2022 Spring Business Opportunity Exchange


Resilient MBEs, refined supply chains, growing bottom lines — you can find this and more at our biannual Business Opportunity Exchanges (BOE). Spend two days with us as you seek, seize, and secure successful business opportunities.

About the Event

Join us for jam-packed sessions designed to expand your business relationships. The Council’s virtual BOE industry panels and working sessions help outline opportunities and challenges in sourcing and procurement, letting you learn from the real experiences of others around you.

Don’t miss inspiring talks and deep insights from leading diversity officers and minority suppliers and a chance to forge your own relationships during our MatchMaker sessions!

Top 5 Reasons to Attend the Business Opportunity Exchange

  • Network, Network, Network! — No matter if you’re representing a Fortune 500 company or a small MBE, this event is designed to help build connections.
  • Meet diverse suppliers ready to bring innovative ideas to the table that will set you apart from competitors.
  • MatchMaker Sessions: Perfect your pitch just in time to promote your business, or discover new diversity suppliers for your corporation or government agency.
  • Strengthen your knowledge of supplier diversity programs from leading corporations and better understand how you can do business together.
  • Market your products and services to hundreds of potential clients.

Bonus! The first 100 attendees will receive a free GrubHub lunch, courtesy of The Council.




♦ Driving Economic Impact through Advertising

According to a 2019 study advertising contributed $3.4 trillion to the U.S. GDP, comprising 19 percent of the nation’s total economic output. The economic value of advertising extends into other sectors like manufacturing, healthcare, retail and numerous other areas of the economy. Join dentsu’s Supplier Diversity and Economic Empowerment leaders for a conversation around how a full-funnel marketing approach can drive economic impact and meaningful change.

♦ Empowering Your Business Growth through NYS Certification & Contracting

The New York State Division of Minority and Women’s Business Development (DMWBD) will discuss the Division’s New Decentralized Application Review Process for NYS MWBE certification including how to prepare a complete certification application package. In addition, this session will share resources to identify contracting opportunities and how the DMWBD can help your business grow.

♦ Financing Initiatives and Business Opportunities with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority

Businesses that attend will learn about current EDA programs and products for MWBE’S. They will also learn about how they can get assistance when applying for EDA products. Lastly, viewers can learn about the Wind Port Project and what current opportunities exist for vendors.

♦ Business Financing Options for Growth and Development

Business owners have many choices in terms of financing options, and qualification requirements can be different depending on the type of financing you choose. Despite having the idea and being good at entrepreneurship, it is often difficult to properly finance your business venture. Financing is the key element for the continued development of your business. You must explore different financing options to be able to arrange for the right financing for your business. This workshop will provide useful information on the different types for financing that is available to grow and develop your business

♦ How Prevalent are Diverse Passthrough Businesses and Does it Matter?

BJM Solutions, LLC has recently completed a research study investigating the prevalence of diverse businesses that were once a form of minority “front” companies. Traditional front companies had minority persons in positions of leadership, but these individuals did not make executive decisions traditionally made by company executives. Front companies had non-minority investors and decision-makers who were the largest and primary beneficiaries of the business but stayed in the background so the business could achieve minority status with public and private buying organizations. Third-party certification was largely designed to eliminate these types of businesses from the ranks of certified minority businesses. Based on complaints BJM heard from both large corporations and suppliers, it appears that there may be an increase in diverse businesses that represent themselves as independent minority firms, when in fact, they are captured and controlled by non-minority firms in the same line of business. The research BJM conducted looked at perceptions of these types of businesses and transactions.

Dr. McKinney conducted the study to provide information to the supplier diversity community, third-party certifying organizations, legitimate diverse businesses, and others, that pass-throughs are alive and well, and may need greater scrutiny in coming years from the entire supplier diversity ecosystem. The presentation will cover the methods and major findings of the study and the implications for supplier diversity professionals, third-party certifying organizations, MBEs, and others.

