The U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency (www.mbda.gov) is the only federal agency solely dedicated to fostering the growth and global competitiveness of U.S. minority business enterprises. MBDA programs are focused on economic empowerment and leading minority business enterprises through business transformation. For more than 50 years, MBDA has helped minority-owned firms gain greater access to capital and contracts, build scale and capacity, and expand into new markets.
Since 1983, MBDA has hosted the National MED Week observance honoring the outstanding achievements and leadership of minority-owned firms, organizations and advocates from across the Nation. This year, MBDA has transformed its traditional programming to fit the dynamic virtual conference environment. The virtual conference experience will host more than twenty unique forums featuring inspirational stories, industry insights, and networking connections. 2020 National MED Week is virtually unmissable!
Can’t decide which MED Week session to join today? Stop by at 9a.m. (Eastern) daily for a preview of the day’s sessions. Hear from special guests, learn about new initiatives, and see how you can participate in the first “Buy MBE Day!”
Get advice. Get perspective. Get Inspired. Hear from the nations top minority-owned firms, champions of minority businesses, and legacy makers in the minority business community. Each session is designed to get “up close and personal” with the 2020 MED Week award winners to tell empowering stories with key takeaways of uncompromising perseverance, triumph, and vision.
Tune in Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoon during MED Week for curated eco-system sessions built on feedback from the minority business community. Each session is developed to help you overcome challenges and grow your business! Customize your week by selecting the sessions YOU want to attend!
MARK THE DATE- Saturday, September 19th is BUY MBE DAY. The inaugural awareness campaign promoting minority business enterprise is hosted by MBDA’s national network of Business Centers, Advanced Manufacturing Centers, and Federal Procurement – and coming to a city near you!
Wilbur L. Ross, Jr. was sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence as the 39th Secretary of Commerce on February 28, 2017. Secretary Ross is the principal voice of business in the Trump Administration, ensuring that U.S. entrepreneurs and businesses have the tools they need to create jobs and economic opportunity.Secretary Ross is the former Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer of WL Ross & Co. LLC and has over 55 years of investment banking and private equity experience. He has restructured over $400 billion of assets in the airline, apparel, auto parts, banking, beverage, chemical, credit card, electric utility, food service, furniture, gypsum, homebuilding, insurance, marine transport, mortgage origination and servicing, oil and gas, railcar manufacturing and leasing, real estate, restaurant, shipyard, steel, textile and trucking industries. Secretary Ross has been chairman or lead director of more than 100 companies operating in more than 20 different countries.Named by Bloomberg Markets as one of the 50 most influential people in global finance, Secretary Ross is the only person elected to both the Private Equity Hall of Fame and the Turnaround Management Hall of Fame. He previously served as privatization adviser to New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the board of the U.S.-Russia Investment Fund. President Kim Dae-jung awarded Secretary Ross a medal for helping South Korea during its financial crisis and, in November 2014, the Emperor of Japan awarded him the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star.As a philanthropist, Secretary Ross has served as Chairman of the Japan Society, Trustee of the Brookings Institution and Chairman of its Economic Studies Council, International Counsel Member of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, Trustee of the Blenheim Foundation, President of the American Friends of the Rene Magritte Museum in Brussels and Director of the Palm Beach Civic Association. He also was an Advisory Board Member of Yale University School of Management.Secretary Ross is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Business School (with distinction). He and his wife Hilary Geary Ross have four children, Jessica Ross, Amanda Ross, Ted Geary and Jack Geary.
Linsey Davis — who joined ABC News in 2007 — is a correspondent filing reports for “World News,” “Good Morning America,” “20/20” and “Nightline.” She also anchors two primetime news hours on ABC News Live. Davis has covered major news stories around the globe, including the Las Vegas massacre, Harvey Weinstein allegations and subsequent #MeToo movement stories, the Boston Marathon bombing, Nairobi Mall massacre and several of former President Barack Obama’s trips overseas.
Her coverage ranges from the 2016 presidential election to social injustice and various natural disasters, including the earthquake in Haiti and multiple hurricanes. She also moderated ABC News’ Democratic presidential debates in September 2019 and February 2020.
Davis got the only interview with comedian Bill Cosby in the wake of dozens of sexual assault allegations. Leading up to the Iowa caucuses, she interviewed the spouses of seven of the presidential candidates as part of a series called “Running Mates.”In 2009, Davis reported on the miracle on the Hudson and Michael Jackson’s death. That same year, she also made waves with her “Nightline” report “Single Black Female.” The story, which went viral, examined why African American women are the least likely of any race or gender to walk down the aisle.
Davis joined ABC News as a New York-based correspondent for ABC NewsOne, the network’s affiliate news service. Before joining the network in June 2007, Davis was anchor of the weekend evening newscasts at WTHR-TV in Indianapolis. She started out as a reporter in 2003 and, during her time there, reported from New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, from Torino for the 2006 Winter Olympics and from Athens for the 2004 Summer Olympics.
From 2001-2003, she was a reporter at WJRT-TV, the ABC owned station in Flint, Michigan. Davis has received several honors for her reporting, including two Emmy Awards and a regional Edward R. Murrow Award.Her children’s book, “The World is Awake,” became a bestseller in February 2019; and in August 2019, Davis released her second book, “One Big Heart,” which also became a bestseller.
Davis earned her undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Virginia and a Master of Arts degree in communications from New York University.
