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WBDC Webinar: Getting a GSA Schedule Contract December 19, 2012 Virtual Webinar Click here for details. WBEC-West 1st Annual Supplier Diversity Summit January 8, 2013 Arizona Science Center Phoenix, Ariz. Click here for details. WBEC-West Corporate Dine Around January 10, 2013 1130 The Restaurant at the Arizona Center Phoenix, Ariz. Click here for details. NGLCC 6th Annual Financial Services Diversity Leadership Awards January 14, 2013 New York Stock Exchange New York, N.Y. Click here for details. WBDC Procurement Meeting Hosted by Minneapolis Public School District January 30, 2013 Minneapolis Public School District Minneapolis, Minn. Click here for details. WBCS 2013 Parade of Stars Awards Gala January 31, 2013 Omni Hotel Dallas, Texas Click here for details.

ISM Women Executive Supply Management Summit February 5-7, 2013 Doubletree by Hilton New Orleans New Orleans, La. Click here for details. WBEC-PA-DE-sNJ Listening to Your Business February 27, 2013 Women’s Business Enterprise Council Philadelphia, Pa. Click here for details. WBEC-Great Lakes 2013 Leadership Institute for Women February 28, 2013 Location TBA Click here for details.




PHOTOGRAPHY Linda Johnson Visionista


Paige Adams Senior Director, Development & Corporate Relations Kim Jones Manager, Corporate Member Services Brenda Loube Principal/Founder of Corporate Fitness Works Jean Poling Contributing Writer Pamela Prince-Eason President & CEO Lynthia Romney RomneyCom, LLC Candace Waterman Chief of Staff LaKesha White Senior Compliance Manager




Don’t miss early bird registration! Only Certified WBE Summit & Salute and Summit-only ticket holders registered by January 24, 2013 will qualify for Meet and Greet and Multi Tier One-on-One networking sessions.

Top Corporation Best Practices: Marriott International, Inc. Verizon

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Recovery From Sandy - Resources From the United States Small Business Association


Government Spotlight: SBA’S Government Contracting Classroom


CERTIFICATION WBE Success Stories: Focus on the Forum - CESCO, Inc. Best Finishing, Inc.

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MARCH 13-14, 2013

Summit & Salute - Workshops & Tracks Government Opportunity Experience

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RECOGNITION Annette Taddeo-Goldstein, 2012 International Business Woman of the Year Award Recipient Ford NMSDC Corporation of the Year Award Lily Otieno, NMSDC National Minority Supplier of the Year April Day, New President of WBEA

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RESOURCES The Best Year of Your Life






WBENC’s 15th Anniversary year is coming to a close, and we have celebrated many milestones and successes over the last 12 months. Our organization’s record of accomplishments is a source of pride for many, including me. My personal path with WBENC has been extremely rewarding, and I continue to be energized and inspired by the incredible women that we serve and the Corporate and Government members that contribute greatly to our collective success. Our Regional Partner Organizations (RPOs) have dedicated themselves to our mission of advancing of women-owned businesses and their collaboration is essential to our growth. Our Board of Directors, chaired by Laura Taylor, continually provides wisdom and guidance, making sure we are positioned for success. Many individuals have contributed to WBENC’s journey in the past 15 years. Currently our WBENC community has more than 11,400 WBEs, 770 WOSB certified WBEs and National programs. Our signature capacity development resources include the Tuck-WBENC Executive program and the Dorothy B. Brothers Executive Scholarship, enabling WBEs to expand their businesses through targeted educational opportunities. We have introduced fresh and informative content through our Insights series, poising us to bring business trends and challenges to the forefront for our constituents. Our 2012 Summit & Salute and National Conference and Business Fair were dedicated to honoring the leaders and their legacies that have made WBENC the respected organization it is today. We are proud to display the historic panels depicting our leaders, Women’s Business Enterprise Stars and Top Corporations spanning 15 years throughout our office in Washington, D.C. They are a constant source of inspiration and pride, reminding us of not only what has been accomplished but what remains to be done to support our mission and vision as we progress on the Road to Growth and Sustainability. As Albert Einstein said “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.


The important thing is not to stop questioning.” Our rich past enables us to keep questioning what is possible for the future. Our growth and success is dependent upon the contributions of so many in our community. Our new theme “Join Forces. Succeed Together.” is representative of the need for all of our constituents to engage and be a part of our future. Collectively we can accomplish great things that will reap benefits for all our WBEs, members and RPOs. For instance, in 2012 we have built a strong foundation for our CORE strategy to lead us into 2013 and beyond. Five teams spent countless hours refining the goals and action plans to bring our initiatives for certification, opportunities, resources, engagement and technology to the next level. Our future is full of exciting possibilities because of their progressive thinking and dedication to WBENC. I look forward to seeing their efforts come to life and watching our organization evolve and grow. I am grateful for the incredible people who have and continue to contribute to our success. I am proud of WBENC’s past and look forward to the many opportunities that lie ahead for us in the New Year. Wishing you a Happy Holiday and a bright and prosperous New Year.

Sincerely, Pamela Prince-Eason WBENC President and CEO



TOP CORPORATION BEST PRACTICES: Marriott International, Inc.

Marriott International, Inc.: Global Success with the Personal Touch Although it’s hard to imagine, Marriott International, Inc. – which has nearly 3,800 hotels in 74 countries around the globe – started out as a nine stool A&W root beer stand in Washington, D.C., 85 years ago. That’s one reason that the global hospitality leader has a strong appreciation for the quality, initiative and diversity that small businesses bring to the table. Marriott has established a track record for its commitment to women’s and diverse-owned businesses. In 1989, the company became the first in the travel industry to launch a formal diversity and inclusion program. And, the company was the first in the industry to introduce its supplier diversity program in 1997. Marriott has also twice been the proud recipient of WBENC’s Top Corporation for Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs) including this year’s award for 2011. As with many of WBENC’s Top Corporations, the dedication to women’s business growth starts at the top and engages both internal and external supporters. President and CEO of Marriott, Arne M. Sorenson, drives ownership of diversity and inclusion through leadership of the company’s Global Diversity and Inclusion Council. This is reinforced by the company’s boardlevel, Committee for Excellence (CFE), headed by Debra Lee, chairman and chief executive officer, BET Networks. Together they help guide Marriott to develop and deepen its relationships with WBEs and diverse suppliers around the world. In addition to aligning with the company’s overarching principles of doing business, this work supports its vision to have each hotel reflect the culture of its own community. Marriott strives to hire local talent to manage and work in its hotels, and when possible, features local artwork and designs. “The nature of our business is putting people first – our guests, our employees and the businesses in the communities that we touch all around the world,” explained Denise Naguib, Marriott Vice President, Sustainability & Supplier Diversity. “That core value fuels

