Every year the award committee selects a well-known person as the Outstanding 50 event featured speaker. Please scroll down for information about our previous featured speakers.
U.S. Department of Commerce
As National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), Mr. Henson oversees five regional offices and a network of 48 minority business centers providing services to promote the growth and competitiveness of minority businesses.
The overall mission of MBDA is to achieve economic parity for the minority business community. In order to achieve this goal, MBDA is focused on building the foundation for the next generation of $100 million dollar minority-owned companies.
Mr. Henson is uniquely qualified to lead MBDA. Prior to joining MBDA, Mr. Henson was President and CEO of Wealth Management Network, Inc., a multi-million dollar independent, financial advisory boutique. Before his own path into entrepreneurship, Mr. Henson managed a 10-state sales region as Director of Advisory Services for Investment Asset Management, a $70 billion financial advisory firm. In his capacity, Mr. Henson provided advice in asset allocation, portfolio construction, technology and product implementation. He also served as Managing Director of Business Development for the company.
In addition, Mr. Henson previously held a variety of senior-level and mid-management positions at Bank of America, Morgan Stanley & Company, First Chicago (now JP Morgan Chase) and the Village Foundation.
Mr. Henson received an MBA in finance from The University of Pennsylvania Wharton School, and a bachelor’s degree in insurance and finance with honors from Howard University in Washington, DC.
In addition, he completed a fellowship in international finance with honors from the Stockholm School of Economics and graduate-level studies in French with honors at the University of Abidjan, in Ivory Coast, West Africa. Mr. Henson is a native of St. Louis, Mo., and currently resides in Washington, DC.
Aneesh Paul Chopra is the first Federal Chief Technology Officer of the United States (CTO).
Chopra previously served as Virginia’s fourth Secretary of Technology. Prior to his government service, Chopra was Managing Director for the Advisory Board Company, a health care think tank for hospitals and health systems. While there, he led the firm’s Financial Leadership Council and the Working Council for Health Plan Executives.
He was born in 1972 in Trenton, New Jersey, the eldest son of Indian immigrants Ram and Neelam Chopra. Chopra graduated with his BA from Johns Hopkins University, and his MPP from the John F. Kennedy School of Government.
He was elected as a Boys Nation Senator to represent American Legion Jersey Boys State in 1989.
On announcing Chopra’s nomination, President Obama outlined his aims for the CTO. “As Chief Technology Officer, Chopra’s job will be to promote technological innovation to help the country meet its goals such as job creation, reducing health care costs, and protecting the homeland. Together with Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra, their jobs are to make the government more effective, efficient, and transparent.” Chopra’s appointment was confirmed by the Senate on August 7, 2009.
On the December 9, 2009 episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Chopra was featured in a segment in which a series of video clips were shown of him laughing as he went through an explanation of the Open Government Initiative. During the segment, host Jon Stewart referred to Chopra as the “Indian George Clooney.”