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Summer Issue MBECONNECT PROFILES Summer Issue

Social Media



LIGHT SOURCE PROGRAM Certification SUPPLIER DIVERSITY A great business partnership



MBEConnect Profiles I Summer Issue


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Media Frenzy Communications provides communication with purpose Traditional Media Relations Strategic Communications Planning Internal Communications Executive Positioning Social Media Outreach MFC integrates both traditional and new media tactics to create the best campaign to meet your needs and achieve your business objectives. Our approach is to tell your story so it will get the attention of traditional media, online sources and most importantly, the people in your target audience. We want you to feel like you have an in-house public relations team that will respond as though our office was down the hall from yours. We want to make communicating your story easy! To find out how we can help tell your story, Call 202.573.9223

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mbeconnect profiles Editor Caroline Knecht Contributing Writers Heather Tzall Darrius Wright Designer Efrem Duran Manager Eric Harland Profiles Coordinator Caress Gonzales Sales Executives Ronald Harland David Neal Camille Allen Digital Prepress Leo Morton iPad/iPhone Production Ashok Amaran Kunjan Shah Issue Corporate Sponsor US Cellular Contact MBEConnect Profiles is a publication of MBEConnect. If you have any questions about one of our publications, please contact us at 1.913.469.8900 or e-mail us at info@

In this Issue Editorial The Light Source at KCP&L The Art of Collaboration MBEConnect Profiles - American Chrome Company - Integrated Human Capital - Promet Energy - Evolv Solutions, LLC Top Corporations for WBEs Social Media 101 MBEConnect Profiles - QTI - Soda Pop Graphics - Special: Chicago MSDC (NMSDC Chapter) - Special: WBEC-West (WBENC Affiliate) Certifications and Supplier Diversity - A Great Business Partnership

This magazine is available online at and PODCAST LISTENERS Listen in each week for the Supplier Diversity Podcast @


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MBEConnect Profiles I Summer Issue


mbeconnect profiles

From the Editor: Welcome to the Summer Issue

Watch This Video online at

Welcome to the second issue of MBEConnect Profiles magazine. The first issue of MBEConnect Profiles was a tremendous success, and we’re certain that this issue will continue the new tradition of excellence in the supplier diversity community. We are extremely proud to feature all of the businesses included in the profiles section. These inspirational companies are known as thought leaders and are truly among the best and most innovative M/WBEs in the country. This issue also highlights two outstanding certification partners that serve as true champions in the advancement of M/WBEs. In addition to these profiles, this issue features articles written by guest authors and M/WBE entrepreneurs Heather Tzall and Darrius Wright. Their efforts help MBEConnect Profiles to further its goals of in-depth knowledge sharing and community building through collaboration. MBEConnect has been placing special emphasis on social media in recent months, thanks to a multi-faceted collaboration with WBECWest. Together MBEConnect and WBEC-West have created a webinar, podcast series and blog series to help share social media knowledge and strategies with diverse businesses. This collaboration culminates with the WBENC National Conference, held June 20 – 23 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Just like MBEConnect Profiles, social media can create a stronger and better supplier diversity community, and sharing this knowledge is the first step to success.

MBEConnect Profiles I Summer Issue 3

Different voices deliver a powerful message. MBECONNECT PROFILES Summer Issue

We are U.S. Cellular® associates. People from different walks of life. Different cultures melding their particular points of view into one single aim – fulfilling the needs of our customers. U.S. Cellular has grown into the nation’s fifth-largest wireless carrier because of the core values that have made us successful.

These values are: • Customer Focus • Ethics • Pride

• Empowerment • Respect • Diversity

Each associate’s skill and potential is the gateway to our future. We are linked together by the commitment to our customers as well as the betterment of our team. When you join U.S. Cellular, you become part of a company that enables you to grow and give back to the communities we serve. We believe your talent can make a difference. U.S. Cellular is a drug-free workplace and is committed to diversity and inclusion.


MBEConnect Profiles I Summer Issue


Kansas City Power & Light Honors Light Source Supplier Diversity Program First started in 1986, the supplier diversity initiative at Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) has continually created groundbreaking programs that have exceeded the boundaries of traditional programs. KCP&L introduced the Light Source mentoring program for diverse businesses in 2007. This innovative program pairs a senior KCP&L leader (referred to as a Champion) with an M/WBE owner. During this apprenticeship, the Champion provides business advice, serves as counsel, offers training options, provides referrals to other KCP&L business units and helps the M/WBE owner expand their business network and opportunities. Suppliers participate in the program anywhere from one to three years. A key enhancement was made to the Light Source program in 2010: a procurement advocate was added to provide assistance to the Champions and executives involved with the mentoring program. KCP&L has also developed an internal supplier diversity website that allows suppliers to register with KCP&L directly, placing their companies into a directory accessible to employees and source suppliers. New software helps the company track its diversity spend in real-time. Thanks to the Light Source program and other inclusion initiatives, KCP&L has exceeded its diverse spend financial goals in each of the last three years. The total company diversity spend totaled over $57 million in 2009, and grew to over $63 million in 2010. KCP&L did business with 241 diverse suppliers in 2010 alone. The results have exceeded all expectations and resulted in overwhelmingly positive experiences for KCP&L, participating M/WBE owners and Champions alike.

Jason Lofton of QTI, Inc. accepts an award for Supplier of the Year, Presented by Mike Chesser, Chairman and CEO of KCP&L

The success of the Light Source mentoring program resulted in an identical program created for the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department, allowing even more M/WBEs in the metro area to receive new business opportunities. Through the Light Source Mentoring Program, 18 suppliers in the program were recently recognized for their efforts at the KCP&L Supplier Diversity Awards Luncheon. Congratulations to all of the M/WBEs honored, and to KCP&L for the success of its supplier diversity program.

David Neal and Ron Harland Jr. of Evolv Solutions are presented with an award by KCP&L Procurement Manager Ellen A. Barry MBEConnect Profiles I Summer Issue 5


The Art of Collaboration Darrius Wright

Famed Cubist Pablo Picasso said, “Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.� But navigating the highways of supplier diversity programs and contracting opportunities towards success many times is as confusing as deciphering the paintings of Picasso. However the mystery of Picasso and the mystery of collaboration in the supply chain are the same, simplicity. 6

MBEConnect Profiles I Summer Issue

You might say, “I’ve heard this all before”, but the question isn’tMBECONNECT what have you heard PROFILES Summer Issue before, but what have you heard and applied? Planning, Believing, and Acting. If you can consistently apply these three principles you can, and will, have success.