♦ New Business Opportunities with the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA)

The MTA Department of Diversity and Civil Rights implements programs and develops policies that ensure compliance with civil rights laws and regulations. The Department of Diversity and Civil Rights is responsible for ensuring that no person be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination based on color, religion, race, national origin or disability under any program administered by the MTA. The MTA Department of Diversity and Civil Rights’ Small Business Mentoring Program is essential in developing and creating business opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses, fostering economic development, promoting civil rights, and bringing new jobs to the New York region. 

♦ New Business Opportunities with the New York Power Authority

The NY Power Authority invites you to join us for a How to do Business with NYPA and Initiatives Virtual Event. You will hear from our speakers driving opportunities for diverse suppliers in order to promote innovation, drive competition, and grow the local economy. We will provide you with insight with an array of supplier diversity programs to help businesses expand capabilities and build capacity.

Capability Statements & Efficient Processes

Discuss the importance of capability statements to show your business identity, what you produce and provide, how you stand apart from your competitors and meet your customers needs and requirements. Additionally, the discussion will highlight the importance of efficiencies to emphasize building continuous improvement processes with an introduction to Lean Six Sigma concepts.

♦ How to Successfully Approach New Business

This session will focus on unpacking the questions to ask when approaching new leads to gain a good understanding of the procurement process, as well as how to successfully gain new businesses through thorough RFP responses.

Access to Capital: The Business Consortium Fund Loan Programs

Access to Capital will provide insight to the borrowers from the lender’s perspective on the types of financing available including debt and equity, what is the required documentation, how to present to a bank or financial institution, and loan evaluation techniques. “BCF Loan programs” portion of the presentation will provide insight to all BCF loan programs and how to apply for a loan.

♦ What Does It Take to Win?

Federal contracting expert Judy Bradt leads this masterclass in navigating the federal marketplace. In this workshop, participants will learn how to tell if federal contract opportunities are a good fit for their business and what kind of resources they’ll need to invest in to successfully bring home the wins. From the “Ten R’s You Need to Know” to helpful tips and insight into what comes next, Judy’s expertise will help your business succeed in the federal arena.

Meet Our Speakers

Terrence Clark

President and CEO – New York and New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council

Terrence Clark leads the way forward for staff and members of The Council community by providing oversight and guidance in relation to The Council’s goals and objectives. Prior to this position, he served as the Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Business Development for the National Urban League, where he was responsible for the management of all small business and entrepreneurship programs. Mr. Clark also served as the Senior Vice President of Knowledge Sharing for the Opportunity Finance Network, where he was responsible for community development for financial institutions nationwide.

In addition to serving on The Council’s board, Mr. Clark is proud to sit as a board member for TruFund Financial Services and the Supplier Diversity Development Council of New Jersey. He also sits on the Economic Impact Committee of Stonehenge Capital and on the Minority and Women Business Enterprise Advisory Councils for the NYC Comptroller and the NYS Governor. In 2021, he was named as one of the Notable Black Leaders and Executives by Crain’s New York.

Angela Guzman

Senior Vice President, Head of Supplier Diversity (Americas) – dentsu International

Angela M. Guzman is responsible for developing partnerships that will promote the use of diverse owned businesses across Canada, the U.S. and LATAM. Guzman serves as a lead liaison between dentsu, the diverse supplier community, and diverse supplier advocacy groups. She brings 19 years of media-industry experience to the role and has worked on all sides of the business, including financial planning and analysis, risk management and diversity for on-air and behind-the camera. Prior to joining dentsu, Angela served as the Senior Director of Supplier Diversity & Insights at Comcast NBCUniversal where she ran the company-wide supplier diversity program for the media and theme parks lines of business. In 2017, she launched the NBCUniversal EDGE Accelerator program; the industry’s first-ever business accelerator geared toward the development of and investment in diverse-owned companies specializing in the media and entertainment industry. She believes strongly in creativity, collaboration and is passionate about creating access and driving social change. Angela currently serves as the Chair of the NY&NJ Minority Supplier Development Council’s Board of Directors and is an active member of the Aspen Institutes Latinos & Society program. She studied Business Administration at the City University of New York, majoring in Finance and recently completed a post-graduate program for data science at Harvard University. Angela resides in Queens, NY with her two sons.

