LITIGATION STRATEGIES: Defending an M/WBE Program
In the last few years, there has been increasing support for the notion
that the litigation of M/WBE programs must be dispassionate
and cordial in order to be considered “objective and fair.” How many
dispassionate and cordial litigators do you know? This is a cop-out.
There is also the misconception that disparity studies alone can “carry
the day” in defending M/WBE programs. Wrong again!
Although an important component of the defense, disparity studies
are just one piece of evidence in the overall strategy for defending
an M/WBE program. I’ve even heard it said that judges will view
disparity studies conducted by white firms as more “objective and
independent.” How insulting!
By: Sherry J. Williams, Esq., Minority Business Entrepreneur, July/August 2009
Reprinted with permission from the July/August 2009 issue of Minority Business Entrepreneur.
For subscription information, go to: www.mbemag.com or call (310) 540-9398
WHAT DOES THE AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT MEAN FOR MINORITY BUSINESSES?
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) makes a long-overdue and historic investment in our national infrastructure – including roads, bridges, public transit, housing and broadband – to save or create nearly 400,000 jobs for American workers today and power enhanced economic growth for decades to come.
The Act includes $150 billion in new federal infrastructure funding that reflects President Obama’s belief that we can only strengthen our economy by investing in local economies. For more information related to the Act, please visit www.recovery.gov.
MBDA Minority Biz Blog, March 26, 2009
FORTUNE LAUNCHES MOST POWERFUL WOMEN IN SMALL BUSINESS INITIATIVE
Ten Female Entrepreneurs Chosen to Participate in Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit
(New York, September 15)—FORTUNE has chosen ten female small business entrepreneurs to join the annual Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit September 14-16, 2009.
The ten women will join 400 of the country’s most prominent women leaders in business, philanthropy, government, education and the arts for the series of panel discussions, on-stage interviews and interactive sessions over the course of three days in Aviara, California. Three of the women—Lisa Loscalzo, President, The Little Clinic, and Susan Walvius & Michelle Marciniak, co-founders of SHEEX—will join a panel discussion on women in small business along with Karen Mills, Chairman, US Small Business Administration and Susan Sobbott, President, American Express OPEN. Warren Buffett will introduce the panel, which will be moderated by Susan Lyne, CEO Gilt Groupe.
The new program targets entrepreneurial women who are game changers, ground-breakers and innovators in their fields. The ten winners are:
Elizabeth Bennett, Owner, Africa Direct, Denver, CO
Lauren Bush, CEO, Creative Director and co-Founder of FEED Projects LLC, New York, NY
Billie Dragoo, President & CEO, RepuCare Inc./RepuStaff LLC, Indianapolis, IN
Lani Hay, President and CEO, Lanmark Technology, Vienna, VA
Michelle Jones, CEO and President, Entech Consulting Group, Temecula, CA
Lynn Jurich, President, SunRun, Inc., San Francisco, CA
Lisa Loscalzo, President, The Little Clinic, Brentwood, TN
Sheila Lirio Marcelo, CEO, Care.com, Watham, MA
Susan Walvius amd Michelle Marciniak, SHEEX, Chapin, SC
Susan Wilson, Founder & CEO of The Judgment Group, Stevenson, MD
FORTUNE’s Most Powerful Women Summit is the premiere gathering of its kind, bringing together the country’s top women in business. This year’s theme is Betting on the Future—ideas about the key challenges—technological, geopolitical, and social—that are reshaping our organizations and our world. The program is built around five pillars: Leadership, Innovation, Finance and the Economy, Global Connections, and The Common Good.
American Express OPEN is the Founding Partner of FORTUNE’s Most Powerful Women in Small Business Initiative. FORTUNE and American Express OPEN will celebrate the 10 winners at a special reception at the summit.
# # #
Media Contacts: Daniel Kile, Director, Public Relations, FORTUNE, 212-522-3640
Obama Administration Announces Efforts to Increase Access to Contracting Opportunities for Minority
Secretary Locke, Administrator Mills will lead government-wide initiative; federal officials to participate in more than 200 procurement events across the country
WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Obama Administration today reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring that minority-owned and small businesses, including women- and veteran-owned businesses, have greater access to federal government contracting opportunities.
Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Small Business Administrator Karen Mills announced a government-wide plan that includes federal agency procurement officials holding or participating in more than 200 events over the next 90 days to share information on government contracting opportunities, including those available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
“Small and minority-owned businesses must play a significant role in our efforts to restore economic growth. Small businesses employ half of the nation’s private sector workforce; create a large share of the Nation’s new jobs; and introduce many groundbreaking ideas into the marketplace,” President Barack Obama said. “It is essential that we provide our Nation’s small businesses with maximum practicable opportunity to participate in Federal Government contracting.