This part of the process can be the hardest part of building a diverse supplier business model. It means researching, developing, and implementing a cost structure that integrates easily with buyer’s systems, drafting and redrafting ideas, identifying markets and procurement offices purchasing your products and services, and (most difficultly) cultivating the right partnership approach to mutually benefit both parties. But without adequate planning, no business collaboration can take shape and grow. You will quickly realize that planning is the most important part of the supplier business model and is an integral part of all business operations. This also means planning for variable forms of success and failure. How will you react to a delay in invoicing, increased demand for turn-key solutions, or stagnant growth in your supplier/purchasing relationship? Effective planning will show your customer leadership, stability, and understanding. Ask any “successful” supplier and you will hear the same simple approach. Without proper planning and foresight, the corporate purchases of your products and services will not yield a truly beneficial relationship.


No one believes in your product, service, or innovative process more than you. Many times your belief in your business will be the only fuel that powers you down the road of success. So no matter where you are in the collaborative process you have to continue to believe. But belief is a two way street. Your task as a supplier is to get others to buy into your vision and see the value in your business just as you do – to believe just like you. It is clear to see the power of belief in everyday commerce. The stock market is one big stage for the valuated beliefs of investors, consumers, and producers. As a producer if I believe I can provide a valuable product, service, or process I can influence the consumer to purchase from my business. This in turn will influence investors to place more value on my product. This is why the recent financial crisis was so devastating to global markets, because of the lack of “consumer confidence” or lack of belief by consumers, investors, and even producers in the viability of their enterprise. Belief is a priceless, intangible tool in business and may determine how far you will travel towards your goals. When all else fails belief will be an invaluable asset to your business and on-going dealings with your corporate partner.


You’ve spent days, months, or even years tirelessly planning and you have total confidence in that plan. Now all that remains is the execution. Oddly enough this principle is the easiest to complete when all the other factors are present and stable. Your ability to continuously act on the plans and beliefs established for your business will aid in the implementation of preemptive, proactive, and reactive measures necessary to stimulate the company’s growth and development. Furthermore, as you see yourself acting out your plans and beliefs, and your corporate partners see you executing everyone involved will gain more confidence in you and your business. These small milestones are the encouragement you need to continue towards success. Artists know that every great work, every masterpiece is the product of a process. For the artist it begins with inspiration, vision, belief, and execution of the vision. The diverse supplier is no different. Picasso proved that the simplest artistic approach could yield success. So pick up your proverbial paint brush and craft a supplier masterpiece. About the Author Darrius Wright is a native of Wichita, KS with a varied history in non-profit organizational development and administration and a serial entrepreneur. He currently serves as Vice President, Director of Operations for VendTech Enterprise, LLC, a security and investigations firm.

MBEConnect Profiles I Summer Issue 7



A certified MBE and WBE, ACC is committed to being a world class automotive and heavy truck supplier through strategic relationships with minority firms. Our commitment to minority business was recognized and rewarded by the receipt of ChicagoMSDC’s 2011 Minority Supplier of the Year award!


“We focus on strategic and solution driven sourcing that prioritizes the success of our customers.”




Founded in 1983, American Chrome Company (ACC) is a well-recognized global leader in supplying the heavy truck and RV industries. While we specialize in chrome, stainless steel, and PC/ABS chrome products, ACC’s OEM commitment has allowed us to expand to become global souring specialists. Quality is not just a word we use; it is the defining difference in how ACC manufactures our products and why our customers have made us one of the most successful chrome, stainless steel, and PC / ABS plastic suppliers in North America. ACC’s newest warehouse and distribution center is located in Bolingbrook, Illinois. With 80,000 square feet of office and warehouse space, state-of-the-art inventory control systems, and full EDI transaction capabilities, ACC is well equipped to provide a full range of products and services to our customers. 8

MBEConnect Profiles I Summer Issue

ACC’s capabilities include managing every step of the supply chain from sourcing and logistics, to inventory management, to warehouse and distribution for an overall reduced cost, speed to market and better service to our customers. ACC’s current products include a complete line of chrome, stainless steel, and PC/ABS chrome products, as well as mirrors, exhaust products, clam shells for catalytic converters, shock absorbers & components, rubber products / bushings, u-joints, grease caps, air tubes, clutch control rods and stay rods, and much more. ACC’s list of customers includes: • Meritor • Navistar • Caterpillar • Kenworth • Daimler Trucks • Peterbilt • Tenneco • Mack • Dexter Axle • Volvo


• • • • • • •

Small Company versatile with extensive OEM experience Strategically located in U.S. and China Sourcing experts with 30+ years of global experience Supply chain management ISO / TS certified Minority and woman owned certified business Team-oriented continuous improvement philosophy


Extensive long-term relationships and industry experience allow us to minimize lead times with an average new product development lead-time from RFQ to delivery of 16 weeks.


SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT We manage the sourcing process from start to finish.


Demand Management Warehouse & Distribution

Primary Industry Served Heavy Duty Truck OEM Business Products/ production and aftermarket Services products Planning & Inventory Management

Reduce Cost Speed to Market Better Service Supply Management

Customer Interface



ACC is ISO9001:2008 certified and ISO14001:2004 certified, as well as a certified minority- and womanowned small business.











BUSINESS & DIVERSITY CERTIFICATIONS Business/Technical Certifications Diversity Certifications




Chapter/ Affiliation







Gabriel Ride Control, Volvo, Mack, Navistar, Daimler Trucks

In addition, because ACC has done and continues to do an outstanding job of fulfilling our customers’ needs, our OEM customers have asked us to expand our product lines to include parts such as u-joints, stacks, shock absorber components, rubber bushings grease caps, clutch components, and more.




518 W CROSSROADS PKWY BOLINGBROOK, IL 60440 TEL: (800) 562-4488 | TEL: (630) 685-2200 email:

MBEConnect Profiles I Summer Issue 9


Integrated Human Capital ABOUT US

“Delivering workforce solutions throughout the United States and Mexico.”



Designing Effective Workforce Management Programs VALUE FOR OUR CLIENTS

At Integrated Human Capital, we operate with a unique understanding of global staffing trends and we implement integrated solutions that are customized to meet the special requirements of the United StatesMexico economic zone.

Integrated Human Capital, LLC, an independently owned staffing company, was founded in February 2002 by Rosa Santana in El Paso, Texas. Ms. Santana currently serves as Chief Executive Officer and remains headquartered in El Paso. Our clients represent a wide range of small to large Fortune 500 companies throughout the United States and Mexico, earning IHC the distinct reputation of a true “cross-border” human resources provider.


