The Fellowship Blog / November 13, 2019

Future Black Leaders Gathered For Inspiration at #MLMS25

In a sea of over 1,000 black mid-level managers anxiously awaiting the start of the 25th Annual Mid-level Managers’ Symposium (MLMS), one participant described the experience like being in “Wakanda,” the fictional African country representing exceptional black achievement. To be among so many black achievers left attendees awestruck, inspired and motivated by being in the presence of other progressive and likeminded individuals.

The agenda of the two-day professional development seminar provided actionable takeaways from the opening general session, the ELC member panel, industry dinners, structured breakout sessions, all of which concluded nicely with an uplifting closing session.

MLMS featured dynamic, game changing speakers including Morgan DeBaun, cofounder and CEO of Blavity, the internet media company serving black millennials; and Emmy Award-Nominated and a two-time Peabody Award Winner Keith Clinkscales, the CEO of First World Media and former CEO of REVOLT Media. The Closing General Session featured billionaire Robert F. Smith, the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Vista Equity Partners. In 2019, Smith made headlines by announcing during his commencement address that he and his family would cover the student loans of the nearly 400 Morehouse College graduates. At MLMS, he shared his personal journey from his childhood in Denver to becoming a CEO.

Where much is given, much is required.

While participants made great connections and gained new knowledge, Robert F. Smith left participants with a call to action to hire black interns to help strengthen the pipeline of talent in corporate America. “We have to develop people, practices, and on-ramps at every level. There is a need for more talented people,” Smith said.

The ELC’s Institute for Leadership Development & Research invites you to plan now or identify deserving candidates for the 26th Annual Mid-Level Managers’ Symposium on October 14-15, 2020, at the Marriott Marquis Washington DC.

Robert F. Smith, the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Vista Equity Partners