Dorothy B. Brothers Executive Scholarship

[ December 2011 ]


December 2011
Message from WBENC's Chairman and WBENC's President
SEC Opens Door to Opportunities for WBEs
Best Practices of the Greats in Supplier Diversity
Holiday Networking ... Back to Basics
MacDill Conference & Expo
Registration Open for WBENC's Signature Events
Meet the 2012 Conference Host Committee
Save the Date for 2012 Tuck-WBENC Executive Program
IBM's Michael Robinson Receives Congressional
Minority Business Award
AT&T's Marianne Strobel Named NMSDC's Leader of the Year
 •UPS Wins Corporation of the Year Award at WBDC- FL Conference
 Astra Receives SBA Grant
Women's Enterprise Hall of Fame Awards's Annual Online Election for Div50
WBENCLink Training
Calendar of Events


Click here for WBENCLink Training for Corporate Members.

Click here for WBENCLink Training for WBEs.


Editor in Chief
Cristy McCullough
AVP Marketing, Communications, and Brand Management

Allison Gibson

Paige Adams
Director, Development
and Corporate Relations

Betty Cole
Sr. Director, Programs

Cristy McCullough
AVP Marketing, Communications, and Brand Management

Pamela Prince-Eason
President & CEO

Lynthia Romney

Candace Waterman
Senior Director of Compliance & Alliance Relationships

Limb Design

Message from WBENC's Chairman and
WBENC's President
2011 WBENC Retrospective

Dear WBENC Friends,

This has been an extraordinary year for WBENC. As we prepare for WBENC's 15th Anniversary in 2012, we first would like to acknowledge the accomplishments of our organization in 2011 and thank you for your contribution to this success.

At a time when many organizations are facing challenges, WBENC has embraced its challenges and is thriving. That's because we are strategically-directed, financially sound and fortunate to be able to work with all of you, our 254 Corporate and Government Members, our Regional Partner Organizations (RPOs) and over 10,700 WBENC-Certified Women's Business Enterprises (WBEs). Because of this unmatched community of procurement/supply chain experts and champions of supplier diversity, WBENC is able to stand proud as the leading advocate for and authority on WBEs as suppliers to the nation's corporations and government organizations.

At a time when the country's top priorities include economic growth, WBENC is firmly and purposely moving forward on its Roadmap to 2020 In partnership with our Corporate and Government Members, WBEs will work to enhance revenues, add jobs, and fuel the economic growth of our nation.

At a time when cooperation is vital for success, we have the support and collaboration of our 14 Regional Partner Organizations. Together, we have collectively presented hundreds of business and skill-building events, to include our two major national events which attracted record attendance in 2011: the WBENC Summit & Salute to Women's Business Enterprises in March and the WBENC National Conference & Business Fair in Las Vegas in June. At the same time, our RPOs are nurturing our WBE growth and brilliantly handling the increasing demand for certification.

A significant achievement during 2011 includes the U.S. Small Business Administration's announcement naming WBENC as one of a few organizations providing third-party certification of women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) for the Federal Procurement Program. This has led to numerous alignments with government entities interested in doing business with women – and the opportunities for WBENC-Certified WBEs to access the government marketplace. Immediately following this message, read the article to learn about a new partnership with none other than the Security Exchange Commission!

At the same time, Corporate Members actively create and advance best practices in supply chain diversity for WBEs. These best practices distinguished them as Top Corporations in the early stages of WBENC's growth and have made significant contributions that have broken barriers to women in business. As part of our ongoing best practice series, this month we highlight some best practices from our supplier diversity "Greats" – AT&T, Energy Future Holdings and UPS that have each won the award since its inception.

We also acknowledge all WBENC-Certified WBEs who demonstrate the inventiveness, drive and optimism that keep our country innovative. Congratulations to our exemplary 2012 WBE Stars who embody these traits as role models and will be honored at the Summit & Salute! We also thank our Host Committee of the 2012 National Conference & Business Fair. You will meet each of the WBEs of the Host Committee here in the President's Report starting this month – to get a flavor of the talent and leadership we can expect to see in Orlando.

And to our exceptional WBENC Board – made up of our Corporate Members, RPOs and WBEs, your tremendous leadership makes us successful in everything we do.

Wishing each and every one of you a safe and happy holiday.