In addition to providing high-quality temporary, temporary-to-hire, and direct placement talent, IHC offers a range of tactical workforce solutions that drive and enhance business performance. Our business solutions are customizable to efficiently and effectively meet the needs of companies within various industries, including business support services, insurance, manufacturing and logistics, healthcare, government, information technology, marketing, and contact center. IHC specializes in the following services:

Our approach is simple. We recruit and constantly update our pool of outstanding people and we know how to match them to jobs that challenge and motivate them. We provide innovative business solutions that give our clients flexibility and multiple options as they respond to changes in demand or skill shortages. We create value for our clients and our employees through our commitment to the highest level of customer service. 10 MBEConnect Profiles I Summer Issue



We provide human capital solutions in major market areas to enable our customers’ supply chain needs and success with temporary employee supply, human resources support, and on-premise managed services. We create value for our clients through: • • • • • •

Quality Staff Flexible Solutions Capable Well-Trained Workforce Cross-Border Capabilities Responsiveness Our Commitment to the Highest Level of Customer Service

Our customers are organizations that value the synergies and efficiencies of outsourcing solutions.

CLIENTS • • • •

Toyota Ryder World Wide Technology HCA Healthcare

• • • •

Johnson Controls State of Texas Foxconn Dell

El Paso San Antonio

• •

Austin Houston

Administrative Technical Accounting Light Industrial

Temporary Staffing, Tempto-Hire, Payroll Services, OnPrimary Industry Served Premise Staff Management, Business Products/ Professional / Executive Search, Services Human Resource Consulting, Employment Screening NAICS Codes

• • • •

Clerical Professional Call Center Warehousing

561320, 561310

541214, 541612







Number of Employees

BUSINESS & DIVERSITY CERTIFICATIONS Business/Technical Certifications



Chapter/ Affiliation

Diversity Certifications







Federal Certifications




State of Texas HUB

Toyota, Ryder, World Wide Technology, HCA Healthcare, Johnson Controls, State of Texas, Foxconn, Dell






Business Statistics

• • • • •

Our commitment to the highest level of customer service Dedicated team with a combined 134 years experience in the staffing industry Flexible Service Models Rapid response time Competitive Pricing Proven Results - Client Testimonials IHC OVERVIEW BIO IHC NEWSLINK


Watch This Video online at

615 E. Schuster, Bldg. 9A El Paso, TX 79902 Tel: 1-866-779-6644 / Tel: 915-781-2665 Email: MBEConnect Profiles I Summer Issue 11



are comparatively underserved by qualified minorityowned companies. Founded by highly accomplished energy company veterans, Promet Energy focuses on understanding and satisfying customer needs. Promet Energy uses its deep knowledge of energy markets and corporate procurement best practices to provide competitively priced and reliable energy. Our name, Promet Energy, comes from Greek mythology and signifies our approach to serving customers. The name Prometheus means “forethought.” Prometheus was the wisest Titan who took the “gift of fire” and shared it with humankind.

“At Promet Energy, we pride ourselves on attention to detail and mistake free service.”




Forethought, Leadership, Performance, Commitment


Promet Energy supplies natural gas to local distribution companies and electricity and natural gas to large industrial businesses. Our mission is to serve as the leading niche marketer of energy supply and services by meeting the highest performance standards while improving customer purchasing diversity. A minority-owned firm, Promet Energy provides natural gas and electricity at competitive prices and works in partnership with leading energy companies to provide electricity to industrial consumers in deregulated states. We also specialize energy consulting services to improve procurement and risk management.


At present, major LCDs and large industrial customers 12 MBEConnect Profiles I Summer Issue


Our business approach results in trustworthy personal service that meets our customer’s needs. To assure smooth and successful transactions, our leadership team is personally involved in serving customers during every step of the process.


Promet Energy transactions are tailored to the requirements of our customers. We focus on understanding their energy purchasing requirements, plans and procedures, and work to fit precisely into the role desired by our customers. We carefully study and understand sources of supply that may meet customer needs. Promet Energy uses industry standard contracts and deals with highly regarded, reliable gas and electricity producers.


Promet Energy is committed to making a positive contribution to the communities it serves and to being a good corporate citizen in all its actions. We strongly believe that part of growing a healthy business is being socially responsible. It is good for business, for the community and for the economy. Promet Energy has committed to donating 5 percent of net profits to charitable organizations, primarily in the area of education.



Capacity to supply on a regional and national basis

Marketer and not a Broker with over $80 million in sales

Over 50 years of industry experience

Certified MBE, Promet Energy is a member of National

INDUSTRY BUSINESS DATA Marketer/Distributor of Natural Gas and Electricity

Distributor of the year by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce.

Primary Industry Served Business Products/ Services

Recipient of the National Association of Regulatory



Utility Commissioners 2009 “UMAP” Leadership Award


Minority Supplier Development Council. •

Business Statistics

Awarded the 2007 Regional Minority Supplier/

for reliable energy supply.


One of Daimler Chrysler’s major steel suppliers, Mittal Steel, has come up with a unique way of minority sourcing: to partner with a minority-owned supplier of natural gas and electricity, Promet Energy Partners LLC. Promet has been able to provide natural gas to Mittal Steel at a competitive price as compared with many of the major producers. Mittal Steel has gone further than just sourcing business to Promet- they are a mentor and advocate to help Promet grow. By assisting Promet with business growth, Mittal Steel will be helping Promet to remain financially stable and competitive. With Promet planning to be in business for the long haul, that Mittal will be able to continue to meet or exceed their minority sourcing objectives.

Gross Annual Sales




$99 MIL

$80 MIL

$85 MIL




Number of Employees

BUSINESS & DIVERSITY CERTIFICATIONS Business/Technical Certifications



Diversity Certifications



Nicor Gas, Arcelor, Mittal Steel USA, Cook County, IL. Johnson’s Publishing, Amcor PET Packaging

Chapter/ Affiliation CMSDC MMSDC



Promet Energy’s Profile is sponsored by U.S. Cellular. U.S. Cellular has been a great partner exposing and introducing Promet Energy to other valuable corporations. This partnership between U.S. Cellular and Promet Energy is an example of collaborations that represents supplier diversity. PRESENTATION BIO CAPABILITIES


One E. Delaware chicago, il 60611 TEL: 312-202-9303 FAX: 312-202-9304

MBEConnect Profiles I Summer Issue 13


eVolv solutions


Gain Control of your networked print environment. Our end-to-end managed print programs handle all aspects of the printer lifecycle, including hardware, supplies, services, parts and document management software. As companies of all sizes search for ways to operate more efficiently and cut costs, they are paying more attention to their imaging and document output environments as a source of cost savings. Within the confines of this ecosystem, the implementation of Evolv’s Managed Print Services program can help bring order to the chaos, and allows our customers to free up IT from day to day support related to document management.