Mark Prince

Senior Vice President, Economic Empowerment – dentsu Media

Mark A. Prince, Jr. leads dentsu’s economic empowerment offering, which combats inequities within the media planning and investment process and provides opportunities for brands to increase activity with Black-owned and diverse-owned media companies. In this role, Mr. Prince drives the development and management of inclusive business practices that aim to shift media dollars evenly to create a more equitable supply chain. Mark has more than 20 years of experience in developing and managing relationships to achieve awareness and deliver business opportunities to diverse owned media partners. Prior to joining dentsu, Mark served as Managing Partner and EVP Media Services at Professional Partnering Solutions, Inc. – a leader in diversity solutions for advertising, marketing, media, and technology. In this role, Mark led the supplier diversity initiatives on behalf of AT&T at MEC and Hearts & Sciences. Before that, Mark spent a big part of his career in local media as a Broadcast Buying Director at GSD&M, overseeing multiple brands for AT&T. Mark began his career at Starcom/Leo Burnett working on multiple national and local accounts. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.

Cheryl McCants

President and CEO – Impact Consulting Enterprises

For more than 30 years, and with unyielding integrity and tremendous passion for her work and the people she serves, Cheryl McCants has built Impact Consulting Enterprises into a top-tier full-service strategic communication, marketing, media buying and public relations firm. Cheryl is an award-winning professional communicator and business strategist who has been named to the National Small Business Association Leadership Council where she works to promote the interests of small businesses to policymakers in Washington, D.C. She is a board member for the Newark Regional Business Partnership and the New York & New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council, as well as chairperson for the NY & NJ Minority Business Enterprise Input Committee.

A member of the National Association of Black Journalists and Women in Public Policy, Cheryl was recently inducted into the Marquis Who’s Who, named by the global Stevie Awards as Woman of the Year – Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations, by PR News as a Top Woman in Public Relations, by The Positive Community as a Public Relations “Hidden Figures” Guru, by the National Urban Fellows Institute as a Leader of Change for America, and by Leading Women Entrepreneurs as a Top 25 Leading Women Entrepreneur in New Jersey. Cheryl holds executive education certificates in digital excellence, business development and public policy from Google, the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and the University of Kansas respectively, an MA in project management from George Washington University, an MS in Journalism from The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and two BAs from Brown University in Business Economics and Organizational Behavior & Management.

Dalsie Andrade

Director of Business Development – NYS Division of Minority and Women’s Business Development (DMWBD)

In her role, Dalsie implements strategies and opportunities to provide valuable information and resources to MWBEs with the goal of aiding in their participation and success in NYS government contracting. Prior to joining DMWBD, Dalsie cultivated and managed employer relationships in the private and public sectors to increase the number of quality internship and job opportunities for youth across the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) workforce portfolio. Dalsie has over 10 years of experience in business development, workforce development, program management, and partnership building. She also takes special interest in diversity and systemic barriers to employment. Dalsie received a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the New York University Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Boston College. 

Jermaine Pharmes

Director, Diversity and Business Development – NJEDA

Jermaine Pharmes leads the development and implementation of competitive efforts to increase the active involvement of small, minority, women, veteran, disadvantaged and LGBTQ owned businesses in the NJEDA’s procurements. Prior to joining NJEDA, Jermaine was Director of the Hudson County Office of Business Opportunity. Mr. Pharmes also served as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Project Manager for NJ Transit performing community outreach, certification and contract compliance services for the Hudson Bergen Light Rail Project. He also served as MBE Compliance Manager for NYNJMSDC and as a Project Manager for the New Tappan Zee Bridge project. Mr. Pharmes holds degrees in Criminal Justice, Public Administration and Management respectively.

Carla Morrison

Small Business Liaison – NJEDA

Carla Morrison joined the New Jersey Economic Development Authority two years ago as a Small Business Liaison for Central NJ. Before joining NJEDA, Morrison was in Banking and Finance for twenty years. She has also been an entrepreneur over the span of twenty years owning a Preschool, children’s transportation company as well as a Subway Franchise. Morrison graduated from Rutgers University and is currently pursuing her Masters in Legal Studies at Trinity Law School.

Darryl Spence

Senior Business Development Officer – NJEDA

In his role at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority Darryl Spence supports the Community Development/ Small Business Services group partnering with businesses, financial organizations, and Community Development Financial Institutions. Mr. Spence specializes in working with companies who may seek NJEDA’s support through its various programs. Mr. Spence has 40 years of experience working in the financial services area. Mr. Spence enjoys family, walking, golf and is a cyber security enthusiast.

Marlon Samuels

VP of Business Development – Pursuit

Marlon has spent more than 15 years building relationships with the small business community in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. He has helped businesses across industries secure fair and affordable loans, and access educational resources to keep them growing. At Pursuit, Marlon’s role as Vice President of Business Development focuses on building connections with bank partners and community groups to expand Pursuit’s reach in the business community. He also delivers community development to LMI markets and leverages his skills and experience in professional networking through local chambers of commerce, city agencies, and small business development centers.

Marlon holds the belief that small businesses are the backbone of the American economy. That belief has led to his drive and focus to work closely with the individual business owner, knowing that their success will ultimately extend to the broader community in the form of new employment opportunities, economic development, and positive change.

Jacqueline Schinnerer

Founder and CEO, Commercial Capital Solutions

After twenty years in commercial banking, Jacqueline Schinnerer started Commercial Capital Solutions, LLC. Jacqueline was a Senior Vice President specializing in business development, credit structuring, relationship management and leadership. She comes from a family of entrepreneurs and has a passion for helping businesses succeed, grow and plan for what’s next. Jacqueline has been a longtime advocate for women owned businesses and executives.

Vijay Mehta

Co-Founder – Arkview Capital

As a Co-founder of Arkview Capital, Vijay Mehta seeks to provide capital to minority-certified companies who lack resources to scale. Diversity is a commitment for Mr. Metha, who is actively involved as a member of the NYNJMSDC Input Committee, Harvard Business School Club of New York Racial Equity Committee, Association of Corporate Growth DE&I Committee, and the Genesis Bank DE&I Advisory Board. Prior to founding Arkview, he was a Managing Director at Ziff Brothers Investments (ZBI), where he served as a member of the Investment Committee. Vijay graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Huntsman Program in International Studies & Business and earned an MBA from the Harvard Business School. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and three kids.

Dr. Fred McKinney

Co-Founder and Principal – BJM Solutions, LLC

Dr. Fred McKinney earned his Ph.D. in economics from Yale University in 1983. With over 30 years of experience working with MBEs and large data sets, he has served as a consultant to dozens of Fortune 500 companies in the area of supplier diversity. Dr. McKinney has also worked with over 100 diverse business owners on developing winning marketing and operational strategies, published four books on supplier diversity and written over 300 articles and editorials. In 2017, the U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency presented McKinney with the Ronald H. Brown Leadership Award for his work supporting minority businesses. Most recently, Dr. Fred McKinney served as the Carlton Highsmith Chair for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Director at the Peoples Bank Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Quinnipiac University School of Business from 2018-2021. 

Michael Garner

Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer – The MTA

Michael J. Garner, MBA, is a champion of the diversity market, making it his personal and professional mission to create a more diverse business industry.  By creating new programming, Mr. Garner and his teams have been responsible for more than $17.3 Billion in payments made to New York State/City Minority and Women-owned Businesses (MWBEs). Since his arrival Mr. Garner and his team have designed and implemented workforce strategies which have increased ethnic minority and women hires by 20% which has further diversified the MTA’s 70,000 plus employee workforce. In July of 021, Michael was selected by Crain’s New York Business, as “Top Diversity and Inclusion Officer of the Year.

