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African American Young business professionals in the city of Pittsburgh gathered Downtown for an opportunity to chat, chew and mingle with other young professionals. Young men attended the event wearing suits and ties, while the woman were dressed in business casual attire.

The professionals who attended the event were between the ages of 20-35; college educated, entrepreneurs, corporate professionals; and aspiring business owners filled the venue to connect with the other professionals of the city.

The networking event was held by a new, up and coming company called Grindware. Grindware LLC was established a few years ago, by President and Founder Gerald Brooks.

“Grindware is something that I am extremely proud of,” Brooks said. “Grindware exist to uplift the people, and change lives. Being a young Black man myself, I realize the importance of helping one another. I refuse to stand by and watch the lost generation, continue to be lost. Especially when I can possibly do something about it, or motivate another to get on the right track in life. Grindware is here to make a difference, and the business networking event was the first step of 2015. This is only the beginning, with a lot more to come.”

Grindware held their business networking event Jan. 9 at the Diamond Building, located at 100 Fifth Ave., Downtown. Wine, cheese, and good conversation were available to the 30-40 young professionals in attendance. At 7:15 p.m. Brooks held a presentation for the guests. He provided the young professionals with more information about Grindware as well as what the company has planned for 2015. Grindware has a total of 22 events planed for the year.

It also provided the guests at the networking event with an opportunity to individually introduce themselves to all attendees.

“This was one of my first business networking events I have attended since I’ve been an author, and I enjoyed myself,” published author Kylie Stores said. “It was such a pleasure and a blessing to be among so many great young African American people. The event was motivational, encouraging, and inspiring. I was inspired by the people I met and I intend on connecting with all those that I met during this occasion. Thank you Grindware for putting this event together.”

Business professionals who attended the event included: real estate agents, boutique owners, stylists, matchmakers, published authors, public relations representatives, musicians, artists, models, college admission counselors, and U.S. National Guard members.

Cortez Carey, a 2013 Clarion University graduate and aspiring author, said, “Attending this networking event was an awesome way to start the year. Lately I have been in the works of writing my own novel, and putting my story on paper. Coming to this event granted me with the opportunity to connect with other young authors that gave me the motivation I needed and good business advice.”

“This networking event was not only important to have for the community, but I too benefited from it,” Brooks said. “I also met new people, and I’m already in the works of creating more business relationships to further myself and Grindware.”

Brooks, a 26-year-old former overseas Basketball player, recently decided to take a break from his basketball career to focus on Grindware, a Pittsburgh based company that exists to motivate, he said.

Grindware already plans to hold Unity Marches, Black Lives Matter events, a Valentine’s Day Dinner, and other business events in 2015.

Follow Grindware on Facebook and Instagram to find more information about the group and its events.



(Photos by Fred Underwood)


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