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May 2014


Nominees are in for SOTY awards

Nominees are in for SOTY awards

For some minority business enterprises (MBEs), it’s their first time being nominated for SCMSDC’s Supplier of the Year awards. For others, it’s the third or fourth nomination or more. Whether an MBE has been nominated once or multiple times, it’s a huge honor to be recognized for exceptional performance.

Serving as ‘the voice’ for MBEs MBE smart tips: Improve your social media IQ News briefs


Toastmaster Club Meeting June 5, 19 - 9 to 11 a.m. SCMSDC Headquarters

Participants will hone speaking and leadership skills in a friendly and non-threatening atmosphere. The SCMSDC chapter caters to business owners and their employees. Contact: Natalie Masiello, or 213-689-6963.

8(a) Hubzone Preparation Workshops June 12 - 9 to 11 a.m. Glendale U.S. Small Business Administration will be conducting FREE preparation workshops. Pre-registration is required. To register, contact Beatriz Devis at (818) 552-3223 or email with the following information: name, company name, address, phone, email address and number of years in business. Space is limited; no walk-ins.



This year, corporate members nominated 38 MBEs for Supplier of the Year awards. The nominees will be honored at SCMSDC's 2014 Supplier of the Year awards luncheon on July 10 at the Renaissance Hotel Long Beach. American Honda Motor Co. will serve as the event's title sponsor for the 24th consecutive year. VENUE CHANGE FOR AWARDS LUNCHEON Renaissance Long Beach Hotel 111 East Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach

“These entrepreneurs represent the cream of the crop, especially when you consider there are 1,700 SCMSDC-certified MBEs,” according to council President Virginia Gomez. “They have achieved outstanding results in their contracts with corporate members and are standouts in their industries. Congratulations to all our nominees!” This year's nominees include (nominators are in parentheses): Class I: Cho Estrada Communications (Southern California Gas Co., Southern California Edison); Décor Interior Design, Inc. (Metropolitan Water District); DHS Creative (The Walt Disney Company); Earl Security (Turner Construction). Class II: Alameda Construction Services (Southern California Gas Co., Southern California Edison, Turner Construction); Andry Specialty Vehicles (Toyota); Avery Group (Metropolitan Water District of Southern California); BeyondCurious (Toyota); Blair, Church and Flynn (Southern California Edison); Glow Electric Co. (Los Angeles World Airports); ICE Safety Solutions (Toyota); Icon Blue (Macy’s, American Honda Motor Co.); Kambrian Corp. (Los Angeles World Airports); Kanemura Marketing Affiliates (Toyota); Marrs Services, Inc. (Metropolitan Water District); SuperbTech (Southern California Gas Co.); Think Ink (Toyota); (Toyota); Vobecky Enterprises (Metropolitan Water District); Zeesman (The Walt Disney Company). Class III: Advantage Mailing (Southern California Gas Co.); GDM (Southern California Gas Co.); IW Group (Southern California Edison); PromoShop (Nestle North America); RMI International (American Honda Motor Co.); Trinity Sterile Systems (Kaiser Permanente). Class IV: Agile Sourcing Partners (Southern California Gas Co.); APR Consulting (Kaiser Permanente); Collabera (Southern

MBE2MBE Open House >June 12 - 5 to 7 p.m. Los Angeles >August 14 - 5 to 7 p.m.

The SCMSDC MBEIC invites you to enjoy an evening of premier business networking. Don't miss this opportunity to make new contacts, raise your profile and "work" your certification with other MBEs, members of the MBEIC and select corporate members. More details to follow.

Strategic Selling Workshop June 17 - 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. USC Recommended for business owners and sales staff alike, learn how to develop a sales strategy that works, how to effectively identify potential customers, how to manage the sales cycle, closing the deal, negotiation, sales communication and improve your sales skills. Hosted by Cintas. Cost is $30, breakfast and lunch included. Register:

