Thank you Sharon and Good evening everyone. On behalf of the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Minority Business Development Agency, I want to thank our hosts Ms. Sharon Pinder, President & CEO, Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council (CRMSDC) and Mr. Roland Jones, Chairman of the Board, Director of the Prince George’s County Office of Central Services, for extending this invitation to be here with you today.
I would also like to recognize the Honorable Boyd Rutherford – Lt. Governor, State of Maryland, the Honorable Rushern Baker, County Executive for Prince George’s County, William Von Hoene (Hane- Eee) Sr. Executive VP and Chief Strategy Officer- Exelon Corporation and all of our many distinguished guests.
I’m excited to join you on such a special occasion and I want to personally congratulate the CRMSDC on your 45th Anniversary. This is a monumental milestone that stands as a testament to your commitment, hard work and tenacity – you embody the entrepreneurial spirit of our Nation.
MBDA is extremely proud of our partnership with CRMSDC and the opportunity it affords us to share our federal resources and ensure that minority-owned firms have fair and equal access to contracts, capital and new markets. By working with CRMSDC, we are helping minority-owned firms of all sizes generate more U.S. jobs to grow their businesses and strengthen the U.S economy. Minority business and creating American jobs, are top priorities for this Administration.
In March of this year, several of our MBDA team members participated in the CRMSDC 2017 Super Matchmaker Conference in Silver Spring, Maryland. One of those individuals was Mr. Efrain Gonzalez, Associate Director of our Office of Business Development who is here with me this evening.
During this Super Matchmaker Conference MBDA presented the Council with more than $4 million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce to officially launch the Washington DC MBDA Business Center and the MBDA Federal Procurement Center. Together these centers helped to form a consortium to offer expanded business development resources to minority firms. Another example of how the federal government and organizations like CRMSDC are working hand in hand to empower and engage MBEs and the communities they serve.
Lastly, show of hands --- how many people were in Detroit last week? I am proud to say that MBDA and NMSDC held one of the absolute best MED Week celebrations and NMSDC Business Conferences ever. Thank you to Mr. Louis Green, the NMSDC staff and everyone who helped us make this event such a huge success. In addition to the conference in Detroit, our 2017 MED Week winners were also invited to a special ceremony at the White House with President Trump, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and myself.
None of our successes would be possible without the power of partnership. That is why we are here this evening to reaffirm our partnership with CRNMSDC and to help celebrate an extraordinary group of MBEs, leaders and legends.
Thank you and again, I congratulate you CRMSDC on 45 years of excellence. The best is yet to come! MBDA is delighted to stand shoulder to shoulder with you as a vested partner and friend. We salute your success.