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Press Room September 2013
Ashford International is a Native American, woman-owned company that offers strategic sourcing solutions to state and federal agencies. Established in 2008, Ashford International initially only offered office products and medical equipment, but through joint ventures and teaming agreements, was able to add a multitude of products and services.
This was a solid base from which the Indianapolis MBDA Business Center helped expand Ashford’s business ventures. The Center has been an invaluable source of consultation and strategic planning that has helped accelerate sales. It also helped the company obtain a contract worth $8 million that will ultimately retain a dozen jobs and produce another 400 new jobs.
Sharlene Ramos-Chesnes has faced many challenges in her life. She is the youngest of six siblings and was born in the west-side of Cleveland, a place she said back then was known as “little Puerto Rico.” Her parents migrated to the U.S. in the early 1950’s from Yauco, Puerto Rico and was raised by her mother Elba, who became a single-mom when Ramos-Chesnes was two-years-old.
In her home they spoke Spanish. In fact, her entire community spoke Spanish. She said she only ate Hispanic food; spoke Spanish at church and the stores she bought from were all Hispanic-owned. It wasn’t until she left for college that she actually ate something other than Hispanic food.
Starting from humble beginnings did not deter Ramos-Chesnes and now, as CEO for all of the InterChez family of companies, she leads a large and fast growing organization that offers direct and integrated supply chain and logistics solutions both nationally and internationally.
September 16, 2013
Funds will establish MBDA Business Centers in Baltimore, Bridgeport, Conn., Houston, New York, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C.
WASHINGTON (September 16, 2013) — The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) today announced $7.3 million in funding to winners of a grant competition designed to boost job creation and the global competitiveness of minority-owned businesses nationwide. The grant recipients will establish MBDA Business Centers in Baltimore, Bridgeport, Conn., Houston, New York, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Washington, DC, joining a network of 40 MBDA Business Centers across the United States and Puerto Rico.
“MBDA is committed to the continued success of all minority-owned firms, who strengthen the economy and create American jobs,” said David A. Hinson, MBDA National Director. “These new centers will expand the number of front-line business experts we have providing resources to minority-owned businesses to help grow economies in more cities across the U.S.”
September 16, 2013
WASHINGTON (September 16, 2013) — As a result of a multi-year strategy to reduce administrative and operational overhead costs, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) today announced a supplemental investment of $625,000 to five existing MBDA Business Centers. The funds will support the Business Centers in their efforts to better serve minority business communities nationwide.
“Our goal at MBDA has always been to expand the Agency’s reach, expertise and resources to serve as many minority-owned businesses as possible through the MBDA Business Center program,” said David A. Hinson, MBDA National Director. “These supplemental funds will ensure that five MBDA Business Centers can provide even more assistance to minority-owned businesses to create American jobs and grow the economy.”
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker issued the following statement on the release of the July 2013 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services data. U.S. exports hit the second-highest monthly level on record in July, dropping slightly to $189.4 billion, from an all-time monthly record of $190.5 billion in June. Record export levels were achieved in services and petroleum products. Exports through the first seven months of 2013 totaled $1.3 trillion, keeping the United States on track for another record-setting year.