For Immediate Release
November 09, 2020
Contact Information

Christine Byrd

(BPRW) Next Frontier Conference & Expo 2020 Spotlights the Most Promising Industries for Diverse Talent

Astronaut Leland Melvin, SpaceX’s Gwynne Shotwell, and Thermo Fisher’s Fred Lowery will be joined by industry leaders from life sciences, fintech, edtech and other emerging industries

(Black PR Wire) Irvine, CA – Base 11’s Next Frontier Conference & Expo 2020 will welcome over 500 students and industry leaders from across the country on Nov. 10-11, gathering virtually via the 3D event platform Intrado. The conference will also be simulcast to students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and California Community Colleges. Next Frontier Conference & Expo 2020 introduces and explores “The Next Frontier” industries of the 21st century — ones that are likely to be the fastest-growing and most financially rewarding for the next 30 years — with an emphasis on helping women and underrepresented minorities on pathways to careers and entrepreneurship in these fields.


The Next Frontier conference is the flagship annual event of Base 11’s Next Frontier Initiative, a 10-year strategic effort to put 100,000 students, early career adults and entrepreneurs on their pathway to success in Next Frontier industries.


Through a partnership with Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, a.k.a. the Boulé, the first and oldest African American Greek-letter Fraternal organization, students from more than 20 Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) have been invited to attend the conference.


“Even though I’ve been to space and I’ve been on tv commenting on this summer’s Dragon Crew launch, speaking at the Next Frontier Conference holds a special place in my heart, because this is all about empowering the next generation of leaders, innovators and explorers,” said Leland Melvin, astronaut, and Base 11 spokesperson. “We’re going to expand their access, awareness and belief by showing these students diverse leaders who look like them and come from backgrounds that might be similar to their own, so that they can actually envision themselves in those careers.”


At the event, industry leaders will share insights about emerging career opportunities in fintech, aerospace, life sciences and other emerging industries. More than 45 featured speakers include:


  • Leland Melvin, astronaut; Corporate Director, BWX Technologies Inc; National Spokesperson, Base 11
  • Gwynne Shotwell, President & COO, SpaceX
  • Frederick Lowery, President, Life Sciences Solutions and Laboratory Products, Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • Olabisi Boyle, Vice President, Product Planning and Mobility Strategy, Hyundai Motor America
  • Michael V. Drake, M.D., President, University of California
  • Sig Anderman, Founder, Ellie Mae; Co-founder, Makena Beach Fund; and Chairman, Anderman Foundation
  • Alaina Beverly, former Obama White House Office of Urban Affairs Official, National Deputy Director for African American Outreach for Obama for America '08, and frequent political commentator
  • Eloy Ortiz Oakley, Chancellor, California Community Colleges
  • Julie Hill, Corporate Director, Anthem and Chairperson, UCI Foundation
  • Greg Jones, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, KeyBank
  • Dwayne Murray, Grand Sire Archon, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, aka the Boulé
  • Sekou Kaalund, Head of Chase Consumer Banking, Northeast Division, JP Morgan Chase
  • Ed Goines, Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Government Affairs, Seattle Seahawks
  • Landon Taylor, Founder & Chairman, Base 11
  • Gary Acosta, Co-founder and CEO, National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP®)


“We have a world-class lineup of industry-leading speakers and an exciting, fast-paced agenda that will provide diverse students and early career adults with the access, awareness, and belief they need to succeed, while also shining a spotlight on those companies that are committed to developing a diverse talent pipeline for tomorrow,” said Landon Taylor, founder and chairman of Base 11, a nonprofit that since 2015 has accelerated more than 11,000 diverse students on their pathways to STEM success.


Highlights of the two days of programming include:

  • STEM Career Playbook. Conference attendees will get a first look at the STEM Career Playbook, a series of videos featuring Melvin interviewing industry leaders about what inspired them on their career path, and how they overcame challenges along the way. The playbook is based on the idea that high school athletes know the exact steps they need to take to become professional athletes, but pathways to STEM success are less obvious. (See STEM Career Playbook trailer here.)
  • Innovation Challenges powered by HeroX. Several Next Frontier Industry sponsors will announce incentive-prize competitions that give students and entrepreneurs the opportunity to solve high impact, real-world problems posed by companies, and that aim to find highly qualified yet undiscovered talent to recruit into their organizations.


The interactive virtual Expo Hall features interactive 3D booth experiences with live chat, resources, videos, and live staff available to interact with conference attendees from the following companies: Dassault Systèmes; Thermo Fisher Scientific; Sensata Technologies; Regeneron; Tallo; Havas Health & You; 3M; BWX Technologies, Inc.; Blue Origin; NASA Tournament Lab; SpaceX; STEMconnector powered by;; Society of Women Engineers; Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers; UCI Beall Applied Innovation and the National College Resource Foundation.


The Next Frontier Conference & Expo is made possible thanks to generous sponsors and partners. Dassault Systèmes and Thermo Fisher Scientific are the event’s Game Changer sponsors, and Innovator level sponsors are Regeneron and Sensata Technologies. Other sponsors and partners include 3M; Blue Origin; Bristol Meyers Squibb; BWX Technologies, Inc.; Havas Health & You; Tallo; Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity; a.k.a. the Boulé, and The Boulé Foundation.


About Base 11

Base 11 is a non-profit public benefit corporation focused on empowering high-potential, low-resource community college students with hands-on education and training in STEM-related enterprises. Base 11 partners with community colleges and their feeder high schools to provide high-potential, low-resource students with real-world training, experience and mentorship in STEM-related enterprises, delivering to employers a prerecruitment pipeline of well-trained, highly skilled STEM employees and entrepreneurs. For more information, please visit Base 11 is a DBA of the Center for Innovations in Education, a non-profit 501(c) 3 - IRS exemption EIN# 26- 4365936.