“In order for the Federal Government to better meet or exceed the goal of 23 percent of prime contracts for small businesses, Vice President Biden and I have tasked Small Business Administrator Karen Mills and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke with leading a federal government-wide initiative to increase outreach,” Obama continued. “Over the course of the next ninety days agency officials will take an important step forward by holding or participating in more than two-hundred events focused on sharing information on government contracting opportunities.”
“In these tough economic times, the Recovery Act is providing billions of dollars in opportunity and incentives to help businesses grow – and the President and I are committed to ensuring that small and minority-owned businesses are part of our economic recovery every step of the way,” said Vice President Joe Biden. “By taking advantage of the expertise of an array of companies, we are going to be able to build a stronger, more secure foundation for long-term economic growth.”
“It has been a priority from day one of this administration to ensure that small and minority-owned businesses are aware of and have access to federal contracts and funding opportunities,” Locke said. “Over the past 40 years, minority-owned businesses have grown from 300,000 to nearly 4 million today. Their success and the success of small American businesses are vital to our economic recovery.”
“Government contracts can play a key role in helping small businesses turn the corner in terms of expansion and job creation,” Mills said. “But make no mistake, the benefits the government receives are equally as impressive – working with small businesses allows the federal government to work with some of the most innovative companies in America – with direct line to CEO”
As part of the Commerce-SBA initiative, over the next 90 days:
- Federal agency procurement officials will hold or participate in more than 200 events to share information on government contracting opportunities, including those available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
- SBA and Commerce will expand their outreach to fellow contracting officials across the federal government, passing along best practices for outreach and education to every agency to ensure they have the tools they need to meet their annual contracting goals.
- Locke and Mills will promote small business contracting opportunities in remarks, events and discussions with small business groups across the country, including minority, women and veteran groups.
Beyond the next 90 days, Commerce and SBA will support, monitor and track the impact of these efforts
going forward to help ensure the Administration is maximizing opportunities for small businesses.
Small business owners can find out about federal contracting opportunities by visiting www.fedbizopps.gov. Local Commerce and SBA officials are also available in local offices across the country to assist small businesses interested in contracting opportunities. Contact information for local offices can be found www.commerce.gov and www.sba.gov.
Release Number: 09-58
U.S. Small Business Administration
Tiffani Clements, 202-401-0035
Internet Address: http://www.sba.gov/news
Our Focus Is Out of Balance: And the Result Is Weighing Us Down
On the scale of what we have and what we don't have, what we don't have seems to weigh more heavily. Whether it's money or time to go to college or number of bedrooms in the house or opportunities to do business or financing to get a business going, the list of those things lacking just seems longer. OK, I realize it's human nature but it is so unproductive and I'm hearing it even more as it relates to minority business development. There are not enough educational opportunities, access to decisionmakers, not enough "qualified" minority firms. My new favorite questions are how many should there be and how many do you need? No one can answer these questions with anything other than, more! These two questions expose the reality, there is likely enough for you to succeeed. There are enough qualified minority firms for you to increase your spending. there are enough entrepreneurial training programs for you to develop your skills. There is enough access to decision makers for you to grow your business. Shouldn't we lean more toward how we can and less on why we can't?
By: Melvin Gravely, The Diverse Business Dialogue, September, 2009
Purdue starts Emerging Urban Leaders Scholarship program
WEST LAFAYETTE -- Purdue will reward student leaders from urban areas in Indiana and Illinois with a new scholarship announced by the university on Friday (Oct. 2).
The Emerging Urban Leaders Scholarship program is made possible by a $6 million anonymous gift Purdue received in April 2009. The new scholarship, which is part of the university's Access and Success Campaign, will offer $5,000 to select Indiana students from the Indianapolis Public Schools district and public schools in Hammond, Gary and East Chicago.
Students from Chicago Public Schools Corporation also can qualify for a $15,000 scholarship. The scholarships are renewable annually for four years upon achievement of a 2.70 Purdue grade point average.
"Purdue is dedicated to making a college education accessible for students, especially those who succeed in the classroom and are proven community leaders," said Purdue President France A. Córdova.
The first Emerging Urban Leader Scholars will be selected from the 2010 entering freshman class. No separate application is needed for this scholarship. Prospective students who submit their Purdue application, transcript and test scores by Nov. 15 will be considered. Students will be evaluated on their academic and leadership skills.
Purdue trustee William Oesterle pledged $250,000 to the program.