D.J. Eagle Bear Vanas is a celebrated speaker and best-selling author whose expertise is showing people and organizations how to apply the warrior spirit at work. He is the author of the best-selling book The Tiny Warrior: A Path to Personal Discovery & Achievement which is printed is six countries. His latest book, Spirit on the Run, is his first novel.
D.J. is an enrolled member of the Ottawa Tribe and a former U.S. Air Force officer. He inspires organizations to strengthen their tribe and practically apply warrior spirit principles to serve at their best, stay resilient and lead with courage. For two decades, he’s delivered his dynamic programs in 49 states and overseas to clients such as Walt Disney, NASA, Intel Corporation, the U.S. Army, Subaru, Costco and hundreds of tribal governments and organizations. He’s also been invited to speak at The White House – twice.
He holds a B.S. from the U.S. Air Force Academy and an M.S. from University of Southern California and has served on the Board of Directors on the National Board of Certified Counselors. D.J. is the President and owner of Native Discovery Inc. and was featured on the PBS Special, The Warrior Tradition, which aired nationwide on Veterans Day of 2019.
Peabody award-winning anchor, María Elena Salinas, who is described as the “Voice of Hispanic America” by the New York Times is one of the most recognized and influential journalists in the United States. She is currently a contributor with CBS News across all platforms.
After over three decades as co-anchor and correspondent of Noticiero Univision and co-host of news magazine “Aquí y Ahora” Salinas began a new chapter in her career as an independent journalist and producer and principal of MES Multi-Media LLC. In one of her first projects she hosted and executive produced “The Real Story with Maria Elena Salinas” on the Investigation Discovery network.
Salinas began her journalistic career in television as a reporter, anchor and public affairs host for KMEX-34 in 1981. Being a witness to history, during her long illustrious career Salinas has covered some of the most important world events, from presidential elections in the United States and Latin America to Superpower Summits, armed conflicts and natural disasters among others. Salinas has interviewed dozens of heads of state as well as famous entertainers. She has received accolades for her coverage of the Hispanic and immigrant community in the United States.
Salinas was most recently recognized for her work by the National Association of Broadcasters and inducted into their Hall of Fame. In 2016 Salinas was awarded two honorary doctorate degrees from American University School of Communications and California State University, Fullerton. She also was honored with the Mickey Leland Humanitarian award.
In 2015 she received a Peabody Award, Walter Cronkite Award, an Emmy and a Gracie Award for her news and documentary special “Entre el abandono y el rechazo” (Between Abandonment and Rejection), a prime-time report on the exodus of Central American children to the United States, which judges have praised as “balanced and revealing.”
Additionally, she is the recipient of the 2014 Broadcast Legend Award from the Radio and Television News Association of Southern California. Among the 10 Emmy awards she has received, in 2012, she became the first Latina to receive a Lifetime Achievement Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Focused on her mission to inform, inspire and empower the Latino community, for decades she has worked with several civic organizations encouraging immigrants to become citizens, register to vote and participate in the political process. Most recently teaming up with “Mi Familia Vota” in their voter registration campaign. For these efforts and more, Salinas is a recipient of the coveted Intrepid Award from NOW, the National Organization for Women, and has been honored by organizations including the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials and The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, among others.
As part of her philanthropic work Salinas serves on the board of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and has herself been awarding scholarships to journalism students for over two decades through the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. She is also on the advisory committee of She Works and a member of the Smithsonian’s American Women’s Initiative Advisory committee.
ABE VENABLE LEGACY AWARD FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT
President, DESA, Inc.
In the last 34 years not only have DESA and its founder, Diane E. Sumpter become synonymous with each other, but the firm is synonymous with excellence in both advocacy and performance. Ask any banker or procurement official in the Southeast who has done business with them and they will describe DESA as a shining example of what a well-run organization should be. Or, as anyone who knows Diane E. Sumpter will tell you, “she not only talks the talk, but walks the walk,” a lesson Sumpter attributes to her grandfather, who encouraged her as a child, not only to study but to lead.
DESA got its start with three employees in a rented office space. Over the years, it has had offices in Charleston and Orangeburg, SC, and Atlanta, GA. During its participation in the SBA 8a program for nine years (1986-1995), the firm grew to over 200 employees and revenues up to eight million. After the economic downturn, Sumpter “right-sized” her firm to its current 20 employees and sales just over two million annually, diversifying from federal to local contracts and expanding its cadre of services from management into engineering.
Sumpter admits that she started DESA in 1986 because she needed a job. She had been working for the contractor, assisting DBE firms for the SC Highway Department (now South Carolina Department of Transportation). When that firm lost the contract, Sumpter subsequently bid and won it for her newly formed firm, D.E. Sumpter and Associates.
The firm’s government contract work grew, through competitive and sole source 8a awards, to include North Dakota (switchboard operations); Mobile, Alabama (library service); Atlanta, Georgia (CDC conference management and support); and EPA Superfund management
The firm also provided fiscal and accounting services for the U.S. State Department in Charleston, SC, and Washington D.C. One of its largest projects was operation of the Poinsettia weapons range. DESA also did facilities management for hospitals at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, SC and Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, GA. In addition, DESA worked for the SBA as its 7J assistance provider to other firms in the 8a program, while being an active member and Sumpter, an officer, of the Region IV 8a Contractor’s Association.
Working for, what is now SCDOT, DESA’s mandate was to assist disadvantaged businesses to grow into prime contractors. DESA assisted Frazier Construction in becoming prequalified as one of the state’s first minority prime contractor. Not content with one success, Sumpter worked with South Carolina legislators to get a law passed that would waive the bond requirement for all projects less than $250,000 and establish a set-aside program for MBEs on state projects. This law was passed and has been operational ever since.