Pamela Prince-Eason
WBENC President & CEO
Laura Taylor
WBENC Board Chair

Back to top

SEC Opens Door to Opportunities for WBEs

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is embracing the opportunity to work with more women-owned businesses as part of its commitment to supplier diversity – and is tapping WBENC as an important source of information and access.
Alta G. Rodriguez
Equal Employment Opportunity
(EEO) Director and Acting Director
for the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI), U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission

"We at the SEC are proactively reaching out to women-owned businesses and providing them with the information and tools they need to do business with us," said Alta Rodriguez, Equal Employment Opportunity Director and Acting Director for the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) at the SEC.

Of the $228 million in contracts signed in its FY2011, the SEC awarded $75 million to small service-disabled veteran owned and minority- and women-owned businesses. Of that $75 million, almost $16 million went to women-owned businesses, a number Rodriguez would like to see expanded next year.

"We have a huge potential there, and we are looking forward to working with WBENC to help us reach it," she says.

Pamela Prince-Eason, WBENC President & CEO, said, "Partnering with the SEC can significantly expand our WBEs' opportunities with the government. We are very excited to collaborate with the SEC to further enhance its supplier diversity program and fill its pipeline with our exceptional WBEs."

Already high on the SEC's wish list of suppliers are IT companies – offering hardware, software and support services – as well as professional services like staffing.

Supporting this initiative is the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, established by the Dodd-Frank Act to "be responsible for all agency matters relating to diversity in management, employment and business activities," including supplier diversity.

Supplier diversity also helps to advance the SEC's mission, which is to protect investors, facilitate capital formation, and maintain fair and orderly markets. As Rodriguez points out, "In seeking diverse suppliers, we are fueling economic and job growth as WBEs will hire from their local communities."

To learn more about opportunities at the SEC, reach out to

Best Practices of the Greats in Supplier Diversity:
AT&T, Energy Future Holdings and UPS

These three companies have won a place on the roster of America's Top Corporations for Women's Business Enterprises since the award began. In this issue, WBENC highlights their achievements by focusing on one best practice from each:

Energy Future Holdings: A Corporate Advisory Board Ensures C-Suite Engagement in WBE Success
Energy Future Holdings (EFH) continues to create and advance new best practices in supplier diversity and doing business with WBEs.

Led by EFH CEO John Young, the company has spearheaded a bold system for top-down commitment to supplier diversity. For two full years, EFH's Corporate Advisory Board – appointed and chaired by Young himself – has placed full accountability for WBE inclusion and success where the opportunity lies: in the businesses themselves.

The C-Level team developed specific areas of focus including full integration of WBE inclusion in all sourcing processes; support and oversight of the "Rule of at Least One" – ensuring that at least one WBE is considered in each bid; involvement in the multi-tier initiative by making personal contacts to major participating suppliers; quarterly reviews of status of WBE initiatives; and communication of results to the EFH Board of Directors.

Cheryl Stevens, EFH Vice President of Supplier Diversity who presents on a regular basis to the Advisory Council and the EFH Board of Directors, said, "We are so proud that Energy Future Holdings has made supplier diversity a priority for the C-suite." She noted that the Corporate Advisory Board was in full attendance and played key roles in the company's 20th Annual Gold Star Reception, which honors employees who have made significant contributions to WBE success, as well as "Gold Star WBE Suppliers."

"Our Corporate Advisory Board members walk the talk – our employees and the community at large know that Energy Future Holdings is committed to WBE success," she said.

AT&T : A Focus on Prime Suppliers Boosts Diverse Spend
AT&T's Prime Supplier Program is one of the most essential efforts within AT&T's Supplier Diversity program. In 2010, it spent $9.2 billion with diverse suppliers – 18.8% of the company's total spend, and has a goal of spending 21.5% with diverse suppliers who are minorities, women and disabled veterans. AT&T's supplier diversity is supported company-wide.

Since 1989, the program has helped AT&T's prime suppliers increase the utilization of diverse businesses in its supply chain through subcontracting and value-added reseller arrangements.

AT&T started by assigning a dedicated manager to the program. In addition, Tim Harden, President of AT&T Supply Chain and Fleet Operations, sent a letter to their prime suppliers announcing changes to the program, setting expectations and reinforcing AT&T's commitment to supplier diversity.

New training materials were developed and delivered to help its prime suppliers establish and enhance their own supplier diversity programs. They were also required to file annual plans outlining their company's supplier diversity strategy and were required to report supplier diversity results monthly vs. quarterly.

