eventprep, Inc
Joanne Lenweaver, Executive Director, 
Syracuse University’s WISE Women’s Business Center  
Carolyn Dean-Evans, Business Loan Officer & Advisor, Cooperative Federal
Fanny Villarreal, Executive Director, YWCA
Mark A. Jackson, Executive Director, Syracuse University Community Engagement Office
Dr. Deena Brown, LA Radio Personality & Founder, Leadhershift Academy
Jorge Villar, CEO, RME360 & Marketing Guru
Sonia Booker, Real Estate, Wealth Expert & CEO, Sonia Booker Enterprises
Sherri Falck, Vice President, Excelsior Growth Fund
Calvin L. Corriders, Regional President of the Syracuse Market, Pathfinder Bank
Rickey Brown, Executive Director, Upstate Minority Economic Alliance
Lourdes Zapata, Executive Director, Empire State Development
Cal Corriders & Jodi DeAugustine, Pathfinder Bank
Lenora Lott-Paige, Owner, Flower City Monitor Services 
Bishop Ronald B Dewberry, CEO, Center of Hope International, Inc
Tamika Goode Otis, Program Manager. Jumpstart, Inc, Keybank Boost & Build Program
Alexis Spight, National Recording Artist
John Carter, Senior Pastor, Abundant Life Christian Center


So c’mon and join us in Syracuse, NY, for the Minority Business Economic & Empowerment Summit! You’ll experience soul-stirring education, networking with other national leaders, and have a whole lot of fun with other entrepreneurs just like you!
Click to Register Now