Setting its sights on obtaining the award for the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency program for SC, DESA had to compete several times before achieving success. During the last 27 years as operator, DESA has assisted hundreds of minority firms. From operating initially only the Columbia Center, DESA eventually gained MBDA contracts with offices in Charleston, and Orangeburg, which was rural program in the US. DESA has been a top performer for MBDA constantly achieving an excellent rating.
Not only has Sumpter as operator been an advocate for firms the business center serves, but she has been relentless in her pursuit of codification of MBDA as a federal entity. Capitalizing on her contacts and relationships as well as political savvy, she has been working tirelessly with her state delegation and congressional leadership to assure that MBDA is not only renewed for funding beyond 2021, but that it is finally legitimized.
There are one or two words that those who know her best would use to describe her: relentless and tenacious. A social worker by formal training, and still an active member of the Social Work Association, Sumpter currently serves on the Board of the Midlands Technical College. Over the years, she has served countless boards, including SC State NAACP, SC State Chamber of Commerce, Carolinas-Virginia Minority Supplier Development Council, SC State Department of Education, and BellSouth Telecommunications.
“It’s absolutely critical that people who look like me have a seat at the table when the deals are being cut. That’s the only way to make sure the minority community gets a shot at participating.” Sumpter said.
She added that she would like to see more minorities elected and appointed and an increase emphasis on technical skills for the next generation to be successful. To that end, Sumpter welcomed the CARES Act funding, which has allowed her to come full circle and again serve startups and smaller firms. Today, her mission is to assure that during Covid-19 and beyond, minority businesses not only in South Carolina, but nationwide are resilient, recover and rise.
ROBERT J. BROWN MINORITY BUSINESS ENTERPRISE OF THE YEAR
Roda Ward Carter
President & CEO, Carter-Health Disposables,LLC.
Roda Ward Carter has eighteen years of entrepreneurial experience with a diverse background in business development from cosmetics to healthcare. Roda is now President and CEO of Carter-Health Disposables, LLC, http://www.Carter- Health.com. She and her companies have in both fields have garnered recognition from Pillar Award for Up and Coming Entrepreneur of the Year from the MEC in Pittsburgh, PA (2003) for her past cosmetics company, Universal Colors, was featured on the cover of the Washington Post Business Section (2003). Then for Carter-Health “Florida Companies to Watch” Award (2011) by the Edward Lowe Foundation, nominated by the FSMSDC for MBE Supplier of the Year (2016 and 2020) and featured in I-4 Business Magazine March 2016 issue. CHD was included in Orlando Business Journal’s 2017 Fast 50 Award as one of Central Florida’s fastest growing companies. Her diverse skill sets and experience in business and product development, procurement, branding, strategy, negotiations, sales, and supply chain all contribute to the success of Carter-Health Disposables. She notes that processes and the skills of her ethnically diverse, all female team is a major part of the company’s ability to shine. Community involvement includes founding a charitable organization Bring Out the Dolls she launched with five girlfriends to support a young middle school girl, bullied for her natural hair. It celebrates diverse beauty in hair textures and skin-color with an annual holiday party where the guests donate dolls for Harbour House, the Boys and Girls Clubs and Orphaned Children in Africa… “Different In Every Hue, Bring A Doll That Looks Like You”! The young lady soon launched Vanessa’s Essence natural haircare line and is a Spellman College student.Carter-Health Disposables manufactures and distributes disposable medical apparel and supplies targeted to the compounding pharmacy market. The supplies are on contract with Group Purchasing Organizations (GPO’s) and distributed through the dominant wholesalers including Vizient, AmerisourceBergen, McKesson and Cardinal Health. Under Ms. Carter’s leadership, Carter-Health Disposables, LLC has grown from its inception in 2010 to a multimillion- dollar operation in under 5 years. Carter-Health Disposables serves hundreds of Acute care hospital’s in-patient pharmacies and other hospital departments, compounding and home infusion pharmacies across the country by offering the appropriate gowning apparel, cleaning/ disinfecting supplies to support compliance with the regulations of USP 797 / 800 and 503B large scale compounding. Currently realizing scale at a rate of 1,055% by serving mostly the private sector with only a handful of government facilities, Carter has hopes of growing further to include contracts in the public sector.
