Posted at 10:05 AM
Created on December 21, 2012
MBDA’s National Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week has by tradition set the standard as the premier event for minority entrepreneurs, business owners, and advocates. On December 5-6, the 30th anniversary milestone event officially joined the ranks as one of the most successful MED Week’s in the history of the conference.
This year’s event was attended by nearly 1,300 individuals representing a broad range of industries from across the globe. In the State of Commerce Address, Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank opened the conference with inspirational remarks on the growth of the economy and highlighted the crucial role that minority-owned businesses play in exporting and job creation. Acting Secretary Blank’s address embodied the theme of this year’s conference, Job Creation in America: Build it Here – Sell it Everywhere!, and set the tone for the conference agenda, which included an International Business-to-Business Linkage networking reception attended by the Brazilian Ambassador to the United States, a partnership announcement between MBDA and the Export-Import Bank that launched the “Global Outreach Alliance,” and numerous seminars and workshops focused on the global supply chain and emerging markets.
The intense full-day conference was often marked by “standing room only” plenary sessions and seminars led by senior government officials, corporate executives, and leading minority business owners. Concurrent afternoon workshops allowed attendees to delve into industry focused topics, including advanced manufacturing, government contracting, mergers and acquisitions, and global emerging markets. Conference attendees were also invited to attend the Business Expo and One-on-One Business Matchmakers, which featured scheduled meetings with buying organizations from both the public and private sectors who collectively represented over $30 billion in contracting opportunities. A new addition to the Business Expo was the Deltek/American Express Open pavilion that provided a platform for minority business owners to explore teaming, joint venture and strategic alliance opportunities with some of the most successful prime contractors across America.
At the core of this historic event was the National MED Week Awards Ceremony, which celebrated the achievements and contributions of minority business owners and advocates in over the last year. Honorees included 12 private sector, non-profit entities and leaders in the categories of lifetime achievement, leadership, access to capital, exporting and manufacturing that have had a major impact on the growth of minority business enterprises. Among the winners were a U.S. Congressman, presidents of manufacturing and service companies, leaders of non-profit training and advocacy groups, and successful private-sector manufacturing, exporting and finance concerns, all of whom have contributed significantly to minority business development, job creation and economic growth throughout the country.
Of notable mention was the MBDA National Director’s Special Recognition of Mr. John W. Rogers, Jr., Chairman, CEO & Chief Investment Officer of Ariel Investments, LLC, for his ongoing advocacy of minority owned firms in the professional services sector. In his remarks, Director Hinson stated, “Today we honor a man who quietly, yet forcefully acts behind the scenes to champion minority-owned businesses in the professional services industry. A man who challenges the status quo to increase diversity in corporate supply chains, board rooms, and executive offices.” Mr. Rogers addressed the audience by humbly accepting the recognition and acknowledging the important work of MBDA.
National MED Week was an extraordinary success that reflected the strength, entrepreneurial success and economic impact of the minority business community. MBDA is proud to host an event which brings together such talent, and we will continue to draw inspiration from working with these businesses to promote global competitiveness and job creation in America.
International Business-to-Business Linkage Event
MED Week Awards Program
MED Week Thursday Morning Session
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