The class of 2014 at University of Washington’s Foster School of Business Minority Business Executive Program has elected Devin James as class president. James is founder and CEO of the Devin James Group, an award-winning nationally M/DBE certified PR and marketing firm in St. Louis that specializes in “communication that benefits people.”
“The Minority Business Executive Program is an accelerated one-week intensive program that recruits minority- and women-owned business leaders from all over the country who are continually improving themselves, and we try to help prepare them to tackle current and future business challenges,” said Jennifer Lang, director of Executive Education at the UW Foster School of Business.
“This program has been running annually since 2008 and we just graduated 29 incredible participants who completed this program on June 20. This brings our alumni total to 179 to date.”
James was also the recipient of the Union Bank scholarship, sponsored by Mr. Richard Chacon, senior vice president of Union Bank, and Fernando Martinez, president and CEO of Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council.
“At the Council, we excel at providing our MBEs with support services and insight into upcoming opportunities. What we can’t provide is executive-level training,” Martinez said.
“Through our partnership with UW and aid from our sponsors, we are able to provide our MBEs with a first-class executive education at one of the top ranked universities and it is truly an honor when one of the participants we hand-selected is elected class president.”
The University of Washington is well-positioned to offer a program such as this due to its Consulting & Business Development Center. For 20 years, the center has linked students, faculty, and staff from the UW Foster School of Business with a racially and ethnically diverse business and nonprofit community to expand students’ knowledge and skills, help small businesses grow, create and retain jobs, open educational opportunities for under-represented minority students, and stimulate innovative economic development research.
As a result of his father’s recent near fatal battle with colon cancer, and the loss of his closest cousin to breast cancer, James increased his agency investment into disease prevention, public health equity and social leadership issues and in 2012-13 he spearheaded a national campaign for the leading national advocacy organization on colon and rectal cancers, Fight Colorectal Cancer, by providing creative direction, celebrity endorsements and appearing on TV as the national spokesperson.
James has national media credits and is regarded as a branding and public relations expert by the media and he frequently speaks as a keynote at large events and conferences around the world.