our work with a broad diversity of suppliers – literally thousands of women-, minority-, veteran-, disabled- and LGBT-run businesses around the globe.” Over the last decade, Marriott has spent $4 billion with diverse suppliers; and in 2011 spent 17 percent of its total procurement dollars with diverse suppliers. Just over nine percent of total payments to Marriott’s consultants, suppliers and vendors was awarded to women-owned businesses. In the spirit of partnership, Marriott helps to mentor and provide educational opportunities for its suppliers. A recent example is McPadnet, owned by Karen Edwards, which is a full-service printing, promotional products, fulfillment and distribution company based in Gaithersburg, Md. Marriott partnered with McPadnet on the design and production of its business training materials. Edwards was mentored by a Marriott executive and other WBE suppliers that could offer some expertise and guidance on working effectively with the company. Since then McPadnet’s business has expanded its capacity and now produces training manuals used by Marriott’s associates in various languages. Marriott is always seeking to identify more talented WBEs and introduce them into the company. To do that, it partners with WBENC and relies on the WBENC National Conference & Business Fair and other national and regional networking events to interact with many potential WBE suppliers. “It can be a daunting task for a WBE to get to know our company, so we have people at WBENC events to meet the WBEs, learn what they do and then connect them to the right decision maker in our organization,” Naguib said. In these ways, the global hospitality giant has not lost the personal touch – both in terms of understanding and delivering on the needs of its guests and in connecting with prospective WBEs. For more information on Marriott’s diversity programs, please visit WWW.WBENC.ORG » DECEMBER EDITION 2012 »




Verizon: A Three-Pillar Program Connecting WBEs with Buying Decision Makers Verizon is known for its ability to bring people together. It is also a leader in diversity best practices connecting its own corporate buyers, select prime suppliers and Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs) with the goal of driving women’s business growth.

An eight-time recipient of the WBENC America’s Top Corporations for WBEs Award, Verizon’s commitment to diversity as a value is articulated in its Credo and supported at the very top of the organization. As Verizon’s Chairman and CEO Lowell C. McAdam, states, “Verizon is committed to continuously identifying and expanding effective business partnerships with diverse suppliers. These mutually beneficial relationships allow us to provide superior service and excellent communications experiences for our customers, while broadening our reach in the competitive marketplace.” To uphold this position, Verizon created a centerpiece program to build sustainable value-added business partnerships with women and minority owned enterprises. The name of this program is the Premier Supplier Academy, and it is targeted at select WBEs and MBEs with at least $1 million in revenues. The three pillars on which it stands are Education, Inclusion and Awareness.

DONNA WEAVER-ERHARDT Sourcing and Supplier Diversity, Verizon

Specific programs and goals are embedded in each of these pillars to identify and help grow WBEs, and strengthen multi-tier programs. Together they create a continuum of dialogue, capacity building and business development among Verizon, its significant prime suppliers (to include WBENC Board Member and Top Corporation Alcatel-Lucent and WBENC Board member Johnson Controls) and its WBE/MBE and other diverse suppliers. For example, to advance Education and Inclusion, Verizon arranges mentoring, individualized goal setting, action plan development, one-on-one capabilities overviews, pitch meetings and feedback for diverse and women’s business enterprises. This helps suppliers understand the specific needs and practices of both Verizon and its prime suppliers in awarding future business. At the same time, Verizon encourages transparency among its prime suppliers in how they manage and drive diversity throughout their own supply chains.

PRESIDENT’S REPORT “We could take a topic as fundamental as an RFP, and help our WBEs and diverse suppliers understand why it is important for them to participate with us. We help them see how an RFP is such a crucial way for us to understand their strengths and get to know them for a longer-term relationship,” said Donna Erhardt, Director, Supplier Diversity, SRM and Global Relationship Management at Verizon. This goes hand in hand with Verizon’s work in building Awareness among Verizon stakeholders and its prime suppliers as to the deep value offered by WBEs. “By identifying, cultivating and showcasing successful WBEs, we help the decision makers envision the upside potential of working with them,” Erhardt added. Verizon also encourages buyers to identify promising WBEs through aggressive outreach to business, trade or regional organizations. How does Verizon track its success? By going back to these buyers to ascertain how much business they are doing with WBE and diverse suppliers. “We provide metrics to our business stakeholders, leadership team and the sourcing organization,” said Erhardt. “We look at our prime suppliers and how much they are reporting. If they are reporting diversity spend, this underscores the value of our program. If they are not, it creates a point of reference for us to learn more about any barriers they are facing.” Verizon also hosts an annual Supplier Summit and Diversity Forum providing education, networking and recognition opportunities for WBEs and diverse suppliers. At this event, WBEs hear Verizon stakeholders present their expectations and key business objectives for the year. They meet with select prime suppliers and Verizon employees and executives. Through panels featuring exemplary WBE and diverse suppliers, they can learn from their peers about what it takes to be a successful supplier at Verizon.