ADVOCATE OF THE
Managing Director, GovContractPros
John Shoraka currently serves at the Managing Director of GovContractPros (GCP). As Managing Director, he assists small business government contractors in all phases of their business lifecycle including navigation of the federal marketplace, business development, certification for and compliance with small business set-aside programs, teaming and mentor-protégé arrangements, and financing and acquisition. GCP, as a core value, works on pro bono basis, supporting various industry associations and conducting outreach to relevant Congressional committees to educate the staff on the benefits of the small business programs and strategies to strengthen them.The professional services space to support federal contractors is saturated with companies that seek to make lots of money while driving little to no value. GCP has competitive challenges with clients whose trust has been damaged by unscrupulous actors within the space. The GCP values of “only charging for work we do” and “delivering results” are seemingly intuitive or basic, but in fact are truly differentiating against many competitors.Since inception, GCP has assisted over 75 companies directly as company clients and 500+ companies through publicly available training and educational presentations.John Shoraka is the former Associate Administrator of Government Contracting and Business Development at the U.S. Small Business Administration. Shoraka’s knowledge of the government contracting marketplace derives from decades of both infield private sector and public sector practice.As outgoing Associate Administrator of SBA, Shoraka was responsible for overseeing the federal government’s small business set-aside programs. His responsibilities included the Business Development/8(a) program, HUBZone, WOSB and SDVOSB programs. He was responsible for the Office of Size Standards, the federal government’s small business goaling program as well as the federal government’s small business prime and subcontracting programs.Shoraka worked closely with the White House, Office of Federal Procurement Policy and Senior Administration officials in crafting best practices for accomplishing small business procurement goals.Shoraka has deep understanding of the federal government contracting legislative and regulatory landscape. He was responsible for implementing procurement provisions of the Small Business Jobs Act (including the All Small Mentor Protégé Program) as well as the National Defense Authorization Acts of FY13-16 (including sole source authority for the WOSB program). He represented the SBA and the Obama Administration in hearings before Congress, including hearings with the House Small Business Committee, House Armed Services Committee, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
RONALD H. BROWN LEADERSHIP AWARD
Supplier Diversity Manager for Wells Fargo
Salvador Enriquez is a Supplier Diversity Manager for Wells Fargo. With more than seventeen years of experience in supply chain management and business development, he joined Wells Fargo in 2016. Salvador is responsible for Strategic Program Management in the company’s Supplier Diversity team. In this role, Salvador is responsible for managing the Wells Fargo’s supplier diversity capacity building programs. The goal of the capacity program is to grow diverse businesses while reaffirming the bank’s commitment to strengthening small and diverse businesses all over the U.S. In 2019, the capacity building programs overseen by Salvador, trained more than 700 individuals from 40 states and Puerto Rico. Subject matter experts and professors from the top Business Schools in the country, like the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University and the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth University, teach Wells Fargo’s capacity building programs. In 2019, the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce honored Salvador with the prestigious 2019 Supplier Diversity Advocate of the Year Award for his work with LGBT-owned businesses. In 2018, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce honored Salvador with their Corporate Advocate of the Year Award for his advocacy of Hispanic-owned business enterprises at Wells Fargo and beyond.Prior to joining Wells Fargo, Salvador served as a Supply Chain Responsibility Principal with Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), where he managed the company’s Supplier Development Program and its Small Business Development portfolio. He also managed all supplier diversity outreach events for PG&E, and served as the Supplier.
MINORITY CONSTRUCTION FIRM OF THE YEAR
Since its inception in 1995 at the South DeKalb Business Incubator, Corporate Environmental Risk Management (CERM) has grown to a firm represented by over 100 employees across multiple office locations in Georgia, Florida, and Alabama. CERM successfully competes as both a Prime and Subconsultant for a wide range of Environmental, Program Management/Construction Management, and Engineering projects.
Over the last 25 years and more than 3,000 projects, CERM has provided customized solutions to its energy, environmental, facilities, federal, transportation, and water resources clients throughout the Southeastern United States. More recently, in the last 6 years, CERM has seen a consistent 20% year-over-year growth in revenue. This success and growth have enabled CERM to invest in helping its clients protect their interests through an interdisciplinary approach involving the management, design, engineering, and construction of their projects. CERM’s collaborative approach addresses each client’s specific environmental, engineering, and construction needs while supporting its workforce, the community, and economic development.
MINORITY EXPORT FIRM OF THE YEAR
Aventure Aviation is a leading aftermarket aviation parts supplier dedicated to providing unique, reliable solutions that exceed the demands of the market and the expectations of our customers.
We provide parts and component repair management for commercial airlines, regional operators, military air forces, and MRO facilities worldwide.
For the past 20 years Aventure has been known for maintaining the highest standards in our quality control procedures, meeting and exceeding both the Aviation Suppliers Association ASA100 and FAA Advisory Circular 00-56A standards. Most recently we have also expandedour inventory to Personal Protective Equipment, for which we have continued our commitment to quality and customer satisfaction.
MINORITY HEALTH PRODUCTS & SERVICES FIRM OF THE YEAR
Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, SourceMark™ is a product innovation, manufacturing and distribution company providing affordable solutions for hospitals, health systems, pharmacies, ambulatory surgery centers, clinical laboratories, and physician offices. Our proven, clinically reviewed medical and surgical products are uniquely designed to improve patient care and clinician engagement through their ease-of-use, utilization efficiencies and affordable cost-point.Founded in 2002, SourceMark is proud to offer patient-centric products that provide meaningful clinical differentiation without compromising quality or complicating clinical workflows or the clinical experience. We team with leading group purchasing organizations (GPO’s) and are a certified minority-owned business, which means that our customers can have confidence in both SourceMark’s product performance and value.From our Anesthesia and Airway Management products to our Surgical solutions, or those products focused on Infection Prevention, we have built our reputation on delivering innovative products with superior customer service. Through our unique Alliance Program, we seek to partner with, manufacture or distribute product and technical solutions that are innovating clinical procedures, where legacy solutions are underperforming or contributing to rising clinical infections and complicating workflows.As a result of this unexampled focus in healthcare, SourceMark has experienced good success in delivering quality and impactful clinical solutions into our clinicians’ hands. In return, the industry has rewarded our small minority owned business with a loyal clinician following, 14 national GPO contracts in various product categories and significant revenue growth over the last few years.Giving back to our community by supporting diversity is of key importance to our company. Whether employing and training people from all walks of life or volunteering throughout our communities to serve others, our commitment to care for all people is at the core of who we are as a company, from the quality of our products to the lives we touch.
