Awake, Alert, and Dissatisfied
Business Networking Guru George Fraser Visits
By Inger McPhail
Nearly 200 people gathered in CLT 102 on April 26 to see, hear and experience the paradigm of business networking success that is 64-year-old George C. Fraser, the founder and CEO FraserNet, Inc., a global networking corporation that brings together diverse human resources and increases opportunities for people of industry and aspiring business owners.
The seminar, hosted by the College of Business and Sisters4Sisters Network, opened with a powerful video montage of FraserNet's accomplishments and networking opportunities. Fraser then went on to give the rapt audience a detailed formula of what it takes to be a successful leader.
"Successful leaders are humble," he said. Fraser challenged young and aspiring business leaders to be ever conscious of their responsibility to race and community. "You never change that which you tolerate," he said. Citing the accomplishments of U.S. President Barack Obama as a good example of what it is to be an exceptional leader, he implored to the audience "dare to be amazing; learn how to make yourself unforgettable."
In his speech on Sunday, Fraser reminded the crowd of the rich heritage and contributions African-Americans have made to society and economic development. He also cautioned the crowd on the danger of complacency and consumption.
"We (African-Americans) are an awesome people; we have surpassed Dr. DuBois' dream of the talented tenth; but blacks are America's consumption machine, a sophisticated from of slavery, designed to put you in debt and keep you there," he said. He told the crowd that African-Americans must build their wealth in such a way that it is transferred inter-generationally. "In your community, if you are to be a leader, you must be awake, alert and dissatisfied at all times. Be careful who you hang out with, too."
The event also sought to promote the efforts of Sisters4Sisters Network, an influential network of women come together to share and assist in promoting aspiring African-American business leaders; build and foster rewarding careers. "We realize that too often women become discouraged from pursuing their dreams; we reach out to them to inspire, motivate, encourage and cultivate their dreams into realities," said Peggy Morris, President of Sisters4Sisters.
For more than 6 years, Sisters4Sisters has established networking events around the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan region to provide career and professional opportunities for women.
At the close of the event, Mr. Fraser reminded the crowd that individualism has no place in networking. "It's easy to break a finger, but much harder to break a fist."
Fraser is a master teacher and visionary with a rare combination of business and people skills. He has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, PBS and CNN Live. Fraser is the author of two books: Success Runs In Our Race; The Complete Guide to Effective Networking in the African American Community (a critically acclaimed bestseller) and Race For Success; The Ten Best Business Opportunities for Blacks In America (selected as one of ten best business books of the year by Booklist), according to his biography. Fraser is also the publisher of the award-winning SuccessGuide Worldwide: The Networking Guide to Black Resources. He is the founder of the annual PowerNetworking Conference, the largest gathering of Black professionals, business owners and community leaders.
A popular speaker and author, Fraser's inspiring talks on success principles, effective networking, wealth creation, business ethics, and valuing diversity, are as popular among corporate professionals as they are among college students, according to his biography. UPSCALE magazine named him one of the "Top 50 power brokers in Black America." Black Enterprise magazine called him "Black America's #1 Networker" on a cover issue.
Fraser attended New York University and received his executive training at the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, according to his biography. He was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Jarvis Christian College. Fraser has been married to Nora Jean for over 30 years. They have two sons, Kyle and Scott.