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From the Director


  • Submitted on 23 August 2013

    Created on August 23, 2013
     

    Each year, since 1955, Fortune Magazine ranks the 500 largest corporations in the United States.  Corporations that are part of the Fortune 500, purchase goods and services from other businesses which in turn support thousands of other companies and millions of jobs across the nation.  Becoming a supplier to a major corporation is a growth strategy that many minority-owned firms incorporate into their business plans, and Fortune 500 corporations have responded by launching supplier diversity programs.  Some are more successful than others. 

    The Billion Dollar Roundtable (BDR) was created 12 years ago to identify and honor those Fortune 500 corporations that have embraced the value of working with diverse suppliers and procuring quality products and services to satisfy their corporate needs.   Every corporation that is a member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable is formally committed to procuring at least $1 billion annually in goods and services from minority and women-owned businesses.  Today, there are 18 corporate members of the BDR, with many more on their way to achieving the $1 billion threshold.

  • Submitted on 15 August 2013

    Created on August 15, 2013
     

    David Hinson, National DirectorFifty years ago, on August 28, 1963, on the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, Martin Luther King Jr. led a “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” that culminated at the Lincoln Memorial.  A quarter of a million traveled to Washington, DC, to hear what Dr. King had to say.  Millions more listened on television and radio.

    The day began with Marian Anderson, one of the greatest singers of the 20th century, singing the National Anthem. The day ended with Dr. King delivering one of the greatest speeches ever given in American history.

    It is interesting to note that no one ever called Dr. King’s speech the “I Have a Dream” speech until after he finished it.  The original title of his speech was “The Cancelled Check.”  He also called it “The Normalcy Speech.”  Dr. King chose those titles because an important part of his speech was about jobs. America, he said, was defaulting on a “promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned.”  He said “America has given… a bad check, a check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds’” because of discrimination in jobs, limited job mobility, jobs that offered only minimum wages and high unemployment for the rest.

  • Submitted on 10 July 2013

    Created on July 10, 2013
     

    David Hinson, National Director

    The numbers are in and the report is out! Last month, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) released its Annual Performance Report for Fiscal Year 2012 and we are proud to report that FY 2012 was another successful year for the Minority Business Development Agency, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and most importantly for the American business owners that we serve. In FY 2012, MBDA helped create and retain 16,730 jobs, the highest level in the 44-year history of the Agency. This was achieved by helping MBDA clients obtain over $3.6 billion in contracts and capital awards.

    In 2012, the agency increased services to minority business owners by adding new MBDA Business Centers in Anchorage, Alaska; Fresno, California; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Bismarck, North Dakota; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Memphis, Tennessee. In addition, MBDA expanded coverage at select MBDA Business Centers to provide specialty expertise nationwide with the launch of the agency’s Federal Procurement Center – the first of its type – in Washington, DC; the Export Support Business Center located at the University of Texas at San Antonio; and the Atlanta MBDA Business Center that serves as the Advanced Manufacturing and Healthcare Technology Business Center at the Georgia Institute of Technology.   

    As we look ahead, MBDA will maintain jobs created and retained by clients as its key measurement of performance; however, a new Agency goal will focus on creating and retaining those jobs by generating international contract opportunities. Currently exporting to over 60 nations, minority-owned firms possess skills and relationships that make them one of the most effective exporters in the United States. In FY 2012, MBDA’s export support resulted in nearly $100 million in export transactions, and we plan to generate over $1 billion in international contract opportunities over the next five years. 

  • Submitted on 14 June 2013

    Created on June 14, 2013
     

    David Hinson, National Director Earlier this month I was invited to give the commencement address for the 2013 graduates of the New York City College of Technology (CUNY). I began my remarks with a true story of how I prepared for my speech by going skydiving. I jumped out of a perfectly good airline at an altitude of 13,500 feet in an attempt to clear my head and gain perspective of the words of wisdom that I wanted to impart.  We all laughed when I confessed that as soon as I stood in the doorway of the plane, having heard the instructor yell “GO – GO – GO”, preparing for the commencement address was not my first thought . . . and honestly, not the second or third.

    However, when I landed safely and reflected on all of the emotions that I felt at “jump altitude” – my extreme experience not only informed my commencement address but also made me ponder the many interactions I have had over the years with MBDA clients that share their excitement and anxiety about their future direction and growth.

    Although the topics have varied, in recent months, the dialogue has centered on the Affordable Care Act and what it means for minority businesses. While many business owners have acknowledged that an improved health care system will make a huge difference in the lives of millions of Americans, there is still uncertainty of how the provisions will impact their business operations.

  • Submitted on 15 May 2013

    Created on May 15, 2013
     

    David Hinson, National Director

    At the end of last month, the Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank announced the 20 companies that joined the infrastructure business development trade mission to Brazil, Colombia, and Panama.  The purpose of the trip is to promote U.S. exports by helping U.S. companies in infrastructure sectors to make the connections they need to expand their business opportunities in the three countries.  I am pleased to acknowledge that two of those companies – Integra Design Group, and the DeValle Group, are based in Puerto Rico and clients of the Puerto Rico MBDA Business Center.

