Thank You for Attending CelebrASIAN 2022

Thank you for attending our CelebrASIAN Business + Procurement Conference. Our 2022 CelebrASIAN event was an INCREDIBLE success!

As our national flagship conference, this year’s CelebrASIAN saw 400+ energized attendees, featured 94 terrific speakers, and offered USPAACC’s innovative programs including Community Navigator Pilot Program Panel Powered by the Small Business Administration.

Associate Administrator Mark Madrid spoke about the SBA's vision for the Community Navigator Pilot Program. We were so pleased to have the support and attendance of fellow Tier 1 Hubs who shared their program initiatives, including, US Black Chambers Economic Development Corporation, Syracuse University Institute for Veterans & Military Families, Local Initiative Support Corporation, and National Urban League.

We thank the hosts of our Chief Procurement Officers Forum Professor James Haddow and Dr. Denice Clarke Ware, as well as Kevin O’Brien, CPO of Nationwide and the Chair of USPAACC's CPO Council and CPO Forum. Our speakers included CPO's/Sourcing and Procurement experts:

  • Barbara Kubicki, Wells Fargo
  • Miguel Gonzalez, DuPont
  • Kindle Goodson, TIAA
  • Mark Reed, Windstream
  • Wassel Lewis Jr., Aflac

We held nearly 300 1-on-1 Business Matchmaking Meeting with companies in finance, tech, telecommunications, consumer packaged goods, logistics, pharmaceuticals, retailers, and government.

During our Excellence Awards Gala Dinner we named Fast 50 honorees who represent the fastest growing Asian American businesses in the country from diverse industries including Managing Consulting, IT Services, Marketing and Advertising, Staffing and Recruiting, Computer Software, Electronics & Appliance, Staffing, Finance and Insurance, Accounting, Real Estate, Manufacturing, Healthcare, Food and Beverage, Designing, Logistics & Supply Chain.

Successful Asian American business owners from Ampcus, Pyramid Consulting, Hauslane, and Impres Technology Solutions shared their success stories, inspiring others with their own perseverance.

Corporations and organizations joined Susan Allen on stage to support the launch of the Supplier Diversity Champion's initiative such as: USBC, WBENC, NVBDC, Trane Technologies, Nationwide, Logitech, and MassMutual.

At the Chief Procurement Officers Breakfast , Andrea Greenwald, Senior Director, Advisory and Key Initiative Leader for Sourcing & Procurement, Gartner, lead a conversation on: A Culture of Risk Sensing, The Human Deal, Sustainable Profit, and Supplier Trust.

Among the attendees:

  • Howard University Provost Anthony Wutoh,
  • CPOs from Edwards Lifescience, Windstream, DuPont, and Aflac
  • USPAACC Chapter Presidents
  • Asian American Conference Co-Chairs
  • Fast 50 awardees

The Managed Service Providers Panel provided a clear picture of what they are doing to address current issues around "The Great Resignation" and how they can pivot together with AABs on creating more cost-effective solutions in terms of hiring and retaining manpower.

The bigger message was working together, for AABs to be transparent about their requirements and limitations, if any. By doing so, MSPs are able to provide the best assistance, balancing what the talents ask for along with a realistic way of managing those in connection to the AABs needs.

During the Industry Builders Marketplace Luncheon, Eric Toda of Meta and Meta Prosper, invigorated attendees with his family’s own story of overcoming the odds and finding success. He led engaging conversation with I-Builders that shared their challenges and secrets to facing adversity.

The fireside chat featured three Asian American founders:

  • Bin Chen, CEO and Co-Founder, Stori
  • Shital Daftari, Founder & CEO, Saris and Things dba SNT Biotech
  • Shashank Shekhar, Founder, InstaMortgage

Five powerful women lead an invigorating discussion about how Covid-19 and changes to the work environment have provided great opportunities for women. As with the case for starting a business, during the pandemic, a lot of women-owned small businesses were established. Whether they are new to business, adjusting to a new role or a more seasoned manager or business owner, each person on the panel had something to bring to the table.

