jerome-hutchinson_web.jpgFORT LAUDERDALE – A South Florida company has announced plans to unveil a professional networking website for black professionals on Nov.18. 

The inspiration for ICABA Media Holdings, LLC, came to Jerome Hutchinson Jr., the company’s president and CEO, last year.

Hutchinson is the husband of the late Pamela Hutchinson, associate publisher of last year’s inaugural edition of Who's Who in Black South Florida, a directory that sought to promote the positive accomplishments of black people in the region, and give them an opportunity to network with one another.

Pamela Hutchinson died in November 2007 at 45, following brain surgery.

Her husband has received inspiration from the directory his wife started, but said he felt something was missing from the original project.

“I realized that there was a greater need to not just profile accomplished blacks, but to connect and activate productive relationships within the black community,’’ Jerome Hutchinson said, adding that ICABA stands for Identifying, Connecting and Activating the Black Accomplished.

“ICABA was specifically created for black professionals and entrepreneurs,’’ he said. “Our platform enables accomplished blacks from all over the world to connect and develop relationships.’’

Since the launch of social networking websites, such methods of networking have exploded in popularity. In 2008, Facebook and MySpace attracted an estimated 115 million viewers per month, according to published reports.

Now, the creation of many other professional networking and social networking sites have followed, including everything from Black Professionals Network to LinkedIn.

What will differentiate ICABA from its predecessors is its online and offline networking, Hutchinson said.

“ICABA offers a 360-degree approach to networking, which enables black professionals and entrepreneurs to connect and forge new relationships in both the virtual and physical worlds,’’ he said.

Few details have emerged about how the network will function. Hutchinson said details would be revealed at the invitation-only official launch reception at an undisclosed location in Fort Lauderdale.

Photo: Jerome Hutchinson Jr.