MINORITY INNOVATION TECHNOLOGY FIRM OF THE YEAR
Greg Bush, Jr. is Owner, President and CEO at KFA, Inc. and holds a Master of Science in Information Technology. KFA specializes in technology solutions for smart cities, capital construction programs, facilities management and business continuity. The Federal Highway Administration cited KFA’s work at the Chicago Transit Authority as an innovation that should be adopted by state Departments of Transportation. Greg likes to say that KFA “wrote the book” on how to properly implement Web-based Program Management (WBPM) systems as KFA did for the CTA. Since the CTA innovative success in 2001, KFA has successfully implemented WBPM and Project Management Information Systems (PMIS) across the United States and has completed several projects in Ontario, Canada.Greg has diversified KFA’s offerings to enable KFA’s services for the development of the African diaspora. KFA participated on trade missions with the CMSDC Export Center to Dubai, Kenya and Ethiopia. These trade missions inspired the development of new technology verticals for KFA, i.e., GlobeClouders.com and PHAZE™ (PHAZEPM.NET). PHAZE™ is not only a PMIS, it is a Web Collaboration Information System designed for any type of business entity to collaborate securely with teams globally to deliver projects on schedule and within budget while facilitating project governance.
The creation of PHAZE™ is empowering businesses in Nairobi, Kenya to implement technology that did not exist for them before KFA’s trade mission. Greg provides that, “GlobeClouders.com and PHAZEPM.Net will deliver in the African Diaspora where major United States providers have no business presence.”
Philanthropic organization service is at the core of Greg Bush’s soul and is a notable characteristic of the new endeavors at KFA. By way of monetary donations, personal time, speaking engagements, mentoring programs, advisory committees, and God given talents, Greg has donated to many organizations over the last twenty-five years. The organizations include: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Chicago Urban League, Quad County Urban League (Board Member), TSTM (Tomorrows Scientist Technologist and Managers), YouthBuild Commencement (Speaker and Funder), The Mayfair Performing Company and the Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council as a Tech-Net partner. Greg sponsored a woman from the Ukraine in an intern-to-hire program with I.C. Stars Technology Workforce and hired her at KFA. Additionally, Greg supported a young man from South Korea to assist him to obtain his U.S. citizenship. He is now a full-time KFA employee. Greg works with the Career Development and Experiential Resource Center at his alma mater, Chicago State University (CSU), by hiring students for KFA’s “Intern-to-Hire” program. Upon graduation from CSU, Greg offers the student a full-time W2 position at KFA with benefits. The Greg Bush, Jr. Foundation, Inc. which focuses on S.T.E.A.M. careers formalized Greg’s efforts, and on July 19, 2020, $12,000 in scholarships were awarded to six college-bound African American students pursuing careers in S.T.E.A.M.Under Greg’s leadership, KFA received the 2019 Supplier of the Year Class II award for both Regional-National Minority Supplier Development Council and the Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council. Also, Greg himself is a 2019 Crain’s Chicago Business magazine “Notable Entrepreneur”.
MINORITY MANUFACTURING FIRM OF THE YEAR
Miami, Florida-based Y-Not initially designed and manufactured innovative products for companies that recognize the need to develop and maintain a distinctive image for a loyal customer base, but in early 2020 the company pivoted its operations, and leveraged its significant manufacturing and distribution capabilities to provide high-quality, reliable PPE (personal protective equipment) and protective products to fulfill the critical needs of hospitals and healthcare organizations battling COVID-19 in Florida, transforming their business model and creating a brand new line of business, securing their employees’ jobs, building new revenue sources and more importantly: contributing to keep patients and emergency medical workers safe and fully stocked with personal protective equipment. Pivoting wasn’t an option. Y-Not relied heavily on the hospitality and cruise industries, the first to fall when COVID hit. Founder Angelina García watched as hundreds of customer orders were canceled and she realized that overnight, she needed to change their business model, immediately. She worked with her compliance and sourcing teams, identifying players in their global supply chain who could produce enough medical-grade PPE -starting with masks- to fulfill the growing needs of healthcare providers and the public in Florida. By working tirelessly with their teams and the MBDA, they created net-new lines of business and transformed their business model, winning business with Cardinal Health, one of the largest healthcare providers in the country. Pivoting to PPE products was a success because of the infrastructure that Y-Not built to secure quality and safety first, then on-time delivery and best pricing. As for their team’s growth, Y-Not had 55 employees last year and grew to 60 earlier this year. It’s critical to point out that because of their tremendously effective pivoting, Y-Not was also able to keep all of their 60 employees through the pandemic. Further, the company has a 50,000 ft2 manufacturing and distribution facility in Miami, backup operations in India and China, and is opening up in Mexico and England to fulfill growing global customer needs. Y-Not is certified Hispanic-woman owned, and is an active member of the Miami MBDA Center and the (FSMSDC).
