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  • Submitted on 25 February 2015

    Created on February 25, 2015
     

    Joann J. HillI am a native of Columbia, South Carolina and a graduate of Benedict College with a BS in Business Administration. I also received a Masters of Business Administration from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University. After college, I began my career with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2000, I joined the MBDA Atlanta Regional Office and have been with the Department of Commerce for 14 years.  I began my career with MBDA as a Business Development Specialist and was eventually promoted to Chief of Business Development for the Southeastern Region. My next promotion relocated me to the MBDA National Headquarters in Washington, DC in 2012 where I currently serve as Chief of the Office of Business Development. In this capacity I oversee the Office of Business Development and serve as the lead federal program officer for the nationwide network of MBDA’s 44 Business Centers.

    I lead the effort within the agency to promote economic opportunities that expand the growth and competitiveness of minority business enterprises (MBEs) across America. I am responsible for the creation and implementation of strategies for business development in the areas of: access to capital, access to contracts; access to emerging domestic and international markets and global supply chains.  We also actively engage strategic stakeholders like national chambers of commerce and trade associations in collaboration on policy and programs. 

    For three consecutive years, I have served as Conference Director for the National Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week Conference, the nation’s largest federally sponsored conference on minority business enterprise. This conference is held annually in Washington, D.C. and attracts over 1,000 attendees. Traditionally, we have hosted officials from the White House, including the Vice President of the United States, the Secretary of Commerce, Cabinet Secretaries and a host of CEOs from MBEs and Fortune 500 firms.

  • Submitted on 23 February 2015

    Created on February 23, 2015
     

    The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and Coppin State University (CSU), joined forces to celebrate Black History Month with “The Future of Business, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship” event held Feb. 12 in Baltimore.

    The event, held at CSU, a Historical Black College and University (HBCU), offered a range of activities and speakers focused on entrepreneurship, business and innovation. There was also a student networking fair where regional minority business owners and federal agencies presented internship opportunities.

    “It gives me great pleasure to participate in a Black History Month program at an HBCU, for I’m a proud graduate of Clark Atlanta University,” said Kimberly R. Marcus, MBDA’s Associate Director for the Office of Legislative, Education and Intergovernmental Affairs, and who served as the Masters of Ceremony for the event.

  • Submitted on 30 January 2015

    Created on January 30, 2015
     

    Conference attendees with National Director Castillo and James W. Brewster, Jr., U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic

    Puerto Rican businesses and entrepreneurs looking for opportunities that drive growth found them during Puerto Rico’s MBDA Business Center’s Minority Enterprise Development Week (MED Week) conference held on January 30th in San Juan’s Condado Plaza Hotel.

    The MED Week in Puerto Rico continued the celebration of the Minority Business Development Agency’s (MBDA) 45th Anniversary.  It was also another opportunity to amplify our continued efforts in Puerto Rico to assist minority-owned firms grow in size and scale, and diversify into the industries of tomorrow.

    To that end, this past year, we engaged the Puerto Rico MBDA Business Center on several important business endeavors.  One of them was ensuring that minority firms in Puerto Rico were well positioned to export, and that’s precisely why we invited James W. Brewster, Jr., U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic to be the keynote speaker at this year’s MED Week event.  As a critical trade partner, we wanted to talk about the exporting opportunities that exist in the Dominican Republic, but also throughout all the Caribbean nations.

  • Submitted on 16 January 2015

    Created on January 16, 2015
     

    MBDA Business Center LogoThe MBDA Business Center-El Paso (Texas), operated by the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, kicked off the New Year with its first Business Sunday Event at Destiny Family Christian Center this past weekend. The event was organized in collaboration with the local El Paso SBA office and the Women’s Business Border Center (a joint project of the U.S. SBA and the Hispanic Chamber). The program was part of a larger effort at the national level to promote local economic growth and job creation by connecting congregations and communities with valuable business development resources offered by the federal government. Business Sunday is a reflection of President Obama's commitment to strengthening the economy by empowering people - business owners, entrepreneurs, community development organizations, faith-based groups and others - to effect positive change at the local level. 