California Edison); GKK Corp. (Kaiser Permanente); Rose International (Kaiser Permanente); SBM Management Services (WellPoint); SHI International (Kaiser Permanente, IBM); Technology Integration Group (Johnson Controls); The Matlet Group (Kaiser Permanente); Walter Isaacson (Toyota); World Wide Technology (Kaiser Permanente); ZeroChaos (Toyota). One winner is selected in each class category, based on annual sales of less than $1 million (Class I), between $1 million and $10 million (Class II), between $10 million and $50 million (Class III), and greater than $50 million (Class IV). Local winners receive business scholarships and special recognition and compete in the regional and national competition for the NMSDC Supplier of the Year award. Established by the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), corporate members nominate certified MBEs in good standing with the council for an award. Nominees are judged by a Supplier of the Year award selection committee, which is comprised of SCMSDC corporate members, and evaluated on their demonstrated growth and development; employment and job creation; consistent high quality operations, products/services and business performance; procurement/purchasing spend with MBEs; mentoring and other forms of assistance to MBEs; regional council involvement; and more. Special thanks to the corporate members who served on the selection committee: Committee Chair Charles Harmon, American Honda Motor Co., Inc.; Johnny Elias, IBM; Kecia Washington, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power; Rose Cote, Los Angeles World Airports; Regina Glover, Northrop Grumman Corp.; Valerie Lertyaovarit, Southern California Gas Company; Eric Fisher, Southern California Edison; Aaron Emi, Toyota; and Mario Munoz, WellPoint. In addition to recognizing outstanding nominees, the Supplier of the Year awards luncheon is an excellent opportunity to network with corporate members and other MBEs. The event will be held July 10 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For information or sponsorship opportunities, contact To register, go to

MBE Orientation June 26 - 2 to 4 p.m. SCMSDC Headquarters

Take advantage of this opportunity to learn how to best leverage your MBE certification and how the council can help. Great for newly-certified, those who are pending certification and others who have been certified but would like to get connected. Free event Parking is not validated.



2014 Supplier of the Year Awards July 10 - 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Renaissance Hotel Long Beach Join us as we celebrate outstanding suppliers and their partnerships with corporate members at our annual Supplier of the Year Awards. For more information visit

Serving as ‘the voice’ for MBEs You may have encountered MBEIC – short for Minority Business Enterprise Input Committee – members at one of the council’s networking events, or came across this acronym in Connections. What you may not know is this committee comprised of highly accomplished minority business enterprises (MBEs) is volunteering their time to be "the voice" of SCMSDC’s 1,700 certified MBEs. The main goals of the MBEIC are to provide the council and SCMSDC board members with constructive and solutions-oriented input on issues affecting minority-owned businesses and promote council programs and activities.

“As MBEs themselves, they are in the best position to let us know how we can better serve our constituents," says SCMSDC President Virginia Gomez. The committee, which meets quarterly and has been led by MBEIC Chair Bonnie Nijst for the past two years, recently added eight new members. “The MBEIC’s strategic focus continues to be on creating a vibrant community of certified MBEs with the capacity to meet the procurement needs and supplier diversity objectives of the council’s corporate members,” Nijst says. “I’m excited about the additions to our committee,” she adds. “These accomplished entrepreneurs bring a wide range of experience and industry diversity that will prove invaluable as we continue to move forward in serving our MBEs and strengthening the council for the future." Here’s a look at MBEIC members: MBEIC Chair Bonnie Nijst is president and CEO of ZEESMAN, an award-winning brand strategy, marketing and design firm. Active in the business and nonprofit communities, she is past president of the National Association of Women Business Owners – Los Angeles and past vice chair of the NAWBO-LA Foundation. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from the USC and is a graduate of the Management Development for Entrepreneurs Program at UCLA Anderson School of Management. Emeritus MBEIC Chair Linda Stone is president and CEO of APR Consulting, Inc.(APR), a staffing and workforce solutions provider with $75 million in annual revenue. APR has won numerous awards including the NMSDC 2009 (Class IV) Regional Supplier of the Year and SCMSDC (Class III and IV) Supplier of the Year awards in 2007 and 2009. She co-founded and served as two-time president of Asian Business Association of Orange County. Stone received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education and teaching before immigrating to the United States. Vice Chair Denise Peoples is president and CEO of Peoples Choice Staffing, Inc., which specializes in the placement of clerical, administrative, executive, accounting and IT professionals. The company received SCMSDC’s Supplier of the Year Award (Class III) in 2013. She has served on the boards of the National Association of Women in Business, Black Business Association and Inland Valley Employer Advisory Council. Peoples received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Cal State Fullerton. Immediate Past Chair Patricia Watts is president and CEO of FCI Management Consultants, an energy and water consulting company offering a broad level of expertise in energy/water efficiency services. Prior to FCI’s founding, she had a 24-year career with Southern California Edison. She is actively involved with Goals for Life, Community Build, Koreatown Youth Community Center and California Black Chamber of Commerce. In 2009, FCI won SCMSDC’s Supplier of the Year (Class III) Award. Watts earned her undergraduate degree in business management from the University of La Verne. Vice Chair Memo Kahan is president of PromoShop, a full service promotional advertising and marketing services firm, which he founded in 1998 after working in the promotional products industry. Kahan has received awards and recognition from ASI, Diversity Business, Hispanic Business, Counselor magazine and Los Angeles Business Journal. Born in Mexico City, he moved to

