Chicago Business Executive Walter Hughes Named CEO Of Black Business Movement ‘TESC.Love’


Photos: NSBA

CHICAGO (June 19th, 2024) – Walter Hughes, managing principal of Quant16 in Chicago and a member of the National Small Business Association (NSBA) Leadership Council, has been named CEO of TESC.Love (The Entrepreneurial Saving Cities), the organization announced today. Officially launched here in February, TESC.Love is a burgeoning movement of people of good will dedicated to one laudatory premise: Proving that the free enterprise system works for all Americans, and can yield success for anyone willing to excel in an area where they possess world-class potential, if given the opportunity.

Hughes is a distinguished leader and executive whose career has been characterized by a visionary approach to leadership and innovation across the technology and business sectors. As the managing principal and head of strategy for Quant16, his expertise in orchestrating high-impact strategies and fostering dynamic corporate environments has driven significant advancements in tech startups, financial services and global corporate initiatives.

He is also the CEO of CyberAI, a partner at Transform VC and has held senior roles at Meta, Elevance Health and in state and local government. It’s this high-level business acumen and foundation of success that he intends to bring to bear for TESC.Love. Hughes will step down from his role with Quant16.

The TESC.Love national initiative is the brainchild of founder Robert Blackwell, Jr., who for over 25 years has led Quant16 (formerly EKI-Digital), the premier and innovative digital transformation provider specializing in cutting-edge digital solutions tailored to the needs of public and private sector organizations. The initiative’s mission is to foster direct entrepreneurial participation by Black businesses in the modern sectors of the economy, totaling $40 billion by 2028, and its strategy entails persuading both major governmental entities and Fortune 1000 companies to actively engage in business transactions through its’ Lead Partner Program, encouraging each to “Just Do Business” with Black companies and entrepreneurs capable of delivering value.

TESC.Love’s outreach thus far has been to Black and non-Black business communities locally and nationally, as well as to suppliers and state and local governments. The ambitious initiative is also leveraging strategic partnerships with higher education institutions, impact-driven community organizations and is mobilizing alignment with technical and non-technical professional services, micro-developers and housing advocates.

“I’m proud and humbled to be entrusted with assuming the helm of the TESC.Love national movement,” states Hughes. “As our founder Robert Blackwell, Jr. has stated so emphatically, we’re issuing a challenge and call-to-action that anyone who’s willing can, and should step up to: ‘Just do business, and sincerely partner with Black and Brown Businesses. And, once you are allied with us, make it a point to reach back and pull other individuals and businesses from their respective communities forward.’”

Blackwell himself echoes that sentiment. “Naming Walter Hughes TESC.Love’s CEO is the right move, at the right time. I am elated to have him take on this task, and together, our brain trust will work hard to create modern versions of thriving Black economic hubs akin to the historic ‘Black Wall Streets’ of our nation’s past. There’s no one better suited to pilot this ship.”

To learn more about Walter Hughes and TESC.Love, click here:, and


For more than 25 years, EKI-Digital has been a leading digital transformation provider headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. With a commitment to innovation and client success, the newly re-branded Quant16 specializes in delivering cutting-edge digital solutions tailored to meet the evolving needs of organizations in the public and private sectors. To learn more, visit For more information about TESC.Love, connect with us at the link provided.


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