In this Women’s Business Forum article series, we recognize one of our WBE Champion Collaborators. Liz Whitehead, Co-Founder of Diversity Masterminds® and CEO of 12PointFive, is the epitome of a collaborator among the WBENC network. Learn about how Liz is a true leader in spurring collaboration throughout WBENC.
Instilling the Spirit of Collaboration
Liz Whitehead is Co-Founder of Diversity Masterminds®, a business consulting firm focusing on assisting certified businesses to maximize their certification and growth. Additionally, Liz is CEO of 12PointFive, which provides one-on-one consulting to clients. While Diversity Masterminds® provides the “do it yourself” way to get up to speed with certifications, 12PointFive gets it done for you by serving as an outsourced business development resource. Liz began 12PointFive in 2017, guiding certified businesses on how to make the most of their certification by providing hands-on support and teaching business owners how to deliver results to their target markets.
Heather and Liz saw value in collaborating to help WBEs navigate the certification process, leverage their certification, and provide one-on-one support. There is value to the corporation as well, as they help WBEs to be ready to gain access to the corporate’s opportunities.
Liz explained, “What I realized is that most business owners needed more personalized support beyond the certification process. Since the process is rigorous, getting certified in and of itself is an achievement, but the real rewards come when business owners make meaningful connections that last. I wanted to make sure WBEs keep up their enthusiasm for that part.”
Additionally, the name 12PointFive carries a lot of meaning to Liz. “12PointFive is my family’s lake house address in the Poconos. When I think of 12PointFive, I think of abundance and a lot of support that I received. That is what I want to bring to my clients.”
New Collaboration Opportunities Abound
Liz has always encouraged business owners to look at other WBEs to for network.
“WBEs are your best advocates. Heather and I wanted to show our clients that coming together and collaborating can result in larger contracts. It’s a value add for corporations and takes the burden off them to get WBEs ready and able to approach larger contracts. I am always looking to introduce WBEs that can benefit from each other.
I worked with a marketing agency that wanted to expand their digital and media presence. I suggested they look at the network and work with others or collaborate or outsource before they build out their own team or possibly acquire a firm that would help them grow. And before there is a huge collaboration, it’s important to do a small project together such as a joint webinar, write a blog post together. Just do something to make sure it’s a good fit before embarking on a larger project or a joint venture.”
Liz is so humble when speaking of herself but has a great deal of talent and accolades that makes her the perfect fit for what she does. Liz graduated from Dartmouth Magna Cum Laude and went on to receive her Master’s at Columbia University in International Affairs focusing on women’s economic development and financing. She has been featured by numerous corporate members, NGLCC, and WEConnect International. Liz serves on the WBENC Forum and formerly was Director EMEA, Programs, Grants Management for WEConnect International. She also serves as the Chapter Chair for three3 chapters of the Women President’s Organization (WPO). And her wealth of knowledge as former Executive Director of WPEO DC (now WBEC Greater DMV) Executive Director of WBEC Greater DMV has given her the expertise and insight as to what it takes to collaborate with both corporates and WBEs in understanding and maximizing the value of WBENC.
In closing, Liz wanted to add her final thought,
“I don’t want to leave out the importance of RPOs as far as collaboration. Through working at WPEO DC, I was introduced to the power of collaboration with the many organizations and stakeholders in the supplier diversity network. After my own company was certified, I knew it was important to not only look to my RPO as a resource but to be a resource for them as well. It has been extremely beneficial to my own network and gratifying as well. Working together to get introduced is the best strategy and RPOs are a great source to start there.”
About the Featured WBE
Liz Whitehead is CEO of 12FivePoint, a WBENC-certified business, and Co-Founder of Diversity Masterminds. Liz also serves on the WBENC Women’s Business Forum.