Procurement Executives, Supplier Diversity Leaders Headline Speakers at NMSDC Conference

Oct 18, 2010, 18:13 ET from National Minority Supplier Development Council

NEW YORK, Oct. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC®) today announced the headline speakers for its 2010 Conference and Business Opportunity Fair in Miami Beach, Florida.  The four-day event will take place at the Miami Beach Convention Center beginning Sunday, October 24th. Nearly 7,000 procurement executives, supplier diversity professionals and Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American business owners will be in attendance.  The theme of the Conference is "Minority Businesses and Corporate America—Partnership:  The Engine for a Global Economy."

"We are pleased to have a diverse lineup of speakers who represent the best in corporate procurement, minority business and academia," said NMSDC President Joset B. Wright. "They will share their insights on the value of minority supplier development and the proven strategies MBEs must develop to succeed in the global supply chain."

The conference program opens on Monday, October 25th, with a Power Breakfast featuring Steven Rogers, the Gordon and Llura Gund Family Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. One of the school's top professors, Mr. Rogers also directs its Larry and Carol Levy Institute for Entrepreneurial Practice and teaches in Kellogg executive programs in Hong Kong and Toronto.  

The one-day Business Opportunity Fair follows the Power Breakfast. After a short ribbon-cutting ceremony, the doors open to the 700-booth exhibit hall—the perfect venue for a day of deal making with Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American businesses. The conference program resumes with the Honorable Julian Castro as the featured luncheon speaker. Mr. Castro is the mayor of San Antonio, Texas, where Hispanic-owned businesses represent 21 percent of the total business population.

On Tuesday, Scott E. Page, the author of "The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools and Societies," is the speaker at the Power Breakfast. He is the Leonid Hurwicz Collegiate Professor of Complex Systems, Political Science and Economics at the University of Michigan.

Paul Novak, chief executive officer of the Institute for Supply Management, will moderate a plenary session titled "Real World Supply Chain Management." Session speakers Eadie Ferretti, senior vice president, strategic sourcing executive at Bank of America; and Dan C. Knott, senior vice president, purchasing and supplier quality at Chrysler Group, LLC, will discuss how buying organizations work closely with their suppliers as they evolve into efficient supply webs of intricately-linked companies.

Linda G. Alvarado is the featured speaker at the Tuesday Luncheon. Ms. Alvarado is the president and chief executive officer of Alvarado Construction, a Denver-based commercial general contractor, construction manager, development, design/build and property management firm. She is also the first Hispanic (male or female) owner of a Major League Baseball team – the Colorado Rockies.

Wednesday opens with a Power Breakfast featuring Javier Palomarez, president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), the leading advocacy organization for nearly three million Hispanic-owned businesses. USHCC is also the umbrella organization for more than 200 local Hispanic chambers throughout the country. William A. Kirk, a partner at the law firm K&L Gates, will moderate a plenary session titled "The View from the Top: The Future of Minority Business Development." The featured speakers are Mark T. Bertolini, president of Aetna Inc., and Terry J. Lundgren, chairman of NMSDC and chairman, president and chief executive officer of Macy's, Inc. They will discuss global business trends and how minority businesses add value for corporate America.

Christopher J. Williams, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of The Williams Capital Group, L.P., and Williams Capital Management, LLC, is the featured speaker at Wednesday's Business Consortium Fund Luncheon. For the past 10 years, Thompson Financial has ranked the investment banking and asset management firm among the top 20 most active underwriters of U.S. investment grade taxable fixed income and equity transactions.

The Business Consortium Fund, Inc. (BCF) is a minority business development company created by NMSDC to provide contract financing to NMSDC-certified minority businesses through a network of local participating banks and NMSDC affiliates.

The conference also includes 28 workshops covering such topics as Aligning Minority Supplier Development with the Strategic Planning Process; Bottom Line:  Return on Investment of Supplier Diversity Initiatives; Growth and Capacity Development for Minority Suppliers; and Going Green: Factoring in the Corporate Goal. Panelists represent more than 55 corporations such as AT&T, Bank of America, Boeing, Chevron, Chrysler Group LLC, Cisco Systems, Coca-Cola, ConocoPhillips, Dell, Exxon Mobil, Ford, General Motors, Home Depot, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft Foods, Kroger, Macy's, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, Raytheon, Shell, Sprint Nextel, Toyota, UPS, Verizon, Walgreen and Wal-Mart.

The conference is co-hosted by the Southern Florida Minority Supplier Development Council, one of NMSDC's 37 local affiliates around the country. For additional information on the conference or minority business development, call the National Minority Supplier Development Council at (212) 944-2430 or visit the Web site at


Providing a direct link between corporate America and minority-owned businesses is the primary objective of the National Minority Supplier Development Council, one of the country's leading business membership organizations.  It was chartered in 1972 to provide increased procurement and business opportunities for minority businesses of all sizes.

The NMSDC Network includes a national office in New York and 37 Regional Councils across the country.  There are 3,500 corporate members throughout the network, including America's top publicly-owned, privately-owned and foreign-owned companies as well as universities, hospitals and other buying institutions.  The Regional Councils certify and match more than 16,000 minority-owned businesses with member corporations that want to purchase their goods and services.

SOURCE National Minority Supplier Development Council