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Center for Black Business History, Entrepreneurship and Technology


Jonathan Bean, Professor, Department of History, Southern Illinois University, received his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in 1994.. Dr. Bean’s research focuses on the evolving relationships between business, society, and government. Professor Bean has published in many professional journals and is the author of Big Government and Affirmative Action: The Scandalous History of the Small Business Administration (2001) and Beyond the Broker State: Federal Policies Toward Small Business, 1936-1961 (1996), winner of the Henry Adams Prize for Best Book on the history of the federal government. He is currently working on a book, Capitalist Consumerism: The Better Business Bureaus and the Search for Truth in the Marketplace. ,Dr. Bean is Director of Undergraduate Studies for the History Department.
Thomas D. Boston, Professor of Economics School of Economics Ivan Allen College Georgia Institute of Technology, received the Ph.D. Degree in Economics from Cornell University. He has served as past President of the National Economic Association and Senior Economist to the Joint Economic Committee of Congress. He is currently a member of the Black Enterprise Board of Economists and Editor of The Review of Black Political Economy. Previously, Dr. Boston has been a member of the Mayor's Council and the Governor's Joint Commission on Revenue Structures. Dr. Boston’s research focuses primarily on the economic status of African Americans and minority business and community development. Professor Boston has authored or edited six books and numerous scholarly articles. His three most recent books are entitled Leading Issues in Black Political Economy (2002), Affirmative Action and Black Entrepreneurship (1999), and The Inner City: Urban Poverty and Economic Development in the Next Century (1997). He is as a national consultant on minority business and community development issues.
John Sibley Butler, Professor of Sociology and Management and Director of the Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship and the IC_ Institute, University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Butler holds the Gale Chair in Entrepreneurship and Small Business in the Graduate School of Business and the Darrell K. Royal Regents Professorship in Ethics and American Society (Sociology) and is the Distinguished Visiting Professor position at Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo, Japan. His research is in the areas of Organizational Behavior and Entrepreneurship/New Ventures. Dr. Butler also served on the Economic Advisory Team of George Bush’s 2000 Presidential Campaign. His books include Entrepreneurship and Self-Help Among Black America: A Reconsideration of Race and Economics and (with Charles C. Moskos). All That We Can Be: Black Leadership and Racial Integration the Army Professor Butler has published in many professional journals, His current book projects include “Immigrant and Minority Entrepreneurship: The Continuous Rebirth of American Communities” and, “Forgotten Citations: Studies in Community, Entrepreneurship, and Self-Help Among Black-Americans” Professor Butler received his undergraduate education from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and his Ph.D. from Northwestern University.
Tiffany Gill, Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Texas at Austin received her PhD in American History at Rutgers University in 2003. Her dissertation, “Civic Beauty: Beauty Culturists and the Politics of African American Female Entrepreneurship, 1900-1965,” is an examination of the social, political, and economic activism of beauticians in African American communities. A 2001 recipient of the Newcomen Society Dissertation Fellowship for excellence in American Business History, Dr. Gill has also been a fellow at the University of Vermont, the John Hope Franklin Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis. She is the author of “`I Had My Own Business… So I Didn’t Have to Worry:’ Beauty Salons, Beauty Culturists, and the Politics of African American Female Entrepreneurship.” in Phillip Scranton, ed. Beauty and Business: Commerce, Gender, and Culture in Modern America. New York: Routledge Press, 2001.
Samuel L. Myers, Jr., Economist, is the Roy Wilkins Professor of Human Relations and Social Justice and directs the Roy Wilkins Center for Human Relations and Social Justice at the University of Minnesota. He specializes in the impacts of social policies on the poor. He pioneered the use of applied econometric techniques to examine racial disparities in crime, to detect illegal discrimination in credit markets to assess the impacts of welfare on family stability, and to evaluate the effectiveness of government transfers in reducing poverty. Myers has authored and co-authored more than 100 technical reports, journal articles, book chapters, essays and opinion pieces. His books include: The Economics of Race and Crime, Transaction Books, 1988; The Black Underclass: Critical Essays on Race and Unwantedness, Garland Press, 1994; Civil Rights and Race Relations in the Post Reagan-Bush Era, 1997, Greenwood Publishers and The Problem of Racial Economic Inequality: Trends and Prospects, Faculty of Color in Academe: Bittersweet Success, and Persistent Disparity: Race & Economic Inequality in the U.S.
Gregory N. Price, Professor of Economics at North Carolina A&T State University. His research interests are in labor economics, Economic growth and development, income distribution, and applied econometrics. His current and ongoing research examines the roles of social capital, race, and religiousity on resource accumulation, and opportunity. During 2000-2002, he was a Program Director for Economics at the National Science Foundation. His publications have appeared in journals such as Review of Black Political Economy, Southern Economic Journal, and the Review of Economic Development.
