You’re Invited to a CEO Fireside Chat on Trade and Investment!


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

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Event DetailsIn recognition of the significant contributions made by all minority-owned firms in the U.S. economy, the International Trade Administration (ITA) and the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) will co-host a CEO Fireside Chat in commemoration of Black History Month.

Complete the form to join us as we celebrate the accomplishments of successful African American CEOs by hearing firsthand from these leaders about the importance of international commerce and how it directly impacts U.S. business operations.

The live stream event will also highlight the launch of the new ITA/MBDA strategic outreach program that promotes the commercial benefits of trade and investment to the minority business community.

America is Open for Business

Expanding your business through exporting is more viable today than ever before. If you have a good track record of selling in the United States, one of the most open and competitive markets in the world, you are likely a good candidate for international sales!

Panel Moderator

Sharon T. Freeman, Ph.D.Sharon T. Freeman, Ph.D.

Dr. Freeman is a small business economic development and trade specialist who has worked in over 100 countries specializing in helping small, minority, women and immigrant–owned businesses connect with each other, grow, and thrive. She lived and worked in Hong Kong for 12 years, 5 years of which were in the U.S. Diplomatic Corps representing the U.S. Trade Development Agency.




Ronald Hall, Sr.Ronald Hall, CEO, Bridgewater Interiors

Ron Hall, Sr. serves as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bridgewater Interiors. Bridgewater Interiors is a joint venture between Epsilon Technologies and Johnson Controls.  They manufacture automotive seating systems, overhead systems, and center consoles.  With an average revenue of more than $1.2 billion, Bridgewater Interiors employs approximately 1500 persons, 1,000 of which are minorities. Learn more at



B. Doyle Mitchell, Jr.B.Doyle Mitchell, Jr, CEO, Industrial Bank 

B. Doyle Mitchell, Jr. is President and CEO of Industrial Bank, N.A., headquartered in Washington, DC. Founded in 1934, Industrial Bank is the oldest and largest African American owned commercial bank in the metropolitan Washington region. Industrial Bank has $350 million in assets with eight branches — six in the District, and two in Prince George’s County. Learn more at


Marie JohnsMarie Johns, CEO, Leftwich and Ludaway

The Honorable Marie C. Johns, Founder and President of L&L Consulting LLC, has been a leader in business, community and government service for more than 30 years.  From 2010 through June 2013, Marie was the Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration; she was nominated by President Barack Obama and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Learn more at

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Last updated: 04/19/2017 - 4:11pm