Financial services industry leaders recently joined forces to help promote the education and advancement of African-American financial professionals. Led by The American College and founding and platinum sponsor MetLife, the Fifth Annual Conference for African-American Financial Professionals was held on June 3-4, 2010 at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta.

Shown in the picture participating in a panel discussion at the event are, from left, Clyde Hill, ChFC, State Farm Insurance Companies, Pierre L. Greene, Northwestern Mutual and Eric M. Nation, New York Life.

This was the first time that so many leading companies came together to promote continuing education and diversity. Gold sponsors of the event included the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network and Prudential. Nationwide, New York Life, Penn Mutual, State Farm and Western & Southern Life, a member of Western & Southern Financial Group, were Silver-level sponsors.

During the two-day event, participants had the opportunity to network and learn from other successful African-American professionals and attend workshops led by powerful leaders throughout the industry.

The conference theme was “Empower Yourself: Commit to Your Education, Connect to Your Future.”

Larry Barton, Ph.D., president and CEO of The American College, said the institution was delighted to host the groundbreaking event for the fifth year. “The support The American College and MetLife have received from leading organizations throughout the industry speaks volumes about the importance our profession places on education and its ability to empower African-American financial services professionals.”

“As the founding and presenting sponsor of this progressive initiative, MetLife is proud that the industry is coming together to promote this important educational event,” said Michael Vietri, CLU, Executive Vice President of MetLife. “Financial services organizations are increasingly aware that their workforce needs to reflect the diversity of their customer base. The companies that took part in this year’s event clearly recognize the importance of providing an opportunity for African-American professionals to share best practices and network with their peers.”

Thomas McLeary, CLU, President of Endow, Incorporated and Trustee at The American College, delivered the opening remarks. Among the featured presenters were ShirleyAnn M. Robertson of the Prudential Insurance Company of America, Ross Shafer, Motivational Speaker and Business Innovation Seminar Leader, and Cheryl D. Creuzot, CFP, President and Chief Executive Officer of Wealth Development Strategies.

For more information, visit TheAmericanCollege.edu.