by Vanessa Woodard Byers
This week the Blogging Black Miami spotlight is on Ken Burroughs, Founder of the Networking Social group, Broward’s Black Professionals (BBP).
VB: Good afternoon, Ken. Thank you for consenting to go under the spotlight this week. We came to know of you from your networking social activities through Broward’s Black Professionals. Why did you organize the group?
KB: I organized BBP August 2011 shortly after arriving in South Florida. Initially, I organized it in order to jumpstart a social life but there were also some other very important reasons: to promote greater opportunities for South Florida's Black Professionals; expand and enhance their professional network; provide a connection for professionals who aren't affiliated with a National Black organization; provide Black professionals an opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals; and help assimilate newly relocated Black professionals.
VB: Do you have any success stories to share as a result of your networking socials?
KB: Because BBP emphasizes personal and private professional relationships many of our successes haven't been very obvious, however undoubtedly many professional networks have been expanded and enhanced.
One of our greater successes has been rapid and sustained growth. New members have been joining BBP almost daily. We have successfully evolved from a socializing group to one that emphasizes networking and we've established a growing and relevant Facebook and Twitter presence. We've also established a platform whereby professional Black organizations can recruit and intermingle with nonmembers.
VB: You seen to have a true entrepreneurial spirit, what are some of your other business endeavors.
KB: Over the years I've launched a PC consulting business, organized Gospel Socials, helped promote Gospel concerts (Ben Tankard and Yolanda Adams when she first started touring), started a Singles Ministry and a Men's accountability group.
VB: Wow, what are some projects we may be familiar with?
KB: As a freelance videographer I've shot and produced video for the 100 Black Men of Tampa Bay, Juneteenth Festival of St. Petersburg and various entrepreneurs and entertainers at the ZoraFest and Central Florida Fair in the Orlando area.
KB: My most significant accomplishment however has been helping to raise my five children and self-publishing a book I entitled, “Assimilating In America: Personal Perspectives and Reflections on 50 years of Integration.”
VB: What are your future plans for BBP?
KB: The future looks very bright for BBP. Although we are still in our infancy stage the turnout for ournext Networking Social is on course to exceed the previous event. Our plans include offering complimentary appetizers, live DJ, entertainment and dancing as well as hosting special guests. We are also planning to participate in community improvement projects and partner with local nonprofits to help advance their agendas.
VB: What’s in the works for you, in addition to your BBP endeavors?
KB: In addition to BBP, I’m also planning to relaunch of my videography business. By the grace of God, I'll succeed.
VB: Thank you, Ken. We wish you and Broward’s Black Professionals all the best.
Starting February 24, 2012, BBP partnered with the Renaissance Fort Lauderdale-Plantation Hotel to host their monthly Networking Social, every fourth Friday. The Renaissance Fort Lauderdale-Plantation Hotel is a Black owned establishment that offers improved accommodations and a newly renovated Lounge, Bin 595. Check it out and remember to party with a purpose.