Lewis Randolph, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and the Public Administration Program, Ph.D. in Political Science (1990) from the Ohio State University. Dr. Randolph's areas of research specialization are: urban politics, black conservative theory, race, class and gender, presidential politics, urban development, black politics, social movements, civil rights and domestic political economy. He lph has published in various scholarly journals including the Western Journal of Black Studies, Proteus-Journal of Ideas, and the Urban Affairs Review. His publications include a two-book series with Dr. Gayle Tate of Rutgers University- New Brunswick as co-editor of Made In America: Dimensions of Black Conservatives in the U.S. (St. Martin's Press, June 2002) and co-author of Rights for A Season: Race, Class, and Gender in Richmond, Virginia (UT Press, May 2003). With Dr. Robert Weems, Dr.Randolph co-authored, "The Ideological Origins of Richard M. Nixon's 'Black Capitalism' Initiative," Review of Black Political Economy, and "The National Response to Richard M. Nixon's Black Capitalism Initiative: The Success of Domestic Detente" Journal of Black Studies. Also, Professor Randolph with Dr. Weens are co-authors of the forthcoming Whatever Happened To Black Capitalism? The Rise and Fall Of Richard M. Nixon's Plan For Black America.

Jon Wainwright, National Economic Research Associates, Inc. Dr. Wainwright holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin. His primary areas of interest are labor economics and industrial organization. He is a specialist in analyzing the effects of discrimination on minorities, women, and persons over 40 and has testified in federal court on these issues. He has conducted economic and statistical studies of discrimination for law firms, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations and advises clients on developing or adapting their affirmative-action policies and procedures in response to recent key U.S. Supreme Court decisions. Dr. Wainwright joined NERA in 1995 and directs studies of statistical liability and economic damages in employment discrimination proceedings, directs research activities relating to affirmative action litigation and regulatory compliance, and conducts research relating to antitrust litigation, patent disputes, and other matters. He has extensive experience collecting, manipulating and analyzing large and complex statistical databases. A former research associate professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Wainwright and headed his own economic consulting firm. He is a member of the American Economic Association and an associate of the American Bar Association.

Robert E. Weems, Jr. is Professor of History and Interim Associate Vice-Chancellor for Equity at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has spoken widely on topics related to African American business history and African American consumerism. His numerous publications include two books, Black Business in the Black Metropolis: The Chicago Metropolitan Assurance Company, 1925-1985 published by Indiana University Press in 1996; and Desegregating the Dollar: African American Consumerism in the Twentieth Century published by New York University Press in 1998. Moreover, he is the co-editor, with Arvarh E. Strickland, of The African American Experience: A Historiographical and Bibliographical Guide, published in 2001 by Greenwood Publishers. His current and future research projects include two co-authored books with political scientist Lewis A. Randolph. The first, The Historical and Political Origins of Richard M. Nixon's "Black Capitalism"Initiative, to be published by New York University Press, will examine U.S. government support of black business during the years 1927-1974. The second book, Whatever Happened To Black Capitalism?: The Decline of Richard M. Nixon's Plan for Black America, will survey government initiatives to assist black business from the Ford Administration to the present.
Sherra Aguirre, CEO, President, Co-Founder and Sole Owner of Aztec Facility Services, Inc., a Houston-based company that provides facility management and support services to corporate, industrial and government clients in Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Washington state. Beyond its core janitorial and housekeeping services, Aztec specializes in preventive, facilities and parking lot maintenance, pest control, construction clean-up and property warehousing, as well as environmental management, hazardous-waste disposal and logistics support. Clients include Madigan Army Medical Center, McChord Air Force Base in Seattle, Phillips Petroleum and UT Southwestern Medical Center. Sherra Aguirre. who holds a B.A. in psychology from the University of Houston and a Masters in Education from Texas Southern University, however, had no formal business training when she started the company in 1981. Within nineteen years, Aztec grew from a start-up to nearly 1000 employees in four states. By 2001, Aztec’s current rate of growth was 35% per year. The company employs more than 1,000 workers and reported $21 million in sales in 2001, 24% better than the previous year_s $17 million, with projected sales for 2002 expected to be about $25 million. In 1995, Aztec became the first facility maintenance company in the US to be registered to ISO 9002, the internationally recognized quality management system for a service environment. In 2001 Aguirre was the winner of Houston NAWBO's prestigious Woman Business Owner of the Year
Gary L. Bledsoe, President of the Texas NAACP. graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with honors in 1973 and in 1976 from the University of Texas Law School. Attorney Bledsoe has spent his professional career in law working as an Assistant City Attorney from 1976-79, Assistant Attorney General from 1979 to 1994. Then, after, he worked in private practice and also as an instructor at St. Mary's University Law School. In 1993 he was a Fellow at the University of Texas Law School Center of Public Policy Dispute Resolution. Attorney Bledsoe opened the First Texas NAACP State Office in 1991. During his tenure Texas local branches have grown, developed and collectively become the most respected civil rights organizations in Texas. He headed efforts to dismantle the Department of Public Safety's discriminatory promotion system, which led to the first African American and first woman Texas Rangers. Also he created the First Texas Corporate Diversity Partnership, an agreement with companies to increase their business with minorities, promote and hire minorities and provide scholarships and training for minorities. A former member of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission Texas Advisory Board, Attorney Bledsoe has received numerous awards, including the Attorney General of Texas Award for Lawyer of the Year for Prosecutor Assistance, the Austin Young Lawyer’s Association Lawyer of the Year and the Arthur B. Dewitty Award for Contributions to Civil Rights in the Austin Area.
