Tucson, AZ Dec. 14, 1999 SolarQuest® iNet News Service
The U.S. African Energy Ministers Conference is yielding a number of success stories of countries working together to reach a common goal, the goal of getting affordable power to underdeveloped countries in Africa…at an affordable cost. Also, many alternative sources of power are being explored and information is being exchanged between countries to enhance the lives of our counterparts overseas. Truly, the purpose of the conference is being realized.
Amos L. Otis, President and CEO of SoBran INC. an engineering and environmental services company based out of Virginia is one of the masterminds behind the conference itself. Otis is an alumna of Tennessee State University and has been an educator at Howard University. While at Howard he established a program to recruit faculty and students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities for research. The summer component of this program is still in effect today. He entered the Air Force as an Officer of research. “In the beginning, all I wanted to do was fly airplanes. When that didn’t work out I worked with missiles and was introduced to a businesslike industry. I was exposed to internal workings of organizations and realized that this was a task that I could do…well.”
When asked about his humble beginnings in the business world, Otis says he started his company thirteen years ago with only one office and has now spread to over nine states. “The company just kept growing and growing.” he said. A one year tour in Korea as the comptroller for data automation, budgeting and financing gave insight to part of getting the conference off the ground came as a result of the Department of Energy’s involvement with his current company. Otis’s company won the contract out of five applicants vying for the position. Even before this particular project is completed talks are already in process for a new venture in Africa of the same nature. “We’ve also been asked to do other projects, lots of doors have been opened.” Africa is trying to involve more African-American companies and businesses from the U.S. in its ventures for the future. “This is a very inspirational event to see so many people from the continent of Africa working together and really doing business here in the United States.”
Otis is a strong believer in entrepeneurship and encourages it for everyone. “Learn as much as you can, be outgoing and aggressive about reaching your goals. You’ll be surprised how many people will help you if you’re sincere and willing to learn.” Truly, Mr. Otis represents achievement in the highest levels of human endeavor. And a great success story to emulate.