When Roger Bobb (above left) was the executive vice president of Tyler Perry Studios, the filmmaker and TV producer had ascended to the top of the Hollywood cinematic scene. When he departed TPS after seven fulfilling years, he drew from the invaluable relationships he cultivated through the Atlanta Business League to help lay the groundwork for his own entrepreneurial aspirations.
“I had never been in a city that had such a spirit of (black) entrepreneurship, a spirit of ‘let’s just do it, a spirit of let’s just work together’” said Bobb, the CEO of Bobbcat Films, during the ABL’s Membership Campaign Reception and Business Expo. “So, two years ago, when I started my own company, I needed a studio — 100,000 square feet — it was through the relationships that I had built through the Atlanta Business League that I was able to secure that location,” said Bobb.
“I also needed a cleaning service to clean my $100,000-square foot studio. It was the relationships that I had with the ABL that led me to the cleaning service that I now use,” Bobb continued as a rapt audience hung on his words. “I also needed security at my studio. It was the relationships at the ABL that lead me to my security service.
“That is the perfect example of how the ABL works. It is a group of businessmen and businesswomen who want to work together — and you can’t do it on your own. You need a network of people. In this room is your network of people.”
The ABL held it’s annual Membership Campaign Reception and Business Expo at the illustrious 755 Club at Turner Field in downtown Atlanta to recruit new members into the organization. As stated by the ABL president and CEO Leona Barr-Davenport, the membership dues are reinvested back into the organization to provide programming for members of the Atlanta Business League and outreach to the vast Atlanta metropolitan community, the 9th largest metro area in the country. The ABL is a membership-based organization that focuses on the growth and development of African-American business owners and professionals in metro Atlanta.
Along with the powerful testimony by filmmaker Roger Bobb, the ABL states that it also leverages the collective power of the organization. As it approaches businesses, corporations and governmental entities in an effort to garner support and build partnerships for members, “it speaks volumes to represent a strong base of business owners that employ thousands who directly impact the economics of the metro Atlanta area and the state.”
The Member-to-Member Business Expo is a new component designed to allow ABL business members to exhibit their business while other members visit them. The Expo is an opportunity for supplier diversity and purchasing managers, organizational leaders and professionals to meet ABL member businesses, while encouraging member businesses to network amongst each other. This focused exchange results in members getting to know each other while exploring business opportunities with each other.