Major League Baseball's second annual Diversity Business Summit moves to Houston this year.
On June 19, executives from all 30 teams as well as MLB Network, MLB Advanced Media, Minor League Baseball clubs and MLB's main office will converge on the George R. Brown Convention Center for a networking opportunity of a rare scope. Roundtables and workshops are scheduled, and Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig is set to deliver the keynote address.
"Diversity is essential to our sport and remains a core priority of Major League Baseball," Selig said in a news release on Tuesday. "Major League and Minor League rosters reflect players of many different backgrounds throughout our game. Away from the field, the MLB Diversity Business Summit is a key platform, allowing us to offer unprecedented networking access to talented individuals who are interested in baseball careers and business opportunities. We thank the Houston Astros for co-hosting this event and exemplifying the depth of the commitment shared by all of our clubs."
The first MLB Diversity Business Summit was co-hosted by MLB and the Chicago White Sox in 2012, and brought more than 800 registrants from across the country.
"The 2012 Diversity Business Summit was a tremendous success, attracting a diverse pool of students, professionals, and business owners," MLB senior vice president of diversity and strategic alliances Wendy Lewis said in a release. "It was a unique and highly engaging event and the attendees were exposed to the variety and scope of opportunities that can be found in our industry. We are pleased to bring the Summit back this year to reach even more outstanding candidates and entrepreneurs."
The Astros, this year's co-host, made the joint announcement about the Summit just days after hosting a successful Urban Invitational, a tournament that includes a college fair. The city of Houston itself is booming at the moment: it grew the fastest in 2011 among the country's top 10 major biggest metro areas, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Friday using a measure of inflation-adjusted gross domestic product.
But the Summit wouldn't be in Houston without the help of the Astros and their new ownership group, led by Jim Crane.
"The Astros are phenomenal partners from top to bottom," Darrell Miller, Major League Baseball's vice president of youth and facility development, said after the Urban Invitational. "Jim Crane has been unbelievable. He's the one that suggested we bring all three games to Minute Maid Park this year. He brought it up last year when he came to the Invitational, and we changed the format at his suggestion. Frankly, they get what this can do to inspire kids, and that speaks volumes about who they are."
Said Crane in the release: "Diversity is vital for MLB, the Astros and the city of Houston to thrive. We are proud to co-host this year's MLB Diversity Business Summit."