As a result, national tier two spend increased 32% over 2009 in minority, women and disabled veteran business enterprise categories.

Last year, AT&T began holding "Meet-the-Primes" matchmaker events to create real contract opportunity meetings with prospective suppliers with AT&T's most strategic prime suppliers.

As part of the AT&T Prime Supplier Program, KGP Telecommunications, a WBENC certified supplier, worked closely with the AT&T supplier diversity team to develop and implement a supplier diversity plan to outsource or procure from other diverse companies — with purchases including a wide range of products and services from office supplies to janitorial companies.

UPS: Getting the Message Out About Outstanding WBEs
UPS continually works to find new ways to create opportunity for WBEs. Providing them with the UPS mark of credibility at events and in the news are priceless ways of helping them to advance their brands.

That's why UPS has partnered with a diverse group of WBEs such as ASAP, Avion Systems and Mercedes Electric to provide them with visibility before decision makers and influencers that can win referrals and contracts.

For example, UPS recently partnered with Kanchana Raman, President & CEO of Avion Systems, in a story for Diversity Careers in Engineering and Information Technology. Mercedes LaPorta, President of Mercedes Electric Supply, Inc. is expected to be featured prominently in a special section of a leading national newspaper early next year.

"We like to show other corporations that these WBEs have the breadth and innovation it takes to work with them," says UPS Supplier Diversity Director Kathy Homeyer.

A new direction for UPS will be to look strategically at all the major events that UPS is sponsoring, and then invite a WBE to each one. "Access to a C-suite reception at a UPS-sponsored golf outing is a great way to introduce a WBE to potential clients in a relaxed setting," Homeyer adds. "With constant pressure on the supply chain, we look for special ways to provide WBEs with these opportunities."

LaPorta and UPS began working together in 2008 and in 2009, when UPS became a key supplier to Mercedes Electric, providing shipping and freight services. Since that time, LaPorta has joined UPS at trade shows (WBENC, National Minority Supplier Development Council), conferences (National Association of Women Business Owners and Women's President's Organization) and other events, including creating a video of LaPorta explaining how UPS has helped to grow her business worldwide. Mercedes Electric was also featured on the UPS website, viewed by over 300,000 employees and in its customer magazine, distributed to more than 650,000 readers.

While it took time and effort, Mercedes Electric was awarded its first significant contract with UPS in the fall of 2010.
Certification Corner

Holiday Networking ... Back to the Basics

Can you believe it is December and we are in the holiday season already? It seems as though it was just yesterday that we were in Las Vegas at WBENC's 2011 National Conference & Business Fair meeting new people, networking with Corporate and Government Members, attending wonderful educational workshops and taking in all the synergy the Conference has to offer.

The holiday season is the perfect time to capitalize on the connections you have made earlier in the year and to let people know that they are important to you and that you are thinking about them. Attending holiday parties or using technology to send quick greetings are wonderful ways to reconnect with many people in an easy manner. However, there is something to be said about taking the time to sit and send a handwritten note, holiday card, or New Year well wishes. Just think of how it feels to open a card when someone has written you a nice note.

So when going through all the business cards you have collected this year, consider spreading holiday cheer by sending a card with a personal message to potential customers, current customers, fellow WBEs and those who have played an important part of your businesses success.

MacDill Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business/Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB/VOSB) and Small Business (SB) Conference and Expo

As an approved third-party certifier of the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) Women Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program and leading third-party certifier of WBEs, WBENC had the distinct honor of being invited to participate on a Certification Panel at the MacDill SDVOSB/VOSB and Small Business Conference and Expo. The conference is dedicated to Service Disabled Veteran Owned, Veteran Owned and Women Owned Small Businesses; and renders over 900 attendees (top level military, service-disabled veterans, veterans, government procurement professionals, contracting officers, small business owners, prime contractors, small business advocates and numerous representatives from government agencies representing all branches of service).

The conference provides informational sessions such as teaming arrangements, how to respond to government solicitations, how to work with prime contractors, navigating GSA schedules and the importance of certification.

Mr. Nelson Escribano, 6th Air Mobility Wing, Small Business Specialist, who hosted WBENC at the event, contracted a WBENC-Certified women business enterprise, Detailed Planners, as the event management company for the event. Attending the event as exhibitors and/or attendees were several WBENC Corporate Members that are suppliers to the government to include: Raytheon, HP, Xerox, Marriott; as well as WBENC-Certified WBEs (American Government Services, Latitude 27, and Mayer Electrical Supply).

