Over 3,000 guests joined TWEF for the 9th Annual International Financial & Leadership Summit at the JW Marriott Galleria hotel on Thursday and Friday. The event benefitted TWEF’s scholastic scholarships and programs at the Empowerment Community Center. This year’s Honorary Chairs were Houston natives Tina Knowles, a former designer and manager of Destiny’s Child and international business mogul of the House of Dereon and Executive Vice President at Booz Allen Hamilton, Reginald Van Lee.
Solange Knowles dazzled over 500 women and local youths Thursday morning with an empowering speech during the International Women and Money Leadership Luncheon. The luncheon was themed “Empowering Girls to Lead” and featured honorees who were awarded for their contributions to the community including CEO of the Edge Empowerment Foundation Dr. Sherry Blake; TV Host and Philanthropist CleRenda McGrady; Comcast’s Manager of Community Investment Yolanda Green; Division Manager of United Parcel Service Spring Williams; and the Vice President of Retail Delivery at Texas Dow Employees Credit Union (TDECU) Tangy Napier. Dr. Sherry Blake also facilitated a Hot Topics panel alongside Spring Williams, Shirley Ann Robertson from Prudential Insurance and Leslie Pitts, a marriage and family therapist.
The evening concluded with TWEF’s Global Tribute event where the legacy of Dr. Myles Munroe was honored. Master of Ceremonies and Associate Pastor of Lakewood Church, John Gray presented Iyanla Vanzant‘s tribute video which encouraged others to keep Dr. Monroe’s legacy alive. Vanzant joined the tribute after the video by streaming live for the audience. The event, produced by honorary chair and Grammy Award winning producer Aaron Lindsey, closed with a tribute video featuring Motown Gospel artists Tasha Cobb, William McDowell, Brian Courtney Wilson and pianist Adlan Cruz. The artists performed “Brand New World” written by Dr. Myles Munroe. The International Third World Leaders Association joined Myles Munroe Jr. and Charisa Munroe on stage to support the tribute to their father’s legacy.
The summit continued Friday morning with the International Million Dollar Round Table event, themed “Families, Finance & Business” featuring CEO of TopTel USA Jerome Edmondson. The complimentary event served as an interactive workshop for corporate executives, managers, CEO’s and budding entrepreneurs in search of business, finance and nonprofit tips.
Sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, TWEF hosted their Urban Garden Community Ribbon Cutting Friday afternoon to celebrate a new program named “Healthy Kids, Healthy Family Initiatives“. The program promotes positive behavioral changes including better nutrition, higher physical activities and entrepreneurial skills in community youth.
The summit concluded with Friday night during the 2015 TWEF “Night of Honors” Celebration featuring, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and Eudoxie Bridges. After Eudoxie gave a touching speech about her past and her organization, Unspoken Angels Foundation, the couple was presented with TWEF’s Power Couple Award. The event presented over $50,000 in scholarships to several deserving youth on behalf of TWEF.
The success of the 9th Annual International Financial & Leadership Summit is due to the efforts of TWEF and sponsors including Microsoft Corporation; Comerica Bank; United Parcel Service; Barnes & Turner LLP; University of Houston – Downtown; Houston Style Magazine; Ladybrille Magazine; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas; State Farm Insurance; HEB; TopTel USA and Prudential Financial.
Photocredit: Howard Calloway