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Alfred Edwards
  Al Edwards

BBSA Conference Begins Feb. 16

2/1/2006 --

Event will be renamed in honor of Professor Emeritus Al Edwards.

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Alfred L. Edwards, professor emeritus of business administration at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, will be recognized at the 30th annual Black Business Students Association (BBSA) Conference for his 32 years of contributions to the Business School. Ross students will rename the conference in his honor during a banquet held Feb. 17.

Edwards joined the business school faculty in 1974 and has been a driving force in recruiting top minority students ever since. He also was instrumental in leading the Ross School's effort to join the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, a 13-school alliance that works to bring African American, Hispanic American and Native American managerial talent into MBA programs.

The four-day conference, "Continuing Our Legacy: Breaking Barriers, Setting Benchmarks," begins Feb. 16 and will bring corporate sponsors and attendees together to participate in professional development workshops, panel discussions and social events.

The first keynote address will be given by Carl Brooks, president of the Executive Leadership Council, a nonprofit organization that provides a global network for African American executives, during a breakfast at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 18 at the Kensington Court Hotel in Ann Arbor.

Brooks previously served as vice president of human and technical resources at GPU Energy Inc. He received his MBA from Southern Illinois University and bachelor's degree from Hampton Institute.

Black Enterprise magazine's President and CEO Earl Graves will deliver the second keynote address at noon Feb. 18.

Graves joined Black Enterprise in 1988 after earning his MBA from Harvard University. He received his bachelor's degree in economics from Yale University in 1984 and played professional basketball with the Milwaukee Bucks and Cleveland Cavaliers.

The conference's six panel topics include "Personal Brand: Using your Power, Influence & Social Capital," "The Evolution of Marketing: Using Non-Traditional Approaches," "Investing Beyond your Borders," "Wealth Building through Social Entrepreneurship," "Beam Me up Techie: Is Technology Bringing Our Worlds Closer or Creating a Stronger Divide?" and Business Turnaround: The Strategic Action Plan."

Sponsors include the Zell Lurie Institute, William Davidson Institute, Accenture, Boston Consulting Group, Black Enterprise, Cargill, Cigna, Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Procter & Gamble, Quaker, Target and General Motors.

The BBSA was founded in 1970 and is one of the largest student-run organizations at the Ross School. The association is dedicated to the recruitment of black business students and the professional and academic development of its members.

For more information and conference registration, please visit

For more information, contact:
Heather Thorne
Phone: (734) 936-8421