Development Drive

Registration Open for WBENC's Signature Events in 2012!

Summit & Salute to Women's Business Enterprises
March 21–22, 2012, Baltimore, MD

Presenting Sponsors:
Accenture, Ernst & Young, LLP

Click here to view Summit & Salute sponsorship opportunities. Sponsor pledges are being accepted now. 

Registration is now open at  Early bird registration ends January 31, 2012.

Registration for WBENC's Summit & Salute to Women's Business Enterprises is now open at WBENC's Summit & Salute will be held March 21-22, 2012 at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront in Baltimore, MD, bringing together America's leading corporations, government agencies, women business owners and strategic partner organizations. Accenture LLP and Ernst & Young LLP are the 2012 Presenting Sponsors for the event. Their leadership will enhance the quality and content of the program. Click here to view all of the current Summit & Salute sponsors.

The year 2012 is WBENC's 15th anniversary, and the guiding theme for 2012 is Celebrating 15 Years: Vision, Opportunities, and Success! This comprehensive two-day program offers:
  • Information sessions focused on topics of most importance to you, including informative sessions on corporate supply chain management and building capacity between prime and Tier II+ relationships.
  • Networking among top corporate and WBE companies in multiple innovative formats
  • A panel discussion and Q&A session on the Small Business Administration's Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contracting Program and third-party certification.
  • Corporate-WBE Roundtable Discussions on topics critical to fueling the economy and creating jobs through Women Business Enterprises.
For the second year, the Summit will feature WBENC's Multi-Tier Opportunity Connection (formerly WBENC's Multi-Tier Dialogue & Opportunity Connection). This interactive session includes participating Corporate and Government Members, who will be available in two simultaneous sessions:
  • A meet and greet session designed for WBENC-Certified Women's Business Enterprises (WBEs) to introduce their companies and products and/or services to participating Corporate and Government Members.
  • An opportunity for WBENC-Certified WBEs to visit tables hosted by Corporate and Government Members and their prime suppliers/key business partners for short meetings to explore 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Tier sourcing opportunities and to learn how to be considered for these opportunities.
Early bird registration for the Summit & Salute ends January 31, 2012. To register now, visit Click here to view details on becoming a Summit & Salute sponsor.

Registration for
WBENC's 2012 National Conference & Business Fair
is Now Open

WBENC Conference Co-Chairs are Avis Budget Group, Accel, Inc.,
ICON Information Consultants LP and Office Depot

The 13th Annual National Conference & Business Fair will be held in Orlando, FL from June 19-21, 2012. WBENC's Roadmap to 2020 – a groundbreaking plan promising increased value to corporate and government entities – will provide the foundation of the 2012 Conference. Workshops will focus on economic impact and job creation; entrepreneurial training; innovation, technology and sustainability; and the best ways to access capital and develop new markets. Click here to read a special message from the conference co-chairs.

This year's event promises to be better than ever as WBENC continues to deliver:
  • The largest Business Fair in the nation for women's business enterprises
  • WBENC's MatchMaker Meetings
  • WBENC's annual Silent Auction featuring Power Lunches with key corporate executives.
Registration for attendees and exhibitors is available now. Go to to get registered today. Contact Paige Adams, Director of Development, at to learn more about sponsoring this fantastic event.

Meet the 2012 Conference Host Committee

The Women's Business Development Council of Florida (WBDC-FL) will serve as the Host Council for WBENC's 2012 National Conference & Business Fair in Orlando, FL. President and CEO Nancy Allen heads the Council, which was created in 1993 and represents Florida (minus the panhandle), Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Host Committee is comprised of 10 Women's Business Enterprises (WBEs) who are active in the Host Council, as well as successful role models for their industries and communities. The Host Council works to raise visibility of the Conference in their region, attracts attendees, and communicates the value of the event and the organization in advance of and during the Conference. Every month prior to the Conference, WBENC will introduce Host Committee members in the President's Report.
Ann McNeill Soars!
Ann McNeill
MCO Construction


International Mastermind Association

Ann McNeill is the President and CEO of WBENC-Certified MCO Construction, which is the first African American female owned construction company in the State of Florida. She is also the founder of The National Association of Black Women in Construction.