The panel was led by Home Depot's Erin Timmerman and the speakers included:

  • Natalie Madeira Cofield, Assistant Administrator, Office of Women's Business Ownership
  • Maui Orozco, Policy Programs Manager, Meta
  • Lucky Wadhera, Senior Vice President and Commercial Banking Leader, Wells Fargo
  • Doris Yeh, CEO & Co-Founder, Mirapath

Shami Anand and Fred Keeton spoke about the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in today’s climate during a business and networking fireside chat. They discussed common barriers and challenges and asked audience members to consider what they had seen in their own experiences.

Department of Commerce and ExIm Bank representatives provided resources for small business to export their product and services. Department of Commerce can help verify international partner’s legitimacy, support SEO with low cost, and provide an apprentice project for small businesses to work with students. ExIm Bank provides financial support and credits to help exporters with cash flow and reduce the risk of loss.  

During the Doing Business with Federal Agencies Panel there was a lively discussion around M-22-03 Equity in Procurement and how this impacts the government agencies in supporting small and diverse businesses. The panel members mentioned what their needs are in terms of procurement. The need of these government agencies are not limited by the title of their organization, thus AABs need to always check their websites for their particular requirements. Federal government agencies are required to increase minority spending from 5% to 11% by end of this year.

Shami Anand of Power Your Impact talked about the importance of Authentic Leadership, during the Supplier Diversity & Procurement Leadership Caucus. Key takeaways included the willingness to look at our behaviors and characteristics in the workplace can help us to show up as our true selves and as compassionate leaders which also translates into both success and happiness in the workplace.

Our inaugural Procurement Opportunity Center Program brought together top federal experts, who write, implement, and enforce government contracting rules, to hold a panel discussion. A private sector panel followed suit, where business executives shared their best practices and lessons learned while operationalizing federal policies and programs such as 8(a), Mentor-Protégé, and Joint Ventures. Attendees learned the latest in federal contract regulations and government-wide acquisitions, got access to teaming partners, capital, and listened to federal contracting industry leaders share their success stories and business growth recommendations in light of these new regulations.

Special appreciation goes out to Mathew Blum from the Office of Federal Procurement Policy at the Office of Management and Budget; John W. Klein and Mark R. Hagedorn from the Office of General Counsel at the U.S. Small Business Administration; Laura Stanton from the Office of Information Technology Category, Federal Acquisition Service at the General Services Administration; and Anthony Roberts from the Office of Small Business Programs, Aberdeen Proving Ground, at U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM).

We are grateful to:

  • Ron Perry, President of the National 8(a) Association and Teya Development
  • Robb Wong, Founder and CEO, FedSolve
  • Usha Boddapu, Founder and CEO Esolvit
  • Venu Yerra, Founder and CEO, Idea Entity Corporation
  • Sundar Vaidyanathan, CEO, Karsun Solutions
  • Richard Fu, CEO and President, IMPRES Technology Solutions

They shared their ups and downs in business and offering attendees a helping hand when it comes to teaming, joint venturing, and navigating federal programs and regulations.

Our 3-day conference focused on collaborating and moving into the future together, culminating with an inspirational look at what lies ahead through the eyes of our ambitious and successful scholarship winners.

6 of the 12 high school seniors that were awarded scholarships funded by our generous sponsors, joined us on stage to celebrate their achievements and to look brightly into a future full of possibilities, with two of those students courageously sharing their stories and their hopes of making the world a better place.

Without question, our 2022 CelebrASIAN Business + Procurement Conference was the BIGGEST and BEST ever! In fact, we’re already looking forward to and planning next year’s CelebrASIAN event.

USPAACC continued raising the bar with one-of-a-kind programs, impactful forums, incredible networking opportunities, and remarks by recognized thought leaders from Fortune 500 Corporations, medium-sized businesses, federal, state, and local governments, and the non-profit community.

Thank you again for attending our 2022 CelebrASIAN Business + Procurement Conference and helping make it our most successful event. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with you in meeting and serving the important needs of Asian American small businesses and our Asian American community.

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