Expansion will help overcome systemic racism and break down barriers to Black entrepreneurship.
November 5, 2021, Toronto — After 39 years as Canada’s leading national Black business advocacy and support organization, the Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA) is expanding its leadership with a new CEO position. Nadine Spencer, who has served as the BBPA’s president since 2017, has been named by the board as acting CEO. Spencer will guide the BBPA through its continued growth of the organization’s ongoing expansions. These new projects include the launch of several new programs for business owners and increased funding towards these initiatives. The current BBPA vice president, Ross Cadastre, will succeed Spencer as president.
Businessman and BBPA founder, Denham Jolly, commented on the new role stating, “This is a wonderful moment for the organization and it has my full support. Nadine Spencer’s service has been exemplary and groundbreaking, with a track record that has added immeasurably to the BBPA. Her tenure has been marked by many victories, including great expansions in government funding, adding new projects, and making older ones like the Harry Jerome Awards even more successful.”
Spencer will take a secondment from her current position as CEO of BrandEQ, a creative marketing agency based in Toronto and New York, in order to focus her attention on the rapid new growth the BBPA has been experiencing in the last few years.
“I am honoured that the BBPA has named me as its first CEO,” says Spencer. “In the nearly five years that I have served as an executive member with BBPA, issues of race and equality have moved to the forefront of public discourse and Black community advocacy voices have come together in unison to advance Black businesses. I am committed to working even harder with our community to build a future that is free of anti-Black racism and to help break down the barriers to the advancement of Black business owners and professionals. I’m also pleased that my colleague Ross Cadastre has accepted the position as president. We will work together to advance Black businesses during this critical post-COVID-19 recovery time and develop more outreach programs and partnerships.”
As the BBPA’s CEO, Spencer will lead the organization’s operations, membership growth, fundraising, develop education programs, and oversee all other initiatives targeted towards the empowerment and advancement of the Black business community.
Cadastre, the incoming president, is the founder of ITS Global, one of Canada’s fastest-growing recruiting firms. He brings a long history of business experience and success to the BBPA’s governance and his role as president. “As the leading organization supporting Black business in Canada, we see this expansion as a natural part of our evolution and a catalyst for our growth over the next 40 years,” says Cadastre. “Nadine and I have enjoyed a productive working partnership over the years and expect it to continue long into the future.”
This year, the BBPA launched the Business Advisory and Implementation Services (BAIDS) initiative and the Black African and Caribbean Leadership Training Program (BACEL). The association was also a founding member of the Federation of African Canadian Economics (FACE), which adjudicates Black business loans up to $250,000 as part of the Canadian Government’s Black Entrepreneurship Program.
About the Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA)