Business Conference Asks Hard Questions

The Northwest Mountain MSDC’s first major event of the year is just around the corner—the 2015 Business Conference and Opportunity Fair takes place next Thursday, March 12.

Corporate Members, MBEs, and friends are invited to attend this full day of events, which includes a tradeshow, roundtables, and awards luncheon. Council leaders will present the John Gilmore Award, for MBE leadership in advocacy; Robert L. Ryan Award, for corporate supplier diversity leadership; and Advocacy Award, for public agency leadership.

The theme of the day will be new beginnings for the Council and for supplier diversity. The organization’s new brand and tagline, “Creating value through supplier diversity,” will be a frequent topic of conversation, as well as the changing concepts of supplier diversity supplier development.

“We really have to reassess the value of supplier diversity and how we define it so it’s viable in 40 years,” said Council President & CEO Fernando Martinez. “We need to make sure that everybody understands that supplier diversity the way it was five, 10, 15 years ago is no longer the way that supplier diversity works today.” With corporations looking on supplier diversity increasingly favorable, the Council’s challenge is to “identify member and MBE educational needs which will enable us to customize our training to more effectively prepare everyone to engage in business” Martinez added.

Martinez says Council Board Chair Diane Lin will address those issues in her keynote speech, during the luncheon. He also hopes that those questions will lead to businesses having productive conversations and sharing ideas at the event.