    Integra Design Group, an architecture and engineering firm, will be represented by Co-founder and Vice President Richard Cuebas Ramirez.  Integra Design Group Architects & Engineers was established in 2000 and ranks as Puerto Rico’s fourth largest architectural services firm according to Caribbean Book of ListsTM.   Integra Group is a conglomerate whose companies also provide construction management & management solutions.  Integra Group has numerous projects in Puerto Rico, Aruba and the Dominican Republic to its credit design. 

  • Submitted on 28 March 2013

    Created on March 28, 2013

    David Hinson, National Director

    Two critical segments of our nation’s economy were brought to center stage this month, the Native American and Alaska Native and women-owned business communities. I had the privilege of speaking at the 27th Annual National Reservation Economic Summit (RES) hosted by The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development. Each year, The National Center brings tribal leaders together with numerous industry leaders, CEOs, as well as state and local elected officials, for discussions on how to strengthen the Native American and Alaska Native business community.

    On the first day of the conference, I moderated the Tribal Business Leaders Forum, which brought together executives of Tribal Enterprises, Alaska Native Corporations and members of the United States Congress. The Forum provided business leaders with the opportunity to communicate their accomplishments and obstacles related to  economic development. It also provided a platform to inspire the business enterprises to collaborate and work with each other to build tribal economic alliances and broaden the scope of domestic and global economic opportunity for Indian Country.

  • Submitted on 25 February 2013

    Created on February 25, 2013

    David Hinson, National Director

    On February 12, President Obama delivered his annual State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress. Last year when addressing the same body, the President laid out a blueprint of an economy built to last. One built on the idea that if we all play by the same rules and everyone is given a fair chance, America can succeed.

    In the year since that speech, the United States has seen tremendous growth. The economy added 1.8 million new jobs.  Exports reached record levels in 2012 of $2.2 trillion and the deficit shrank by $200 billion.

    This year, the President outlined a path forward, continuing the progress made in 2012. He proposed fair and sensible tax reform that benefits small businesses and investments in manufacturing hubs across the country to foster continued growth in that sector. As he noted, the manufacturing sector has added about 500,000 new jobs during the past three years. Reinforcing the idea that "Made in America" is still the best brand around the world, companies like Caterpillar and Apple are bringing jobs back to America.

  • Submitted on 29 January 2013

    Created on January 29, 2013

    David Hinson, National Director

    Thinking bigger, thinking broader, and working smarter is commonplace for business owners. The same holds true for MBDA in promoting the growth and global competitiveness of America’s fastest growing companies, the minority business community. As we look ahead, we are encouraged that the Build it Here, Sell it Everywhere vision of the U.S. Department of Commerce continues to resonate and gain momentum throughout the business community.

    The value of tapping into international markets cannot be overstated. Boosting exports is critical to stimulating our country’s economic growth and job creation. This is an area in which minority-owned businesses play a leadership role. Shared languages, cultural affinities, and a global reach that spans 41 countries on six continents make minority-owned firms natural exporters. MBDA is uniquely positioned to engage the Diaspora communities across the country and help leverage their cultural and ancestral ties to key foreign markets and create greater access for U.S. products and services.

  • Submitted on 21 December 2012

    Created on December 21, 2012
     

    David Hinson, National Director

    As we approach the winter holidays, we pause to thank you for your continued partnership. It is business associates like you that bring a rich mosaic of experiences, attitudes and views that continue to advance MBDA’s mission to create jobs and foster the growth and global competitiveness of minority-owned firms.

    It’s been an extremely productive year at MBDA and we are excited to share some of our many achievements from this past year.  We’ve completed a major organizational restructuring that enabled us to increase funding to MBDA Business Centers.  We also launched several “specialty” MBDA Business Centers including: the Atlanta MBDA Business Center, which is now staffed to provide expert guidance for minority-owned businesses in the healthcare technology and advanced manufacturing industry sectors; the San Antonio MBDA Business Center that has expanded their services to include expertise in exporting to Latin America; and the MBDA Federal Procurement Center, the first MBDA Business Center to solely focus on federal contracting.;

  • Submitted on 29 November 2012

    Created on November 29, 2012
     

    David Hinson, National Director

    As we reflect on the Thanksgiving Holiday, there is much to be grateful for – today and every day. In celebrating the simple joys of life, we also recognize the hard work and unique opportunities on the horizon. Minority-owned firms represent a community that is composed of 5.8 million businesses that contribute over $1 trillion to the U.S. economy, and directly and indirectly creates 16 million jobs. MBDA is honored to partner with you in ushering in a new era where we will focus on supporting your ability to access global markets with your products and services. Our future lies in the global markets and we are going to help you get there!

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