"This is another way we can ensure Indiana students are able to achieve a college education," said Oesterle, an Indianapolis resident who also is chief executive officer and a co-founder of Angie's List. "I really hope other people step up to help us expand this program so we can provide this opportunity to even more deserving students."
Oesterle, who has been a trustee since 2005, earned a bachelor's degree in economics from Purdue in 1987 and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
The Emerging Urban Leaders Scholarship program is part of Access and Success. The scholarship campaign was launched in 2007 and provides funding for a variety of scholarships and student programs. To date, more than $100 million has been raised for the Access and Success campaign.
From Lafayette/ West Lafayette, Indiana
First Posted: 10/5/2009 2:11:26 PM | Last Updated: 10/5/2009 2:11:27 PM
Ivy Tech expands work with women, minority firms
INDIANAPOLIS – Ivy Tech Community College has announced plans to partner with I.T. Business Corporation to expand the college’s purchases and contracts with Indiana-owned women and minority-owned businesses.
I.T. Business Corporation, along with Pro7interactive, have created a searchable database called Pronicity, allowing the college to search for available women and/or minority owned businesses within their service area to purchase products or create business partnerships.
“We are very pleased with the online database that I.T. Business Corporation has brought to the College. We feel this will be a valuable tool that will allow Ivy Tech to increase the number of minority and women owned businesses that provide products and services to the College,” said Tom Snyder, President of Ivy Tech Community College.
The interactive site allows staff to quickly search thousands of companies by business type, diversity type, gender or location to name a few options. The new system eliminates the need for using multiple supplier lists that can quickly become outdated. Suppliers within the interactive site can list their information for free and keep their own data current, allowing the College to access the most up-to-date information.
“We are very excited to be able to bring this product to Ivy Tech,” said Tony Buford, President of I.T. Business Corporation. “Ivy Tech is the first college in Indiana and one of the first colleges in the nation to use the Pronicity system.”
Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public post-secondary institution and the nation’s largest singly-accredited statewide community college system with more than 130,000 students enrolled annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.
From Lafayette/ West Lafayette, Indiana
First Posted: 9/29/2009 11:35:01 AM | Last Updated: 9/29/2009 11:35:02 AM
State Farm wins DRT Workforce Diversity Best Practices Award
LAFAYETTE -- State Farm Mutual Insurance Co. has been named the winner of the 2009 Workforce Diversity Best Practices Award, which is sponsored by the Greater Lafayette Commerce and the Diversity Roundtable.
The award annually recognizes businesses that promote the importance of diversity in the workplace or organizational setting. Eli Lilly Tippecanoe Labs won the first Workforce Diversity award in 2008. State Farm has promoted and supported diversity through its director of diversity as well as running a company supplier diversity program. Numerous employee resource groups seek to support diversity efforts within the company. Its Customized Language Unit also provides claims services in six languages.
"Our committee members were all in agreement that State Farm is a well deserving
company to recognize in regards to their diversity practices," said Sylvia Anderson, chair of the DRT's Workforce Diversity Best Practices Award committee.
State Farm has partnered with various organizations in an effort to reach diverse audiences, including the 100 Black Men of America, NAACP, National Urban League, American Indian College Fund, Conference of Asian Pacific Leadership, League of United Latin American Citizens, National Council of La Raza and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.
"At State Farm, diversity isn't a program but a state of mind," said Ed Rust Jr., chairman and CEO of State Farm Insurance Companies. "The variety of experiences and points of view contained in our large and diverse group of associates strengthens the organization. It helps us understand the marketplace and how we can do an ever-better job at serving our customers."
About the Diversity Roundtable (DRT)
The Diversity Roundtable is a volunteer community organization originally sponsored by the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, now The Greater Lafayette Commerce, to promote diversity in the community. The DRT meets the first Thursday of each month at the YWCA from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The meetings are free and open to the public. The roundtable grew from Vision 2020 - A Plan for the Future, created in 2001. Beginning more as a concept, the DRT has come a long way in organizing for productive work, focusing on education, consciousness-raising, and action. Participants include concerned residents and representatives from various area businesses and organizations.
From Lafayette/ West Lafayette, Indiana
First Posted: 10/19/2009 12:07:13 PM | Last Updated: 10/19/2009 7:07:25 PM
Vicky Walker, Buying Assistant, facilitated a RFQ for a Video Conference System. She solicited bids from a total of 5 vendors, 3 of which were MBE’s. The successful quote on this RFQ was submitted by TIG of Indianapolis. TIG is a Minority-Owned Business Enterprise. Keep up the good work Vicky!
