Tanya Bell Mckinzie to exit Indiana Black Expo leadership role

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Tanya Bell Mckinzie
Tanya Bell Mckinzie became president and CEO of Indiana Black Expo in 2008.

After 15 years as president of Indiana Black Expo, Tanya Bell Mckinzie will step down from her leadership role in December.

The organization announced Mckinzie’s plans on Monday, when Alice Watson, Indiana Black Expo’s senior vice president of operations and project management, was named as Mckinzie’s successor.

Mckinzie, a former Ice Miller attorney, became president of Indiana Black Expo in 2008. The not-for-profit organization, known for its Summer Celebration and Circle City Classic events in Indianapolis, is made up of 12 chapter affiliates that focus on the social and economic advancement of Black residents.

“This experience has been life-changing,” Mckinzie said in a prepared statement. “I hold steadfast to the principle in Ecclesiastes that there is a season for everything. As IBE continues to encourage so many aspiring entrepreneurs to step out on faith and use their gifts, talents and abilities to create generational wealth for their families, I have made the decision to join the ranks of so many others and start my own consulting business.”

During Mckinzie’s tenure, Indiana Black Expo moved from offices on North Meridian Street to a 43,000-square-foot campus on the east side. The former Crossroads Bible College building, 601 N. Shortridge Road, was purchased by Indiana Black Expo in 2019.

Watson, who will become IBE’s president in January 2023, worked in the Indiana Department of Administration from 2008 to 2010, leading the Department of Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises Division.

The 2022 edition of Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration is scheduled July 7-17. The event’s traditional free concert will bring Patti LaBelle, Monica and After 7 to the American Legion Mall at 6 p.m. July 15. The event’s corporate luncheon is scheduled at 11 a.m. July 15 at the Indiana Convention Center.

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2 thoughts on “Tanya Bell Mckinzie to exit Indiana Black Expo leadership role

  1. It was actually time for her to go. Under her leadership the Black Expo fell off to an embarrassment of its former self. Change is good and in this case that’s an understatement. I wish Mrs. Mckinzie the best in whatever she decides to do after this but from the rumors at the Black Expo HQ,she wasn’t the easiest to work for and she didn’t have a vision for the success and future of the organization. New young and bold talent with fresh new ideas were always making suggestions that Mrs Mckinzie simply ignored. The rumor is, she was a true definition of someone who wanted complete and total control without questions asked.

  2. Good Luck Tanya on your new venture. I know for sure that have you have supported small black businesses in the community. You have helped my company grow and as we participated in several business development conferences and seminars. IBE played a vital role in helping small black businesses understand how get PPP Loans and the necessary paperwork to get it. You brought banking institutions together to help those who where getting overlooked and denied loans during the pandemic. I hope IBE will continue to focus on more business development in the future.