Saturday January 20, 2024
10:45am - 1:00 pm
This high-level panel discussion will convene a diverse group of influential voices, including established local business leaders, emerging entrepreneurs, community advocates, and scholars. They will share their diverse perspectives and experiences, providing a comprehensive view of the challenges and opportunities at the intersection of these critical factors.
Key facets of the discussion will include:
Understanding the Diverse Business Ecosystem
Identifying Challenges and Barriers
The Role of Established Business Owners
Policy, Advocacy, and Community Action
Hailing from Egypt, Lilly serves as the President of the Lilly Agency, embodying a fervent commitment to uplifting her city and neighboring areas by fostering cultural, economic, and intellectual exchange.
Recently Lilly served as a member of the board of Directors of the San Antonio Council for International Visitors.
Lilly has been honored as a recipient of the 2023 40 Under 40 recognition by Arab America in Washington D.C.
One of her noteworthy accomplishments includes the proclamation by San Antonio's Mayor designating April 2023 as Arab American Heritage Month. Through her agency, Lilly shares impactful narratives that inspire hope and encourage individuals to pursue their aspirations while fostering critical thinking.
During her tenure in Oklahoma, Lilly contributed significantly as a key Spouse Mentor for a military unit managed operations at the Air Force Base recreational center, and volunteered to teach Arabic to active-duty military members and their families.
Beyond her professional pursuits, Lilly finds solace in nature, often enjoying walks along the Riverwalk, accompanied by her Samoyed puppy, Bella.
Crystal Royal has had a heart for Small Business and Community her entire professional career. Beginning her career in a male dominated industry, Construction, she continues to use her talent for process improvement and organizational development to change the narrative regarding Supplier Diversity and Small, Local, Minority Owned Businesses. As the owner of a small consulting firm, Royal Entertainment and Royal Consulting Firm, she continues to utilize her expertise from working with small business owners to fuel her passion in her current role as Supplier Diversity Manager for H-E-B. Understanding that Small, Local Minority Owned Businesses are the foundation for a strong economy, she continues to seek innovative avenues to increase visibility for these companies, while also educating Small, Local, Minority Business Owners on how to be successful in doing business with large corporations. She is truly a Champion for Small Business.
Zahra Cruzan is the founder and CEO of Brand Author, a premier branding firm in Texas, and Brand Lab, an all-in-one marketing software solution for small businesses. With over 15 years of brand expertise, Zahra’s work has won international awards for her clients on platforms such as Linked In and she speaks across the country on her proprietary method for developing remarkable brands. Zahra is also the host of The Brand Collaborative Podcast. She is passionate about helping cause-driven brand leaders find their voice to drive impact.
Light bites and refreshments provided