Tag: MBE Spotlight

Keep up-to-date with what’s happening in the supply chain diversity space both nationally, regionally, and locally as well as get the latest NYNJMSDC news.

MBE Spotlight: Ezra Salami

Ezra Salami specializes in business law-related matters spanning a business’s entire life cycle, namely corporate formation and governance, investment agreements, and contractual agreements. On top of his business law expertise, clients who work with Ezra gain first-hand exposure to years’ worth of small to mid-sized commercial litigation experience, adding an invaluable perspective on the real-world implications of poorly written contracts and how to avoid them. 

Before Ezra founded the Firm, Ezra Law, he practiced law on both sides, advocating for both plaintiffs and defendants at several high-stakes litigation law firms in New York City and, he even served as a judicial law clerk. Throughout his career, he’s also taken steps to expand his background by studying business internationally and practicing law abroad. This background affords him, and more importantly, his clients, the benefit of approaching each legal issue with a unique and layered perspective.  Against this backdrop of knowledge and capabilities, Ezra Law was founded to help bring a diversified voice to the entrepreneurial and corporate landscape.   

Ezra graduated from Fordham University School of Law after completing his undergraduate degree in Business Administration at Morehouse College, where he took on some of his studies abroad in the international financial capital of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He is licensed to practice in New York federal and state courts 

During his free time, you can find Ezra taking golf too seriously, offering his unsolicited opinions on movies and television shows, and supporting local mom-and-pop restaurants (and that’s not just because he cannot cook to save his life). 

About Ezra Law

Running a business can be daunting –  Let us do the leg(al) work! We are a mission-driven, nimble, commercial litigation law firm based in New York, NY. We are equipped to quickly respond to the varying twists and turns that startup founders and business owners encounter. We address our clients’ various legal endeavors, throughout the entire business life cycle, with expert thought, care, and consistency from start to finish.

They say “business is business and never personal,” but we disagree!  As entrepreneurs ourselves, we know that your dreams are personal, and sharing them with the world through your venture is an investment you don’t (and shouldn’t) take lightly. Our well-versed counsel is here to help you navigate the entrepreneurial journey with peace of mind as you transition and grow. 

What does being a minority business, or supporting minority businesses, mean to you?

Offering legal support to minority-owned businesses with the aim of helping to create a more self-reliant, self-referring, diverse business ecosystem is our north star and is the essence of our law firm. 

How has being certified with the NMSDC helped your business?

Yes, the MBE2MBE Tool is a game-changer! Its First-in-class!

For more information on Ezra Law, please visit: ezralaw.co or follow them on their social media: LinkedIn & Instagram

MBE Spotlight: Amy (Archana) Banala

Amy Banala is the proud owner of a minority woman-owned business called Praxis Consultants based in New Jersey. As a woman coming from an underrepresented community, she has harnessed her entrepreneurial spirit to create an IT service solutions company that serves the needs of their customers in various industries. 

Despite facing numerous challenges, Amy has been running this company since 2019, continuously acquiring contracts–even during the pandemic. During COVID, Amy dealt with a lot of difficult situations, especially with the number of people losing their jobs. But her true character shined through during this time as she helped people financially so they were still able to take care of their families.

About your company

Praxis Consultants is a Minority Woman Owned business, offering professional IT services such as cloud services, IT staff augmentation, cyber security consulting, business intelligence, and data analyst. Their strength is sourcing talented resources to meet your goals in a quick turnaround time, and by helping you stay in control of your timeline, expectations, and budgeting. With Praxis IT staff augmentation services, you can contract or hire permanently from our company.

Praxis Consultants brings a fresh perspective to the industry by leveraging their diverse experiences to drive creativity and problem-solving. Their dedication to quality and their values of inclusivity and equality shines through in everything they do.

At Praxis, they are a team of tech experts, obsessed with technology innovation and creating custom solutions for you by making sure they take your business to the next level. Their expertise is placing talented resources and making them available to their esteemed clients across all domains. 

By choosing to support Praxis Consultants, you are not only gaining access to their exceptional services but also becoming a part of their mission to promote diversity and empower underrepresented voices in the business landscape. You will have the most in-demand skills, budget-friendly resources, and a provider with deep experience in making projects happen on time. At Praxis, they create tailored solutions, from cybersecurity to data backup and disaster recovery – their team of IT experts can help you with any technology you need and lead you through any technology crisis. They strive to be competitive in the digital world and use AI tools to improve their operational goals.

What does being a minority business, or supporting minority businesses, mean to you?

Minority businesses have an opportunity for federal grants and contracting opportunities that corporations offer. Some corporations are willing to invest in entrepreneurial growth.

I believe in supporting minority businesses as it helps create jobs and opportunities. 

How has being certified with the NMSDC helped your business?

I was certified a month ago and waiting for some contracts to materialize. I am looking forward to the benefits of NMSDC certification as an MBE.

What is one thing you wish you had known when you were starting out in your career?

I wish I knew more about the grants available to women and minority-owned businesses. They truly do offer a helping hand with business operations. 

I also wish I knew to not be scared of failure. Staying positive in situations has helped me to succeed in different aspects of my life and business.

For more information on Praxis Consultants, please visit: praxisconsultantsinc.com or follow them on their social media: LinkedIn.