“We provide a total document management solution, while utilizing Tier I stategies.”



Document Management & Information Technology ABOUT US

Ronald Harland Sr. is the founder and President of Evolv Solutions. With the increasing demand of supplier diversity initiatives, he saw an opportunity to create a small firm capable of providing document management and information technology ideas across a wide-range of solutions for Fortune 500 Start-up and Government institutions.


Evolv Solutions, LLC seeks to continually develop and improve the competencies of its employees and the organization. As a result, the company is able to meet the needs of a highly demanding customer base throughout the world. Evolv Solutions, LLC applies the following five core values which employees are expected to adhere to: • Put the customer first • Be innovative • Be quality-driven • Be entrepreneurial 14 MBEConnect Profiles I Summer Issue

Document Management

At Evolv Solutions, the first step in our process is to analyze your company’s current spend and processes to gain an accurate baseline and to identify existing costs. It is then critical to map those processes to your business goals and strategies to develop an overall document strategy. Document Optimization Delivers Bottom Line Results We’ve found that when we can integrate paper and digital systems it improves the flow of this information. This can deliver tremendous positive impact by helping you with the following: • • • • •

Increase Revenues Decrease Overhead Expenses Improve Customer Service Enhance Competitive Advantage Reduce Legal Risks

Measurable Results We realize we’re only as good as our results. That’s why we use proven technologies such as Lean Six Sigma and enterprise-wide assessments, to deliver results you can see and measure. Document Management Services • Document Production Management • Document Scanning & Imaging • EDOC Printing • Document Strategy Assessments • On & Off site Managed Services


Document Scanning & Imaging

Whether you are looking for a way to improve personal productivity; to capture and distribute paper-based information within workgroups, departments, and small businesses; or to integrate with multiple business applications right from networked printers/copiers or scanners, Evolv Solutions, LLC has document scanning solutions that make paper work, securely transforming paper documents into business value. With our in-house state-of-the-art document imaging center and advanced software, we are able to provide high quality, affordable document scanning and conversion services for our customers.

EDOC Your On & Offsite Print Center

EDOC is a set of web technologies and state-ofthe-art digital printing to give you the ability to print what you need, when you need it, and in the exact quantities you need or as few as one. Just-in-time digital printing provides significant economic benefits. It eliminates the costs associated with warehousing and helps you avoid the costs and risks associated with document obsolescence, which amount to an estimated 25% of all documents, according to InfoTrends/CAP Ventures. At the same time, EDOC’s on-demand printing gives you all kinds of options for one-toone marketing campaigns to increase your return on marketing investment. EDOC Print Supply Chain Tool offers the following: • •

A web based solution to access, create, order and track products. An administrative and end user tool to manage and control procurement policies and processes. Strategic Partnerships

The Evolv Partners Program assembles forward-thinking OEM providers to create customized solutions that extend the functionality of Evolv’s products and services. Through the program, both partners have access to resources, technology, products, and consultative experts, which facilitates the development and sales of new technologies and services. • • • • •

Xerox Corporation Hewlet t Packard Konica- Minolta Lexmark Ricoh

Business Statistics INDUSTRY BUSINESS DATA Primary Industry Served Business Products/ Services

Information Technology & Document Management








$12.6 MIL

$13.5 MIL

$18.3 MIL




Number of Employees

BUSINESS & DIVERSITY CERTIFICATIONS Business/ Technical Certifications



Chapter/ Affiliation

Diversity Certifications



MidAmerica MAMBDC




Federal Certifications





Customer References

Truman Medical Center, Johnson & Johnson, Keybank, Sporting KC, Kansas City Power & Light


At Evolv Solutions, we help you improve your business by integrating best-in-class document technologies to streamline business processes and improve competitive advantage. How we put it all SALES SHEET together is what sets us apart. We take skilled people who know your LINE CARD industry, arm them with cuttingedge technology, and let them do WEBLINK what they do best - help you work smarter.

9401 INDIAN CREEK PKWY #250 OVERLAND PARK, KS 66210 TEL: (913) 469-8900 EMAIL: EHARLAND@EVOLVSOLUTiONS.COM MBEConnect Profiles I Summer Issue 15

Top Corporations


for Women Businesses Honored

Seated Row – Left to Right Gary Kapusta, The Coca-Cola Company; Barbara Kubicki, Bank of America; Debra Bass, Johnson & Johnson; Mark J. Servodidio, Avis Budget Group; Faranak Naghavi, Ernst & Young LLP; Pamela Berklich, Kelly Services, Inc.; Grace Puma, PepsiCo, Inc.; Lisa Martin, Pfizer Inc.; Martha Artiles, Manpower, Inc.; Patrice Knight, IBM Corporation. Standing Row – Left to Right Laura Taylor, Chair of the WBENC Board; Tara Abraham, Chair and Co-CEO of Accel, Inc.; Nicholas De Tura, Alcatel-Lucent; Tim Harden, AT&T; Al Williams, Accenture; Kim Brown, Dell; Rob Lidster, Energy Future Holdings; Francene Young, Shell Oil Company; Leo Lonergan, Chevron Corporation; Bridget Kostelnik, ExxonMobil Corporation; Linda MacLean, UPS; Tonya E. Rozier-DeAnda, Verizon; Brigadier General Wilma L. Vaught; Linda Denny, WBENC President Emeritus.

The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) recently released its list of the Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs). This award is given only to the corporations that demonstrate excellence in inclusion of women business enterprises. The Top Corporations for WBEs consistently offer a wealth of business opportunities and partnerships to WBEs across the country. These commitments help to support the growth of WBEs and the corporations alike. All of Top Corporations for WBEs truly deserve to be recognized for their inclusion programs by the only national award honoring inclusion of WBEs. Representatives from each of the 20 corporations were presented with an award during a ceremony at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery during the WBENC Summit and Salute Conference, held March 22 – 24, 2011. Congratulations to all the corporations given this prestigious honor.

MBEConnect Profiles I Summer Issue 17



An Introduction for Diverse Businesses


Social media is a valuable tool that is often misunderstood and underutilized by diverse businesses. In a recent survey conducted by MBEConnect, over 30% of respondents indicated that they did not use social media for their diverse business, and 15% had created accounts, but didn’t actively use them. Companies not actively engaging in social media are missing a huge advertising opportunity, and may be unintentionally sending a message to consumers that they are unwilling to engage them and unfamiliar with technology. With a little guidance, business owners can learn basic social media strategies and quickly benefit as a result.