Samuel A. Carradine, is Contractor Development Consultant for The Surety Association of America (SAA), focusing on business development and capacity building, both domestically and internationally and is responsible for outreach, advocacy, program development and technical assistance in promoting and implementing SAA’s Model Contractor Development Program. Also, he developed the SAA/INROADS Summer Intern Program and the Surety Industry Scholarship Program that identifies and supports outstanding minority students for careers in surety underwriting and related fields Formerly, Executive Director of the National Association of Minority Contractors (NAMC), Carradine began his consulting career at Abt Associates in Cambridge, MA, where he was responsible for research projects in telecommunications and technology transfer. Subsequently, he consulted on financial management for Arthur D. Little and was a World Bank consultant in Tanzania, a Director of Research for the Booker T. Washington Foundation in DC, was on the White House Reorganization Project for President Jimmy Carter and an Economic Development Assistant to Senator Paul Tsongas of Massachusetts. A former Peace Corps Volunteer in Nigeria, with over 30 years of experience in economic development, business revitalization and financial and strategic planning, Mr. Carradine holds a B.A. in Government from Cornell University and an M.A. from Harvard University in Government and Development Administration.
Richard A. Huebner, Executive Director, Houston Minority Business Council (HMBC), which promotes the development of minority-owned businesses. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, with a degree in business administration, Huebner assumed his position in 1985. His responsibilities bring him into regular contact with representatives from over 220 Houston area corporations and more than 950 minority-owned businesses. Under his direction, HMBC quadrupled its membership and established programs that have brought national acclaim to the Council and its members. Huebner also serves on the Community Advisory Board of Southwest Bank of Texas, the Region VI Houston Advisory Council of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Corporate Advisory Board of the Native American Chamber of Commerce, the Board of the Third Coast Community Development Corporation, the Multi-County Small Business Finance Corporation and is chair of the Regional Council Advisory Group of the Business Consortium Fund of the National Minority Supplier Development Council and was recently appointed to the Small Business Development Program Advisory Council of the Port of Houston Authority. Mr. Huebner has been recognized twice with the Regional Director’s Award of the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency and as Advocate of the Year by the Houston District of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
John F. Iglehart, Dallas Regional Director of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), since 1994, where he is responsible for the administration of all MBDA programs in Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming. The MBDA programs that he oversees are accomplished through competitive awards that provide management and technical assistance to minority businesses to assist with start-up, survival and expansion. Prior to his present position Mr. Iglehart served as Chief of the Advocacy and Outreach Division for MBDA Headquarters, Regional Director for the New York Region and Acting Director for the Washington and San Francisco Regional Offices. From 1979 to 1991 he was Deputy Regional Director of the Washington Regional Office and served in various other capacities within the agency from 1972 to 1979. From 1969 to 1972 he was a Manpower Development Specialist with the U.S. Department of Labor. Mr. Iglehart has received numerous awards for his dedication, professionalism and untiring efforts in the course of helping to foster minority business development. A native of Waco, Texas, he obtained his BA Degree from Arkansas AM&N and his MA Degree from Prairie View A&M and resides in Dallas, Texas with his wife and their three children.
Milton A. Thibodeaux, is the Project Director of the Houston Minority Business Development Center where he leads a team of organizations who provide management and technical assistance to minority-owned businesses. He has been involved in this program since 1985. Milton was formerly an oil & gas accountant with Monsanto Chemical Company and Texaco U.S.A. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas Southern University and an MBA from the University of Houston.