JOIN SCMSDC Visit to find out about Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) certification, the MBE Health Insurance Program, major networking events, business development programs and more!

the U.S. in 1994 and graduated from UC Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in legal studies. Secretary Trinidad Martinez is president and co-owner of TLM Petro Labor Force, Inc., a contractor with 25 years of construction experience working with commercial sustainable energy and petroleum industry. TLM’s clients have included BP/Arco, Circle K Stores, 7-Eleven Inc. and Conoco Phillips. He started his career in the petroleum industry as a pipe fitter. Martinez has supported various nonprofit organizations including St. Jude Christmas in July and Swim with Mike foundation. Mark Cordova* is president of Cordova Bolt, Inc., one of the premier fastener companies in the United States. It has supplied product to customers in all 50 states and many foreign countries. The company has an inventory that is considered the largest and most diverse in the country. Cathy Hsieh* founded Kambrian Corp., an IT value-added reseller, in 2009 with her brother Henry Hsieh. Kambrian’s clients include HP Enterprise Services, Los Angeles County, Los Angeles World Airports, Metro and Metropolitan Water District. The company was nominated for SCMSDC Supplier of the Year awards in 2011 (Class I) and 2013 (Class II). Prior to Kambrian, she worked at Microsoft and Honeywell. She has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and an MBA from Cornell University. Rita Kalwani* is founding principal of KAL Architects, which specializes in design build services, master planning, green/LEED design and interior design. An architect and interior designer, she has 30-plus years of experience in architectural design and project management. By becoming part of the MBEIC, she aims to raise some of the issues small businesses face to help remove some of these obstacles. Sujata Kamdar* is president of GBS Linens, a leading supplier of specialty table linens for the hospitality, party rental and event planning industries. The company rents, sells, launders, and restores tablecloths and chair covers for customers nationwide. At age 16, Kamdar spent her summers working at GBS and joined the company after receiving her bachelor’s degree in economics from UC Irvine. She worked at GBS while obtaining her MBA from UCI. She was named president of GBS in 2005. Sanjay Kucheria* is CEO of Trinus Corporation, a business intelligence, data management and financial performance management solutions company that he co-founded in 1995. He is an angel investor in technology startups and a partner/advisor to an early stage execution and funding organization. He is involved with the Young Presidents' Organization and USC India Alumni Association and has a master’s degree in computer science from USC and a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the University of Bombay.

*new member

Josh Lawler* is a partner at Zuber Lawler & Del Duca, a law firm with offices in Los Angeles and New York. His practice area focuses on corporate, general commercial and intellectual property transactions including mergers and acquisitions, joint venture transactions, technology and media licensing transactions, corporate and securities law and general corporate/ transactional counsel services. He received his law degree from Northwestern University and his bachelor’s degree in history and psychology from Duke University. Marc Mills is co-founder and president of Pacific Rim Capital, an equipment leasing and asset management provider. The company has achieved the National Minority Supplier Development Council’s exclusive Corporate Plus designation, the highest caliber MBE that has the proven capacity to handle national contracts for major corporations. Prior to PRC, he held senior positions at Capital Associates Portfolio Company, Capital Associates International and Beverly Hills Savings. He is a graduate of Harvard University and holds a degree in finance from the London School of Economics. Phillip Ramos, Jr.* is founder of Philatron Wire & Cable, which specializes in manufacturing custom bulk and coiled electrical wire, cables and hoses for industrial applications, original equipment manufacturers, heavy duty trucking, consumer, utilities and the U.S. military. Ramos, an inventor who holds many patents, is actively involved with Goodwill Industries and Catholic Charities, among others. A veteran of the U.S. Navy, he has an undergraduate degree from East Los Angeles College. Anita Garcia Ron started BriteWorks, Inc., a commercial and industrial janitorial service provider, in 1996. The company has since expanded operations in Arizona and New Mexico in addition to California. Prior to starting BriteWorks, she worked at Marriot Corp. She is former president of the West Covina Chamber of Commerce and a former board member with the Latin Business Association. The second youngest of nine children and raised in East Los Angeles, she graduated from La Verne University with a degree in journalism. Ruben Smith is the managing shareholder of AlvaradoSmith, one of the largest minorityowned law firms in the country. He previously served in the White House as staff assistant to the Special Assistant to the President for Hispanic Affairs and has worked for various clients drafting legislation for municipalities and the State of California. Smith received his law degree from Yale Law School, master’s degree in public administration and bachelor’s degree in public affairs from USC. Tyson Schilz* is CEO of Glow Electric, which offers voice and data cabling, audio video systems, tenant improvements and energy management, in addition to commercial and industrial electrical service. In 2000, Schilz took the reins of Glow Electric from his father, Brad Schilz. The company's clients include Boeing, Lockheed, Port of Los Angeles, Metro, Cal Trans and USC. The firm was nominated for 2010, 2011 and 2013 SCMSDC Supplier of the Year (Class II) awards.