an award in the “Top Small Business” category for helping Verizon meet challenging deliverables. PCN provides a broad range of IT consulting services including Managed DDI (DNS/DHCP - Domain Name System, Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol and IP Address Management), a critical technical offering for enterprises struggling to manage massive increases in network-enabled devices, IP-dependent technologies, and mobility and cloud strategies. Thanks to PCN’s technical innovation and smart design, a survey tool and reporting portal was implemented for Verizon that resulted in cost savings and customer satisfaction. PCN continues to provide Verizon with innovative and agile services that meet the demands of some of its most strategic customers. At a recent Quest Forum Americas Best Practices event, PCN collaborated with Verizon and Cisco to present a panel on the topic of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), the latest version of the communications protocol upon which the Internet is built. A general primer on IPv6, produced by PCN, is available on YouTube. “We are also a strong proponent of recognizing women owned businesses for their quality performance,” Erhardt said. “It showcases success and cultivates a strong and ongoing collaboration.” She shared a touching example. At WBENC’s 2012 National Conference & Business Fair, Erhardt and her team were approached by WBE/MBE Bernadette Rivero, President, The Cortez Brothers, a TV commercial production company. She handed them a letter thanking Verizon and its ad agency primes for their “leap of faith” in hiring her company. The letter read, “Your jobs meant the world to us. They allow us to grow and thrive, and to take pride in the work we do.” Verizon is a charter member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable. In 2011, Verizon purchased nearly $4 billion in goods and services from WBE and diverse suppliers and is on track to exceed those results in 2012. To learn more about Verizon visit

Finally, women and diverse suppliers are recognized before an audience of decision makers. This year, PCN (PC Network, Inc.), a WBENC-certified WBE, was nominated for WWW.WBENC.ORG » DECEMBER EDITION 2012 »




RECOVERY FROM SANDY - RESOURCES FROM THE UNITED STATES SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION In our continuing efforts to assist our constituents still recovering from the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy, the following is the latest update from the United States Small Business Administration blog: There’s a lot of information out there about different

4. E  ven if you don’t have insurance, you can still apply

forms of federal assistance, and a lot of confusion about

for SBA disaster assistance. And if you do have

the U.S. Small Business Administration’s role in helping

insurance, don’t wait to receive a settlement before you

homeowners, renters and businesses recover. The SBA

apply for an SBA disaster loan. We don’t want you to

is committed to the long-term recovery of the people and

miss the application deadline.

businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy.

5. Your important documents – like property records, financial information – were probably lost in the storm.

Don’t let misinformation keep you from getting an SBA

No worries – the SBA has resources available to help

disaster loan! Here are the facts:

you complete the disaster loan application anyway.

1. Y  ou don’t have to be a business owner to apply for an

There are several ways to apply:

SBA disaster loan. SBA makes low-interest loans to

• Apply online at

homeowners of up to $200,000 to repair or replace the

• Visit a Disaster Recovery Center in your area:

residence. Renters and homeowners are also eligible to apply for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged • For information about the disaster loan process,

personal property – like furniture, cars, appliances –

or to have an application mailed to you, email

that isn’t fully covered by insurance. or call 1-800-659-

2. M  ost business disaster loans approved by SBA are made at the 4 percent interest rate. There is no sliding or variable interest rate scale. Businesses that have additional assets, cash flow and higher credit scores

2955. Those who are deaf, hard-of-hearing or speechimpaired can call 1-800-877-8339. • To download an application, click:

that enable them to qualify elsewhere for credit can still get an SBA loan, but at a higher interest rate

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance,

of 6 percent.

register online at or use your

3. A  notice about the Coastal Barrier Resources

mobile device at

Act – which prohibits residents and businesses in Coastal Barrier areas from receiving federal disaster

For more information click here.

assistance – was included in disaster loan packets. If your property is on a coastal area, don’t assume you aren’t eligible to apply for an SBA disaster loan. Once the SBA gets the application, they can make the decision to process the loan application. WWW.WBENC.ORG » DECEMBER EDITION 2012 »



SBA’S GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING CLASSROOM Are you interested in winning government contracts? Would you like to know more about the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) program? Do you know and understand how the government buys goods and services? The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) has just the tool to answer all of your questions. The Government Contracting (GC) Classroom is an online tool of training modules for potential government contractors. Each module is self-paced and is approximately 30 minutes in length.

There are modules on specific SBA programs, such as 8a, HUB Zone, etc.; however, below are recommended modules for Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs) to view: The WOSB Advantage •C  omprehensive overview of the WOSB program including how to get certified and additional resources to use Government Contracting 101: Part 1 • Contracting basics and SBA certification programs overview Government Contracting 101: Part 2 • Explanation of contracting methods used by the government • Different types of contracts and agreements • Key parts of the FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulations) Government Contracting 101: Part 3 • Selling to the government Business Opportunities • A guide to winning government contracts • Receive a Certificate of Completion from the SBA When doing business with any company, it is important to understand all the dynamics of the contracting process, which is why the SBA has developed the GC Classroom to allow contractors to become poised for success with the proper information. To access the modules, please visit to embark upon your journey into government contracting.


A WOMEN’S PALATE A Woman’s Palate Wine Club exclusive to WBENC is the only wine club developed for women by women and the men who support them. We focus on helping women in the wine industry share their stories and promote their beautiful wines. We have access to limited production, hard-to-find wines that are typically not available at your local store, and we carefully curate them into seasonal or holiday collections.

Susan Citron and Sharon Harris were enjoying a bottle of Spottswoode Cabernet during dinner in the home of their mutual friend, Beth Milliken. Susan had a passion for food and wine and wanted to get back into the wine business after a successful career in publishing and advertising. Sharon had started Wine Entre Femmes and wanted to help women in the wine industry. Both shared a dear friend, a passion for wine and the desire to change the way women thought about and bought wine. Like many important business ideas, A Woman’s Palate was hatched over an exquisite bottle of wine. 60 percent of all wines are bought by women; and women buy 85 percent of wines under $18. But ask any fine wine producer in Napa how many women are on their mailing list and the answer is almost none... less than 1 percent. At wine tastings across the U.S., we have frequently heard women say they really don’t know much about wine, that they weren’t sure if they could tell the difference between a basic beverage wine and a fine wine. Yet when tasting the two side by side, almost always they preferred the fine, handcrafted wine. A fine wine can make an ordinary day something special and turn a moment into an occasion with friends, family and business associates. Our mission is to share the story behind the fine wine you will be enjoying, empowering you to make the best selection for any occasion. Joining A Woman’s Palate Wine Club takes the hard part out of selecting wine. We provide not only the background of each wine, but food pairings as well. You also have the confidence of knowing that if we do not love it, we will not offer it. Being women winemakers, winery owners, wine writers, wine professionals and wine lovers, we will choose wonderful wines by women for you to enjoy. As these are wines that we love to open and drink with friends, you should also feel confident about every AWP bottle. Celebrating during the holiday is a perfect time to join A Woman’s Palate Wine Club exclusive to WBENC for yourself or as a gift for someone special. First, you choose the club or clubs you are interested in joining – Red, White or Splurge. Then you decide the quantity of bottles (three or six) that you would like to receive per shipment and how often you would like to receive them at your door (quarterly or bimonthly). In each shipment, you will receive information about the woman behind the wine, information on the wine itself, and also how to serve it. You will also receive food and wine pairing suggestions. You can join and manage all aspects of your club by clicking here:




WBE SUCCESS STORY: BILLIE BRYANT SCHULTZ, PRESIDENT & CEO, CESCO, INC. Building a Better Business Model for Sustainability with Managed Print Services

For most of her career as a woman business leader, Billie Bryant Schultz has been on a mission: to show just how powerful women-run companies can be in driving productivity and sustainability for multinational corporations and government entities. Judging from the success of CESCO, Inc., where she has been President and CEO since 1985, and her recognized contributions to WBENC since the organization’s founding in 1997, she is succeeding.

CESCO is a printing equipment solutions provider specializing in managed print services and sales of office equipment spanning multi-functional devices, printers, copiers, scanners and related supplies. It is a certified service provider that works with the majors – Xerox, Lexmark, Hewlett Packard, Brother, Epson and Ricoh. To out-compete the printer technology industry, Bryant Schultz had to think outside the traditional product box. To do that she created a business model providing her clients with unbiased recommendations on several of the best product suites to meet their needs, as well as strategies for configuring and managing those products to achieve cross-organization efficiency and savings. She points out that the Gartner Group reports “90 percent of companies do not know how many printers they have or if they are properly using their print assets.” We not only help them choose the right kind of equipment, but we also show them how to use it. Our consultative services and training help them save energy, internal labor, maintenance and supply costs, while reducing their carbon footprint. CESCO’s Managed Print services include assessment and right-sizing of equipment, recommendations on equipment selection and placement. Today this approach is more valuable than ever for companies seeking to promote sustainable and cost-saving business practices. CESCO builds these practices into its full range of services: from selecting printer systems that best conserve materials to creating a software document management system to track and control usage, to providing consulting and real-time correction services via CESCO’s DocuCare on-site program.

PRESIDENT’S REPORT As a result, Bryant Schultz has built an enviable client list including Energy Future Holdings, Raytheon, J.C. Penney and UPS, as well as federal and regional government entities from the U.S. Department of Defense to the City of Dallas and numerous independent school districts. Bryant Schultz has also developed innovative ways to deliver those services. For EFH, CESCO partnered with Xerox to create an optimal terms, pricing and service package that, according to EFH Vice President of Supplier Diversity and former WBENC Board Chair, Cheryl Stevens, resulted in “outstanding service, quality workmanship and a commitment to excellence and innovative processes for our company.” CESCO has proven that partnering with the equipment manufacturer can both reduce costs and increase customer satisfaction for our clients. A passionate believer in the ability of women to learn from and help each other, she created the concept of a WBE Best Practices Think Tank Initiative for women business BILLIE BRYANT SCHULTZ President & CEO, CESCO, Inc.

owners, which along with other similar models are being used by the Regional Partner Organizations today. WBENC has been a source of WBEs partners for Bryant Schultz. After she spoke on a panel at the 2012 WBENC Summit and Salute sharing her Best Practices in Managed Print Services, she was approached by a woman business owner who provides high quality toner cartridge manufactured in the U.S. “This would be a natural resource for CESCO, she says, and now they are exploring ways to partner. From the beginning, women have been critical to my company’s success,” Bryant Schultz says. She continues to explore the WBENCLink database where she has been successful in finding other WBEs who have assisted in expanding the capacity for CESCO in serving corporate WBENC members. Bryant Schultz is a long-time visionary activist for women entrepreneurs. She is a founding Board Member of WBENC and the North Texas Women’s Business Council, now the Women’s Business Council Southwest. She is Chair Emeritus of the Women’s Enterprise Leadership Forum, was a 2006 WBE Star and received the 2001 Applause Award. In 2010 she was honored with the Inaugural Induction into the Women’s Business Enterprise Hall of Fame at the Woman’s Museum in Dallas. Bryant Schultz isn’t resting on her laurels. By keeping her sights fixed on her business credo: “Solving business challenges by providing cost-cutting sustainable solutions through partnering relationships,” she is demonstrating just how valuable WBEs can be to each other and corporate members of WBENC. To learn more about CESCO, Inc. visit WWW.WBENC.ORG » DECEMBER EDITION 2012 »




Best Finishing, Inc. (BFI), an industrial distribution and applications engineering company located in Tucson, Arizona has grown significantly over the past three years adding customers and products.

Chris Schlesinger, founder & CEO of the company, is passionate about her business and upholds a business model that offers each customer the best possible solution for their needs and not just a product.

“If it drives, flies or rides, has a polished finish or gleaming components, Best Finishing has a money-saving solution and a product to help it shine brighter,” Schlesinger said. “Quality and image are everything in the metal finishing industry. We consistently give our customers what a lot of larger companies can’t: customized application expertise, solution-focused service, broad inventory, managed tool cribs and reliable distribution and delivery systems.” Schlesinger attributes much of BFI’s success to their intellectual capital and focus:

“Collectively, Best Finishing (BFI) has what is likely the deepest and broadest brain trust for a company of its size in this industry,” according to Schlesinger. “And it’s focused on developing innovative products and regional distribution solutions that are reducing operating costs and creating superior value for our customers.” Accompanying impressive strides in growth during a major recession, Best Finishing Inc. is a 2012 award winner “times two”: 2012 Arizona Master Success Award and 2012 Minority and Small Business Alliance Distributor of the Year Award. Schlesinger was recognized with top honors at the 2012 Arizona Success Awards and Legislative Lunch by winning the Master Success Award which was presented by the Arizona Small Business Development Center (AZSBDC) Network and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The event was held on March 29 at the Arizona State Capitol, where Schlesinger was congratulated by Arizona governor Jan Brewer. The AZSBDC Network is Arizona’s largest and most accessible source of assistance for small business.