Christine Norman

Assistant Deputy Chief, Supplier Diversity – Procurement – The MTA

Christine Norman joined MTA Procurement almost five years ago, where she works to ensure the meaningful participation of M/WBE, SDVOB and DBEs, in Procurement’s consolidation efforts. Prior to joining the MTA, Christine was employed with the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) as the MWBE Officer for Citywide Procurement. She has managed the administration of MWBE programs for private and public sectors and is an experienced procurement professional specializing in leveraging opportunities for a more diverse supply base. With more than 18 years of experience, her background includes setting goals for subcontracting construction and professional services, monitoring utilization, maximizing discretionary purchasing opportunities, as well as procurement and compliance training.

Gary Davis

Small Business Development Trainer – The MTA

Gary Davis has over 22 years of experience as both a project and area operations manager. Prior to joining the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, as a Training Coordinator for the agency’s premier Small Business Development Program, he was employed with the New York Telephone Company where he specialized in working with larger firms. Mr. Davis has also been employed with the Lockheed Martin Corporation with a focus on energy efficient projects. He holds a BA in Business from Bowie State University as well as an MPA from George Washington University. 

Eric Alemany

Senior Director, Supplier Relationship Management – New York Power Authority (NYPA)

As the Senior Director of Supplier Relationship Management in the Strategic Supply Management department, Mr. Alemany manages relationships with key and diverse suppliers to foster long-term involvement and joint value creation. Mr. Alemany is responsible for driving ongoing improvements within the supply chain around cost, quality, delivery, risk, and innovation while developing opportunities for diversification among its suppliers. Alemany also oversees the supplier performance through mitigating operational and financial risk, enabling process excellence and identifying and executing against NYPA’s strategic vision.

Alyson Danielewicz

Supplier Diversity Program Manager – New York Power Authority (NYPA)

In her role at the New York Power Authority, Alyson Danielewicz is responsible for partnering with Minority and Women Owned Business, Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Business and Small/Local Business to develop and execute programs that are economically viable and socially equitable. creased opportunities, and elevated spend for minority-, women-, and veteran-owned businesses, and align to statewide goals while promoting connectivity between New York Power Authority and the local communities.

Frank Thompson

Frank Thompson has extensive experience working with business leadership, stakeholders and category buying leads to ensure efficient business processes that identify diverse suppliers to drive innovation, meet key customer requirements, and improve brand loyalty and reputation. Frank’s various roles in Finance and IT allowed him to build strong professional business relationships with all levels of management which enabled him to understand how best to help diverse suppliers tap into corporate supply chain strategies. As a result, Frank gained the tools to drive and build stronger supplier diversity programs across organizations.

Frank was employed by Mondelez Int’l for 25 years in various areas of the business including SOX, Compliance, Audit, Procurement and Supplier Diversity. Frank is presently providing consulting on various business competencies including Procurement, Compliance and Diversity/Equity expansion.

Vickie Hsi

Director and US Head of Indirect Procurement – Galderma

Vickie has over 17 years of category management and procurement experience from Procter & Gamble, Kraft Foods, and Revlon establishing and implementing category strategies and corporate-wide procurement transformation to drive significant and sustainable value. In addition to her corporate experience, Vickie has a strong management consulting track record helping Fortune 500 companies improve their sourcing operations to deliver bottom line results. During her tenure at Kraft Foods, Vickie spearheaded Kraft’s Supplier Diversity program, winning the Corporation of the Year award with Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council and has since developed a keen passion in equipping MBEs and WBEs to succeed in working with Corporations. Vickie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Boston University, and Master’s degree in Communication from Columbia University.

Sahra S. Halpern

President – Business Consortium Fund

Sahra S. Halpern has created innovative, mission-driven lending programs throughout her career in community development finance. She is responsible for driving BCF toward greater impact in the communities we serve by expanding our capital reach to business owners of color. Ms. Halpern started her career in international micro-finance before spending 15 years at Charles Schwab Bank in the Community Development Group, which she helped establish and grow. Subsequently, Ms. Halpern led strategic lending initiatives at Capital Impact Partners, a national community development financial institution, where she led structured fund development and lending strategy. Ms. Halpern earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of California, Davis – Graduate School of Management and also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wesleyan University.

