The New York & New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council held two annual symposiums for its certified Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) and Corporate Members. These Council-signature events allowed members to get an in-depth look into the ins and outs of a given industry, as told by professional experts in that business field. These industry-specific information sessions are designed to provide both speakers and attendees a chance to learn from each other through a more interactive program, compared to rigid presentations with a strict speaker-listener dichotomy.


Healthcare Symposium, September 12, 2017 – MBEs and Corporate Members eager to learn about Healthcare gathered at Westchester Medical Center on September 12th in Valhalla, New York.


The event featured a panel discussion titled the “State of the Industry,” moderated by Mecca E. Santana, VP of Diversity and Community Relations at the Westchester Medical Center Health Network. Panel participants included Allen Esses, Chief Supply Chain Officer of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network; Al Limaye, President of Logistic Solutions, Inc.; and Rafael Martinez, President & CEO of MBE Capital. Attendees were able to ask questions after the panel discussion and had the opportunity to informally introduce themselves to the panel participants during the short break following the program.


Following the panel was a lunch and matchmaking session, where MBEs scheduled appointments with Corporate Members ahead of time to meet one-on-one and discuss supplier diversity opportunities.


Sustainability Symposium, October 3, 2017 – Less than a month after Healthcare was the Sustainability Symposium, hosted by Citi in downtown Manhattan.


This jam-packed event included three speakers and two panels. Kicking off the event was Dr. Anahita Williamson of the US Environmental Protection Agency with her presentation questioning the notion, “Sustainability: One Size Fits All?” Following her presentation was a panel discussion led by Citi’s I. Javette Hines, titled “How Sustainability is Viewed by Different Corporations.” Participants included Ariel Meyerstein of Citi, Jason Kobeda of Major League Baseball, and Michael Dohnert of the New York Mets. Following a short break was George Hodge of CDP North America, providing a basic overview of Sustainability through his presentation, “Sustainability: The Basics for your Business.”


They keynote speaker, George Bandy of Mohawk Industries, presented his speech during the lunch period. Bandy discussed the importance of long-term business planning, and stressed how big a role millennials will come to play in the work force in a few years time. The last program for the event was a panel discussion led by Wendy Garcia from the Office of the New York City Comptroller. Discussing “Access to Capital for your Innovative Business” was Steve Cohen of Excelsior Growth Fund and Rafael Martinez of MBE Capital Partners.


Attendees had ample opportunity to network with one another before, after, and during the event.


About the New York & New Jersey MSDC

The New York & New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc. (The Council), established in 1973, is a vital link between major corporations and minority business enterprises (MBEs). Each year, member corporations have reported billions of dollars spent with Council-certified Minority Business Enterprises. Serving the New York and New Jersey region, The Council is one of the 23 regional affiliates of the National Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc. (NMSDC).




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