Although construction is her line of business, Ann's passion is giving women clarity in the highest income producing areas of their personal and business life. She achieves this aspect of her life as the owner of Constructively Speaking, Inc. where she is better known as "The Master Builder - Building Stronger and Better Lives." Also, as the President and CEO of the International Mastermind Association, an organization that helps people create work/life balance through goal setting, Ann provides retreats for women entrepreneurs. Beyond goal setting, the focus of the retreat is goal achieving … believing accountability is the key to achieving goals.

Ann McNeill's Success System" ELITE MasterMinding will be held January 26-28, 2012, in West Palm Beach, Florida.) The International Mastermind Association 12th Annual Meeting will be held January 6-7, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida.

Ann is also a conference speaker and has been featured in several newspapers and magazines including Success Magazine and the Miami Herald. She was also the cover story for USA Today, Black Enterprise, and ABC World News, and has been featured on Channel 10. Additionally, McNeill was honored in AT&T's 2011 Miami-Dade County's African American History Calendar for the month of September as an outstanding African American Achiever. Ann was also named as the U.S. Department of Commerce's Contractor of the Year along with other outstanding achievers. She is also a co-host on 880 The Biz radio show, called "The Business of Money."

Program Place

Save the Date for the Next Tuck-WBENC Executive Program

The next annual Tuck-WBENC Executive Program, brought to you by IBM will be held September 30 – October 5, 2012. New this year, the program will be held at the IBM Learning Center in Armonk, NY.

The Tuck-WBENC Executive Exchange Program is an intensive, five-day executive development program for WBENC-Certified Women's Business Enterprises (WBEs). It is an intensive learning experience that focuses primarily on increasing the competitive advantage and robustness of the participant's own business. Up to 50 WBE attendees will form a learning community that will continue to provide a source of support, expertise, opportunities, and strategic alliances long after graduation.

Be sure to check the Tuck-WBENC web page for further information, including the application process. Applications are due July 13, 2012. For additional information, contact

Recognition Road

IBM's Michael Robinson Receives Congressional
Minority Business Award for Executive Leadership

Michael Robinson, Program Director,
Global Supplier Diversity Integrated Supply Chain, IBM

Michael Robinson, Program Director of the Global Supplier Diversity Integrated Supply Chain at IBM and WBENC Board Member, was honored before members of Congress and leaders across the private, public and nonprofit sectors with the Executive Leader Award at the 4th Annual 2011 Congressional Minority Business Awards ceremony in Washington, DC in November. Under this year's theme of "Game Changers," the awards pay tribute to the remarkable achievements, tremendous contributions and unwavering commitment of minority business leaders and supporters.

"I am humbled by this recognition; and thanks to the leadership of IBM we have been able to drive supplier diversity at a global level. Since 2000, IBM has spent $1 billion on diverse companies as suppliers, is operating in 170 different companies, and has set targets in every geographic area where we operate," Robinson said.

Presenting the award was Sharon Patterson, President and CEO of the Billion Dollar Roundtable, Inc.

Pamela Prince-Eason, WBENC President & CEO, said, "We at WBENC have long known that Michael Robinson makes positive change happen, and are extremely proud that he has been honored for his contribution to so many women's businesses."

Members of Congress attending the event included Senator Mary Landrieu (LA), Congressman James E. Clyburn (SC), Congressman Donald Payne (NJ), Congressman Chris Van Hollen (MD), Congressman Cedric Richmond (LA), Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA), Congressman Bobby Scott (VA), Congresswoman Laura Richardson (CA), and Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX).

The 4th Annual Minority Business Awards were held in celebration of the 41st Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference, hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. CBCF educates future leaders and promotes collaborations between community and minority-focused organizations, business and organized labor to effect positive and sustainable change.

AT&T's Marianne Strobel Named
NMSDC's Leader of the Year at Annual Conference

Continuing its long-standing commitment to supplier diversity, AT&T had a major presence at the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) Annual Conference in Atlanta last month.

At the event, Marianne Strobel, Executive Director, AT&T Global Supplier Diversity, was named
Marianne Strobel
Executive Director, AT&T Global Supplier Diversity
NMSDC's Leader of the Year. Strobel received the Leader of the Year award in recognition of exemplary development programs for minority business owners, as well as exceptional leadership and impact throughout corporate America.

