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12 Reasons Business Owners Will Want to Attend the Innovation in Agriculture and Energy Opportunity Zones (IAEOZ) Summit 2023

In today's rapidly evolving business landscape, keeping pace with technology, and staying ahead of the curve is crucial.  For business owners and CEOs, especially those in the agriculture and energy sectors, attending the Innovation in Agriculture and Energy Opportunity Zone (IAEOZ) Summit will provide business owners and key staff, invaluable insights, networking opportunities, and actionable strategies.  Here's are 12 concrete reasons why attending the IAEOZ Summit 2023 in person will be a game-changer.

1. Distinguished Guest Speakers at the 2023 IAEOZ Summit

The 2023 IAEOZ Summit boasts an impressive lineup of speakers.  These include:

    • Don Cravins Jr., Esq. Department of Commerce Under Secretary
    • Deidre Deculus Robert: State Director of Rural Development in Louisiana with vast experience in legal, administrative, and executive management.
    • Jacqueline A. Davis-Slay: Senior Advisor for the USDA, with over 30 years of Federal service experience.
    • Ron Pierce: Director of the OSDBU at the U.S. Department of Energy and a U.S. Army Officer veteran.
    • Shalaya Morissette: Chief of the Minority Business and Workforce Division at the U.S. Department of Energy.
    • Krystal J. Brumfield: Associate Administrator, Office of Government-wide Policy, of the General Services Administration.
    • Dr. Henry C. McKoy, Jr.: Director of the Office of State and Community Energy Programs at the U.S. Department of Energy.
    • Honorable Dr. Kimberly A. McClain: Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
    • R. Ben Horne: Consulting Energy Justice Business and Program Analyst at the Department of Energy.
    • John K. Pierre: A champion of innovation and a dedicated educator.
    • Shirley Bailey: CEO of Summit Federal Services, LLC and a champion for the HUBZone Program.
    • Angela Washington: National Business Development Specialist in the Office of National Director for the Minority Business Development Agency.
    • Michelle Burnett: Executive Director of the HUBZone Contractors National Council.
    • Sam Sanchez: A prominent Mexican American businessman from Chicago and first CEO of US Solar Manufacturing Plant in Puerto Rico.
    • Kevin Williams: CEO of the Black Squirrel Collaborative – Founder of Biz Scoreline.

2. Matchmaking Opportunities with Government Decision-Makers

IAEOZ Summit 2023 offers a unique opportunity for attendees to participate in matchmaking sessions with decision-makers from various government agencies. This facilitates direct interactions, understanding of government needs, and potential collaborations, making it a valuable proposition for businesses looking to expand their reach in the public sector.

3. Fostering Solutions to Systemic Barriers in Rural Communities

The IAEOZ Summit is specifically designed to address the challenges faced by rural communities. By attending, business leaders can gain insights into how investment in Smart Farming and cutting-edge energy transition technologies can revolutionize food production, food security, and national security. This is particularly vital as the world grapples with increasing food demand and the nation faces challenges posed by climate change.

4. Engaging with Diverse Stakeholders

The summit provides a unique platform to engage with a diverse range of stakeholders, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Land Grant Colleges, Minority Serving Institutions, Small Businesses, and Corporate and Federal Agency partners. Such interactions can lead to collaborative projects, partnerships, and a broader understanding of the challenges and opportunities in the sector.

5. Learning from World-Class Speakers and Panelists

Past IAEOZ Summits have featured speakers who focused on empowering Black and Brown farmers and covered a wide range of topics. From agricultural literacy to the role of satellites, drones, and the Internet of Things in precision farming, to Opportunity Zones, attendees can expect to gain knowledge of policy developments, budget allocations from the best in the industry.

6. Understanding the Changing Role of Farming in America

The 2023 IAEOZ Summit promises to host robust discussions on the evolving role of the Farm Bill and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill.  Business leaders will learn how HBCUs and Land Grant colleges, especially those in Opportunity Zones, can be pivotal in reinventing agribusiness education, innovation, commercialization, and more. This is an opportunity to be at the forefront of the transformation in the energy and agriculture sector.

7. Accessing Funds and Grants

One of the key takeaways from the IAEOZ Summit 2023 will be actionable information on accessing funds and grants generated by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. For business owners and CEOs, understanding how to leverage these funds will be instrumental.

in scaling business owner attendee’s operations and driving growth.

8. Expanding Government Contracting Opportunities and Identifying Suppliers

The landmark Executive Orders 13985 and 14008 have paved the way for expanded Government contracting opportunities for Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs). Attending the summit can provide clarity on how businesses can tap into these opportunities and grow their market share.

9. Case Studies and Real-World Examples

There's no better way to learn than from real-world examples. The summit will feature case studies, and pitch competition sessions on sustainability and carbon sequestration initiatives to address climate change.  Additionally, attendees can gain insights from examples of successful minority-owned agribusiness enterprises, providing inspiration and actionable strategies.

10. Networking Opportunities

Attending the summit in person offers unparalleled networking opportunities. Business owners and CEOs can connect with peers, potential partners, and industry experts, fostering relationships that can lead to collaborations, new partnerships, investments, and sharing of business growth strategies.

11. Rural Community Revitalization and Job Creation

The summit emphasizes the importance of rural community wide revitalization, workforce development training, and job creation. By attending, business leaders can understand how their enterprises can contribute to community development and create employment opportunities, leading to sustainable growth.

12. Staying Ahead of the Curve

In a dynamic business environment, staying updated with the latest trends, technologies, and strategies is essential. The IAEOZ Summit will provide a comprehensive overview of the latest developments in the agriculture and energy sectors, ensuring that attendees are well-equipped to navigate the challenges and seize the opportunities.

The Innovation in Agriculture and Energy Opportunity Zones (IAEOZ) Summit is more than just an event; it's an opportunity to shape the future of agriculture and energy sectors, and expand revenues for small, emerging, and Minority owned businesses. Don't miss out on this chance to learn, network, and drive change. If you cannot attend in person, don't worry! The summit also offers virtual attendance options, ensuring you don't miss out on any of the action. Register now and be a part of this transformative journey!

Visit IAEOZ Summit to secure your spot and engage with industry leaders and visionaries.


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