ALEXANDRIA, VA, March 18 /CNW/ - The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) will hold its 36th Annual Convention March 31 through April 4 in Toronto, Canada, marking the first international convention in the Society's 35-year history.
Participating in this year's convention, which boasts the theme "Engineering a Global Impact," will be more than 200 sponsors and exhibitors, including companies such as Caterpillar Inc., Exxon Mobil Corporation, IBM Corporation, United Technologies Corporation, Ontario Power, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., and Ford Motor Company. In addition, some of the leading colleges and universities and government agencies in the U.S. and Canada will be present.
NSBE believes its mission is more relevant than ever, as both the U.S. and Canada face a sea of economic challenges. The unemployment rate is at 9.2 percent in Ontario and at 10.6 percent in the U.S. NSBE's 36th Annual Convention is expected to yield more than 9,000 room nights booked in Toronto and could have an economic impact of more than $30 million (Canadian).
"It is with great pride that we host the convention in Toronto, as NSBE recognizes the importance of doing business globally," said Stacyann Russell, NSBE National Chair.
Joseph J. Banda, who serves as Director of Strategic Partnerships on the convention planning committee and works full time as an Assistant Vice President in Fixed Income Trading & Systems at Napa, agreed. "The convention in Toronto is a good thing for NSBE because it legitimizes the organization as a true international entity that cares about engineering a global impact, which is this year's convention theme. Additionally, it creates and increases the global perspective of the membership as we embrace the global community in education, technology, culture and business.
NSBE Executive Director Carl B. Mack, while acknowledging that NSBE will make a significant contribution to the local economy in Canada, also believes the Toronto location will benefit NSBE members, many of whom will step outside of the U.S. for the first time. "Our pre-college and high school members will gain a stamp on their passports as well as a stamp on their personal outlook on life," Mack said.
NSBE is honored to have as one of its keynote speakers The Honourable Michael Lee-Chin, a Jamaican-Canadian investor who is the founder and chairman of Portland Holdings Inc., a privately held investment company operating in sectors that include media, tourism, health care telecommunications and financial services. In the latest Forbes Billionaires' list, he ranked 701, with assets worth around $1.0 billion. Canadian Business has named him one of the richest people in Canada, and he made headlines in 2003 when he donated $30 million to the Royal Ontario Museum.
Corporate sponsor United Technologies Corporation will kick off the convention's Opening Session with a keynote from Michael McQuade, senior vice president for Science & Technology. His responsibilities include providing strategic oversight and guidance for research, engineering and development activities throughout the business units of the corporation and at the United Technologies Research Center. He also provides leadership to UTC Power, UTC's business unit responsible for the research, design, commercialization and aftermarket support of stationary and transportation fuel cells.
In addition to a wealth of technical workshops, the convention will offer many educational, informative and entertaining events, such as a Technical Paper Competition, a Graduate School Conference and hands-on technical activities for middle and high school students, including many from Blessed Mother Teresa Catholic Secondary School and Cardinal Newman Catholic High School. The Ontario Society of Professional Engineers will also be present.
Capt. Willie L. Metts of the United States Navy has been named the 2010 Distinguished Engineer of the Year and will receive recognition at the 13th Annual NSBE Golden Torch Awards ceremony on Saturday, April 3 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Capt. Metts, who serves as division director, Information Operations and Intelligence Assignments (PERS-47), Navy Personnel Command, is one of only 850 Information Warfare officers in the Navy and is the highest-ranking African American in that specialty.
The Golden Torch Legacy Award will go to Col. Frederick D. Gregory, United States Air Force (Ret.), former deputy administrator of NASA. Col. Gregory was a graduate of Case Institute in Cleveland with a bachelor's in electrical engineering, and then went to MIT for a master's. Gregory graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1964, took a year of helicopter training and flew combat missions in Vietnam. He then was trained as a fighter pilot before going to the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in 1970. Four years later, he became a research test pilot for NASA at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., which led to his entry into the astronaut corps in 1978.
The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), with more than 33,000 members, is one of the largest student-managed organizations in the U.S. Founded in 1975, NSBE now comprises more than 450 collegiate, pre-collegiate, and technical professional/Alumni chapters in the U.S. and abroad. NSBE's mission is "to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community." For more information, please visit www.nsbe.org.
SOURCE Metro Toronto Convention Centre
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