Written by Myisha Robertson

September 23, 2021

Please take a moment to read about my first, in-person experience at the NBMBAA conference as a member and the Chapter President. 

I encourage you to click on the video recap links in the blog post to see the highlights.

 I also invite you to join me next year Sept 27 – October 1 2022 at the 44th NBMBA Conference and Career Expo in Atlanta, GA.

Happy Reading!

What an incredible experience!

September 13 – 18, I attended my first live, in-person National Black MBA Association® Conference as a member and Chapter President (!!!), and I could not be prouder to say #IAMBLACKMBA!

The 43rd National Black MBA Assocation® Conference and Career Expo took place September 14-18, in Chicago, IL. During the in-person conference, I safely networked with the SF Chapter VP of Community and Social Engagement, Deanna Roberts, Director of Graphic Design, David Huntley, and Co-Director of Entrepreneur and Business Development, Reginald Chatman, and other Chapter Presidents, members, students, and supporters.

We started the week off at an NBMBAA® Chairman’s Rooftop invite-only reception and Chicago Chapter’s Welcome reception. As soon as we walked through the door, it felt like an HBCU homecoming reunion. I got the opportunity to finally meet my fellow NBMBAA® Chapter Presidents and past Presidents, people I’ve interacted with on Zoom for the past eight months. Chapter leadership and National Board members welcomed us with open arms and genuine love. I came in with just SF support, but I left with an NBMBAA® entire support system. It was the best experience by far.

The conference kicked off on September 14 with incredible speakers and ended on September 17 with the ScaleUp Pitch Competition. NBMBAA® brought out top Fortune 500 executives and speakers each day to encourage and inspire attendees. Some featured speakers including FOX NFL Analyst & co-host of Fox NFL Kickoff Show Michael Vick, Blavity Founder & CEO, Morgan DeBaun, CNN Political Analyst Bakari Sellers, Grammy Award Winning Artist Ledisi, and Actor Wendell Pierce. Companies participating as keynote speakers or panelists included Amazon and AWS, Target, Nationwide, Walmart, and San Francisco Bay Area-based McBride Sisters. The 43rd Annual Conference & Career Expo offered an array of both live and digital educational, wealth-building and growth opportunities for students, entrepreneurs, and professionals. 


The Career Expo kicked off on September 15, and I will say that NBMBAA® partners with many Fortune 500 companies to make this the largest diverse career fair. The National Black MBA Association® continued its standing as the top diversity event in the country. The array of opportunities available for conference attendees ranged between educational MBA programs and internship-to-executive employment opportunities to in-person resume reviews and on-site interviews. Conference attendees had access to over 200 corporate and academic partners in person September 14-18 and digitally September 21-22. To me, this is the reason every Black student and professional should attend this annual event. There are countless opportunities to grow as a student and professional at the NBMBAA® Conference.

Here are my top highlights from the conference:

  • Opportunity to grow as leader
  • Building relationships with other Chapter Presidents and members
  • Networking with Black excellence
  • Recording my first President’s video for the NBMBAA®
  • Bonding with my team over meals and activities
  • Connecting with undergrad and grad students at the Career Expo
  • Supporting Black female founders in the final rounds of the ScaleUp Pitch competition win 1st and 3rd place
  • Recognizing all the great Chapter’s at the Membership Meeting Chaper Awards ceremony

Socializing After Dark

One thing I highly suggest people take advantage of when attending conferences is the opportunity to network and socialize. Fortune 500 employer 3M sponsored the NBMBAA® Welcome Reception at Soldier Field. This NBMBAA® exclusive event featured the world-famous DJ D-Nice. Now, I love a good dance party. D-Nice brought down the house with his fantastic mixing and blending skills on the 1’s & 2’s. It was such a beautiful sight to see everyone from National Board Members to Chapter Presidents to members enjoying themselves at the reception. If you ever attended an HBCU Homecoming, you know the vibe. The Welcome Reception was the vibe we all needed. Everywhere you turned, you met people who’ve chosen to forget the world’s worries, live in the moment, and enjoy the vibe. 

 I invited one of our Chapter partners to meet us at the Welcome Reception and we had an amazing time talking about business and getting to know each other on a personal level. I also connected with other Chapter leaders and found new connections. I connected with our National team and had the opportunity to speak with our President and members of the Board at the post-conference events. Attend all of the dinners and parties. You never know who you will connect with so don’t limit yourself to just day networking. 

Overall, the week was full of energy, passion, and love. We met some inspiring people from across the country, bonded as a leadership team, developed new relationships with other Chapters and corporate partners, and learned invaluable lessons from the sessions. The NBMBAA® conference opened up my eyes to the opportunities that we as a Chapter have.

I am thankful I had the chance to attend this year’s event. I formed news bonds with other Chapter Presidents and NBMBAA® staff. Overall, the conference allowed us to expand our professional network and connect with other Black professionals both in-person and virtually. The atmosphere allowed us to experience #Blackexcellence and be #unapologetic. It truly renewed, refreshed, and reset my mind and body.

I am looking forward to the 44th NBMBAA® Conference and Career Expo in Atlanta, GA, September 27-October 1, 2022. I hope to bring more SF Bay Area Chapter members with me to Atlanta to experience the essence of the Black MBA.  

Authentically Yours,

 Myisha R Robertson

President & CEO of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the National Black MBA Association®

SF Bay Area Board of Directors (L to R)

Myisha Robertson, President & CEO, Reginald Chatman, Co-Director of Entrepreneur and Business Development, Deanna Roberts, VP of Community and Social Engagement