ROSWELL - Montina Young Portis, founder and CEO of CIA Media Group LLC, recently attended the Black entrepreneurship conference at the White House at the invitation of White House Staff.
"You have been identified to me as a game-changer in the entrepreneurial field," said Ashley Bell, White House policy advisor for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The letter was followed by a personal invitation to attend the summit on Feb. 27 in Washington, DC, at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, part of the White House complex.
President Trump also invited Ms. Portis to attend a reception in honor of National African American History Month, which was held at the White House.
The entrepreneurship conference allowed Ms. Portis and others attending to meet with high-ranking federal agency representatives to talk bout expanding contract opportunities for minority-owned businesses. Mentoring programs for minority-owned businesses were also discussed.
The conference reaffirmed her business decisions and gave her renewed hope for an even better future.
"It was wonderful to meet all those people and start networking with them. I know the contacts I made, that I will continue to nurture, will pay off. This meeting in Washington was just amazing," she said. "I just wish more people could attend these events because of how valuable they are to building a thriving business."
Ms. Portis said the invitation came about by her own networking efforts. "Your business will not grow if you are not out networking in your community. This opportunity came directly from a relationship I built over two years ago and continued to foster," she said. "Dig your wells before you need them. I know so many suppliers and diversity professionals and although I don’t have business relationships with every one of their companies, I built friendships that will last for many years to come. Opportunities aren’t always quick."
The conference also discussed Opportunity Zones and how minority businesses can use these to grow. "An Opportunity Zone is an economically-distressed community where private investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for capital gain tax incentives. Opportunity Zones were created under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on Dec. 22, 2017, to stimulate economic development and job creation, by incentivizing long- term investments in low-income neighborhoods. There are more than 8,760 designated Qualified Opportunity Zones (PDF) located in all 50 States," says a federal government website discussing the opportunity zones.
"If you are part of a disadvantaged group, the 8a certification is the quickest pathway to millions and building generational wealth. Google it.," Ms. Portis said. "Recognize what it is that you truly want in your business and go after it. Understand there are seasons in business, just like there are seasons in life. Recognize which season you’re in so that as you build your business, you have a life partner and a family that wants to invest time with you in your old age."
As always, Ms. Portis attributes the success of her business to one source.
"I appreciate that along the way, God has always been faithful toward me. Never give up on your dreams and never give up on yourself. God is a faithful God," she said.
ABOUT MONTINA YOUNG PORTIS - Montina Young Portis runs CIA Media Group LLC in the Atlanta Metro area. Founded In 2013.,CIA Media Group helps companies rethink business for the digital age. Ms. Portis is also an entrepreneurship speaker. She gives presentations around the nation.