Each year we recognize, celebrate and support fast-growing companies whose success illuminates the competitive business advantages of being in the inner city. For nearly 20 years we’ve invited these outstanding businesses to celebrate their achievements at the Annual Conference and Awards Ceremony in Boston.
A complete agenda is coming soon. Click here to view last year’s agenda and exciting line-up of speakers.
Gail Goodman spent 16 years as CEO of Constant Contact, the trusted provider of online marketing tools for small businesses and nonprofits. A small business expert and visionary, Gail has revolutionized the way that small organizations find and grow customer relationships. She took leadership of Constant Contact in 1999 and led the company from pre-revenue to a successful IPO (NASDAQ: CTCT) in 2007 and through its acquisition by Endurance in 2016 for $1.1b. At the time of the acquisition, more than 650,000 small businesses and nonprofits used Constant Contact’s online marketing tools to engage their customers and grow their businesses and company revenues topped $370 million.
Author of Engagement Marketing: How Small Business Succeeds in a Socially Connected World, Gail is a frequent speaker at national technology and entrepreneurial events. Her 2013 TEDx talk, “Founders Can’t Scale,” offers a glimpse into her management philosophy and personal drive, especially as it relates to scaling a startup into a large, public company.
Fostering entrepreneurship is Gail’s passion and mission and she is dedicating the next chapter of her professional career to scaling organizations and programs focused on small business success. Gail serves on the Boards of Shopify (NYSE: SHOP), MINDBODY (NASDAQ: MB), Entrepreneurship for All, Mass Challenge and Lola Travel. Gail holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from The University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College.
Detroit-area native Tom Lewand joined Shinola as CEO in 2016 where he helps guide the strategic direction and business operations of the company. Prior to Shinola, Tom was President of the NFL’s Detroit Lions, where he held various roles for over 20 years. Lewand is active in the community, acting as Past Chairman of the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau and serving on the Board of Directors of the Detroit Zoological Society, the Downtown Detroit Partnership, the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation and the Parade Company. Lewand also is on the Corporate Advisory Board for the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and the Detroit Mayor’s Workforce Development Board.
Bo Menkiti is the Founder and CEO of The Menkiti Group, a real estate company dedicated to transforming lives, careers and communities through real estate. The Menkiti Group is focused on strengthening neighborhoods through the strategic development, management, and disposition of real estate in urban markets. Mr. Menkiti also serves as the CEO and Founder of Keller Williams Capital Properties (KWCP), a regional residential real estate brokerage managed by The Menkiti Group.
Prior to forming The Menkiti Group and KWCP, Mr. Menkiti served as Chief Operating Officer of College Summit, a national non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the college enrollment rate of low-income students. In this capacity, Mr. Menkiti oversaw the organization’s successful growth into a multi-site national organization.
Under Mr. Menkiti’s leadership, The Menkiti Group and KWCP have been recognized by Inc. Magazine as being among the fastest growing private companies in the nation and by the Initiative for Competitive Inner City (ICIC) and Fortune Magazine as two of the fastest growing inner city businesses in America.
Mr. Menkiti’s work has been featured in David Bornstein’s book on social entrepreneurs “How to Change the World,” and in Stephen Goldsmith’s “The Power of Social Innovation,” and he has been recognized nationally by Ebony and Inc. Magazine as one of the coolest young entrepreneurs in America. Mr. Menkiti was also honored as a Minority Business Leader by the Washington Business Journal and named to the paper’s 2014 Power 100, a list of the most influential business leaders in the Washington metropolitan area. He was also honored by the National Association of Realtors as the District of Columbia Realtor of the Year, and in 2014 and as Keller Williams Realty International’s 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year.
Mr. Menkiti has served on the board of the DC Water, the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority. He was President of the District of Columbia Association of Realtors (DCAR). He currently serves on the board of the Myer Foundation, as a trustee of the Federal City Council, and as an Executive Board member for Washington Redskin Ryan Kerrigan’s Blitz for the Better Foundation.
In 2014 Mr. Menkiti launched the Capital Properties Menkiti Group Foundation, (CPMG Foundation) an organization that focuses its resources on serving the residents of National Capital Area in the areas of housing, education, entrepreneurship, and youth development.
Mr. Menkiti is a graduate of Harvard University and lives in Washington D.C. with his wife and three young sons.
Michael Porter is an economist, researcher, author, advisor, speaker and teacher. Throughout his career at Harvard Business School, he has brought economic theory and strategy concepts to bear on many of the most challenging problems facing corporations, economies and societies, including market competition and company strategy, economic development, the environment, and health care. His extensive research is widely recognized in governments, corporations, NGOs, and academic circles around the globe. His research has received numerous awards, and he is the most cited scholar today in economics and business. While Michael Porter is, at the core, a scholar, his work has also achieved remarkable acceptance by practitioners across multiple fields.
Dr. Porter’s initial training was in aerospace engineering at Princeton University. He then earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a Ph.D. in Business Economics from Harvard’s Department of Economics. His research approach—applying economic theory to complex systemic problems—reflects these multidisciplinary foundations. In 2000, Harvard Business School and Harvard University jointly established the Institute for Strategy & Competitiveness to provide a home for his research.