Milton Wilson, Jr., is District Director for Houston District of the United States Small Business Administration (SBA), a 32-county district, with responsibilities for: oversight of a total business loan portfolio in excess of one billion dollars; a minority small business portfolio comprised of 130 firms in the 8(a) program; administration of the University of Houston Small Business Development Center and 13 subcenters; and, coordination of three chapters of the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), a volunteer organization that provides business counseling. Since he became Director in 1991 the Houston District has consistently ranked in the top ten in all categories of the 7(a) Lending Program. Mr. Wilson has been in executive level positions with private industry and government for the past 30 years, including the last 26 with SBA, where he held senior positions in Washington DC as Director, Office of Government and Industry Relations and Director, Office of Capital Ownership Development. Also, he was Deputy District Director in Houston for a year prior to his appointment as District Director. Currently, he is Chair of the Houston Federal Executive Board. Mr. Wilson holds a Master's Degree of Business Administration from Atlanta University and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Texas Southern University.
Dinner Speakers
Anthony W. Robinson, Attorney is President of the Minority Business Enterprise Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc. (MBELDEF), which was founded and established in 1980 by former Maryland Congressman Parren J. Mitchell to act as a national advocate and legal representative for the minority business community. Mr. Robinson is a member of the Maryland Bar, the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Judicial Court, and the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. Mr. Robinson's area of specialization is in civil rights, particularly employment discrimination, and in minority business legal and advocacy issues. From 1976 through 1986, he served as Special Counsel to United States Congressman Parren J. Mitchell. He also served as a legal counsel for the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from 1972 to 1975. In 1984 Mr. Robinson was appointed the first full-time President and Chief Executive Officer of MBELDEF. His tenure has included Advisor to the Constitution and Civil Rights Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives on the effects of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in City of Richmond v. J.A. Croson Company. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science from Morgan State University and a Juris Doctorate Degree from American University School of Law.

CBBH Staff

Hopeton Hay, CBBH Chair Advisory Committee, is Austin Project Manager for the Bonding and Technical Assistance Program of The University of Texas System Office of Facilities Planning and Construction (OFPC), managed by Grijalva & Allen, PC. He is responsible for managing technical assistance, training, and outreach for minority and women-owned businesses in construction who seek work on OFPC projects in Austin and Galveston. Mr. Hay has 15 years experience working with minority and women business development programs as Executive Director of the Capital City African American Chamber of Commerce, Project Director of the Dallas/Fort Worth Minority Business Development Center and as Chair of the Economic Development Committee of the Texas NAACP. Also, he hosts “Economic Perspectives,” a weekly radio talk show, KAZI 88.7 FM, which covers small business, finance, and economic development issues. His awards include Minority Small Business Advocate of the Year, Region VI, U.S. SBA and Minority Business Advocate of the Year from the Austin Minority Business Development Center. An expert on Texas minority business demographics, he recently published The Economic Condition of African Americans in the State of Texas for the Texas NAACP and has a forthcoming report, The State of Black Businesses in Texas, which will be published by the University of
Texas Austin CBBH (Center for Black Business History, Entrepreneurship and Technology).
Lilia Raquel Rosas, Conference Coordinator Assistant, is a doctoral candidate in history at The University of Texas at Austin. Her dissertation, "(De)sexing Prostitution: The Race, Politics, and Reform of Sex Work in Progressive San Antonio, 1890-1918" examines not only the participation of African American and ethnic Mexican women in sex work but also the social movements against prostitution in San Antonio in the Progressive Era. Her research interests overall include the intersections of African American, Mexican American, and gender and women's history from a cultural and social perspective. In 2003, Ms. Rosas received a nomination as an Outstanding Research Assistant by The University of Texas Graduate Student Assembly and is an associate editor to Eyes: The University of Texas Undergraduate Journal in Black History.
Juliet E. K. Walker, Professor, Department of History, is Founding Director of the Center for Black Business History, Entrepreneurship and Technology (CBBH). A University of Chicago PhD, with postdoctoral work at Harvard University, she is author of The History of Black Business in America: Capitalism, Race, Entrepreneurship, which includes a chapter, “The Federal Government and Black Business: The 1960s to the 1990s.” Her book Free Frank A Black Pioneer on the Antebellum Frontier details entrepreneurial activities of slave-born Frank (1777-1854). With profits from his enterprises, first as a slave (processing crude niter to manufacture saltpeter) and, then, a free black, he purchased 16 family members from slavery, Active in the Underground Railroad, Free Frank, the first Black town founder (New Philadelphia, Illinois, 1836), is Walker’s great great grandfather. Dr. Walker, editor of the Encyclopedia of African American Business History, is author of some eighty articles, most recently “White Corporate America: The New Arbiter of Race?” A Senior Fulbright Fellow (South Africa), Princeton University Davis International Fellow, with fellowships from the Harvard DuBois Institute, Rockefeller and NEH, she has won 13 publication awards. Her work is recognized as a foundation for Black Business history as a sub-field in African American history. She is completing a book Oprah Winfrey: An American Entrepreneur under contract with the Harvard University Business School Press.