by Linda Parker Pennington
This week’s APEC summit in San Francisco is focused on political and economic issues of the 19 Pacific Rim countries, but the conference also attracted diplomats and business leaders from many non-Pacific Rim countries. One such program hosted by the San Francisco African American Chamber of Commerce (SFAACC) and held at the beautiful new Southeast Community Center in San Francisco’s Bayview District on Nov. 13 featured a powerhouse panel of local Black female business leaders and their female counterparts from 10 countries, including Australia, Belize, Cambodia, Egypt, Jordan, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tunisia, Ukraine and the US.
This off the record discussion, sponsored by the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program, was moderated by SFAACC Board members Matthew Ajiake, Jeannette Fisher-Kouadio and Linda Parker Pennington. The Chamber was joined by 15 Black female business owners and advisors, including media consultant Darolyn Davis; business strategist and former San Francisco City Administrator Naomi Kelly; Allen Group President Schatzie Allen Jefferson; Kenyan Bay Area vintner Dr. Chris Wachira; California Office of Small Business Advocate Director Tara Lynn Gray; and African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council co-founder Carol McGruder.
The conversation centered around the challenges women around the world face in creating and running their businesses and what resources and support are available for women to launch and grow their enterprises. There were also conversations on ways to expand business ties between San Francisco Black women-owned businesses and women-owned enterprises around the world.
Linda Parker Pennington is a consultant in human resources and talent management, leadership development and executive coaching who formerly served as vice president for Human Resources at SF Goodwill and former director for Global Talent Management and Career Development at Google, among other prominent positions. She can be reached via Twitter: @lindaparkerpen.