By Miguel Gonzalez
Editor & Founder
To view more pictures of High Desert Opportunity, please click here —> http://highdesertdaily.com/?page_id=640
(Victorville)—They came from near and far, all with a purpose in mind: network, network, and network.
Nearly 1,000 business men and women attended the High Desert Opportunity conference, held at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds on Thursday.
The annual event was one of the best attended in recent history. Organizers attributed the attendance to the popularity of the keynote speaker, NBA Legend and Entrepreneur Earvin “Magic” Johnson, who delivered a “slam dunk” of a speech.
“When I started (in the world of business) I met with many community members and picked their brains about business,” he told a crowd hanging to his every word “I learned about business from many people and then I added the same work ethic that used in Basketball,” said Johnson, whose fortune is valued to be around $500 million.
Johnson explained that a key to his business success was to over deliver success to clients. He also mentioned the recent sale of his shares of Starbucks Coffee for $75 million and the sale last week of his minority ownership of the Los Angeles Lakers for a reported $27 million. “I might have sold my share in the Lakers, but I am not returning my 10 (championship) rings because I am a Laker for life,” he said to the delight of the crowd.
“Magic” also mentioned that he would be interested in buying the Los Angeles Dodgers only if it made “business sense” and that he would love to own an NFL franchise. “I would get involved with the NFL in two seconds.”
Johnson’s style of delivering a speech was unlike any of the past speakers of this conference. He didn’t address the crowd from the podium. Instead, he walked around with a wireless microphone and directly addressed people by reading their name tags, making his speech very personal, inspirational and engaging.
In all, Johnson spoke for about 50 minutes and then he took the time to answer questions from the crowd, raffled some of his #32 Lakers Jerseys and even gave out his personal floor seats at Staples Center, worth at about $1,700 a piece.
The lucky winner of those seats was local Chicago Title Business Developer Bobby Tarango, who wore to the conference a Lakers tie. “When I saw “Magic” pull a black business card, I just had a feeling I was going to win,” a very excited Tarango told High Desert Daily.
When Tarango came down to claim his prize Johnson greeted him with three chest bumps, a tradition among Basketball players, while the crowd went wild. “I have to just say that this day has been “Magic,” Tarango explained.
Hesperia Mayor Thurston “Smitty” Smith said “Magic’s” speech was among the best he has seen in many years. “People were left excited to do business and I think the speech by “Magic” was the reason.”