What is Social Media? Social media is an interactive form of communication that uses the internet to share content with users in a constantly evolving manner. The connections made through social media create powerful networks with rapid-fire response rates. Popular websites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn are all a part of social media, but by no means the end of the spectrum. With these sites you can share a thought, picture, video, blog post, link or other item with the single click of a mouse, allowing your content to go viral instantaneously.

Why Should I Use Social Media for My Business? Social media goes far beyond connecting with friends and other existing contacts. For businesses, it serves as a free and easy-to-use tool to share news, acquire customers, offer promotions and improve search engine listings. Simply put, social media is a better way to get your business name and ideas out on the internet than a website alone. Having a business website is no longer enough to stand out among competitors in search engines. Social media improves your search engine placement by building more links to your website. Top social media sites are trusted, generate a lot of traffic and are indexed by top search engines within an hour. A strong social media presence leads to higher visibility and traffic to your website or blog, which results in more customers and business opportunities. Social media also enables you to talk directly to your customers in a public way, building brand loyalty. People get to know you and see you as a trusted brand or industry expert. This is especially valuable to diverse businesses, which are often looking for partners to complete large contracts and proposals. Essentially, social media makes your business look smart, savvy and connected, all while taking advantage of higher search engine placement.

Social Media 101: An Introduction for Diverse Businesses

MBEConnect Profiles I Summer Issue 19


How Can I Use Social Media for My Business? Identify the social media outlet or combination of outlets that you want to use based on the existing presence of your target audience. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube are the most common social networks used by for professional interests. Each site has a different functionality and offers your business unique ways to communicate. Here is how your business can best utilize each social network: •

Facebook o Create a Fan Page for your business rather than a personal profile so that the content will be open and easy to access.

Linkedin o Use a personal account on to create a listing for your business. o Participate in Linkedin Groups within your industry and area of expertise. o Use a personal account on to create a listing for your business.     

Twitter o Deliver the latest news about your business to your followers in short, engaging messages. o Follow hashtags and key phrases for your industry.

YouTube o Use lots of keywords to optimize your search results (it helps that Google owns YouTube).

Take the time to thoroughly complete your profile by providing the most relevant keywords, detailed descriptions and helpful links back to your website. Decide what kind of tone you want to use when you make updates. Most people who use social media are there to interact with friends, so a light and casual tone is usually preferred. Be sure to use correct spelling and grammar regardless of tone, and always treat social media users as you would a client. Post unique and interactive content on a regular basis in order to attract more attention to your profiles. Engaging content that asks questions of users will tend to get more responses and more new customers. Publish links to your blog and specific web site pages to maximize exposure and search engine results for these items.

Who Will Follow My Business on Social Media? Be sure to tell your friends, family and existing customers about your new social media presence before anyone else. Share your page, add links to your web site and email signatures to inform contacts of your presence. Reach out to new business contacts through social media to firm up connections.

Social Media 101: An Introduction for Diverse Businesses 20 MBEConnect Profiles I Summer Issue


Public profiles are available for everyone to view, not just followers. This means you can broadcast your message to the entire internet, not just the people you know, casting an even larger net for potential business opportunities. Regardless of who follows your social media activity, just having a presence on social media and offering regular updates will help attract new business. Talk outside of your network by following industry experts, competitors and others on social media. Comment on group discussions (LinkedIn) and trending topics (Twitter). You will pick up new connections and followers just by engaging in quality conversations like these.

Where Can I Learn More About Social Media? For more information about social media and what it can do for small business, read the Social Media Friday series at the MBEConnect Blog and follow the recent podcast series at MBEConnect.

Social Media 101: An Introduction for Diverse Businesses

MBEConnect Profiles I Summer Issue 21


QTI, Inc. offers turnkey solutions for all of your general contracting needs. We offer our services to a very diverse group of clientele. QTI, Inc. is a corporation that provides General Construction Services along with Fiber Optic Network Build Outs, Asphalt/Concrete Repairs, Underground Power Distribution, Custom Surveillance/Security Installations and Warehouse Distribution. QTI, Inc. wants to be considered as your one stop shop for all of your company’s demands.

“Good things happen when you base a company on Innovation and achieving outstanding results for you clients.”



A Low Cost And Timely Professional Solution The History

2003 was the start of something big for Jason Lofton. On the same day he resigned from his previous company, he attended a pre-bid as an independent. He didn’t get the job that day, but he did get the next three and consequently QTI, Inc. was born. Many ask what does QTI stand for? Being a family owned company and Jason’s strong family values, QTI represents the first initial of Jason’s three children, Quinten, Tate and Ian. In the past eight years QTI has grown from strictly an underground construction firm to a very diversified player in several aspects of the construction world. These opportunities are derived from the specific needs of our customers helping to increase their minority spend and allowing QTI to evolve into one of the top MBE (Minority Business Enterprise) companies in the area. 22 MBEConnect Profiles I Summer Issue

What We Do

Construction Services • Underground Construction • Fiber Optic Build Outs • General Construction Services • Construction Site Clean Up • Asphalt and Concrete Repairs Energy Lighting • Energy Efficient Lighting Programs and Solutions • Commercial Electrical Services Security • Custom Surveillance and Security Installations Warehouse Distribution • Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) Bulbs • Electrical Supplies

Major Projects Include

• • • • • • • • • •

AMI Meter Installations –KCP&L Underground Construction -KCP&L Fencing –Ameristar Casino and KCP&L at Iatan CCTV Installations –Harrah’s North Kansas City Casino Cool Homes Program Kit Fulfillment -KCP&L with Proctor Engineering Freezer Condenser Unit Installation –Argosy Casino Infrared Services –KCP&L Parking Lot Asphalt Repairs –Argosy Casino Construction Road Marking –KCP&L at La Cygne Fiber Optic Build Out –Cerner and AT&T



QTI has some heavyweight clients, including KCP&L, Harrah’s Casino, AT&T, Verizon, and Hallmark. Being a minority- and veteran-owned business may get his foot in the door, but Jason Lofton said winning and keeping clients goes back to his company’s strong reputation. When it comes to quality performance, Lofton won’t compromise. QTI, Inc. places a strong emphasis on developing customer relationships and maintaining those relationships once they have been established. We are committed to understanding the internal and external processes of all our customers. As most companies strive to reduce their costs, QTI is dedicated to provide the best service, at the best price, on time and every time.


The ability to build strategic relationships with external partners opens up opportunities and fuels the growth of small businesses.

