The board of directors of The Business Center for Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise, a 19-year old nonprofit organization, elected Company Counsel Managing Partner Bernard A. Williams, Esq., as board president.
Bernard has been a member of The Business Center board since 2016. He regularly speaks publicly on a variety of topics including entrepreneurship, small business legal issues, employment and workplace issues, and professional development.
“The Business Center is extremely fortunate to have as its new board president such an experienced and talented person,” said cofounder and current Executive Director of The Business Center (“TBC”), Pamela Rich-Wheeler, MBA. “Bernard has been a tremendously active board member. His passion for serving small business owners is unmatched, and I look forward to continuing my strong working relationship with him. I know Bernard will be an excellent chairman for the organization.”
TBC is a 501 (c)(3) organization that was established in 1999 to serve Northwest Philadelphia’s minority business community. Rich-Wheeler left her job with DuPont believing she could make a meaningful difference in her community by sharing her knowledge of two of the essential elements of building and running a successful business, namely education and networking. TBC has historically focused on black-owned and women-owned startups and existing small business and nonprofits based in low-income communities. It continues that focus today.
Williams succeeds Steve Oakman, of Oakman Beverages, as board president.
“I can’t say enough wonderful things about Steve’s leadership during his time as board president,” Williams said. “He has been a great pleasure to work with and his knowledge of the community, his integrity, and his constant focus on the community’s needs were enormous assets to The Business Center and to me personally. He will be greatly missed by all.”
TBC is a 501(c)(3) that provides education and business networking programs that empower businesses to contribute to improving Northwest Philadelphia’s minority business ecosystem. TBC’s programs better position small business and startups to develop and vet their business concepts and further establish their reputations. It achieves its mission by two primary means. By teaching the basic “ins and outs” of accessing capital, marketing, and competing, TBC helps proprietors of any age gain confidence in knowing that they can execute the fundamentals. And since the value of networking cannot be overstated, increasingly member networking opportunities targeted at growing industry sectors are a vital component of the services TBC provides. More than 300 adults and youth complete TBC’s entrepreneurship courses each year with 25 percent of these participants seeking on-going consulting services through the organization.
For more information on The Business Center, please visit www.thebizctr.com.
Williams is the Managing Partner of the Philadelphia area law firm Company Counsel LLC, which represents small and mid-sized companies in business law, employment law, and intellectual property matters. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia. Bernard received his law degree from NYU School of Law, where he served as an editor on the NYU Law Review. Bernard was awarded NYU School of Law’s prestigious Arthur T. Vanderbilt Medal (the highest honor bestowed upon an NYU School of Law graduate) and NYU’s Presidential Service Award for Excellence in Leadership.