The first-ever Bob Wright Symposium on Business Empowerment has landed Aflac Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dan Amos as its lunch keynote speaker.
The inaugural event, scheduled 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 20, will feature a major lineup of business leaders and top executives from across the U.S., organizers said, with speakers “sharing invaluable business insight, knowledge and experience” with attendees at the Cunningham Center, 3100 Gentian Blvd., which is on the campus of Columbus State University.
“I am extremely pleased that Dan has agreed to be a part of the program,” the symposium’s namesake, Bob Wright, said in a statement. “I am sure our participants will benefit from his experience in leadership, business and building an award-winning diversity program at Aflac.”
Amos heads a Fortune 500 supplemental health and life insurance firm founded by his father and two uncles in 1955. Doing business in the U.S. and Japan, it has grown to annual revenues of nearly $23 billion in 2014.
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Aflac was recognized by Black Enterprise Magazine earlier this year for its workforce diversity. About 34 percent of the company’s employees are African-American, with 27 percent African-American women. Its work force is heavily female in general, with two of the firm’s top executives African-American women.
Businessman, entrepreneur and philanthropist Robert L. Wright is a Columbus native who graduated from Spencer High School and Ohio State University, returning home to become a eye doctor and also serving three terms on Columbus Council in the 1970s.
A Republican, he founded a national political consulting firm, eventually being appointed by President Ronald Reagan to oversee Minority Small Business at the U.S. Small Business Administration. He also started a business, Dimensions International, growing it into a company with more than 100 offices in 10 countries and 1,500 employees. His firm was bought for $230 million-plus by conglomerate Honeywell International in 2007.
Wright’s philanthropic efforts have included donations to Columbus Technical College, where the Robert L. Wright Health Sciences Center bears his name. A scholarship in the name of his late mother, Pauline T. Wright, assists nursing students financially at the college.
The first Wright Symposium will take place the Thursday before another major event, the Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum, which will be held Aug. 24-25 at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center. Former President George W. Bush and his family are headlining that gathering. Amos has spoken previously at that event.
Tickets for the Wright Symposium are $150 per person. Contact Douglas Bryant at 706-566-5875 for information and sponsorship opportunities.
With ABC News anchor and reporter Byron Pitts moderating, here are the event’s other speakers:
William F. Pickard, chairman and chief executive officer of Global Automotive Alliance, Bloomfield Heights, Mich.
Deryl McKissack, chairwoman of the board of McKissack & McKissack Construction, Washington, D.C.
Earl Stafford, CEO of Wentworth Group, Reston, Va.
Emanuel Jones, Georgia state senator and president of Atlanta-based Legacy Automotive Group, which owns the Chevrolet dealership in Columbus
Russell Wright, chairman and CEO of Sentel Corp., Alexandria, Va.
Gale Hill, owner and operator of AJH Inc., a McDonald’s franchise operator based in Columbus, Ohio
Khary Lewis, chairman and CEO of locally based Infinite Services & Solution Inc.
Sylvester Hester, vice president and chief operating officer of Global Automotive, Duluth, Ga.
Veranda Dickens, chairman of Seaway Bank and Trust Company, Chicago, Ill.
Tommy W. Dortch Jr., chair emeritus of 100 Black Men of America, and chairman and CEO of Atlanta-based TWD Inc.