Business Statistics INDUSTRY BUSINESS DATA Primary Industry Served Business Products/ Services NAICS Codes

Gross Annual Sales

Business/ Technical Certifications


All of QTI Inc’s relationships- with customers , vendors, sub-contractors, suppliers, builders, employees, etc.have these four elements in them. QTI uses these four elements as a foundation in our relationships to building partnerships and to grow business.










1. Understanding that all parties have something to gain or lose in the relationship/partnership. You have to continually work on the relationship. If you stop paying attention to your partner you will have misunderstandings. This could leave you vulnerable for competitors to step in.

4. Being a person of your word. Being a person of your word is the cornerstone of your reputation and the foundation for future partnerships, keeping you on the road to success.


2008 Number of Employees

Diversity Certifications

3. Developing trust between all parties involved. Trust is built through integrity and consistency in relationships.



We have been successful in building partnerships with a number of organizations, such as KCP&L and these relationships have strengthened our company. Our keys to building successful relationships and partnerships are:

2. Ensuring that the relationship/partnership is not one-sided. The agreement must reflect mutual respect for each partner’s contribution. It is important to strike the right balance and agree on the level of collaboration.

General Construction Utility Construction



Chapter/ Affiliation







Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) Metropolitan Community Center Harrah's North Kansas City Argosy Ameristar AT&T

QTI Inc., knows that a company's reputation for performance is the key to their success.



15880 S Cherry Ct Olathe, KS 66062 Phone: 913-764-7845 Fax: 913-254-7797 Email: INFO@QTI5.COM MBEConnect Profiles I Summer Issue 23


Concept Ingenuity. Graphic Design Mogul. Creative Infusion… We are Soda Pop Graphics. “We help define innovative internet marketing.”




Internet Marketing at its finest ABOUT US

Soda Pop Graphics, founded in 2004 in Kansas City, Missouri by president and CEO Kamia Gaskin, is made up of a uniquely impressive team of individuals. Artistic, finely crafted, and well suited to take on any challenge, the Soda Pop Graphics team is desiring and highly capable of making all of your graphic design dreams come true. Our desire is to establish infinite relationships while promoting growth and executing in style. If you give us your platform, we’ll give you perfection! Soda Pop Graphics always operates with integrity and the utmost industry knowledge to satisfy our customer. No job is too big or too small. SPG prides itself on the ability to work with our local organizations as well as our capacity to fulfill the needs of national chains. Soda Pop Graphics is your one-stop shop for multimedia graphic and web designs specializing in making you look fabulous. 24 MBEConnect Profiles I Summer Issue

Meet Our President

In 2004, Kamia Gaskin, president and CEO, had a vision for a design firm that not only produced cutting edge work, but of an organization that reached out to the community far and near. Kamia knew that the ability to be artistic in such a niche market meant also being business savvy. In 2011, Kamia is proud to have collaborated with such a wide base of local and national talent. Clients ranging from the local Papa Lew’s Soul Food Restaurant to the prestigious firm of Destiny Consulting and the accomplishment of designing over 6,000 ads. Kamia’s education of advertisement psychology, her attention to detail, and her diversity of clientele all lead to a firm that is infused with nothing short of success. Soda Pop Graphics is a firm where anything you can imagine is possible!

Capabilities WEB SOLUTIONS: • • • • • • • • •

Web Site Design Email Creative Design Banner Advertisements Web Site Hosting Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Search Engine Optimization (SEO) eCommerce Sweepstakes Development Social Media Marketing (SMM)



Product Design

Ad Copy

• •

Business Cards Brochures

• •

DVD/CD Design Flyers

Billboard Design


Direct Mail

Promo Items - HOT!!


• • • •

• • • • •

INDUSTRY BUSINESS DATA Primary Industry Served All industries with web and Business Products/ marketing needs Services NAICS Codes

Logos Corporate ID Corporate Reports Trade show Booths

541810, 541511, 541430







Number of Employees


Value Proposition:

Business Statistics

Small agency with extensive web development experience Internet based company which allows substantial customer reach One of the few companies that focuses on RICH-AC development Certified Minority-Owned Business Woman Owned Business JOOMLA Certified

Business/Technical Certifications Diversity Certifications Customers



Chapter/ Affiliation







MAMBC, Vet Depot, Pstrada GreekXchange

Client Experience/Established Relationships: •

A Clean Slate, LLC

Papa Lew’s

• •

Classique Destiny Consulting, LLC

• •

Kansas City Baseball Academy Vet Depot

• • • •

Hot.Pink.Shiny Joey Cuts Barber Salon KC Mass Services Transformed Barber & Cosmetology Academy

• • •

GreekXChange MBEConnect Napoleon Bakery




5720 E. Bannister Road, Ste. 205 Kansas City, MO 64137 TEL: 816-765-6262 FAX: 413-604-2682 EMAIL:

MBEConnect Profiles I Summer Issue 25


Thought Leader In Minority business since 1968 Philosophy

“It is critical that minority business succeed if this country is going to prosper. Minority business is the backbone of the United States. Their success is everyone's success.”


Providing The Gold Standard In MBE Certification Mission

The Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc. (ChicagoMSDC) is a premier organization for increasing business opportunities between major buying organizations and minority-owned businesses.


In 1968, a chain of events erupted into civil and economic mayhem that shook Chicago at its very core. Rising above the turmoil, a group of corporate and community leaders were determined to cast a spotlight of hope on seemingly hopeless situations and created The Chicago Business Opportunity Day. The following year in 1969, the event was officially renamed CBOF, Chicago Business Opportunity Fair. CBOF was a game-changer then and is still a game-changer in the new millennium. It remains as the signature event of ChicagoMSDC, a thought leader in minority business since 1968. 26 MBEConnect Profiles I Summer Issue

ChicagoMSDC was founded on two fundamental principles: there had to be a partnership between minority business, corporate America and government, and there had to be basic fairness in the marketplace for all. For more than four decades, ChicagoMSDC has operated on the premise that all those who have an idea to sell and a dream to fulfill and are willing to sacrifice and take risks can get the opportunity to do so anywhere in the country. Along the way, minority businesses have created jobs for American workers, increased the tax base and contributed to the gross national product. ChicagoMSDC supports the premise that the overriding reason for business development is job creation. The effective creation of above-the-poverty-level jobs benefit not only the minority economy but the national economy as well.


For the minority entrepreneur, ChicagoMSDC’s programs and resources are avenues for increasing sales to private- and public-sector buying organizations. For the buyer, ChicagoMSDC serves as a credible resource for locating qualified minority suppliers. To both the entrepreneur and the buyer, ChicagoMSDC is the central network where trading partners meet and business alliances flourish. The ChicagoMSDC partnership includes over 250 private-and public-sector buying organizations and more than 1,100 minority businesses.