"Marianne Strobel is a phenomenal leader and a great asset to AT&T," said Tim Harden, President of Supply Chain and Fleet Operations, AT&T. "As a result of her hard work, AT&T continues to excel in meeting its supplier diversity goals. She is well-deserving of the title of Leader of the Year, and we congratulate her on this great honor."

"Recognition of Marianne Strobel as Leader of the Year is well deserved as Marianne has made a tremendous impact in her work with WBENC and its community of certified women business enterprises," shared Pamela Prince-Eason.

With more than 40 years of experience, AT&T is a pioneer of including diversity owned businesses—minority, women and disabled veterans – in its supply chain. In 2010, AT&T spent $9.2 billion with diverse suppliers; representing 18.8 percent of the company's total spend. Supplier diversity is supported company-wide, with programs including:
  • Women's Entrepreneur Forum:  AT&T launched the Women's Entrepreneur Forum in 2010 to serve emerging communications technology needs and ensure U.S. women-owned businesses continue to innovate and grow.
  • AT&T Prime Supplier Program:  AT&T's Prime Supplier Program is one of the most essential efforts within AT&T's Supplier Diversity program. Since 1989, the program has helped AT&T's prime suppliers increase the utilization of diverse businesses in its supply chain through subcontracting and value-added reseller arrangements.
  • AT&T Meet-the-Primes Matchmaker Events:  Last year, AT&T began holding Meet-the-Primes matchmaker events to create real contract opportunity meetings with prospective suppliers with AT&T's most strategic prime suppliers. In 2010, AT&T produced three matchmaker events, working with the NMSDC regional councils in San Ramon, CA., Washington, DC, and Chicago, IL. The three events produced 177 diverse suppliers meeting with 21 Fortune 500 prime suppliers.
  •  Educational Programs:  In 2010, The AT&T Executive Education Program provided nine scholarships for minority business enterprise suppliers to attend educational programs at leading graduate schools. These graduate-level executive management training programs assist diverse businesses in their pursuit of operational excellence and provide expert coaching and tangible business benefits to incumbent and prospective diverse suppliers.

UPS Wins Corporation of the Year Award at the WBDC- FL Conference

Kathy Homeyer, Director of Supplier Diversity at UPS, accepts the Corporation of the Year Award.
Photo: Doubletake Studios Inc.

The Women's Business Development Council of Florida (WBDC-FL) helped WBEs get a head start on their New Year's resolutions with a program designed to prepare them for winning new business, getting healthier and improving their well-being. The 2011 WBDC-FL Conference & Business Expo held December 1-2, immediately preceded by its 2011 International Day, offered keynote speeches, workshops and business networking within the theme of "Life-Work-Balance."

With an exciting look forward to the 2012 WBENC National Conference & Business Fair in WBENC's 15th Anniversary year, WBENC President & CEO Pamela Prince-Eason delivered an enthusiastic keynote address focused on the robust opportunities that WBENC and WOSB certifications afford WBEs in serving their corporate and government clients.

Exemplifying the best of corporations as partners to and supporters of WBEs, UPS received the Corporation of the Year Award. WBENC Treasurer and UPS Director of Supplier Diversity Kathy Homeyer was surprised with the award – and called "the epitome of ‘Brown': reliable; committed and dedicated to making sure that WBEs have opportunities for business development and growth.

Sam Hines, WBDC Florida Board Chair; Nancy Allen, WBDC Florida President & CEO; and Pamela Prince-Eason, WBENC President & CEO. 
Photo: Doubletake Studios Inc.

The Corporation of the Year Award is the highest award presented to WBDC-FL's Corporate Members for commitment and support for supplier diversity throughout the organization and the supply chain process, measurement and tracking of diverse vendor participation, community outreach and the devotion of resources to WBDC-FL's work.

Kathy and UPS have supported the WBDC-FL for many years in these ways and by providing sponsorships, support for the certification committee and now through UPS' Maria Leon, a presence on the WBDC-FL Board of Directors.

WBDC-FL is the Host Council for WBENC's 2012 National Conference & Business Fair taking place in Orlando, Florida, June 19-21, 2012.

Astra Women's Business Alliance Receives SBA Grant
as Part of Small Business Jobs Act

Astra Women's Business Alliance has received a grant from the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) as part of a Portland-based small business program led by four regional agencies. Astra is one of WBENC's 14 Regional Partner Organizations (RPOs) and provides WBENC certification for Women's Business Enterprises in Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Montana and Northern California. The other agencies include the Mercy Corps Northwest, the Metropolitan Contractor Improvement Partnership, and the Portland Development Commission.