About Founder Angelina García:
Angelina García is the Founder and CEO of Y-Not Design & Manufacturing, and as a successful immigrant from Cuba, Angelina embodies the American Dream. She worked diligently to differentiate her organization by providing an exceptional client experience, garnering million- dollar contracts with Walt Disney World & Resorts, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Viacom and recently Cardinal Health, Health Trust and many others.Angelina has over 25 years of experience in the manufacturing industry, and is well vested in all aspects of product design, development and production. Her experience includes operating a business in Latin America, outsourcing production to Mexico, distributing products throughout the Americas, and manufacturing in the U.S. and abroad. In October 2005, she built Y-Not from the ground up in Miami, Florida.Apart from piloting her award-winning company, Angelina is a well-known patron of the Small & Medium business enterprise segment, and she dedicates mentoring time, funds and effort to support the Florida MWBE ecosystem, often partnering with and providing work and opportunities for fellow minority-owned companies in the state and beyond. Angelina’s charitable work and unconditional dedication to improve society go beyond the professional and often meld into the very personal, as is the case of the employee who runs her company in China. He came from a low-income family in China, he sold sugar cane and worked all day just for food . Her VP of Asia took him in and taught him to speak English, and Angelina promised both of them that she would bring him to the U.S. to help him expand on his education. Angelina personally paid for his visa, and he lived with her for 2 years. She was able to put him through Miami Dade College, and when he got his degree, he offered to go back to China to run her company, avoiding the ‘brain drain’ that happens when foreign students stay in the U.S., keeping their capabilities and skills from their home countries. His commitment, and the fact that he still manages Y-Not China are testament to Angelina’s generous spirit and the indelible marks of leadership and loyalty that she leaves behind in every interaction.A distinguished leader, Angelina embodies the spirit of the American Dream. She takes on charitable work to help the poor, and is heavily involved in numerous charitable organizations in South Florida, including leadership roles at the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the Florida Minority Supplier Development Council (FSMSDC), and Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses, among others. Her diligence has been recognized at the Annual FSMSDC Awards, and she was featured in the 20th Anniversary edition of Latina Style magazine. Her entrepreneurship and hard work trickle down home. She has two children, Christian and Nicki; Christian lives in India, where he manages Y-Not’s supply chain, and Nicki reports to the CFO and is the General Manager of the company’s Miami-based headquarters. By bringing in her children into this multi-continent endeavor and spreading her culture of inclusion and equitable collaboration, Angelina García is creating intergenerational business, success and impact.
MINORITY MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS FIRM OF THE YEAR
Co-Founder Montage Marketing Group
When starting Montage Marketing Group, founders Mercedita Roxas-Murray and Teresa Pipia chose a name that reflected their vision. A vision to bring together talented individuals with diverse skills from diverse backgrounds united by a desire for more. An opportunity to treat customers as multidimensional beings instead of faceless transactions. Six years on, Mercedita and Teresa’s dream is now a reality. Montage is a team of subject-matter experts, experiential marketers, and communications pros committed to work that leaves a positive impact on communities. The agency provides marketing solutions to government clients, including the National Park Service, the National Institutes of Health, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Transportation Security Administration, alongside leading corporations like Target, Fannie Mae, and KinderCare. Looking to affect change locally as well as nationally, Montage also tends to its own backyard. The agency oversees the Montgomery County Volunteer Center’s annual MLK Day of Service and has coordinated grassroots marketing efforts on behalf of underserved DC school children. Montage also sits on the Board of the Minority Business Enterprise Input Committee of the Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council and is an interim Board member of the Montgomery County Small Business Association. At Montage, the goal and the result are one and the same: ongoing relationships that benefit both clients and customers. This commitment to long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships is why more than half of Montage’s 11 clients have worked with the agency for three years or more. And why others who rarely outsource their marketing efforts have trusted Montage to achieve meaningful results. Since the agency’s founding, Montage has increased its earnings by 8,600% and grown from two to 23 full-time employees, plus six contractors. At the same time, Montage has established critical infrastructure and obtained several local, state, and national accreditations. Montage is a third-party certified woman, minority, and diversity business enterprise and a member of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s coveted 8(a) program. The agency prioritizes diversity in leadership, hiring, and client pursuits. Montage proudly employs professionals with varied backgrounds, skill sets, and ambitions – all of whom directly contribute to the company’s strength, success, and growth. Montage has twice been awarded the Top 100 Minority Business Enterprise Award by the Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council. The agency has also been honored with the Maryland Women’s Business Center Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the Maryland Governor’s Citation.
MINORITY PROFESSIONAL SERVICES FIRM OF THE YEAR
CEO/Founder Esolvit Inc.
Esolvit provides end to end solutions in Information Technology Staffing, Deliverable Based IT Services, Information Management, IoT, and Artificial Intelligence with an unparalleled service attitude delivering transformational outcomes to embrace the digital future. Using our expertise and understanding of existing and emerging technologies, we integrate the best components from our own portfolio and our partner ecosystem to deliver innovative, effective, and efficient solutions. Esolvit culture is innovation and providing solutions to government by cutting edge technologies. We specialize in delivering high-end solutions that use sustaining and next-generation disruptive technologies to ensure your business stays one step ahead of competition. We work with the world’s top brands, fortune 1000 companies, Multinational companies, and innovative start-ups. We have offices in the United States and headquartered at Austin, Texas, USA.Esolvit growth in revenue, large projects, employees, business expansion: Esolvit from Inception 2006 has generated over 90-million-dollar revenue, over 5000 jobs, 3124 employees and 1876 contractors. Esolvit has a track history of severing over 2000 clients Nationwide. Esolvit revenue has been 200 percent growth. Esolvit has diversified segments in Government Public Sector at Federal, State, City, local counties, universities and serving State of Texas through Department of Information Resources (DIR) and holds several Government contracts. Esolvit is providing professional Information Services to Fortune 500 clients like 3M, HID Global, Nielson, Schneider Electric, Wheels, Trusted Integration, Secure Info, Accenture Federal, Accenture (TMHP), OAG, HHSC, DFPS, TWC, City of Austin, TXDOT, DART, Capital Metro, CSEC, RRC and many others.