CBOF, the oldest and largest procurement show in the nation, is devoted exclusively to developing partnerships between minority and majority- owned corporations and government agencies. The CBOF has served as a catalyst for creating billions of dollars in contracts and opportunities for minority-owned firms, and 20,000 jobs annually through its member base that includes corporations and government agencies. to delivery of 16 weeks.

Services offered by the CHICAGO MSDC include:


BUSINESS CONSORTIUM FUND Provides working and equity capital to minority businesses doing business with NMSDC buyer members. BUYER-SELLER NETWORKING EVENTS Over 20 sponsored networking events each year. CHICAGO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY FAIR - CBOF Promotes interaction between 4000 participants from public and private-sector buying organizations and minority companies. CHICAGO’S MINORITY BUSINESS NEWSPAPER An issue-oriented newspaper for minority businesses and major purchasers. CORPORATE BRIDGES An entrepreneurship training program that “links small business with big business in Chicago”. INTERNET PRESENCE On-line buyer directory, links to your company’s home page, bid opportunities, calendar of events and MBE-toMBE communication. MBE CERTIFICATION ChicagoMSDC certification is accepted at Fortune 500 corporations, State of Illinois, Cook County, Chicago Park District, City Colleges of Chicago and the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority. Addition services for MBEs include: •

Organize industry specific roundtables to promote MBE marketplace expansion

Serve as a liaison to financial institutions for MBEs seeking financial assistance

Evaluate and assist MBEs in pursuit of venture capital funding or alternative capital access resources

Oversight of a Mergers and Acquisitions committee designed to initiate and support growth strategies for MBEs through a platform of pre-qualified minority owned businesses and minority investor groups with access to M&A services and business opportunities.

Global Link Partners • Canadian Aboriginal & Minority Supplier Council • Minority Supplier Development China • Australian Indigenous Minority Supplier Council • Minority Supplier Development United Kingdom • South Africa Supplier Diversity Council

Watch This Video online at

NMSDC National Affiliate

The ChicagoMSDC is the founding council with 36 other regional councils of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), one of the nation’s leading business membership organizations. The NMSDC and its regional councils serve as a direct link between corporate America and minority-owned businesses. There are 3,600 corporate members throughout the network, including most of America’s largest publicly owned, privately owned and foreign owned companies, as well as universities, hospitals and other buying institutions. The regional councils certify and match more than 16,000 minority owned businesses with member corporations which want to purchase goods and services. Most of America’s largest and most successful MBEs are counted among NMSDC’s 16,000 certified minority suppliers, including several companies with annual revenues in the billions of dollars. MBE APPLICATION BIO CHICAGO (MBC)


105 W Adams Street Suite 2300 Chicago, IL 60603 Tel: 312-755-8880 FAX: 312-755-8890 Email: MBEConnect Profiles I Summer Issue 27



Women’s Business Enterprise Council West (WBEC-West) brings together corporations and government entities with certified WBEs to promote a shared interest in supplier diversity. As a regional partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), we are part of a network of WBEs, corporations, and regionally focused organizations for women in business.

“A resource to over 4,000 Corporations and WBEs… Certifying over 1,000 WBEs in our region.”


Helping WBEs Grow VISION

To build a world where Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) are a cornerstone of America’s business success.

OUR Mission

To cultivate sustainable relationships between certified Women Business Enterprises and Corporate America through certification, education, and targeted networking. To fulfill this mission we strive to do the following: • • • • • •

Foster diversity and the inclusion of WBEs representing all races and ethnicities in corporate procurement opportunities Expand business opportunities for WBEs Administer a reliable WBE certification program Expand business opportunities for WBEs Facilitate mutually beneficial procurement opportunities for WBEs and corporations on a local and national level Create community through effective communication and networking

28 MBEConnect Profiles I Summer Issue

WBENC certification is nationally recognized because of our commitment and expertise. We are dedicated to applying the highest possible certification standards in the industry. WBE certification is the benchmark for all other supplier diversity programs because it is known and accepted throughout corporate America. Women-owned businesses make up the fastestgrowing segment of the national and international business world. That’s just one reason why WBEC-West is dedicated to helping you navigate the certification process. We want to assist you in realizing your business potential, help you build connections with leading corporations and provide you with new enterprise networking and development opportunities. As an affiliate organization of WBENC, WBEC-West implements the certification standards of WBENC throughout Arizona, Colorado, Southern California, Utah, Wyoming and Hawaii. WBE certification is nationally recognized and accepted by more than 7500 major corporations. We also support corporations in their efforts to include WBEs in their supplier diversity programs.


WBEC-West was established as a WBENC Regional Partnering Organization and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2001. WBEC-West has been working with and processing certification form women business enterprises in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Southern California, Utah, Wyoming, and Guam.


Direct Access


WBEC-West works with two closely-related client groups. First, we serve the community of WBEs who are looking for the increased visibility and expanded opportunity that WBENC Ccertification provides.

Access to procurement opportunities at your fingertips utilizing the WBEC-West Procurement App. Download now by searching for WBEC-West in any smart phone application store.

We also strive to help certified WBEs as they try to expand their customer base and markets.


Finally, we reach out to corporations and government entities that know and trust the WBENC process to point them toward reliable, professional vendors.

Benefits of WBENC Certification through WBEC-WEST

Once you are certified through WBEC-West you become a member of the WBEC-West Community, which allows the ability to communicate with other certified WBEs to share best practices and to grow WBE to WBE connections and corporate relationships online.

WBEC-West has hosted several workshop and webinar programs, including the Platinum Supplier Workshop Series. This series, and others are designed to educate WBEs about the crucial role of supplier diversity programs and how they interact with corporate procurement. Workshops, webinars and other educational opportunities offered through WBEC-West provide immeasurable value to WBEs and corporations alike. Program participants develop a thorough understanding of how to successfully interact with and grow their company through supplier diversity programs.

Educational Opportunities

WBEC-West hosts corporate workshops including the coveted Platinum Supplier Program. WBEs are able to watch videos, participate in live broadcasts, and subscribe to podcasts that provide inside information on how to successfully engage corporations and how to activate your certification in order to increase your exposure and opportunities.


