The National Black MBA Association - New Orleans Chapter
About 2024-07-12T20:43:42+00:00



Established in 1970, the National Black MBA Association is dedicated to developing partnerships that result in the creation of intellectual and economic wealth in the black community. In partnership with over 400 of the world’s top business organizations, the association has inroads into a wide range of industries as well as the public and private sector. Yet all of NBMBAA’s partners have one thing in common: they are all committed to the organization’s goals and values. Currently there are 46 U.S. professional chapters and 28 collegiate chapters.



The organization gains its strength from a strong belief in community and a commitment to its development through economic and educational development initiatives that support the global African American community. Through its chapter and collegiate affiliations, the NBMBAA provides the most powerful link of networking dedicated to increasing corporate diversity and access to business ownership.


Increase membership among African-American MBAs (and other professional degrees), MBA students, Entrepreneurs and Business Owners

Develop and strengthen Chapter programs that will promote education and stimulate intellectual and economic growth, career development and community outreach and service

Build corporate partnerships with local, state and regional companies, communities and institutions


KaTrina Chantelle Griffin, MBA


KaTrina Chantelle Griffin is very passionate about the city of New Orleans and education for the future.  KaTrina believes the best way to impact the community is to work with the community and give back.  She served as an Advisory Board member (2010-2018) for March of Dimes where their mission is to end birth defects.  She served as the Board President for Collective Steps Projects where their mission is to make mental and behavioral resources more accessible to black women and girls.  She volunteered with the NO AIDS Task Force, where their mission is to provide resources and education to people living with HIV/AIDS and American Cancer Society where their mission is to improve the lives of people with cancer and their families through advocacy, research, and patient support.  She participates in the March for Babies Walk, Sista Strut and the UNCF Walk.  She also volunteers her time and talents with Save Our Brass Culture Foundation, where their mission is to provide resources to brass band musicians.

Under her leadership of the NBMBAA-New Orleans Chapter, the chapter has awarded more than $15K in scholarships to Leaders of Tomorrow(LOT), undergraduate and graduate students.

The chapter has hosted numerous events and webinars to included: C-Suite and Black Think Tank, Real Estate and Investment Properties, Financial Literacy, Retirement Planning, Business and Individual Tax, Resume Building and Career Fairs.

The chapter has also created programs for our Leaders of Tomorrow (LOT, children 12-18) and our undergraduate members.  These programs include: resume building and mock interview, national case competition, dress for success, financial literacy and personal branding.
The chapter has partnered with Southern University A&M, Xavier University of Louisiana, Dillard University and Southern University at New Orleans to offer programs around STEM Initiatives, HBCUs and the importance of obtaining a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree.
KaTrina has been involved with NBMBAA since 2010 and believes the work is not done.  Her goal is to continue to push for diversity, equity and inclusion.

Sylvia A. Hurst, MBA


Ms. Sylvia Hurst is a New Orleans native, and long-time resident of Hammond, Louisiana. Sylvia is the mother of three intelligent and respectful children all of whom are amidst their academic careers. Her two sons, Melvin Jr. and Millard are pursuing their doctoral degrees in Engineering, at Louisiana State University and at University of California at Berkeley, respectively, and her daughter, Malonda, is a recent Mechanical Engineering Graduate of Santa Clara University. Sylvia earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Southeastern University and her Master’s Degree in finance from Southern University and A&M College. As a multifaceted woman, Sylvia takes pride in being a realtor, tax specialist, and financial advisor.

As an elected member of the Democratic State Central Committee and leader in the community, Sylvia was recognized by City of New Orleans Mayor, Latoya Cantrell for facilitating a Business Series that served to increase economic opportunities for minorities. Her experience in finance allows her to serve as the treasurer of the National Black MBA Association. Sylvia is also a member of the Illustrious Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc. where she struts proudly in pink and green. Sylvia exudes Southern charm at all times, which is said that she never meets a stranger. Her passions include spending time with friends and family, serving her community, and traveling.

Donnell Knighten, Sr. MBA


Donnell Knighten, Sr. has a diverse background with extensive experience in various industries. Currently working at State Farm as an ACT, they have also held positions at notable companies such as JPMorgan Chase & Co., Prudential Financial, Amazon, Grainger, Edward Jones, The Coca-Cola Company, The Oliver Group, and Northwestern Mutual Financial Network. Donnell has been actively involved with the National Black MBA Association since 2005, serving on the Executive Committee in various leadership roles. With an MBA in Marketing, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation from Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Northwestern University, Donnell has a strong educational foundation to support their professional accomplishments.

Darius Johnson


Darius Johnson, a Louisiana native, has called the New Orleans area home for the past 25 years. He has a BBA degree with a concentration in management from Northeast LA University (University of Louisiana-Monroe) and is an MBA-Finance candidate within the Louisiana State
University system. His professional journey began with a 15-year tenure at the Department of the Treasury, where he honed his financial analysis skills.

However, it was his transition to the dynamic world of sales that truly defined his career trajectory. In insurance, he consistently ranked in the top 10% of all agents with one company and broke a record for highest-grossing sales in one week with another. He also broke the agency record with a 100% underwritten acceptance rate of all submitted business over 12 months.

After being recruited to join a growing print and digital marketing company, Darius accepted the challenge of growing the brand in Louisiana. With discipline and focus, he broke the company’s all-time January record in sales and led its recruitment and retention growth over the Louisiana
market. He recruited more talent in this market in six months than the company had since its inception.

Today, Darius mentors and educates those in the sales field. He is a part of a startup leadership team and is on several local boards. He is a life member of the NAACP, former Vice President of the New Orleans chapter of the NAACP, a legacy member of the University of Louisiana-
Monroe’s Alumni Association, a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Eta Pi chapter, and is an active 33freemason with the Supreme Council of Louisiana, Inc. of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite based in New Orleans.

Darius has two kids, one of which is a senior electrical engineering major at Louisiana State University.