Elevate Conference

Connecting The Black Business Community

April 6, 2019

BBSA Alumni Gala


Join us for an evening of fellowship with the BBSA Community!

The 2019 Alumni Gala will include an evening meal, open bar (beer and wine), music, dancing and more.

Come celebrate with us as we reconnect with members of the Black Business Student Association community, past and present, and celebrate our collective accomplishments.

In an effort to recognize alumni that continue to go above and beyond in service to our community, we will be honoring two individuals for their continued commitment to the BBSA at large. Please help us acknowledge these individuals by nominating them using this link

We hope you can make it and look forward to seeing you soon!

Gala Keynote Address


Blair C. Smith is the Founder and CEO of Promethean AB Strategies, LLC, a strategic consultancy focused on expanding business opportunities for successful asset managers, entrepreneurs and start-ups. Blair has 15+ years of buy side experience in the capital markets arena, leading the creation of strategies, plans and budgets that span industries, marketplace, customers and competition. Through his vast network of industry leaders, Blair is an expert in client services and investor relations. Recently, Blair was responsible for co-managing a $5.2 billion investment portfolio, within the New York State Common Retirement Fund. Through this small/mid cap Emerging Manager program, Blair covered both traditional and alternative asset class strategies including: real estate, private equity, public equity, hedge funds and opportunistic. Promoted to Senior Investment Officer, Blair actively evaluated and conducted research for new investment vehicles/platforms capable of meeting the long-term goals of the portfolio. Blair collaborated with consultants, advisors, internal investment teams and legal counsel in interviewing and selecting general partners. As a result of his efforts, Blair re-established and maintained up-to-date policies and procedures for the portfolio to produce risk adjusted returns in alignment with the fund’s total performance. Previously, Blair served as a client relationship manager with the Connecticut and New York City Wealth Management teams at Wells Fargo, The Private Bank. In this role, he delivered a comprehensive financial services platform to high net worth individuals, including: banking, affluent credit services, investment management, real estate and financial planning. Prior to this role, he ran Smith Barney’s Multicultural Marketing campaign as a First Vice President.

In addition, Blair has been a Financial Expert for News 12 Westchester (NY) He serves as an adjunct lecturer in both “Global Marketing” and the “Principles of Finance” courses, with the School of Continuing Studies at CUNY Baruch College, for over 7 years.

Blair received his BA from Morgan State University and his MBA in Finance from Columbia University. He is on the board of the Amari Charter School in Mt Vernon, New York and the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health. Blair lives with his wife and two children in New Rochelle, New York.

Gala Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I’m not an alumni. Can I attend?

    Unfortunately, no. The gala is open to CBS Alumni who were BBSA club members.

  2. I’m an alumni, can I bring my spouse/significant other?

    Yes! Please purchase an additional ticket for your guest.

  3. What should I wear?

    Black Tie is strongly encouraged. Cocktail and business formal will be allowed. Come dressed to impress.

  4. Will there be food?

    Yes. Dinner will be available.

  5. What is the agenda for the evening?

    A formal agenda will be available soon.

  6. I’m attending conference on Saturday. Is there reduced ticket pricing?

    Yes. A discounted ticket package is available for Friday gala and Saturday conference.

  7. Any other questions?

    Please reach out to gveney19@gsb.columbia.edu.

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