Watch This Video online at

Find out what’s going on with WBEs across the nation by reading our Women in Business Blog and joining us on social networks. -

EventS and Networking

As a WBEC-West certified WBE you will have the ability to participate in the WBEC-West Annual Awards Gala and Matchmaker Strategy Conference & Business Fair. Opportunities include; • Participate in face-to-face Matchmaking Sessions with WBEC-West Regional Corporate Members and WBENC Corporate Members • Eligibility to exhibit • Informal networking and targeted marketing with Corporate Members and other WBENC Certified WBEs.

WBEC-West Team (left to right): Renae Moore, Summer Sepulveda, Martha Valenzuela, Melissa Moore, Maria Hicks (Missing Tanya Hiple and Theresa Dean)

Connecting the dots to powerful relationships and business success.

840 East mckellips rd suite 108 mesa, az 85203 phone: 480-969-9232 Email: MBEConnect Profiles I Summer Issue 29


Certification &Supplier Diversity

—A Great Business Partnership By Heather Tzall

Consumers have a plethora of choices when selecting a service or product provider, so a differentiated marketing strategy is a key to business success. One vital way to differentiate yourself from the pack by certifying your woman-, minority- or LGBT- (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) owned company as a business that meets the exact criteria of several key certifying organizations. You can reap many rewards through this certification by contracting or partnering on projects with other certified businesses, and by becoming a potential bidder on corporate and public agency contracts. Many of the Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies, through their supplier diversity initiatives, have annual diversity spend goals. These goals serve to promote the inclusion of diverse suppliers (that’s you!) into their supply chain. This fosters a mutually positive relationship between the corporations and M/ WBEs (Minority/Women Business Enterprise). The Fortunes benefit greatly from utilizing diverse suppliers and the suppliers grow their businesses through lucrative new contracts. These M/WBEs are often more cost-effective and offer an expanded customer base and market share for the corporations who contract with them. Diversity-owned businesses tend to have greater access to emerging markets in urban and global arenas and make outstanding contributions to the economic viability of the communities in which they are located. State agencies also have diversity initiatives they must satisfy by contracting out to M/WBEs. These certified suppliers bid on jobs in construction and related trades, janitorial services and supplies, landscape management services, subscriptions, internet technology and data management, and so many more. Certification & Supplier Diversity - A Great Business Partnership 30 MBEConnect Profiles I Summer Issue


Being a certified diverse supplier proffers a competitive advantage because these large organizations can only count their diversity spend with certified suppliers. Therefore, actively seeking out the appropriate certification for your business is a key to winning these contracts. Certification Organizations and How They Work The three primary organizations that offer third-party certifications to minority-owned businesses are: the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) and the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). Businesses should complete the application process for all of the organizations that apply to them. Businesses that meet the organization requirements should complete the application process for all applicable certifications. WBENC issues a Gold Standard national certification to women-owned businesses to ensure a qualified database of WBENC Certified Women Business Enterprises (WBEs). NMSDC’s rigorous certification process is considered to be the superior avenue for certifying minority-owned businesses by corporate America. NGLCC, while new to the diversity certification world, is making a great impact through its certification of LGBT-owned businesses. Regardless of the organization, the application process is very worthwhile to undergo. It ensures that the M/WBE that presents itself to a corporate buyer is truly minority‐owned, or woman-owned -controlled and ‐operated. Standards have an importance in everything that we do; diversity certification is no exception. The Application Process Each organization has a unique online application to complete and a list of required documents to submit. Once the paperwork has been received by your regional office: • • •

Its staff completes a desk audit of the application, which is Submitted to the Certification Committee to determine if the application is eligible for a site visit, after which The application returns to the Certification Committee for approval or denial.

While this appears to be simple, the actual packaging of the application is rigorous and extremely detailed. Tax returns, W2’s, revenues, and start-up information are some of documentation that must be submitted. Some business owners hire consultants who specialize in expediting all the necessary paperwork and manage the certification process for them so they are not distracted from their businesses. Benefits of Becoming Certified Certified businesses are able to position themselves for opportunities in corporate supply chains. Although certification is no guarantee of getting business, it does increase the chances and enables you to compete for these contracts. Many companies’ supplier diversity initiative employees are true advocates for M/WBEs; diversity certification can help solidify the connection, assuring that those firms get requests for proposals and have their opportunity to shine. Certification & Supplier Diversity - A Great Business Partnership

MBEConnect Profiles I Summer Issue 31


Certified businesses also gain access to a current list of supplier diversity and procurement executives at hundreds of major U.S. corporations and federal, state and local government entities. They receive national recognition and opportunities to pursue business deals with corporations as well as other M/ WBEs. These benefits should not be overlooked, especially when competition is tougher than ever. Partnership opportunities are another huge benefit. Quite often a M/WBE may be able to fulfill most of what an RFP asks for, but cannot do the entire project alone due to its size or capabilities. By partnering with another certified M/WBE, the corporation still gets the full value of its expenditure and two M/WBEs have business, a win-win scenario. Businesses must be patient after attaining certification, as it normally takes time to see results. However, those results can be compelling. One WBE reports that in the past five months she has been introduced to eight Fortune 1000 companies and is in conversation with them; prior to becoming certified, she could not get them on the phone! Doing Business with the Federal Government Majority women-owned businesses are not required to obtain third-party certification to do business with the federal government, and there is no federal certification process as with WBENC, NMSDC or NGLCC. They can self-certify in the Central Contractor Registration at Each state provides its own WBE or MBE certification and WBENC covers all 50 states (some state agencies will accept the WBENC certification in lieu of a state certification). If your business is already WBENC-certified, you can fast - track your state certification in some cases. Go here for more information: The SBA’s Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contract Program, enacted in February 2011, will provide greater, more equal access to federal contracting opportunities for WOSBs and economically-disadvantaged women-owned small businesses—if the contract deliverables fall within selected NAICS codes that represent industries in which woman-owned businesses are underrepresented or severely under-represented in federal government contracting. You can read full details about this important legislation at Certifying your business creates a partnership with supplier diversity departments and a powerful path to building revenues, expanding your customer base, and improving your bottom line. Heather Tzall is the Co-Founder of Certify My Company which provides certification assistance to diverse business owners by guiding and assisting them through the arduous process of becoming certified as a Women Business Enterprise (WBE), Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), or LGBT-owned business. As well, we serve supplier diversity managers looking to capture more diversity spend. For more information call (973) 272-4159 or go to

Certification & Supplier Diversity - A Great Business Partnership 32 MBEConnect Profiles I Summer Issue

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MBEConnect Profiles I Summer Issue 34

MBEConnect Profiles Volume 1, Issue 2  

The 2011 Summer Issue of MBEConnect Profiles is the second edition of the ground-breaking digital magazine that puts the spotlight on the be...

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