Washington, D.C.

Leaders of Country’s Top Minority and Diverse Business Organizations Gather to Discuss Supplier Diversity, Inclusion and Certification

The 9 leaders representing the country’s top minority and diverse business organizations gathered at the virtual Synergy Forward panel on November 8 to discuss key issues on supplier diversity, inclusion, and certification.

Mark Madrid, Associate Administrator, Office of Entrepreneurial Development at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), gave the opening remarks, praising the panel’s diversity. He also called for a level playing field and breaking down barriers for small, minority, and diverse businesses to grow and prosper, especially those hardest hit by the pandemic and those unable to join in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

Hosted by the US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation (USPAACC), the Synergy Forward Panel included:

  • Jill Houghton, President & CEO, Disability: IN;
  • Justin Nelson, Co-Founder & President, National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC);
  • Ying McGuire, President & CEO, National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC);
  • Matthew Pavelek, President & CEO, National Veteran-Owned Business Associations (NaVOBA);
  • Keith King, Founder & CEO, The National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC);
  • Ron Busby, President & CEO, US Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC);
  • Raul Salinas, Board Member and General Counsel of United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), representing Ramiro Cavazos, CEO of USHCC;
  • Susan Au Allen, National President & CEO, US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation (USPAACC); and
  • Pamela Prince-Eason, President & CEO, The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).

“It can’t get any better than this,” said host and moderator, USPAACC National President and CEO Susan Au Allen. “We’re proud to have gathered 9 independent organizations for a candid and substantive exchange of views on supplier diversity, the importance of certification, and especially on how we could all work together, harness the power of synergy, and move forward to help our unique constituents grow and thrive in the post-pandemic marketplace.”

Allen said that certification of minority-owned businesses is more important than ever after President Biden’s Executive Order 13985 instructed all federal agencies to increase their purchase from minority businesses from 5% to 15% in the next five years.

Eight of the nine organizations have an established certification program that validates businesses are at least 51% owned, controlled, and managed on a day-to-day basis by one or more Asian American, Black American or Hispanic American (minorities) or a combination of any of them; people with disabilities, LGBT, disabled veterans, and women.

While the federal government recognizes certification of minority-, veteran-, and women-owned businesses, corporations also recognize certified disability- and LGBT-owned businesses.

The panelists discussed the value to corporations of partnering with their respective organizations, measuring supplier diversity impact, the importance of certification and creating synergy among the organizations to benefit their constituents.

The panel is part of the second line-up of programs presented at CelebrASIAN Business Development Conference, which held its first part in early June.

To learn more about USPAACC or CelebrASIAN, visit uspaacc.com or celebrasianconference.com.

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Founded in 1984 in the nation’s Capital, the US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation (USPAACC) is the most established and effective national nonprofit nonpartisan  organization representing all Asian American and Asian American-related groups in business, sciences, the arts, sports, education, public and community services. Our mission is to promote and propel economic growth and job creation by opening doors to business and professional opportunities for Asian Americans and their partners in corporations, government at the federal, state and local levels, and the small, minority and diverse business communities.  For 35 years, USPAACC has served and will continue to serve as the unified voice for equal opportunity in business for Asian Americans, as the gateway to corporate and government contracts, to Asian American suppliers, and information about Asian Americans and the Asia-Pacific and Indian Subcontinent markets.

Our signature annual thought-leadership programs include: College Hallmark Scholarship Program that began in 1989, One-on-One Prescheduled Business Matchmaking Meetings in 1998, Supplier Diversity & Procurement Leadership Caucus in 2004, Federal Contracting Town Hall Meetings in 2005, Fast 100 Asian American Businesses in 2008, Business Executive Coaching: ReadySetGrow in 2011, Chief Procurement Officers Forum in 2011, What’s Your Pitch Innovation Competitions in 2015, Chief Technology & Information Officers Forum in 2017, and Corporate Employee Business Resource Group Leadership Caucus in 2017.

Headquartered in Washington DC, USPAACC reaches Asian American businesses nationwide through regional chapters in California, Texas, New York, Georgia, Illinois and the Washington DC-Maryland-Virginia National Capital Area.

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