17th Annual A.G. Gaston Conference Announces Keynote Speakers

The 17th annual A.G. Gaston Conference will take place Tuesday, February 23 – Wednesday, February 24, 2021 from 9:00 am – 11:30 am. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the annual conference will be streamed virtually in order to follow health and safety guidelines.

“Celebrating the accomplishments of the great A.G. Gaston is appropriate, regardless of the format,” says Bob Dickerson, co-host of the A.G. Gaston Conference. “Although we can’t meet, greet each other and network as has been our custom, our spirits are high as we know that celebrating the “Entrepreneur of the 20th Century” during Black History Month is an assignment that we take seriously.”

The A.G. Gaston Conference is a two-day event for business owners, educators, community leaders, elected officials, and anyone passionate about African American economic empowerment. For the last 17 years, this conference has been empowering African Americans to excel in entrepreneurship and business ownership. The conference serves as a platform where accomplished leaders and business owners can share their experience and fosters an environment of celebration and empowerment. It also serves as a place for participants to learn and develop better business practices all while inspiring the next generation.

“We started the A.G. Gaston conference because we believed that Dr. Gaston set an example that people should follow today and that he left a legacy that must be held up for people to remember”, says Gaynelle Jackson, co-host of the A.G. Gaston Conference. “We also wanted to bring to the forefront, the plight of Black businesses in Birmingham and to start the discussion on what we collectively can do to bring about a change. We feel that these goals are as important today and they were 17 years ago.”

Featured speakers for this year’s conference will include Marc Morial, president & CEO of the National Urban League, Maggie Anderson, co-founder of The Empowerment Experiment, Shelly Bell, serial entrepreneur and founder of Black Girl Ventures and Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, chief of race, wealth and community of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition.

The curation of the conference was inspired by the life and legacy of Arthur George (A.G) Gaston, a successful businessman in Alabama during the Jim Crow law time period. He amassed a fortune worth more than $40 million from a business empire spanning communications, real estate and insurance. Given the title “Entrepreneur of the Century” by Black Enterprise Magazine, the late A.G. Gaston was the mastermind behind the A.G. Gaston Motel, Citizen Federal Savings & Loan, Booker T. Washington Broadcasting and many more that are located in the heart of Downtown Birmingham.

Sponsors for the 17th annual A.G. Gaston Conference are Regions Bank, Renasant Bank, BBVA, Birmingham Times, Wells Fargo, IBERIABANK, Alabama Power Company, PNC Bank, Discover, Valley National Bank, and Birmingham Water Works.

Admission to this year’s conference is free and open to the public. To register to attend the 17th annual

A.G. Gaston Conference, please visit www.aggastonconference.biz.