J.R. Kelly for seeking the assistance of the Office of Supplier Diversity Development to identify diverse subcontractors to bid on the following Purdue projects;
- Food Science Pilot Lab Floor Drainage Project
- Stewart Center Conference Rooms Refurbishment Ph. 3
J.R. Kelly for seeking the assistance of the Office of Supplier Diversity Development to identify diverse subcontractors to bid on the following projects;
- Purdue Bill and Sally Hanley Hall – 2009
- Biochemistry Building Rooms 20, 22, 23 & 23A-2009
Ivan Baird, Jr. is replacing Lori Satterfield as IMSDC’s Director of Certification. Congratulations Ivan and Best Wishes to Lori!
On September 30, 2009 Cindy Everhart, Account Executive for Guy Brown Products, hosted the companies second annual Diversity Fair. Everhart invited Purdue Faculty & Staff of the West Lafayette campus to meet the representatives of Minority and Woman – owned office supply vendors whose products are available via the SAP purchasing portal. The products included remanufactured toner cartridges, filling products and paper organizing systems.
On October 28, 2009 Lafayette Office Systems held its first Office Technology Open House on the West Lafayette campus of Purdue University. Lafayette Office Systems, a Minority-owned company has been doing business with Purdue for over 3 years. Linda Kelly, Purchasing Agent, assisted with the event planning. Linda also plays an intricate role in the planning of the Annual Guy Brown Office Supplies Shows held on the West Lafayette campus throughout the year. She believes that these shows bring our vendors closer to Purdue customers making them aware of new products and can be used as a training tool for Department who seek to learn how to perform office functions more efficiently. Linda added “When you have a good vendor it is a Win Win situation for all.” If you haven’t received e-mail or flyer invitations and would like to be on the invitation list for office supply and equipment shows, e-mail email@example.com.
Outreach efforts on the Mackey Renovation and Expansion Project yields results. With the assistance of Turner and Davis (Tuner Construction and Davis & Associates), Purdue Universities Physical Facilities Department facilitated 10 Bid Packages totaling $52,271,799.00. The ten bid packages were the result of the division of four Drawing Releases strategically divided by the team to increase competition and make packages manageable for small business. The goal was to decrease obstacles for small businesses and increase the Prime and Subcontractor participation of Minority and Women-owned business on the Mackey Project. The Turner & Davis team is pleased with the results of the outreach efforts, “we exceeded our goals! “ says Keisha Smith, Project Engineer on the Mackey Project. Contracts valuing $4,094,990.00 were awarded to MWBE contractors as Prime contractors. This is 8% of the value of the total contracts awarded. MWBE Sub-Contracts valuing $5,230,837.00 were also awarded. This is 10% of the value of the total contracts awarded. This total increases the overall MWBE participation in the Mackey Project to 18% ( This total does not include the participation of Davis & Associates or the MWBE firms that provided Architectural and Engineering Services on the project).
The successful WMBE prime contractors on the Mackey Project are
- JR Kelly
- Quality Interiors
The successful WMBE subcontractors on the Mackey Project are
- Bar Flooring
- Byrd Enterprises
- Harmon Construction
- Indy Walls & Ceilings
- Circle City Rebar
- Indy Walls & Ceilings
- First Electric Supply
The Office of Supplier Diversity and Development would like to recognize Gaylor whose WMBE subcontractor plan included 25% MBE participation and Kettelhut whose subcontractor plan included 40% WMBE participation. Keep up the good work!
Minority & Women-owned Businesses go Green!
D.A. DODD, inc. is a mechanical contractor seeking to identify qualified MBE & WBE suppliers and subcontractors to provide related services and materials for upcoming projects.
Trades sought include but are not limited to;
- Sheet metal
- HVAC equipment
- Test & balance
For consideration please contact Heather Lancaster-Dilley at 765.448.3405 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Small Public Works (SPW) at Purdue is seeking to identify Minority and Women-Owned Business that perform the following services;
ARCH ITECTS – ENGINEERS
ESTIMATION CONSULTING SERVICES
FIRE AND WATER RESTORATION
HEATING & COOLING
NETWORK CONDUIT INSTALLATION
To schedule a appointment please forward a cover letter introducing your business to the attention of Lynnise Smith, Office of Supplier Diversity Development, Freehafer Hall, 401 S. Grant Street, West Lafayette, 47907. Letters should include an Introduction of the business and business history, Capabilities, specializations, core competencies from the above SPW Trade Categories List and the Campuses you are interested in servicing. Should you have questions regarding this process please contact the Office of Supplier Diversity Development at (765) 494.3739 or via email at email@example.com.