The grant totals nearly $2.2 million - or $433,000 annually - for up to five years, and will help train, support and link small businesses, including women- and minority-owned businesses, to other potential team members and to large federal contractors.

The money comes from the Small Business Jobs Act, passed in January 2011. The SBA is funding 11 projects through the grant.

Founded in 2000, Astra's mission is to work proactively and cooperatively toward the elimination of marketplace barriers, such that women-owned businesses receive access to and fair consideration of programs and projects that fund business growth. In addition to WBENC Certification, Astra provides business skills training, team development and linkage to contract opportunities to women owned businesses throughout the northwest.

Women's Enterprise Hall of Fame Awards

For the third year, Women's Enterprise Magazine has presented the Hall of Fame honoring corporations and individuals that have advanced women's business inclusion and diversity. In 2011, eight individuals and three corporations were inducted:

Pamela O'Rourke, President & CEO
ICON Information Consultants LP

Lynn Scott, Executive Director of Supplier Diversity

Carol Dougal and Hedy Ratner, Co-Presidents

Women's Business Development Center-Chicago

Gail Warrior, President & CEO
The Warrior Group

Nina Vaca-Humrichouse, Chairman & CEO


Edward Whitacre, Jr.
Former AT&T CEO and Former Chairman of GM

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas)

Margo Posey, President & CEO
Dallas-Fort Worth Minority Supplier Development Council


Ernst & Young LLP

Proctor & Gamble

The reception and awards ceremony took place December 1 at the Texas Hall of State in Dallas, Texas. Holds 12th Annual Online Election for Div50 is holding its 12th annual online election for "America's Top  Organizations for Multicultural Business Opportunities" from December 1 – 15, 2011. The voting business owners base their decisions on factors such as volume, consistency and quality of business opportunities granted to women and diverse-owned companies. The voting is open to all businesses in the United States.

Last year, over 850,000 businesses had the opportunity to vote in the online election. The election results will be officially announced on Tuesday, December 20, 2011 at 12:00 EST on The "Top 50 List" is recognized as America's leading award for Fortune 500 corporations for diversity achievements.

To vote for America's top organization for multicultural business opportunities, please click here.

The Div50 - Top Honors for Top Corporations
The Div50 is an indicator of which organizations provide the best and the most business for diversity-owned companies. In a marketplace that is increasingly as sensitive to diversity as it is to revenues, recognizing the top buyers of multicultural products and services is becoming a natural part of the new socioeconomic food chain. "Those organizations that buy the most products and services, most consistently, from diversity businesses, and that sustain the most mutually beneficial business relationships with their multicultural suppliers, should be recognized not only by the suppliers but also by the general public," said Kenton Clarke, CEO of

The Div50 is a listing of the top 50 corporate and organizational buyers of diversity products and services throughout the country. It represents the voices of over 700,000 diversity-owned (Women, African American, Hispanics, Asians, Native Indians, Disabled, Veterans and other minority groups) businesses and Small Businesses in the U.S., in sectors such as technology, manufacturing, food service and professional services. The Div50 is produced annually by, the nation's leading multicultural B2B Internet portal that links large organizational buyers to multicultural owned product and service companies.

The Div50 list has become, by virtue of association, a consumer guide of sorts for women and ethnic consumers. The list is circulated by over 1,000 organizations that distribute it to their members and associates; it thus reaches millions of consumers every year. In the last 12 years, it has become a highly valued metric of corporate excellence in the diversity space.
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Calendar of Events
This calendar includes events hosted by WBENC's Regional Partner Organizations and strategic partners.  Visit WBENC's online calendar for more events.


Women's Business Council Southwest - 2012 Parade of Stars Awards Gala
January 19, 2012
Dallas, TX
Click here for details.

Astra Women's Business Alliance Trade Mission with Canada
February 29, 2012
San Jose, CA
Click here for details.

WBENC's Summit & Salute to Women's Business Enterprises
March 21-22, 2012
Baltimore, MD
Visit for details.

Center for Women & Enterprise 2012 Auction & Gala
March 24, 2012
Boston, MA
Click here for details.

Women's Business Enterprise Council South 13th Annual Women's Business Opportunity Expo
April 18, 2012
New Orleans, LA
Visit for details.
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