  • Submitted on 12 January 2015

    Created on January 12, 2015
     

    We are pleased to present the January webinar series featuring informative sessions on capital, contracts, and markets for business growth and sustainability. Register at http://1.usa.gov/1BbG0xG

    January Webinar Series

  • Submitted on 23 December 2014

    Created on December 23, 2014
     

    By Marie R. Gill, Operator and Executive Director of the MBDA Business Center in Miami and Josh Dickson, Director of the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the US Department of Commerce

    Business SundayEarlier this month, Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center in Miami hosted its first Business Sunday at Samaritan Christian Center in Hallandale Beach, Florida, in partnership with the Miami District Office of the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Hallandale Parks and Recreation Department, the Hallandale Beach Community Reinvestment Agency (CRA), Career Source South Florida, the City of Miami and ACCION USA. Business Sunday is a program focused on promoting local economic growth and job creation by connecting congregations and communities with the valuable business development resources offered by the Federal Government.  A collaboration between the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Minority Business Development Agency and BusinessUSA Business Sunday builds ladders of opportunity by meeting people where they are at and ensuring they have access to everything they need to start or grow their business.

  • Submitted on 18 December 2014

    Albert K. Shen In the short amount of time that I’ve had the privilege of working with MBDA, I’ve been thoroughly impressed with all of your hard work and dedication. I’m inspired by all the great achievements that we’ve accomplished this year and the continued diligence and commitment I see on future endeavors.

    This year was a very successful year for job creation, economic growth and entrepreneurship within the minority communities, and I’m proud to say that all of you played a vital role in this upward trend. Despite facing many challenges, you continue to step up to the plate and face these challenges head on.  As a small MBE owner before my arrival at MBDA, I have personally dealt with the difficult barriers that MBEs face in order to survive and hope that my experiences will make MBDA a better resource.

  • Submitted on 08 December 2014

    Maximizing our value to customers!For 45 years, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) programs have focused on providing greater access to business opportunities that better equip minority business owners to create jobs, build scale and capacity, and contribute to the U.S. economy.  

  • Submitted on 25 November 2014

    Created on November 25, 2014
     

    Intellectual Property Webinar Series

    Helpful TipsThe Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will co-host a free webinar series to help business owners understand the intellectual property process, starting on Tuesday, December 9.

    To join the event:

    • To participate click here to join the webinar.

    • To join the audio, call-in toll number: 1-650-479-3208; Follow the instructions that you hear on the phone. Your Cisco Unified MeetingPlace meeting ID: 996 407 651

    Register today!

    This three-part webinar series will provide participants with insightful tips for success on getting a patent or registering a trademark or copyright. Tune in and get answers from USPTO and U.S. Copyright Office senior intellectual property experts Elizabeth Dougherty, Anthony Knight, Susan Anthony, Craig Morris, and Sylvester Simpkins. The information shared will help you protect and promote your intellectual property rights.

  • Submitted on 18 November 2014

    Created on November 18, 2014
     

    DiversityThe Southern University Law Center and Kean Miller, LLP, hosted the Louisiana Diversity Forum on Oct. 30 in Baton Rouge, La. The forum included several panel discussions and speaker presentations focused on diversity and inclusion with respect to commerce, business, workplaces, and legal education.

    Candace Shiver, Special Advisor to the National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) participated as a panelist during the event. Her panel, where she was joined by representatives from Exxon Mobil Corporation and GE Foundation, had a special emphasis on corporate supplier diversity. Together, the panelists discussed and provided critical insight and perspectives on why and how more U.S businesses are achieving diversity and inclusion by building strategic inclusive business models.

    Providing context during the panel discussion to the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Shiver stated “At the time of MBDA’s founding in 1969, and for a number of years thereafter, many argued for minority inclusion as a matter of right or equal opportunity.”  “Fast forward 45 years, and today we’re recognizing at MBDA how much of a business imperative it is to engage minority-owned companies – to not only open the door, but to also keep the door open - in order for corporations to remain viable and grow increasingly competitive worldwide.”

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