Esolvit Inc is a pledge1% company and cultivates the social responsibilities and diversity by encouraging the employees to serve the non-profits.
MINORITY VETERAN OWNED FIRM OF THE YEAR
Don Tiaga, President
Nina Tiaga, CEO
FedBiz IT Solutions
FedBiz IT Solutions, also known as FedBiz IT, is a privately held SBA certified HUBZone, Economically Disadvantaged Women Owned, and Veteran Owned Small Business. Our mission is to offer “Best in Class” Information Technology and Emerging Technology to our federal government customers through an efficient and secure supply chain. Bringing forty years of federal IT experience to the table, we provide our customers with the best solution to their strategic IT needs, ensuring the highest level of customer service at every step.Our President, Don Tiaga, is a US Air Force veteran who retired after 20 years of service. Our CEO, Nina Tiaga, is also a veteran of the US Air Force, having served four years. Our goal is to be a resource for federal agencies to meet their budget goals regarding small business set asides, and to help people find the absolute best IT product and service solutions. With FedBiz IT, customer satisfaction always comes first!Our team has won three major contracts – NASA SEWP HUBZone set-aside, VA CCTV with Department of Veteran Affairs, and Army Desktop & Mobile Computing 3 (ADMC-3). Additionally, in the last year, our company has sold products from over 130 manufacturers to over 30 agencies, such as the US Department of Commerce, US Department of Defense, and Veterans Affairs. FedBiz IT is one of only fourteen IT companies nationwide to win the highly coveted SEWP V contract. FedBiz IT’s growth skyrocketed after the contract began, increasing 12,600 percent between 2012 and 2015. Our growth has earned us a place on the Inc. 5000, a highly coveted award for the fastest growing private companies in the US, for the past four years. Notably, we have been ranked #10 (2016), #50 (2017), #116 (2018), and #2955 (2019). We have also been ranked #152 on the Inc. 5000 Series: D.C. Metro list for 2020.
CAPITAL ACCESS AWARD
President, FSB Agency Inc.
FSB Agency was formed in 2009, based on an identified niche, and specifically to meet the unmet bonding and working capital financing needs of small businesses—especially ethnic minorities. FSB began making a significant dent in the marketplace in 2010 when its focus was broadened to more specifically include MBEs in the construction industry, local and nationwide, and international through resource partnerships.
Prior to forming FSB Agency, founder Gladys Keith worked for several corporations, including Florida Power & Light Company (FPL). As a contract procurement officer for FPL, Gladys came face-to-face with the day-to-day needs of MBEs who were constantly unable to qualify for contracting opportunities, due to their inability to obtain the necessary bonding, even in instances where lack of proper credit was not an issue. She would reach out to the (then) Minority Business Development Center (MBDC), which was a constant source of referrals of MBEs to bid on FPL and other commercial and partnering contracts.
Now with over 24 years of experience in the industry, FSB Agency is the preferred bonding and working capital financing source that government agencies use to leverage, and that commercial lenders and S/W/MBEs turn to for project bonding and mobilization financing for various development projects.
FSB has grown exponentially and has diversified its product/service offerings in types of bond facilities approved, bringing additional surety companies into the resource pool to help bond first-time MBE bidders; providing bond facilities for non-construction service companies; and helping more Minority Business women gain access to capital through bonding and working capital financing.
Over these many years, FSB Agency has facilitated billions of dollars in bonding and third-party working capital financing to minority businesses and individuals totaling:
1. Financial Performance, Contract and Payment Bonds to minority-owned businesses – Value = $1.300,221,667
2. Performance, Contract and Payment Bonds to small and veteran-owned businesses – Value = $300,400,000
3. Non-Construction Commercial Bonds to small and women-owned businesses – Value = $190,000,000
These bonding and working capital financing facilities have helped minority and women businesses create and retain more than 8,000 U.S. jobs.
Quote“In our efforts to provide support to our clients and their ever-growing endeavors to succeed and increase capacity, we look for ways to say “Yes” by getting them the technical assistance provided by partners like MBDA, and by convincing the surety companies that minority business is good business.”
