Business Reader Contributed

Minority Business Network of West Hartford Chamber to Hold Black History Month Breakfast Event

The 2nd annual Black History Month breakfast will include a panel discussion with the theme ‘Milestones to Mountaintops: The Black Professionals Ascent.’


The Minority Business Network, a committee of the West Hartford Chamber, is proud to announce their 2nd annual breakfast event in honor of Black History Month on Thursday, Feb. 22, from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at Warehouse 635 at 635 New Park Ave. #2F in West Hartford.

The event will include a panel discussion called Milestones to Mountaintops: The Black Professionals Ascent, open networking, and breakfast.

The climb of the Black business professional has both peaks and valleys. Whether working in a workplace or leading one’s own org as an entrepreneur, the journey can be a thrilling adventure and a test of resilience. It often requires overcoming inherent dangers of unpredictable experiences, dealing with treacherous terrain, and the need for unwavering determination required to reach new heights.

The esteemed panel of business leaders and entrepreneurs will share their insights, experiences, and strategies that have paved the way for survival and success.

Here is a bit about the panelist:

Angela Belt, Founder, Angela Belt Interiors:

Angela Belt Interiors is globally inspired and colorful – and clients say her spaces feel livable. Angela has a keen eye for design trends and a passion for interior design as a Contributing Shopping Editor for House Beautiful Magazine. When she’s not preoccupied designing or styling interiors, Angela loves to talk with tastemakers about their journey in interior design on her hit podcast, The Mood Board. Angela Belt Interiors has been featured nationally and internationally in publications like Better Homes & Gardens, Elle South Africa, HGTV, and the Washington Post. Angela works on residential and commercial projects throughout West Hartford, CT, and beyond.

Brooks Fitch, President, Paragon Legacies:

Brooks Fitch was raised in Springfield, MA, and attended Springfield schools. After graduating from the University of Connecticut and the American University MBA program, he began a career at IBM, which included time in Washington D.C., Dallas, Texas, and Melbourne, Australia. In Dallas, among many community service contributions, Brooks led the Freedman’s Memorial initiative that brought together corporations, the State of Texas, the City of Dallas and the African American community to create a world class memorial to 7,000 African American freedmen and slaves. Brooks was recognized through many awards, including the Aetna Insurance “From Whence We Came” Award and the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Dallas “Man of the Year” Award.

Since returning to Springfield, Brooks has served with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC), St. John’s Congregational Church, W.E.B. Du Bois Center at UMass Amherst, the Healing Racism Institute, and Beta Sigma Boule. With Beta Sigma Boule, Brooks has served as president and helped provide inspiration, aspirational modeling, scholarships and mentoring to students through the “Education & Leadership Luncheon.” The luncheon is a strategic partnership with the Basketball Hall of Fame. Brooks led the W.E.B. Du Bois Center and St. John’s community tributes to Western Massachusetts native, W.E.B. Du Bois.

For extraordinary contributions to the PVPC and our regional economic development, Brooks was recognized through the PVPC’s Regional Recognition Award in 2015. A cancer survivor, Brooks is blessed with an inspirational wife, Shelley, and an extended “spiritual” family. Brooks strongly believes that community service is an imperative. “WE must keep pushing – forward!”

Patrice Taffe, Retail Banking Officer & Branch Manager, Westfield Bank:

Patrice believes the definition of leadership is making opportunities for others. Her passion is helping individuals achieve their goals through financial literacy. She has held various roles in the banking industry most recently as Westfield Bank’s Retail Banking Officer and Branch Manager for West Hartford Financial Services Center.

The panel will be moderated by Steven King, Jr. founder of FOURtitidue Management Group. King is a local business owner and performer. Additionally, he serves on the town council for South Windsor, CT. King is also one of the founding members of the Minority Business Network.

The Minority Business Network is a committee of the Chamber. It was founded in early 2020 as a means of providing visibility, networking opportunities and resources to Chamber members who are also members of underrepresented racial, ethnic, and religious populations. Their mission is to “increase visibility of minority-owned businesses, provide a discussion forum for the unique challenges faced by minority professionals, and increase diversity of Chamber membership.”

This event is Presented by Westfield Bank with additional support from Program Sponsors – Comcast Business and Liberty Bank. Indelible Impressions is the Supporting Sponsor.

Tickets are available online here.

For sponsorship information contact: West Hartford Chamber Program & Development Director Kate Kobs at [email protected]

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