PRESIDENT’S REPORT Best Finishing, Inc. was chosen because of owner Chris Schlesinger’s ability to identify and fulfill an important market need in an industry where the needs of customers had always taken a backseat to distribution strategies.

“The Success Awards provide an annual opportunity to recognize and applaud the achievements of Arizona small businesses,” said AZSBDC State Director, Janice Washington. “Chris rewrote the book on selling and serving metal finishing customers in a sector that had always been manufacturer driven. Her dedication to providing customer solutions was a real game changer for her company.” BFI went on to be named 2012 Minority and Small Business Alliance (MSBA) Distributor of the Year of Southern Arizona in July. The Minority and Small Business Alliance presented awards to outstanding minority-owned businesses for demonstrating success as business owners and commitment to their communities. This year’s event honored local minorityowned businesses from six business areas. CHRIS SCHLESINGER Founder & CEO, Best Finishing, Inc.

Schlesinger is a veteran in an industry that has traditionally been lacking female success stories. She founded BFI in 2000 with $500 and a personal line of credit. A dozen years later, she runs an expanding, award-winning finishing products company with a global customer base and a fast-track future ahead. Revenues doubled from 2009 to 2011 which resulted in adding new jobs. The business continues to have impressive growth in 2012; Schlesinger expects to add even more employees in 2013. BFI has been Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) certified for 10 years. Schlesinger is a graduate of the TUCK-WBENC Executive Program which focuses on increasing the competitive advantage and robustness of the participant’s own business. Schlesinger works with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in her region and the SBA’s Office of Women-Owned Small Businesses to pursue new procurement opportunities. Best Finishing, Inc. anticipates a bright future. According to Schlesinger:

“Innovation and teamwork are directly responsible for BFI’s enterprise performance and momentum. We consider it our job to make our customers and their products look good to their customers, around the globe. It is their satisfaction and success that has made Best Finishing one of the fastest growing companies in the metal finishing industry.” To learn more about Best Finishing, Inc. visit




2013 SUMMIT & SALUTE INTRODUCES NEW WORKSHOP TRACKS The Program Committee, chaired by Ruby McCleary, Director of Supplier Diversity, United Airlines, in collaboration with WBENC staff has developed new tracks for the workshop sessions that will debut at the Summit & Salute, March 13-14, 2013 in Baltimore. The new tracks are focused on delivering sessions that are relevant and interactive, highlighting challenges, trends and opportunities for all of our constituents, while underscoring our theme of “Join Forces. Succeed Together.” The three new tracks are:

BUILDING & HONING SKILLS This track will focus on skills across procurement, marketing and other relevant areas in order to enable attendees to continually build their skill sets, refine their business strategies and gain an in-depth understanding of the clients that they currently serve or want to serve in the future. LEVERAGING EXPERTISE This track will capitalize on the collective expertise of the Corporate and Government members and certified WBEs, bringing their knowledge and experience to the attendees in interactive settings. BUILDING CAPACITY This track examines growth opportunities from multiple perspectives giving an array of choices to align with business plan strategies for expanding your business. This year’s Summit will feature the following workshops to choose from: DEVELOPING DIVERSE SUPPLIERS Developing diverse companies, helping them navigate a large company and provide opportunities for protégé companies to collaborate with one another and explore ways in which they can team. This workshop will be presented by Accenture. STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESSFUL GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING The advanced session will have two themes: best practices to win subcontracting opportunities with Prime Contractors, and how to win more prime contracts by leveraging set-aside programs and like ED/WOSB, 8(a) and key contract vehicles.


ROI OF SUPPLIER DIVERSITY This session is intended for the Supplier Diversity (SD) professional looking for facts to support the case for SD in his/her organization, or the WBE looking for a glimpse into the corporate world. Join to learn how our leading corporations approach SD and analyze the value it brings to them in innovation and marketing. PRESENT YOUR POSITION Learn the keys to ensure your strategic advantage is crystal clear and actionable for your target customers when you present your position. This workshop will be presented by Ernst & Young LLP. THE ROAD TO “STAR”DOM The WBE Stars are the “best of the best” – listen and learn about their journeys to success. This is the opportunity to get your questions answered, be inspired and leverage the knowledge and expertise of WBE Stars. In addition to this workshop that will feature past and present Stars, you will be inspired at the Salute celebration as you get an up close and personal view of each of the 14 Women’s Business Enterprise Stars for 2013. America’s Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprises will be featured in two 90 minute workshop sessions that will be open to all attendees. The first session will focus on business trends and the second will look at supply chain challenges and opportunities. We are excited to have three hours of insights and dialog from executives representing these prestigious companies. Complimenting the rich selection of workshops will be many networking opportunities, including: Multi-Tier Opportunity Connection. All WBEs who register for the Summit by January 24, 2013 will have the opportunity to choose whether or not they want to participate in the Multi-Tier Meet & Greet and have their profiles included for review to potentially be selected for one on one meetings. Our 2013 Summit & Salute theme of “Join Forces. Succeed Together.” will come to life with the rich agenda we have in store for all of our attendees. Our Program Committee has been working diligently to deliver outstanding programming for all. If you have not yet registered, you may do so by visiting We look forward to seeing you in March!



GOVERNMENT OPPORTUNITY EXPERIENCE:  BENC presents the 2012 Government Opportunity Experience W featuring Moe Vela, former Director of Administration for Vice President Joe Biden

This exciting program provides knowledge of and access to the government procurement process through meetings with high-level decision makers from both the public and private sectors. WHEN: March 2013 WHERE: Washington, DC LIMITED SEATING AVAILABLE!!! $1,500 secures your spot in this meaningful, intimate experience. Don’t miss out on this invaluable opportunity email or to sign up TODAY!


SEE YOU IN 2013!