DISTINGUISHED SUPPLIER DIVERSITY
Rosa Santana is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Santana Group, a group of companies providing transformational outsourcing solutions to organizations across all industries.For over 35 years, Rosa Santana has been a driving force within the U.S./Mexico staffing industry and is recognized internationally as a human capital solutions expert. Santana is a fearless leader who harnesses her passion to successfully create and develop companies through impeccable client service and innovative business solutions.As a visionary trailblazer, Santana’s unwavering integrity has established her staying power and success throughout the course of her career. Realizing her passion early in her career at Kelly Services, a Fortune 500 Company, Santana made a substantial financial impact by delivering extraordinary results to client challenges. Santana expanded Kelly Services footprint into Mexico, and she was named corporate Vice President in 1993. In 1998, Santana accepted a Senior Vice President position at Westaff and again successfully established operations in Mexico while leading a U.S. division.In 2002, Santana reached a turning point in her career when downsizing presented her with new opportunities. She launched Integrated Human Capital (IHC) in the U.S. market and simultaneously opened her cross-border company, Workforce Management Mexico, in Cuidad Juárez. Three years later, foreseeing a boom in the south-central Texas region, Santana expanded IHC to Austin and San Antonio.In 2005, Santana participated in Toyota’s Opportunity Exchange and began paving her path to become Toyota’s first Hispanic woman-owned direct Tier I supplier. Over the next ten years, Santana built relationships with Toyota leadership and successfully delivered human capital solutions as a Tier II supplier to Toyota’s Tier I suppliers at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas facility.Santana’s continued commitment to integrity, innovation, and a continuous improvement culture drew the attention of Toyota procurement and supplier development leaders, and she was singled out for an opportunity to supply Toyota directly. In 2014, Toyota introduced Santana Group’s Forma Automotive LLC as the company’s first Hispanic woman-owned direct Tier I supplier. Forma Automotive provides fully assembled beds for the award-winning Tacoma truck.Continuing to develop her partnership with Toyota, in 2018, Oveana, the Santana Group’s BPO company, became Santana’s second business to supply Toyota directly, providing bilingual call center services to Toyota Financial Services (TFS). Following this, in 2019, Forma expanded its operations with Toyota, providing fully assembled truck beds to their plant in Guanajuato, Mexico.Today, the Santana Group includes Integrated Human Capital, Workforce Management Mexico, Diversa, Oveana, and Forma Automotive, and each company addresses clients’ targeted needs to provide comprehensive, fully customizable outsourcing solutions.Rosa credits her numerous mentors for her success and has completed two Minority Business Executive programs at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth University as well as the Advanced Management Education program at the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University.Throughout her career, Rosa has embraced her Hispanic- and woman-owned business distinctions and strives to empower other MWBEs through serving on local, regional, and national boards, including the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) as a board and executive board member, the Latino Business Action Network (LBAN) on the board of directors, and the Women’s Business Council Southwest as a board member.Santana continues to be recognized for her many accomplishments and has won numerous awards locally, statewide and nationally, including 2016 San Antonio Business Journal’s Business Woman of the Year, 2016 Large Business Owner – San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, 2016 Business Woman of the Year – Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce and 2017 Enterprising Women of the Year Award Winner- Enterprising Women’s Magazine.
David J. Byrd was appointed as the National Director of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) on June 15, 2020. Mr. Byrd is the 18th National Director of the agency. In his role he oversees the development and implementation of Agency initiatives, policy agenda, and federal grant programs.
Prior to accepting the fourth presidential appointment of his career at HUD, Mr. Byrd served as Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Policy Development, at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
In the latter part of 2016, Mr. Byrd served on the Trump Presidential Transition Team where he had dual responsibilities. He served as a “talent scout” identifying potential candidates for executive appointments to the new Administration while also serving as Co-Leader of the HUD Agency Action Team, organizing the blueprint for HUD policy and personnel infrastructure.As CEO/Founder of Byrd’s Eye, LLC, Mr. Byrd led a consulting firm that offered government relations, political consulting, executive and life skills coaching services to a wide variety of clients. He is also a Certified Professional Life Coach. Mr. Byrd founded his company in November 2003 and, after a five-year return to public service, restarted his company in October 2011.Mr. Byrd served as Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Prince George’s County, MD, from April 2006 to January 2011. Mr. Byrd’s responsibilities included governmental operations and public infrastructure, environmental services, economic development, and internal support services. In this position, he was the county’s principal to DCWater, the region’s world class water utility serving as Vice Chair. Prior to his county government service, he served as Chief of Staff to the Maryland Lt. Governor. As Chief of Staff, Mr. Byrd directed the day-to-day operations of the Lt. Governor’s office and championed the Lt. Governor’s political, policy, and personnel agenda.In 2002, Mr. Byrd was Associate Commissioner for External Affairs at the Social Security Administration. He developed strategic relationships with national advocacy organizations and created the framework for the roll out of the President’s Initiative on Social Security Reform.Mr. Byrd spent seven years in New Jersey State Government, from 1994-2001, focusing primarily on economic development issues. As Director of the Office of Small Business, Mr. Byrd achieved a historic milestone when he and his staff worked with state procurement officers to surpass the $1 billion mark in small business contracting. Additionally, he led trade missions to South Africa, Namibia, and Ethiopia securing over $400 million in contract awards for New Jersey businesses.Earlier in his career, he worked at: the Republican National Committee, recruiting and training candidates for county, state, and federal elective office; the U.S. Department of Education, advising the assistant secretary on postsecondary education issues; the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, implementing policy on children and family issues; and the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress, as a researcher.Throughout his career, Mr. Byrd has received designations, awards, and accolades. In March 2010, the Prince George’s County (MD) Executive nominated him for Chairman of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. In September 2009, BMoreNews.com and the Minority Business and Consumer Resource Directory gave him their “Champion for Minority Business Award” for his dedication and public service to the minority business community in the metropolitan region.Public service is a Byrd family tradition. A great-uncle was a butler at the White House during the Wilson and Harding Administrations. Another uncle was the third African-American police chief in U.S. history and the first west of the Rocky Mountains. An aunt was the first African- American elected to the Wyoming Legislature, and a distant cousin was the first woman elected Mayor of Washington, DC. His nephew is currently Assistant Attorney General for the State of Washington. His father once served as an aide to the Mayor of Newark, New Jersey.David John Byrd was born in East Orange, NJ, and grew up in Jackson Township, NJ. He completed his bachelor’s degree in English at Ohio Wesleyan University and completed his master’s degree in Corporate Public Relations at Rowan University (formerly known as Glassboro State College).He is a former member of Toastmasters International and the Public Relations Society of America. He and his wife, Jacquie, live in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.