Honorary Co-Chair

Mark Anthony Thomas

Pittsburgh Regional Alliance 


Mark Anthony Thomas was appointed president of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, an affiliate of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, effective July 2019. He is responsible for creating, developing and executing the 10-county Pittsburgh region’s economic development strategy and advancing partnerships to drive job creation and business investment. Mark has nearly two decades of experience crafting and executing economic growth strategies and cross-sector collaboration for New York City, Los Angeles and Atlanta. In 2016, Mark was selected by New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) to serve as its first Senior Vice President of Partnerships, establishing teams to foster and manage industry and international relationships and business attraction. He played a pivotal role in launching the city’s $1.3 billion effort to catalyze 100,000 jobs in emerging industry sectors and further diversify the local economy. He’s led efforts to partner with New York’s international trade community to advance the city’s global startup attraction, an approach recognized as the top North American FDI Strategy by fDi (Foreign Direct Investment) magazine in 2019.

Keynote Presentation 


Professor at Clark Atlanta University and Author

A tireless educator, author, and Business school professor, Dr. Kimbro is universally characterized as one of the most insightful and scholarly writers in the field today. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Oklahoma, and a doctorate from Northwestern University where he studied wealth and poverty among underdeveloped countries. After a personal meeting with W. Clement Stone, president of the Napoleon Hill Foundation, Dr. Kimbro was commissioned to update and complete Hill's original manuscript. Think and Grow Rich:  A Black Choice, the results of Dr. Kimbro's and Hill's efforts, distills the secrets of success contained in the lives of peak performing men and women, and reveals how readers can use utilize these keys to make their dreams come true. 


Dennis is married and the father of three daughters, Kelli, Kimberli, and MacKenzie.  His honors include various awards bestowed by the business community as well as the Dale Carnegie “Personal Achievement” award.  Currently, Dr. Kimbro teaches on the faculty at the Clark Atlanta University School of Business Administration. In 1996, he served as one of eight national judges for the prestigious Ernst & Young USA Today Entrepreneur of the Year held in Palm Springs, California. Dr. Kimbro's writings have influenced readers from the streets of Melbourne, Australia, to Johannesburg, South Africa to Seoul, South Korea, to Reykjavik, Iceland.  From the board-rooms of General Motors, Walt Disney Corp., Frito-Lay, and Citigroup to name a few.  He has addressed both the Notre Dame “Fighting Irish” and Ohio State “Buckeye” football teams as well as the Kansas City Royals Baseball team.  He has appeared on the Today Show, Larry King, CNN, and has been featured in Success!, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today on numerous occasions sharing the keys to success and achievement.  Dr. Kimbro’s highest honor occurred when the Nat’l Black MBA Association presented him with the “2005 H. Naylor Fitzhugh” award, emblematic of the top black business professor in the nation.  As the author of “Daily Motivations for African American Success” and the highly acclaimed “What Makes the Great Great: Strategies for Extraordinary Achievement," his fourth book, “What Keeps Me Standing:  A Black Grand-mother’s Guide to Peace, Hope and Inspiration” (Doubleday), has appeared on several best sellers lists.

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