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IPN Speakers Focus on Minority Opportunities and Surviving a Recession

April 2003
IPN Speakers Focus on Minority Opportunities and Surviving a Recession

Given the dismal economic environment, the objective of the IPN meeting on March 13th was to enable diverse networking with other Asian communities. It also highlighted business opportunities for organizations as well as individuals. The guest speakers were Benjamin R. DeCosta, Aviation General Manager at Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport (HAIA), and Kenneth Lee, Vice President (International Security) at United Parcel Service. This joint IPN and NAAAP (National Association of Asian American Professionals) meeting was held at the Palace Banquet Hall.

In his speech ('Business Opportunities at Hartsfield Atlanta Airport'), Mr. DeCosta spoke at length about the $5.4 billion expansion program known as the Hartsfield Development Program (HDP) - Focus on the Future. Some of the major components of the HDP include a new fifth runway and a new international terminal. While discussing opportunities at the airport, he encouraged participation. He also mentioned that there was an open-door policy for qualified minority-owned firms that wish to do business.

In this weak economy, corporations and businesses are taking draconian measures to improve their bottom line. This has put tremendous pressure on workers. In his speech ('Surviving the Corporate Tough Times'), Kenneth Lee spoke like a seasoned mentor to all the professionals at the meeting. He emphasized teamwork and participation in challenging areas of work, and said that it was important to deliver value, innovation and commitment in order to survive in these tough economic times. Finally, after observing why small entrepreneurs should 'think out of the box,' Mr. Lee talked about the supplier diversity program at UPS.

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