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Voting begins for name of new African-American professional group

Date: 10/19/2010

Oct. 20, 2010

By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

SPRINGFIELD -- The organizers of a new professional association focusing on African-Americans would like your opinion.

Until Oct. 31, votes are being solicited for the name of the organization. The proposed titles are: Alliance of Black Professionals, Western Massachusetts Professional Black Network, The Onyx Guild, The Mahogany Society or Association of Black Professionals.

Voters can send an e-mail with their name, contact information and their favorite selection to Only one vote is allowed per e-mail address. Voting will end on Oct. 31 at midnight.

Attorney Maegan Brooks, a member of the seven-member steering committee for the new organization told Reminder Publications the organization would be open to any professional, but would focus on black professionals. Members will be encouraged to participate in initiatives that enhance the quality of life within their communities.

She said that although Western Massachusetts may be a relatively small area, "often we don't get chances to connect [with one another]."

The goal of the new group is to be a resource for professionals. She said within the group there would be a referral program and job listings that would allow local companies to increase the diversity of their workforce.

"There is definitely a need," she said for the new group. "We don't have an organization like this in the area."

Meetings of the new groups will include an opportunity for both business exchange and fellowship. Membership will cost $30 and include free entrance to all networking events, discounts to workshops and seminars and inclusion in an online business directory. The first 100 members receive a free subscription to Black Enterprise magazine. A kick-off event is planned for November.

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