Connie Hardy Atkins served as the Executive Director of the Consortium of African American Organizations
Connie Hardy Atkins served as the Executive Director of the Consortium of African American Organizations (CAAO) from April 2001 to December 2011 (currently, Executive Director Emeritus). In her role at CAAO, she was responsible for the implementation of the mission and principles of this collaborative organization for the black professional organizations of Northeast Ohio. CAAO (pronounced K-O) acts as a conduit and collaborative point of reference to assist with entrepreneurial development, professional development, and leadership development for those organizations and their members. CAAO currently has 12 member organizations and 4 collaborative member organizations with over 10,000 active members and an outreach of over 30,000.
Connie helped to start, develop, and coach an average of 300 to 400 individuals and businesses per year for more than ten years, ranging from startups to over $30 million in revenue and individuals from secretaries to Senators.
Connie is a seasoned entrepreneur, a published author, a motivational speaker, a life coach, an adjunct college professor, and an international business consultant, having served on many community boards, including the Business Advisory Council of John Carroll University, the U.S. – South Africa Business Development Council, the Cleveland World Trade Association, the Greater Cleveland Minority Technology Council, the Northern Ohio District Export Council, the Cleveland Job Corps, the SBA Advisory Council, Cleveland Skilled Industries, Cleveland Bridge Builders Advisory Council, NorTech Advisory Council, the Supplier Diversity Initiative Council of Case Western Reserve University, the vendor diversity steering committee for the Cleveland Clinic, and others.