ANNETTE TADDEO-GOLDSTEIN, 2012 INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS WOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD RECIPIENT Congratulations to Annette Taddeo-Goldstein, Founder & CEO of LanguageSpeak, Inc., for receiving the 2012 International Business Woman of the Year (IBWOY) Award which was presented by the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) – South Florida. The award was presented to Taddeo-Goldstein at OWIT’s annual awards event which was held at the Intercontinental Hotel, Doral, Florida on November 14, 2012. This event recognizes female leaders in South Florida for outstanding contributions made to their communities. The proceeds of this event are typically used to award scholarships to young women enrolled in international business programs at local universities. Taddeo-Goldstein and LanguageSpeak, Inc. represented the Small/Medium-size Company business category. LanguageSpeak, Inc. is a comprehensive language services company that offers a broad range of solutions which include complete document and website translations, conference interpretation, on-site language instructions in more than 240 languages, and private tutoring in over 100 languages. Taddeo-Goldstein has run her enterprising business for over 15 years and has proven that hard work and dedication do pay off. Since its inception in 1995, LanguageSpeak, Inc. has attracted a notable roster of bluechip clients, including: AT&T, Citigroup, Humana, ING, Standard and Poor’s, SunLife and Rooms to Go. Taddeo-Goldstein has been a leader since an early age who has always stood up for doing what was right. She worked to bring people together by organizing toy drives for needy children and volunteering at local orphanages. Taddeo-Goldstein got her first taste of the entrepreneurial spirit when she was 13. There was an abundant orange grove on her family’s property; Annette saw the potential to meet the needs of her community. She went door to door around her neighborhood selling oranges. The response was overwhelming and influenced her life’s direction. Her story is classic: building on a diverse background to achieve success and prepare for the challenges of the future.


“I am committed to public service and want to use my personal experience to help solve the challenges our communities face. As a small-business owner myself, every day, I work to improve people’s lives and stand up for families and small business owners.” Taddeo-Goldstein’s community activities and practices promoting strong business leadership have resulted in numerous honors and awards which include but are not limited to: “2012 International Business Woman of the Year Award” presented by Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP); “2011 Top-500 Hispanic Business in the U.S.” by; and “Top-100 Small Business in Florida.” Business Leader Magazine honored Taddeo-Goldstein with the “2009 South Florida Movers & Shakers Award.” She was named “Businesswoman of the Year: Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) Entrepreneurial Diversity Award” in 2007; selected by Small Business Administration (SBA) as the “2005 Minority Business Champion of the Year”; and received the “Latina Excellence Award” from Hispanic Magazine. In addition, May 9 was proclaimed to be “Annette Taddeo Day” by Miami-Dade County Commissioners for her ANNETTE TADDEO-GOLDSTEIN Founder & CEO, LanguageSpeak, Inc.

exemplary contributions and accomplishments which lead to lasting impressions on the county’s residents. She served on the Executive Board of Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) and currently is the Finance Committee Co-Chair on the Executive Board of the Women’s Campaign Fund. LanguageSpeak, Inc. has been WBENC certified since 2001. Taddeo-Goldstein served as the Chair of the Women’s Enterprise Leadership Forum and was recognized as a “Women’s Business Enterprise Star” by WBENC in 2002. Taddeo-Goldstein holds strong to her mission: to enhance the status and interest of women and men in the field of international trade through the establishment of a worldwide network of international business contacts; to encourage and stimulate the exchange of views, ideas and information concerning foreign commerce and international relations; to establish educational programs, conventions and other activities to promote the employment worldwide of women in international trade; and to promote professional growth, education and leadership among women employed worldwide in foreign trade and commerce in both the public and private sectors. For information on LanguageSpeak’s range of services visit





The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) honored Ford Motor Company as the “2012 Corporation of the Year.” The award was presented at the NMSDC Annual Conference and Business Fair Awards Banquet which was held in Denver, Colorado in October 2012. This is the fourth time in nearly 25 years Ford has received this prestigious honor, which recognizes the company’s commitment to economically empowering minority, women and veteran-owned businesses and job creation. NMSDC’s Annual Conference and Business Fair is the nation’s benchmark forum addressing the trends and issues on purchasing, international markets, strategic sourcing and access to capital for Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American business owners.

“Our suppliers are a key part of our One Ford team, and we are committed to building a supplier base that reflects our employees, our customers and our shareholders,” said Alan Mulally, Ford president and CEO. “Having a broad and diverse supplier base reinforces our commitment to the communities where we live and work, and enables us to serve customers with a full family of vehicles offering the very best quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart design and value.” The “Corporation of the Year” award is bestowed annually to the selected prestigious organization in recognition of their exemplary achievements in the area of minority supplier development. It is the most sought-after honor for major corporations that are dedicated to improving the overall participation of Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American suppliers in the global corporate supply chain. Receiving this award is regarded as the most significant honor to a major organization for the utilization of this group of minority suppliers. In order for a company to be considered for this award, they have to had demonstrated exceptional strength in areas critical to maintaining a solid minority supplier development process.

PRESIDENT’S REPORT “Presenting this award to Ford is a fitting way to continue celebrating our 40th anniversary,” said NMSDC President Joset B. Wright. “Ford has been a true supporter of NMSDC’s supplier diversity initiatives for more than 30 years. In 2012, Ford took its efforts to a new level, embodying an absolute model of minority supplier development and collaboration with its company policies, supplier investment, technology support and creation of joint ventures and strategic alliances.” Ford has steadily regained its presence among the world’s leading automakers since the adverse impact of the 2007 economic downturn. In 2011, Ford purchased a company record $5.08 billion in goods and services from more than 400 certified minority business enterprises (MBEs), a 31 percent growth over 2010. Prior to 2011, Ford facilitated 13 joint ventures/strategic alliances to increase MBE-to-MBE business opportunities as well as MBE and major corporations. Ford Motor Company has spent more than $50 billion with certified MBEs since 1996. Ford embraces NMSDC’s “best practices” for minority supplier development to enhance its corporate supplier diversity processes and build capacity for MBEs. In support of NMSDC and its network of 36 affiliate councils, in 2011, the company volunteered more than 5,000 hours for more than 36 committees and events. The automaker sponsored three MBEs for NMSDC President Joset B. Wright (center, black dress with white collar) presented the 2012 Corporation of the Year Award to Ford Motor Company at its the conclusion of its annual conference and business opportunity fair in Denver, Colorado, on October 31. Pictured directly to her right (front row) is Carla Preston of Ford and NMSDC Vice Chairman Shelley Stewart Jr. of DuPont. Also celebrating the award are Tony Brown, group vice president, Ford global purchasing (6th from the right), Ford purchasing and supplier diversity executives and a group of the company’s minority suppliers.

membership in NMSDC’s Corporate Plus Program and participates on NMSDC’s International Program Advisory Committee. Additionally, Ford procurement and supplier diversity executives hold leadership roles on the NMSDC board and the board of the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council.