Ruben Rodriguez

Senior Vice President and Chief Lending Officer – Business Consortium Fund

Ruben Rodriguez has over 30 years of in-depth knowledge of finance and small business lending with JPMorgan Chase Bank, Bank of America, and Hudson Valley Bank. He joined the Business Consortium Fund in May 2012, managing the organization’s loan portfolio, including loan underwriting. Before joining the BCF, Ruben managed the loan portfolio for Seedco Financial Services, Inc., a national non-profit organization that provides affordable capital, hands-on business assistance and solutions to small businesses, non-profit organizations, and real estate developers. Ruben received his BA degree in Economics from Lehman College in the Bronx in 1989.

Judy Bradt

CEO – Summit Insight

Judy Bradt brings over 34 years as an expert not just in federal contracting but also in the biggest challenge so many GovCons face on their road to their goals: how to build the relationships that we need to succeed with federal buyers. As consultant, speaker, and author, she’s helped thousands of established businesses—small, mid-tier and large—find their fast track to success in the federal arena with her proprietary “Players and Layers Methodology”. 

Ying McGuire

President & CEO – NMSDC

Ying McGuire is the CEO & President of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), America’s most influential and successful minority business development organization. This year, NMSDC celebrates 50 years of supporting the economic development of more than 15,000 certified minority business enterprises (MBEs) and over 1,500 Corporate Members.

Prior to her appointment at NMSDC, Ms. McGuire served as the Global Vice President at Technology Integration Group (TIG), an NMSDC certified minority owned technology company with 25 offices in the US, China, Canada, and a global partner network covering 4 continents. As a corporate leader at Dell Technologies, a Fortune 500 company, she built and sustained high impact global initiatives across many functions and mentored numerous entrepreneurs and CEOs.

Ms. McGuire holds a variety of leadership roles in the community. In 2016, she was appointed by the United States Secretary of Commerce to the United States Investment Advisory Council. She served as the first woman chair of an advisory board of the International Trade Center (ITC), a joint agency of the United Nations and WTO based in Switzerland. Ms. McGuire is a founding board member of the Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce (GAACC) and a board of advisor of the George H.W. Bush Foundation for U.S.-China Relations. In 2021, Ms. McGuire was appointed to the Council of Underserved Communities (CUC) which is tasked with providing advice, ideas and opinions on SBA programs and services and issues of interest to small businesses in underserved communities.

During her career, Ms. McGuire has been acknowledged for her work as an advocate for supplier diversity. She’s been named one of the “Twenty-Five Influential Women in Business” by MEA Magazine; “America’s Top Diversity Advocate” by DiversityBusiness.com; and “Best of the Decade” by Minority Business USA. Ms. McGuire was a featured speaker at many regional, national and international conferences including the World Export Forum.

Born and raised in China, Ms. McGuire immigrated to the U.S. with one suitcase and $1,000 to pursue her American dream. She received a Masters’ degree in Business Administration of International Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management in Phoenix, Arizona.

MatchMaker Sessions

Seize this opportunity to put your best foot forward!  The purpose of these sessions is to bring buyers and suppliers together to give them a chance to meet and exchange their needs and offerings. 

How it works:

  • You must be registered for the Virtual Business Opportunity Exchange in order to participate
  • Buyers will be matched with MBE suppliers based upon business categories and scope of services for current or future opportunities. 
  • Registration does not guarantee a one-on-one meeting with a buyer, as spots are limited. Sessions are 10 minutes long, with 5-minute intervals between each. 

Biz Connect Lounge

Use this virtual meeting space to network with fellow conference attendees. Send messages, set up meetings, or share insights throughout the entire 2-day event.

The Biz Connect Lounge is open to all event attendees from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM each day.

View Our Sponsors

Event Sponsors

2022 Annual Sponsors

2022 Spring BOE Sponsor Parade