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Marie Johns Partners with U.S. Black Chambers, Inc.

WI Web Staff | 8/7/2013, 11:46 a.m.
Marie Johns

Marie Johns, the former deputy administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) renowned for small business growth and development, will serve as a strategist for the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC)

Nominated by President Obama in December 2009 and confirmed by unanimous consent of the U. S. Senate on June 22, 2010, Johns has served at the SBA for the past three years. During her tenure, she earned a superior reputation for her expertise in management and policy development.

"I've watched the growth and development of USBC and the work they've been doing," Johns said. "Their commitment to economic empowerment, particularly in underserved communities, is laudable and I want to continue to support USBC's efforts."

Johns has been especially praised by minority business owners for her advocacy, access to capital, contracting, entrepreneur training; and chamber and trade association development. At the SBA, she was particularly instrumental in strengthening America's entrepreneurial ecosystem by increasing global competitiveness and strategic alliances among small businesses, specifically within communities of color.

"We couldn't be more ecstatic as we make this announcement. This is a remarkable woman of even more remarkable achievements," said USBC President Ron Busby. "Marie Johns brings savvy thinking, impeccable credentials, international and corporate contacts all grounded in her roots as the daughter and granddaughter of pioneering entrepreneurs."

Following her tenure at the SBA, Johns returned to the consulting group she founded 6 years ago, L&L Consulting LLC, a division of Leftwich and Ludaway LLC. She also served as president of Verizon Washington, where she developed products and services to meet the needs of Verizon's small business customers and worked closely with Verizon's vendors, suppliers and subcontractors.

Johns earned her B.S. and MPA degrees from Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs and was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Trinity University and Howard University. Among her honors, Johns was recognized as a "Leader of the Years" by the Greater Washington Board of Trade, one the "25 Most Influential Black Women in Business" by the Network Journal and one of the "100 Most Powerful Women" by Washingtonian Magazine.

An economic force, the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. provides committed and visionary leadership and advocacy in the realization of Black economic empowerment. The USBC provides resources, education, and initiatives to support Black chambers of commerce and business leagues in their development and growth of Black enterprises.

The USBC boasts a membership of 115 Black chambers nationwide. There are 1.9 million privately held Black-owned businesses across every industry sector in the United States, employing more than 921,000 people and generating $137.5 billion in annual revenue.