*new member

MBE smart tips Improve your social media IQ If your company has embraced social media, you know that sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can be powerful marketing tools. But mistakes can and do happen, even by major corporations, and can cause serious harm to a company’s reputation. To avoid social media gaffes, here are a few common mistakes and how to avoid them: • Not double-checking messages. Businesses should have staff members to double-check and proof all messages before they are posted. Make sure the content is appropriate (i.e., in good taste) and if in doubt, don’t post it. • Over- and under-posting content. Post too often, you’re likely to turn many people off. Post too little, you’ll be forgotten. So what’s the right amount? Some social media experts say five to seven times a week is about the right balance. But the true gauge is to post content that is relevant, up to date and sparks meaningful interaction. • Treating all social media platforms the same. Don’t communicate the same message across different social media channels; otherwise, it will look like spam. By customizing your messages, you’ll come across more personal and friendly. • Not engaging in two-way conversation. Social media is not a one-way conversation. Whether it be Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, don’t just focus on you and your work. Post content about industry news, topical events and other items that will generate interactive discussions. • Not monitoring social media. You should always be on the lookout for suggestions, complaints or questions regarding your business or products. When you see these, respond immediately. If you don’t, people will think you don’t care, which can affect your company’s reputation. Social media can be an effective marketing tool and a great way to stay in touch with current and prospective clients. But there’s a risk of making an error and having it quickly spread throughout the Internet. To avoid this, make certain that whoever is handling your social media strategy is aware of your company’s social media guidelines and brand.

News briefs Wanted: video recording, post-production editing services If you’re a minority business enterprise (MBE) that provides video recording and post-production editing services, the council wants to hear from you. SCMSDC is looking for suppliers that can assist with the production of its 30-second MBE, a series of certified MBEs introducing their company in a half-minute segment. The selected MBE may perform one or both services, which covers video recording, including audio, green screen and other necessary equipment necessary, and video recording sessions, approximately 20-30 minutes and up to three sessions. Post-production services include 35- to 40-second finished video clip per MBE, includ-

ing graphics; minimum two video template options for MBEs to select simple vs. enhanced graphic options, graphic enhancements, and delivery of completed, edited videos. Interested MBEs should submit a cover letter, which includes a description of the company's experience, applicable fees and charges, resumes of key personnel, a minimum of three references and sample videos (three minimum). The fee for these services are negotiable, but barter is preferred. For more information, click here or contact Natalie Masiello at Opportunities to showcase your company Interested in showcasing your company with SCMSDC corporate members and minority business enterprises (MBEs)? Consider providing in-kind services to the council. MBEs that donate their time and services at council events receive exposure and notoriety, along with goodwill for helping SCMSDC achieve its mission to advocate on behalf of minority entrepreneurs. Some of the areas that the council has received donated services include photography, videography event services (A/V, props, etc.), graphic design, printing, programs, invitations, signage (posters), centerpieces, promotional and related items, lanyards, entertainment, name badge holders, lapel pins and awards/plaques. SCMSDC is open to any and all suggestions. If your company is interested in donating products or services to the council, contact Natalie Masiello at or 213-689-6963.

BE HEARD! Do you have a story idea or would you like to author an article for Connections? We'd love to hear from you! Contact Vicki Cho Estrada at

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SCMSDC Connections May 2014  

Stay informed of SCMSDC news and updates.

SCMSDC Connections May 2014  

Stay informed of SCMSDC news and updates.

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