WDM Chamber Announces Keynote Speakers for Fourth Annual Athene Black & Brown Business Summit

WEST DES MOINES, IA (March 19, 2024) – The West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce (WDM Chamber) has revealed the keynote speakers for the fourth annual Athene Black & Brown Business Summit, presented by Wells Fargo. Taking place on April 18-19 at the corporate headquarters of Athene (7700 Mills Civic Pkwy) in West Des Moines, Iowa, the event will provide insightful discussions and multiple networking opportunities for all attendees.

Over 70 expert speakers and panelists from around the country will be featured at the Summit, with this year’s keynote speakers being:

  • Hill Harper - actor, and political candidate.
  • Tiffany Pham - entrepreneur, TV, and film personality.
Harper, an entrepreneur, activist, actor, and author, served on the President's Cancer Panel under Obama. A New York Times bestselling author, he's known for "Letters to a Young Brother: Manifest Your Destiny." A graduate of Brown University and Harvard Law School, Harper owns The Roasting Plant in Detroit and co-owns businesses in New Orleans. His expertise in economic empowerment and social justice makes him a sought-after consultant. Harper is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Pham, recognized as a "Triple Threat" by the Wall Street Journal, is the Founder & CEO of Mogul, a leading diversity recruitment company backed by major investors like SoftBank and Hearst Corporation. Pham has been honored by Forbes, Business Insider, and Entrepreneur Magazine, and her work has been praised by Sheryl Sandberg and Melinda Gates. Additionally, Pham serves on the AI Governance Alliance for the World Economic Forum, has held executive roles at CBS and HBO, and is a bestselling author and TV personality.

Additional speakers include author and real estate change agent Casanova Brooks, world-class composer collective innovator Israel Tutson, creative producer and storyteller Kabara Vereen, emotional intelligence guru Kameron Jackson, generational wealth planning expert Matt Gilbert, global DEI strategist Meredith Moore, content strategist Nicky Saunders, financial wellbeing coach Pamela Sanford, creative and marketing expert Ryan Ford, real estate expert Shawn Goldstein, entertainment tech company leader Susie Jaramillo, pop-culture philanthropy trailblazer Tashon Macon, award-winning creative strategist Tobi Shinobi, and entrepreneur and digital, multi-Media, new technologies and content developer Jimmy Thomas, along with many other notable experts.

“I am thrilled to see such an incredible lineup of speakers at this year's Summit,” said Katherine Harrington, President and CEO of the WDM Chamber. “Their expertise and diverse backgrounds promise to bring invaluable insights and inspiration to all attendees.”

The Athene Black & Brown Business Summit unites diverse entrepreneurs and companies, facilitating connections, programming, and resources for growth. Held annually at Athene in West Des Moines, it features a pitch competition, breakout sessions, the Mel Essex Award, and much more. The Summit aims to advance minority business communities nationwide and boost Iowa as a premier hub for minority entrepreneurship. Notably, it has earned recognition like the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s Inclusion Award for Equity Innovation and contributed to Iowa winning the US Small Business Administration’s Iowa Small Business Community of the Year award in 2022.

To learn more and register, visit www.wdmchamber.org/BBBSummit.

Sponsors and partners of the Athene Black & Brown Business Summit play a crucial role in making this event possible. A portion of sponsor proceeds benefits the Pitch Competition, Presented by Bank of America. Over the past three years, pitch competition winners have collectively received over $100,000 in prize money. For the 2024 event, sponsors, partners, and supporters (listed alphabetically) include African American Museum of IA, Alliant Energy, Athene, Bank of America, Bankers Trust, Belin McCormick, Black Capital Project/Iowa CORE, Chase, City of West Des Moines, ClaimDOC, Des Moines University, Drake Business Clinic, Dubuque Bank & Trust, Eide Bailly, Elevate by Principal, F&G, Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, Forvis, Greater Des Moines Partnership, Holmes Murphy (ethOs and Broker Tech Ventures), Hy-Vee, IMT Insurance, Iowa Economic Development Authority, Krause Group, Merchants Bonding, NCMIC, Paychex HR, Sammons Financial Group, Shazam, Inc., Small Business Administration, Symetra, Turner Construction, UnityPoint Health, Wells Fargo, Whitfield & Eddy, and Women Lead Change.
About the Athene Black & Brown Business Summit
The Athene Black & Brown Business Summit is an annual event dedicated to providing a platform for Black and Brown professionals, entrepreneurs, and leaders to share insights, inspire change, and foster connections. The Summit serves as a catalyst for growth, empowerment, and collaboration within the community.

About the WDM Chamber of Commerce
The West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce, established in 1924, is a dynamic organization dedicated to championing all things West Des Moines. With a focus on strengthening local businesses, providing personalized resources, and attracting a top-tier workforce, the Chamber aims to position WDM as the best suburban city in America. Celebrating a century of excellence, the Chamber boasts a diverse community of over 800 members, offering something for everyone. Explore the possibilities, learn more about the chamber, and discover how you can get involved in shaping the future of West Des Moines at wdmchamber.org.

Skip to content