Bermuda Department of Tourism attracts timely economic forum

HAMILTON, Bermuda – Members of the United States Congress are expected in Bermuda next week to discuss the recently passed multi-billion dollar financial bailout package as part of the Opportunity Funding Corporation Bermuda Forum.

New York Congressman Gregory Meeks and California Congresswoman Diane Watson in a seminar called “The U.S. Bailout: Details and Opportunities” was recently added to the three-day OFC schedule which begins on November 20th at the Fairmont Southampton Princess. Both Members sit on the House Financial Services Committee.

The OFC Forum is focused on economic development in communities throughout the African Diaspora. The Bermuda Department of Tourism is a co-sponsor of the event.

Premier and Minister of Tourism and Transport, Dr. Ewart F. Brown, said, “On the backdrop of the first ever African-American President-elect and the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, this conference, and particularly this seminar, is fortuitously timed. As we stimulate our Tourism product next week, we will also be stimulating thought on the most pressing issue of the day.”

Bernard Beal of M.R. Beal & Company and Dr. Heather Tookes of the Yale School of Management will also be a part of the recently added “U.S. Bailout” seminar which takes place on Saturday, November 22nd at 12:30pm.

Other seminars in the OFC Bermuda Forum will focus on a range of topics including healthcare, energy, politics and investment. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of the World Bank, Robert L. Johnson of RLJ Development and Philip Butterfield of HSBC Bank of Bermuda are among the distinguished guest experts.

Former Washington D.C. Mayor Sharon Pratt is the director of the OFC Bermuda Forum and an advocate for economic empowerment in African descendant communities around the world.

Ms Pratt said: “We are very excited about the 2008 OFC Bermuda Forum – especially in the wake of the U.S. history-making Presidential election.

“OFC is proudly working with the Bermuda Department of Tourism to host an historic gathering of African Diaspora Thought Leaders.

“Working with the Forum’s Strategic Partners, such as ABT Associates and Yale School of Management, the Forum is pushing the needle of thought around promising market opportunities in the 21st century global market place.”

Opportunity Funding Corporation is a 37-year-old 501c(3) non-profit that promotes capitalism in capital-poor communities and entrepreneurship in communities of color. The organization has played a significant role in developing minority businesses in the United States. In 2006 OFC decided it was now time to aggregate and leverage the talent, the wealth and market insights of leaders throughout the African Diaspora – hence the 2008 OFC Bermuda Forum.

The OFC Bermuda Forum is an invitation only event for overseas participants, but Bermudians who are interested in attending can contact Sybil Caldwell at [email protected]. Fee and schedule information can be found online:

Ms Pratt says OFC welcomes the participation of “Bermuda’s Thought Leaders” in this event.

Expected participants for the OFC Forum:

• Konyi Ajayi, Partner, Olaniwun Ajayi & Co.

• Alland Leandre, President & CEO, Vyalex Management Solutions

• Constance Bagley, Professor in the Practice of Law & Management, Yale School of Management

• Ted Love, Chairman & CEO, Nuvelo Inc.

• Ernest Bates, Founder & CEO, American Shared Hospital Services

• Londell MacMillan, Chairman, Entertainment, Media & Sports Practice, Dewey & LeBeouf LLC

• Bernard Beal, CEO, M.R. Beal & Co.

• Claudine Malone, President & CEO, Financial Management Consulting

• Heidi Brooks, Lecturer & Director of the Mentoring Program, Yale School of Management

• Rep. Gregory Meeks, U.S. Congress, House Financial Services Committee

• Philip Butterfield, CEO, Bank of Bermuda

• Premier Dr. Ewart F. Brown, Bermuda

• Gregory Slayton, U.S. Consul General to Bermuda

• Yulee Newsome, Yale School of Management

• Stanley Campbell, President & CEO, Business Intelligence Solutions

• Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Managing Director, The World Bank Group

• Teresa Clarke Ellis, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs

• George Otchere, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, SAIC

• Salaam Coleman Smith, Executive Vice President, Style Network

• Ambassador Robert Perry, Director for International Affairs, Corporate Council on Africa

• Anthony Coles, President & CEO, Onyx Pharmaceuticals

• Johnny Taylor, President & CEO,

• Paulo Gomes, President, The Constelor Group

• Heather Tookes, Professor of Finance, Yale School of Management

• Col. Dyfierd A. Harris, Executive Officer, AFRICOM

• Eric Vincent- Guichard, CIO, Gravitas Capital

• Alan Jenkins, Executive Director, The Opportunity Agenda

• Rep. Diane Watson, U.S. Congress, House Financial Services Committee

• Wendell Knox, President & CEO, Abt Associates

• Michael Warren, CEO & Managing Director, Stonebridge Capital

• Blake White, Manager, Ascent Media Consulting Services

• Damion Wicker, Managing Partner, Panorama Capital

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