As a child living in New Orleans public housing, C.J. Bland said he was
"very motivated by my environment to want to do better."
He loved math and science, and at age 10, he decided to become an
"In high school, I was voted most studious and most likely to
succeed," Bland said.
He earned degrees in physics and electrical engineering from Dillard and
Southern universities, got a master's in business administration from the
University of Houston at Clear Lake, then began a career with NASA and
By 1998, Bland had moved to Stone Mountain and started two electronic
newsletters —- the Atlanta Info Connection focused on local meetings and
events, and the Job Info Connection focused on career opportunities across
"Those were the foundation for the network we have today," said
Bland, whose newsletters evolved and expanded into the Minority Professional
Bland describes the Minority Professional Network as a "global
career, economic and lifestyle connection for progressive, multicultural
Since going online at the end of 2001, the company has posted tens of
thousands of job, business, nonprofit and calendar listings, said Bland,
co-founder of the firm.
People who go to the company Web site — www.MPNsite.com
find networking opportunities all over the world.
Clients include the U.S. State Department, Xerox Corp.,
PriceWaterhouseCoopers accounting firm, AirTran airline, MetLife insurance
company and Merck pharmaceuticals.
"Most of the time, they're looking for us to help with some kind of
diversity outreach," Bland said. "Periodically, we may do some
type of executive search."
The company had "about $275,000 in revenue" last year, Bland
Not bad for a kid from humble beginnings.
5 things you didn't know . . .... about C.J. Bland
1. Started reading newspapers at age 7.
2. Was too shy to attend his high school prom.
3. His mother and siblings, displaced by Katrina, live in Dallas.
4. At age 43, is "still a bachelor" but is "in a
5. Was appointed to the ARC board by DeKalb CEO Vernon Jones.