“2012 has been a banner year for us for supplier diversity development,” said Tony Brown, group vice president, Global Purchasing, Ford. “Ford is the first automaker to win WBENC and NMSDC top corporation awards in one year. These awards recognize the hard work of our Ford team and confirm our One Ford plan is working to deliver vehicles people truly want and value, with industry-leading quality, fuel efficiency, safety and smart technology.” For more information about Ford Motor Company Supplier Diversity Programs, visit their website:





Lily Otieno, President & CEO, Infinity Business Solutions (IBS) Consulting Services Otieno recognized as a “National Supplier of the Year” in the “Class I” category by National Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc. (NMSDC) for distinguishing herself and services provided by “Infinity Business Solutions”: successfully demonstrating growth in sales and employment; consistently providing high quality products and services at competitive prices, offering innovative approaches and cost savings ideas; continuously growing MBE-to-MBE purchases and significantly contributing to the growth and development of society and her community. The National Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc. (NMSDC) awarded the top Minority Supplier of the Year winners at the awards banquet which was held on Wednesday, October 31, 2012, closing the four day 2012 Conference and Business Opportunity Fair which was held in Denver, Colorado. Regional Minority Supplier of the Year awards were bestowed to 16 outstanding Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American-owned businesses representing a broad range of industries, including construction/general contracting, creative services, facilities maintenance, information technology, security systems, staffing and professional services and transportation services.

“NMSDC is proud to honor this year’s regional supplier of the year winners,” said NMSDC President Joset B. Wright. “They represent the best-of-the-best among our 16,000 certified minority businesses, providing innovative products and exemplary service to their corporate customers in support of the global supply chain.”


President & CEO, Infinity Business Solutions

The National Supplier of the Year Award is an additional acknowledgment which was awarded to four of the Regional Minority Supplier of the Year winners. The National Supplier of the Year Award includes four levels of achievement based on annual sales. Regional winners are nominated by their corporate customers to be considered for the National Supplier of the Year Award. NMSDC-certified minority-owned businesses are evaluated on the basis of business growth, development and performance, community service and the ability to overcome challenges brought on by the company owner’s heritage or background. Infinity Business Solutions (IBS) located in Buena Park, California, was nominated for the National Supplier of the Year Award by two of their customers, Southern California Gas Company and Los Angeles World Airport, for outstanding work in developing customized business training modules for their organizations. IBS won the Class I category for their region.

PRESIDENT’S REPORT Lily Otieno is the President and CEO of IBS, which was established in 2005. The minorityowned performance management consulting firm works with five training consultants and focuses on supplier development training, contract/operational readiness and serves as a liaison for diverse business enterprises. The company’s annual sales experienced a 50 percent leap since 2011 resulting from Otieno’s inspiration to retool IBS’s original “Employee Development and Growth” training modules to those focused on “Leadership and Supplier Development Training.” This strategic redirection greatly enhanced IBS’s value to corporations which in turn created lucrative opportunities for growth. IBS offers supplier procurement training and leadership development strategies based on sourcing requirements. Training includes technical assistance, capacity building and professional development to diverse suppliers enabling them to be strategic in the market place. Along with receiving these NMSDC awards Otieno’s work has been recognized by other organizations which have also honored her success, including: “2012 Minority Champion of the Year” by the U.S. Small Business Administration Region IX; 2012 WBE Supplier of the Year” by Women’s Business Enterprise Council West, and the “2011 WBE Advocate of the Year” by Women’s Business Enterprise National Council-West. Otieno has been WBENC Certified since 2007. She was one of 51 WBENC Certified WBEs who participated in the 2012 Tuck–WBENC Executive Program this past Fall. Otieno is a Women’s Business Enterprise Council (WBEC)-West Region Los Angeles Forum Chair who volunteers her time liaising between WBEs and WBEC-West locally and nationally, supporting women business owners in their quest to be knowledge leaders. Otieno attributes much of her success as a result of helping others:

“WBENC certification has influenced my growth tremendously”, said Otieno. “I serve as the LA Forum Chair and in collaboration with WBECWest President & CEO, Pamela Williamson and the vice chairs, lead the Los Angeles forum in designing the strategic plan and implementing the forum programs in L.A region. We have developed several WBE programs that focus on corporate procurement and leveraging certifications. My involvement with WBEC-West has greatly influenced my success along with learning from and helping other WBEs to succeed.” When Otieno is not preparing for training programs she is engaged in supporting the Boys & Girls Club of Buena Park and the Asian Business Association of Orange County (ABAOC) among other non-profits. In addition to spending several years helping organizations meet their performance demands through leadership and development training, IBS has developed the Supplier Development workshop series for M/WBEs who are looking to increase the chances of winning contracts. To learn more about Infinity Business Solutions please visit





The Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance (WBEA) Board of Directors selected April Day as WBEA’s new President, effective October 5, 2012.

Day is the former director of the WBEA’s Houston Galveston Women’s Business Center, a federally funded U. S. Small Business Administration resource center. Since the center’s origin, she has worked with over 500 women business owners providing business solutions and technical support for sustainability and growth strategies. Ms. Day brings over 13 years of financial oversight, program development, business development and non-profit experience to WBEA. Prior to Day’s WBEA role, she served as director for the U.S. Department of Education TRIO programs, which are federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. Merging business practices from her experiences, Day strives to increase the capacity of small businesses.

“When I review the growth of women-owned business, I see a powerhouse in job creation and a source of economic growth. Texas ranks second in women-owned firms, yet so few take advantage of the many resources and networks available for sustainability and capacity building. WBEA is poised to provide the connective links through networking, mentoring and capacity building programs,” remarked April Day. “I look forward to serving the small business community with a vision rooted in advocacy and sustainability. With our cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and our strong supplier diversity relationships, WBEA aims to level the playing field for women-owned businesses.” As an affiliate of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the WBEA serves as a third-party certifying organization for women-owned business enterprises (WBEs) in South Texas.


