Announcing Pitch Competition Finalists - Athene Black & Brown Business Summit April 20-21
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 4, 2023
WEST DES MONES, IA (TUESDAY APRIL 4, 2023) – The West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce (WDM Chamber) has announced seven finalists for the 2023 pitch competition presented by Bank of America at the third annual Athene Black & Brown Business Summit presented by Wells Fargo. The event is held at the corporate headquarters of Athene at 7700 Mills Civic Pkwy, West Des Moines, Iowa on April 20-21.
Seven finalists were selected out of 47 applicants from across the US including Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee, Louisiana, Georgia, Texas, Pennsylvania, and several from Iowa. Selected finalists will give a five-minute pitch in front of judges. In addition, one additional competitor from the applicant pool will be chosen at random the day of the event.
“We are thrilled to once again have the opportunity to partner with the West Des Moines Chamber for their Black & Brown Business Summit pitch competition,” said Annie Brandt, senior vice president, market executive, Bank of America Iowa. “Thriving minority-owned businesses are crucial for promoting long-term economic prosperity for all Iowans, and this pitch competition is just one of the many ways in which Bank of America is working to build that prosperity.”
Since 2021, $52,000 has been awarded to 20 minority business owners. $30,000 has been raised so far for the 2023 purse. Those interested in investing in the pitch prize purse can do so by clicking here.
This year’s finalists include Bri’s Dance Place, Coffee For a Cause, Kut Kings, Louisiana Creole Pecan Candy, Manifest Your Purpose, QuikLiq, and The Joy of Curls LLC, and a competitor to be drawn at random.
Pitch Competition judges include Sanita Dzafic – Regional Banking Manager, Wells Fargo; Malcolm Ellis – Head of Diverse Investments, Diageo Global Alcohol Brands; Douglas Holloway – Entertainment Executive, Music Producer, Vice Chair/Emerson College; Heidi Parkhurst – Senior Resident Director, Senior VP/Bank of America; Rebecca Tadikonda – Executive VP, Strategy and Innovation/Athene; Marcia Treichel - VP, Market Expansion Branch Manager/Chase; Natasha Scotland Courcy - Senior VP, General Counsel and COO/Athene Life Re.
In addition to the pitch competition, the two-day Summit features a variety of educational and professional development programming. Over 60 expert speakers and panelists will be featured including this year’s keynote speaker, wealth strategist Dr. Pamela Jolly. Additional national speakers include real estate expert Shawn Goldstein, finance and triathlete guru Maurice Wills, television executive Douglas Holloway, Fortune 500 leader Malcolm Ellis, plus Rod Johnson and Pernell Czar with BLK & Bold Specialty Beverages.
"We are looking forward to this powerful event and are proud to sponsor it for a third year,” said Grant Kvalheim, CEO and President of Athene USA. “It is imperative that we use our voice and leadership position at Athene to advance economic opportunity for minority business owners.”
Those interested in attending can choose from a variety of ticket packages:
$45 – All-Sessions, Two-Day Pass
$25 – Thursday Sessions
$15 – Thursday Afternoon Pitch Competition
$35 – Friday Sessions
$15 – Friday Afternoon Celebration
$25 – All-Sessions Pass (Virtual)
Sponsors and partners of the Summit help to make this event possible and a portion of sponsor proceeds benefit the Pitch Competition, Presented by Bank of America, of which over the past two years $52,000 has been distributed to pitch winners. For the 2023 event, sponsors, partners, and supporters include in alphabetical order: African American Museum of Iowa, Alliant Energy, Athene, Bank of America, Bankers Trust, Belin McCormick, BrownWinick Law Firm, Buena Vista University Strategic Partnerships, Central College, Chase, City of West Des Moines, Cocoa Creative Agency, Delta Dental of Iowa, Des Moines Performing Arts Presents: Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, Des Moines University, EY, EZ Newswire, F&G, Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, FORVIS, Graham Construction Company, Greater Des Moines Partnership, Hy-Vee, IMT Insurance, Iowa Economic Development Authority, Kiva Iowa, Known Labs, Kum & Go, Merchants Bonding Company, MidAmerican Energy Company, NCMIC, Principal Foundation, RDG, S&S Employment Partners, Sammons Financial Group, The Great Frame Up, Two Rivers Bank and Trust, ViClarity, Wellmark, Whitfield & Eddy Law, Women Lead Change, Wells Fargo, and West Des Moines Community Foundation.
To learn more and register visit: www.wdmchamber.org/BBBSummit
About the Athene Black & Brown Business Summit
The Athene Black & Brown Business Summit was created to elevate ethnic minorities and bring BIPOC businesses together to assist with connections building, programming, promotion, training, and resources to help their businesses grow and prosper. The third annual Athene Black & Brown Business Summit will bring from entrepreneurs to seasoned companies from around the country together in a hybrid setting at Athene in West Des Moines. The Summit includes a nonprofit fundraiser, a pitch competition, breakout sessions led by top experts, Mel Essex Award, a vendor showcase and more. The goal is to help advance the minority business community in the country and position Iowa as the best place in the nation to start and lead a minority business.
About the WDM Chamber of Commerce
The mission of the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce is to champion all things West Des Moines by strengthening our area companies, providing personalized resources, and attracting a top workforce to position WDM as the best suburban city in America to live, work, and play. A 2022 ACCE Chamber of the Year Finalist, the WDM Chamber produces programs and events for everyone. Learn more about the WDM Chamber and how to get involved at www.wdmchamber.org.
Athene, through its subsidiaries, is a leading financial services company specializing in retirement services with total assets of $246 billion as of December 31, 2022 and operations in the United States, Bermuda, Canada and Japan. Athene specializes in helping its customers achieve financial security and is a solutions provider to institutions. Founded in 2009, Athene is Driven to Do More for our policyholders, business partners, shareholders, and the communities in which we work and live. For more information, please visit www.athene.com.
About Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world’s leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 68 million consumer and small business clients with approximately 3,900 retail financial centers, approximately 16,000 ATMs and award-winning digital banking with approximately 56 million verified digital users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business households through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations across the United States, its territories and approximately 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Learn more at about.bankofamerica.com, and connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).
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