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Published:  Wednesday, March 30, 2022

The March Revive Black Business Summit was one of the best yet.  The speakers were all outstanding with inspiring and instructional presentations.

Over 100 Black business owners, entrepreneurs and support organizations have participated with the Revive Black Business Summits in 2022.

The theme to start the year has been all about creating a strong foundation for your business and getting connected with resources – including funding.

The first summit of the year in January provided a comprehensive perspective and included some of Omaha’s most successful Black business owners, entrepreneurs and dozens of support organizations.

The second summit zeroed in on credit, banking, investing and wealth building.

The third summit held on Saturday, March 26th focused on creating and building business plans, financial projections, using data and market research to grow your business, insurance options for business owners, and identifying and selecting the right attorney.

Deborah Dogba, founder and CEO of Business Seals, is a local expert on business plans, operations and launching businesses.   She provided an excellent overview of strong business plans and financials.

“Business plans aren’t just for new businesses or preparing to go to see a banker,” said Dogba.  “You should revisit and update your plan frequently.”

She added, “Your financial projections tell the bank whether or not you are worth the risk of investment.  They want to know will they get their money back?”

“As a business owner, you must have your balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statements on hand and ready.”

Raheem Sanders, “The Innovation Man” founder and owner of PPRP Innovations, delivered a powerful piece as he shared valuable insights that he tagged as Move, Do, Act and Costs.

“It’s not just about the numbers, what is the data telling us and are we looking at the right data,” said Sanders.  “These levers will help you grow your business.  Are we moving people to act, and do we know the costs?”

“Conversion rates help you understand how to get potential customers to move, do and act; and the lower the conversion rate, the more profitable your business becomes.”

Shawntal Mallory, consultant and executive Director of the Nebraska Legal Diversity Council, captured the groups attention with key elements to consider when selecting an attorney for your business.

“Be prepared, do your research, take advantage of the free consult, and make sure the relationship is a good fit,” said Mallory.

She added a bonus, “Don’t forget you can always fire your attorney if it’s not working for you.”

Cort Bonner, business owner and longtime State Farm Agent, closed out the presentations with some key insights regarding insurance.

Bonner said that when he speaks with clients, he breaks down his recommendation into three areas:  Property.  Protection.  People.

It was clear that his passion is making sure that business owners and all individuals have life insurance policies.

“It’s unfortunate that in too many cases, after a love one dies in our community, I’m not writing a check to their families from their insurance coverage, but a check to make a contribution or buying a dinner at church to help them bury their loved one,” said Bonner.

“We need to make sure our families have life insurance, and you as a business owner must have insurance to make sure your family receives the benefit.”

Dr. George Fraser provided the icing on the cake by reinforcing key elements for entrepreneurial success.  He closed out the event with a consistent message.

“If you don’t have a system, you don’t have a business,” said Fraser.  “And, you don’t build a business, people build the business. Your job as the leader is to build the people.”

His message connected directly to the purpose of the event.

Willie Barney, co-founder of the Revive Black Business Network along with his wife, Yolanda, added:  “The Revive Black Business Summits and Network are focused on building strong leaders, that build strong people, that build strong businesses and communities.”

Learn more about the Revive Black Business Network, here.

Community Features

Free Lead Testing in East Omaha


Lead is a naturally occurring metal that is often found in soil, paint produced before 1978, older pipes, toys and even food. When it enters the body, its effects can be toxic, causing neurological and developmental damage and effecting organs, such as the lungs and kidneys.

When it comes to lead, there is no safe level.  Children are particularly susceptible to lead poisoning, as their bodies absorb higher concentrations of lead than adults.  This can cause permanent damage to their cognitive and physical development.

  • Due to historic lead air pollution deposits, the eastern part of Omaha is designated as an EPA Superfund site. Therefore, properties located in this site are eligible for free soil sampling and testing.
  • If the concentration of lead in the soil exceeds the EPA’s threshold, the City will perform free remediation of the soil.
  • Properties that meet these criteria are eligible for an assessment of the exterior for lead-based paint. If lead is found, a free paint stabilization will be done.

The City of Omaha has set up an easy-to-use website where Omaha residents can check to see if their property was tested for lead and remediated.  Results from soil tests can also be found at the website:

For more information about lead in Omaha and links to other programs available for residents to help keep their family safe from lead, go to or 402-731-3045.