Headquartered in Houston, the Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance serves over 94 counties in Texas with scholarship and mentoring programs, networking activities and educational opportunities designed to spark growth and new business opportunities for members and their companies. Whether a governmental agency, corporation or women-owned business of any size, the WBEA helps to diversify businesses. The Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance, a nationally recognized purchasing council, is a pacesetter in helping women business enterprises grow and develop. WBEA is strongly committed to increasing opportunities for women-owned businesses and providing qualified suppliers to corporate and government purchasers. The WBEA is one of 14 regional partner organizations across the U.S. under the WBENC national umbrella.


President, WBEA

“April Day brings an intimate knowledge of the current WBEA organization and has had great success leading the WBC organization for us. This along with her strong background in running non-profits and grant management positions, April will help WBEA achieve our vision of the future,” stated Kelly Mortensen, Chevron Upstream & Gas Supply Chain Advisor and WBEA Board Chairman. WBENC extends our heartfelt wishes to April Day for continued success. We look forward to working with Day and WBEA as we jointly strive to expand awareness of the benefits and values which are inherent in WBENC certification, creating opportunities for women-owned business to flourish while being recognized as sustainable resources for corporations to attain supplier diversity objectives. To learn more about WBEA and the nationally recognized WBENC certification for women-owned businesses, please visit




THE BEST YEAR OF YOUR LIFE! Are you ready to embark on a journey that can lead to “Best Year of your Life?” If so, stay tuned to this column throughout 2013 as Women on Wellness offers you the tools to transform your life into an amazing one. Our approach during this first year of our column was to focus on YOU, the Entrepreneur, the Woman Business Owner. Next year’s focus will be related to the ways in which the health of you and your employees impacts the overall success of your business. A specific focus will address the issue of employee health as a marker for maintaining a competitive advantage for your business.

The bottom line to foster success is Your health, which has a direct impact on the health of your company. As you know it all starts at the top. Our hope is that each of you will gain valuable wellness information that can further support your efforts towards having the “Best Year of Your Life.” Each month, we will focus on one health topic or issue that serves as an aspect of total well-being; which will address the different “Dimensions of Wellness:” the physical, mental, emotional, social, intellectual, spiritual and environmental. Our desire is to make this column a very interactive and informative one. We will be asking you to do some work and take time each day to focus on some aspect of your health. It is our belief that your health needs to be the #1 priority in your life. In order to put things into perspective, take a moment to reflect on your daily priorities. What is important to you and how do you gain 100 percent of the energy that you use each day to meet your priorities? What percent of your energy do you devote to each of your priorities? How do you divide your time and energy to meet those priorities? 100 Percent Energy Worksheet (click here): Write down your priorities. Next to each one, write the percent of the time/ energy that you give to each of those priorities. It is that simple. I hope you will take a moment to evaluate your Energy Worksheet; how did you divide the amount of time and energy amongst your priorities? The next obvious question is: What do you need to change, give up, put on the back burner or modify in order to satisfy your desire to “Have the Best Year of Your Life?” Understanding your priorities and which are most important to you is an excellent beginning. Next take a moment to rate your overall health. To get started, we must first be aware of our health condition and how you rate your own health status. How healthy are you? From 1-10 what number would you give yourself, 10 being the healthiest? Based on your own self assessment, what would be just one action that you can incorporate into your life right now, today, to improve your overall health?

PRESIDENT’S REPORT For each dimension of wellness how would you rate yourself from Low (#1) to High (#10) Level of Wellness? Use this worksheet (click here) to track your ratings and goals. The definitions of each dimension are at the end of this article for your reference. We want to make this process of 2013 being the Best Year of Your Life easy and achievable for each of you. We are here to help you achieve that one new health habit that will change your life forever. Take a moment now and write down what this health habit is. Write it down, share it with a close friend or family member. If you want you can share it with us by contacting Brenda Loube at

We are excited to take the journey to the Best Year of Your Life with each of you! WELLNESS DIMENSIONS Physical wellness encourages regular physical activity. It encourages you to spend more time each week building endurance, flexibility and physical strength. It also encourages good nutrition and discourages the use of tobacco, drugs and excessive alcohol consumption. Other activities include medical self-care and appropriate use of the medical system. Emotional wellness emphasizes an awareness and acceptance of one’s feelings. Emotional wellness allows you to be aware of and accept a wide range of feelings in yourself and others. You’ll be able to express feelings freely and manage them effectively. You’ll be able to arrive at personal choices and decisions based upon the synthesis of feelings, thoughts, philosophies and behavior. Intellectual wellness encourages creative, stimulating mental activities. An intellectually well person uses the resources available to expand one’s knowledge in improved skills along with expanding potential for sharing with others. You’ll discover a natural interest in keeping abreast of current issues and ideas. As you develop your intellectual wellness curiosity, you’ll actively strive to expand and challenge your mind with creative endeavors. Spiritual wellness involves seeking meaning and purpose in human existence. It includes the development of a deep appreciation for the depth and expanse of life. As you begin to take the wellness path, you’ll start asking what is meaningful in my life. Social wellness is having positive interactions with and enjoying being with others. It is having comfort and ease during work and leisure situations and communicating feelings and needs to others. It involves developing and building close friendships and intimacy, practicing empathy and effective listening, caring for others and for the common good and allowing others to care for you. It includes the pursuit of harmony in one’s family. Environmental wellness is about leading a lifestyle that is respectful of our environment. This includes respecting nature and those species living in it. Respect for others living in our environment as well as respecting the physical environment itself. It is about leading a lifestyle that ensures the purity of our water, air and living conditions. Help prevent littering and support the efforts of recycling in your community and business.



We are excited to launch our premier line of WBENC products to engage our community and bring awareness to the WBENC brand. We invite you to shop on our newly designed website and feel free to contact our exclusive provider for even more creative ideas on how to brand your business!

WBENC December President's Report  

WBENC December President's Report

WBENC December President's Report  

WBENC December President's Report