Posted at 10:25 AM
Created on January 7, 2014
After four and a half years as National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency, I am leaving the Agency to return to the private sector on January 15, 2014. It has been a privilege to work with each and every one of you and to serve the American people under the leadership of President Obama and four Commerce Department secretaries, including Secretary Pritzker.
During my tenure as National Director, we worked to help the U.S. economy rebound from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Like nearly every other federal agency, MBDA carried out its work under flat or reduced budgets, all while the demand for Agency services continued to increase. Despite these challenges, we experienced one of the most productive periods in Agency history. We increased funding for our national business center program for the first time in 15 years and we provided targeted support to our clients in the areas of manufacturing, healthcare technology, government contracting and exporting. We also increased bottom-line support for minority-owned firms by helping them get over $19 billion in capital and contract awards, resulting in the creation and/or retention of over 50,000 jobs.
We invested in new and exciting quantitative research on the minority business sector; dramatically increased our reach to the nation’s Minority Business Enterprise community; and expanded relationships with agencies including the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the Export-Import Bank and the Department of Energy, while strengthening relationships with agencies within Commerce. Finally, we leveraged the outstanding export capabilities of minority-owned firms in support of the President’s National Export Initiative.
I leave MBDA in a strong position to continue to provide support to our nation’s growing minority business community. National Deputy Director Alejandra Castillo will serve as Acting National Director upon my departure. I am grateful that Alejandra has agreed to take on this role. Over the past four years she has been my right hand, providing invaluable support in carrying out the Agency’s mission. I have no doubt that Alejandra, along with our outstanding managers, Edith McCloud, Kimberly Marcus, Bridget Gonzales, Joann Hill, Roberto Lopez, and Ronald Marin, will continue to provide strong and steady leadership for the Agency.
It has been an honor to work with the entire MBDA team and to lead an Agency dedicated to supporting economic opportunities for all.