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Coming Events

Magic Johnson returning to Omaha Sept. 30th for 10th Annual African-American Leadership Conference

Published:  Friday, September 2, 2022

Earvin “Magic” Johnson, five time NBA champion and one of the world’s leading business executives, entrepreneurs and philanthropists is returning to Omaha to keynote the Empowerment Network’s 10th Annual African-American Leadership Conference on Friday, September 30, 2022.

Tickets are now available at

“This is incredibly exciting for us,” said Willie Barney, CEO and founder of the Empowerment Network.  “Magic’s visit in May was absolutely amazing.  Many in attendance said it was one of the best speeches they’ve ever heard and I agree 100%,” said Barney.

“His message was extremely relevant and resonates will all ages…career advancement, leadership, teamwork, generational wealth, investing in our youth and community-building.”

“He has also proven that businesses can be highly successful in urban communities and he has demonstrated leadership in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion.”

Johnson has been a champion at every level.  He is best known for his legendary performance on the basketball court.  He and the Lakers transformed the NBA in the 80’s with a new style of basketball.  The showtime Lakers dominated with one of the greatest lineups of all time.

Beyond the basketball court, Magic is still making headlines.  As he puts it, Earvin is building a legacy through developing urban communities, business and sports team ownership and investments in advanced technology.

“After thinking and praying about who should be our speaker in September, ‘Run it Back’ was in my spirit.  Bring Magic back to build on the themes from May and deliver a new message to help accelerate our progress over the next 10 years,” said Barney.  “Our board president, Timothy Christian, reached out to Magic and his response was overwhelmingly positive as he loved his experience in Omaha.”

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Mr. Earvin “Magic” Johnson back in Omaha for the 10th Annual African-American Leadership Conference,” said Christian.  “Mr. Johnson embodies everything we stand for at the Empowerment Network.  He is a proven leader on and off the court and he cares deeply about helping African-Americans and the underserved across the country. We’re looking forward to the wisdom he will share during the conference.”

“In addition to the seasoned and emerging leaders from all sectors, we also want more of our high school and college students to hear the message and we will have specific sessions for them as well,” said Barney.

The African-American Leadership Conferences promises to be even bigger and better.  In addition to Magic Johnson, the Network will feature four national keynote speakers, dozens of local leaders and experts.

National strategist and partners, Dr. Will Moreland – Using Your Gifts for Career Advancement and Creating Multiple Streams of Income; Suzan Hart – Rewriting Your Story to Live with Purpose; Dr. George Fraser – Building Strong Businesses to Create Jobs and Thriving Communities; and, Dr. Pamela Jolly – Using the Wealth Checklist to Build Legacy Wealth.  They along with others will present from the main stage and host breakout sessions.


Local speakers will include: Veta Jeffrey, CEO of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce; Jay Warren-Teamer, Director of Diversity and Inclusion – Blue Cross Blue Shield; Aaron Austin, Chief Human Resources Officer – CHI Health Center; Dr. Cheryl Logan, Superintendent of Omaha Public Schools; Raquel Henderson, Pathway Coordinator – Metropolitan Community College and dozens of others.

Plus, representatives from 10 regional and national cities looking to replicate the Empowerment Network collective approach will be in attendance.

The conference will also feature a full scale Revive Black Business Expo including dozens of Omaha’s Black business owners, innovators and entrepreneurs.

“As one of the original members of the Empowerment Network and a person committed to the success of our community, it has been amazing to see the progress we have made,” said John Ewing, Vice President of the Board.  “I’m excited for the future of our great city and future collaborations with leaders like Earvin “Magic” Johnson that will help us continue this great transformation.”

Current major sponsors include:

CHI Health
ConAgra Brands

Union Pacific
American National Bank

Children’s Hospital
Wells Fargo
University of Nebraska at Omaha

Get your tickets locked in today:

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Aug. 27th…Revive Black Business Summit…Maximizing Technology

We’re building capacity and momentum.  How can you maximize technology to grow your business?

Please use these links to learn more and register.

Learn More Here

Register Here

The next Revive Black Business Summit will be held Saturday, August 27th from 8:00 am to 10:30 am. It will be in-person and virtual.

We’ve had a great response with the first three summits with over 125 Black businesses, entrepreneurs and support organizations participating.  Let’s keep building together!

The location for the in-person event will be the Revive Center.  Breakfast and Networking will start at 8:00 am.

Please use these links to learn more and register.

Learn More Here

Register Here

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