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Robert Blackwell

The secret to the ten-year-old consulting company's successful weathering of the dot-com boom and bust may well be the level-headedness of its founder.

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 Robert Blackwell Biography

The secret to the ten-year-old consulting company's successful weathering of the dot-com boom and bust may well be the level-headedness of its founder, chairman and CEO Robert Blackwell, 63, recently named as a finalist in Ernst & Young's 2001 Illinois/Northwest Indiana Entrepreneur of the Year competition.

"We steered clear of the dot.com phenomenon and were careful not to build up a lot of infrastructure that could not be supported by our existing business," Blackwell said. "We've always been about being profitable day to day." Instead of riding the waves of new consulting trends, he said he is proud that his company has remained anchored to its original focus.

"Our idea of the business we're in today is the same basic view we had ten years ago, of focusing on real technical problems people have," he said. "We're not in some ivory tower somewhere contemplating what life should be about, but are actually down on the ground doing the project work."

The 200 Blackwell consultants, based at the Chicago headquarters or at a handful of national offices, offer a range of IT services, from web portal development to networking, messaging systems and workflow application work.

Blackwell said if asked 36 years ago, he would never have been able to predict that he would end up where he has. In fact, the Wichita State University psychology major had absolutely no computer experience when he was hired in 1966, straight out of college, to be a systems engineer at IBM.

"It was a job. In those days, it wasn't necessary to have prior computer experience because nobody knew anything about computers," he said. "IBM hired me and that ended up being a blessing for me. I remember training right here in Chicago."

That first job turned into a 26-year stint at IBM, where Blackwell worked in management, marketing and sales, ultimately ending up as director of the Greater Chicago Consulting Services for IBM. Blackwell said his last position at IBM really is what gave him the idea to start his company.

"I was running IBM's consulting services and I really liked it. I thought having a consulting firm was something that didn't require a lot of capital and the barriers to entry were low. Also, I always wanted to try it on my own and I decided services were a good way to do it."

Today, Blackwell Consulting Services is the largest minority-owned management consulting and information technology consultancy in the Midwest. But that's not enough for Blackwell.

"Ten years ago, we had a vision that we realized, but we still need to keep pushing and get bigger and stronger," he said. "We would like to be a very strong national company. I can envision that in ten years, we could have more than 1000 people working for us."

And included in Blackwell's predictions for his firm is an enhancement of his emphasis on company diversity.

"What 'diverse' means is not so much a statement of ethnicity as a statement about the global nature of our business. My feeling is that if we're going to be a first class firm we need to be run in a way that attracts diverse skills and talents from diverse cultures."

When Blackwell is not working, he said he enjoys spending time with his six grandchildren, relaxing on his boat and supporting non-profit arts organizations. "There is I think a similarity between the arts and IT consulting. The highly-focused zealous way we approach our technology is somewhat like the way artists approach their art." And staying focused on the mission of being excellent at what you do, Blackwell said, is most important lesson he has learned thus far.

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FAQs
  • HOW TO BOOK Robert Blackwell?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Robert Blackwell for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Robert Blackwell, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Robert Blackwell or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BOOK Robert Blackwell?

    Booking fees for Robert Blackwell, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Robert Blackwell, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • WHO IS THE AGENT FOR Robert Blackwell?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Robert Blackwell for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Robert Blackwell for your next private or corporate function.
  • WHAT IS A FULL-SERVICE TALENT BOOKING AGENCY?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Robert Blackwell or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Robert Blackwell or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.
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Robert Blackwell

The secret to the ten-year-old consulting company's successful weathering of the dot-com boom and bust may well be the level-headedness of its founder.

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Robert Blackwell Biography

The secret to the ten-year-old consulting company's successful weathering of the dot-com boom and bust may well be the level-headedness of its founder, chairman and CEO Robert Blackwell, 63, recently named as a finalist in Ernst & Young's 2001 Illinois/Northwest Indiana Entrepreneur of the Year competition.

"We steered clear of the dot.com phenomenon and were careful not to build up a lot of infrastructure that could not be supported by our existing business," Blackwell said. "We've always been about being profitable day to day." Instead of riding the waves of new consulting trends, he said he is proud that his company has remained anchored to its original focus.

"Our idea of the business we're in today is the same basic view we had ten years ago, of focusing on real technical problems people have," he said. "We're not in some ivory tower somewhere contemplating what life should be about, but are actually down on the ground doing the project work."

The 200 Blackwell consultants, based at the Chicago headquarters or at a handful of national offices, offer a range of IT services, from web portal development to networking, messaging systems and workflow application work.

Blackwell said if asked 36 years ago, he would never have been able to predict that he would end up where he has. In fact, the Wichita State University psychology major had absolutely no computer experience when he was hired in 1966, straight out of college, to be a systems engineer at IBM.

"It was a job. In those days, it wasn't necessary to have prior computer experience because nobody knew anything about computers," he said. "IBM hired me and that ended up being a blessing for me. I remember training right here in Chicago."

That first job turned into a 26-year stint at IBM, where Blackwell worked in management, marketing and sales, ultimately ending up as director of the Greater Chicago Consulting Services for IBM. Blackwell said his last position at IBM really is what gave him the idea to start his company.

"I was running IBM's consulting services and I really liked it. I thought having a consulting firm was something that didn't require a lot of capital and the barriers to entry were low. Also, I always wanted to try it on my own and I decided services were a good way to do it."

Today, Blackwell Consulting Services is the largest minority-owned management consulting and information technology consultancy in the Midwest. But that's not enough for Blackwell.

"Ten years ago, we had a vision that we realized, but we still need to keep pushing and get bigger and stronger," he said. "We would like to be a very strong national company. I can envision that in ten years, we could have more than 1000 people working for us."

And included in Blackwell's predictions for his firm is an enhancement of his emphasis on company diversity.

"What 'diverse' means is not so much a statement of ethnicity as a statement about the global nature of our business. My feeling is that if we're going to be a first class firm we need to be run in a way that attracts diverse skills and talents from diverse cultures."

When Blackwell is not working, he said he enjoys spending time with his six grandchildren, relaxing on his boat and supporting non-profit arts organizations. "There is I think a similarity between the arts and IT consulting. The highly-focused zealous way we approach our technology is somewhat like the way artists approach their art." And staying focused on the mission of being excellent at what you do, Blackwell said, is most important lesson he has learned thus far.

FAQs on booking Robert Blackwell

  • How to book Robert Blackwell?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Robert Blackwell for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Robert Blackwell, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Robert Blackwell or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • How much does it cost to book Robert Blackwell?

    Booking fees for Robert Blackwell, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Robert Blackwell, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • Who is the agent for Robert Blackwell?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Robert Blackwell for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Robert Blackwell for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service talent booking agency?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Robert Blackwell or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Robert Blackwell or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.

Robert Blackwell is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Robert Blackwell for your event is available upon request. Robert Blackwell generally travels from San Francisco, CA, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Dean Karlan, Paul Zak, Pavan Sukhdev, Tim Jackson and Paul Gilding. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Robert Blackwell for an upcoming event.

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Speakers Similar to Robert Blackwell

This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

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