MBE Spotlight: Ashish Garg

Ashish Garg started his company, Net2Source, at the age of 23 by taking out a personal loan. He approached 15 banks to gather a total of $100k in loans and started operations in India with five employees, zero clients, and a 500 square foot office. His company is now in 32 countries and is a recognized award winning market leader in Global Workforce Solutions. He started as a college dropout with a dream of becoming a game changer in the staffing world and is now managing a global company with several others like N2S Healthcare, N2S Industrial, and N2S Global Workforce Solutions in addition to Net2Source. 

He believes in his vision, employees, and strategy to shape the future of Workforce Management. His motto is to be the best in whatever they do. He has been a role model for many and his “never say never” spirit allows him to uphold integrity in everything he does.  He believes in doing things differently and is very unconventional in his business strategy and approach. 

Ashish has also invested in providing help where he can by setting up NGOs like Aashayein for Elderly and underprivileged kids and orphans. He has been a member of Community Seva, Feed the Need, and initiated the We Support Women campaign to promote women hiring and career advancement. 

He is unstoppable and is a role model to many who believe in the motto – The Sky is the Limit.

About your company

Net2Source has made it to the SIA’s Largest US Staffing Firms 2023 list (5 years in a row).  They have global locations in 32 countries across North America, Latin America, EMEA, APAC, and ANZ specializing in Contingent Labor, Direct Hiring, Payroll Management, RPO, SOW, and Nearshore/Offshore services

What does being a minority business, or supporting minority businesses, mean to you?

Being a minority business or supporting minority businesses holds a unique significance for an Indian entrepreneur like me who has always been an avid risk taker with an unconventional approach.

Being a minority business for me means:

  • Breaking Norms: Challenging the status quo and defying traditional expectations in a business landscape dominated by conventional practices. As an entrepreneur, I see being a minority as an opportunity to disrupt industries, redefine norms, and introduce fresh perspectives.
  • Innovation: Recognizing that diversity of thought and experience often leads to innovation. I believe in leveraging their unique background and perspectives to create novel solutions and products that cater to underrepresented markets or address unmet needs.
  • Resilience: Embracing challenges and setbacks as an inherent part of their journey. I understand that navigating uncharted territories requires resilience and determination, traits that are often developed through overcoming the adversity faced as a minority entrepreneur.
  • Empowerment: Viewing success as a means to empower others from similar backgrounds. 
  • Community Impact: Recognizing the potential of their business to uplift and support minority communities. My company actively seeks to create jobs, provide opportunities for skill development, and contribute to the economic growth of underserved areas.
  • Global Perspective: Embracing a global outlook, and understanding that unconventional ideas can transcend cultural boundaries and have a broader impact. 

Supporting minority businesses, from my perspective means;

  • Promoting Diversity: Valuing diversity as a driver of innovation and progress. I recognize that supporting minority businesses contributes to a more inclusive and dynamic business ecosystem.
  • Economic Empowerment: Acknowledging that supporting minority businesses can uplift marginalized communities, promote economic self-sufficiency, and reduce disparities in wealth and opportunity.
  • Fostering Innovation: Believing that diverse perspectives lead to more creative and innovative solutions. I support minority businesses as a way to encourage fresh ideas and unique approaches.
  • Driving Social Change: Understanding that backing minority businesses aligns with broader social and economic goals of reducing inequality and promoting social justice.
  • Networking and Collaboration: Seeing the value of building a network of diverse entrepreneurs and thought leaders. I support minority businesses to foster collaborations that can lead to mutually beneficial partnerships and ventures.

Being a minority business owner and supporting minority businesses embody a powerful combination of empowerment, innovation, resilience, and the potential to drive meaningful change in both business and society.

How has being certified with the NMSDC helped your business?

Our certification with the NMSDC has helped us in so many ways:

  • Access to Corporate Contracts: NMSDC certification provides access to a network of major corporations that prioritize supplier diversity. Many large companies have supplier diversity programs and initiatives aimed at sourcing goods and services from certified minority-owned businesses, including staffing services. This opens doors to potential contracts and partnerships that might not have been accessible otherwise.
  • Business Opportunities: Certification has led to increased visibility and recognition within the business community. This exposure results in new business opportunities and client relationships.
  • Competitive Advantage: Being NMSDC-certified sets a staffing firm apart from competitors, demonstrating a commitment to diversity and inclusion. This can be particularly appealing to clients who value supplier diversity and are seeking to align their business practices with social and economic goals.
  • Networking and Relationship Building: Certification provides opportunities for networking and relationship building with other NMSDC-certified businesses, corporations, and organizations. This can lead to collaborations, partnerships, and knowledge-sharing that enhance business growth and development.
  • Credibility and Trust: NMSDC certification is a recognized symbol of credibility and trust. It signifies that a staffing firm has met certain criteria and standards, which can instill confidence in potential clients and partners.
  • Visibility in NMSDC Events: NMSDC organizes events, conferences, and trade shows that provide certified businesses with opportunities to showcase their services and connect with potential clients, partners, and industry leaders.
  • Advocacy and Support: Being part of the NMSDC community means having an advocate for the interests of minority-owned businesses. The organization provides guidance, support, and representation on issues that impact minority entrepreneurs.
What is one thing you wish you had known when you were starting out in your career?

Experience is the Best Teacher – I am a firm believer in the fact that no matter how brilliant your mind or strategy is, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team. If everyone is moving forward together, success will take care of itself. With time, I have realized even more that loyal, sincere, responsible, and hardworking employees are rare to find. And if you have found them, then keep them. Loyalty cannot be bought, it has to be earned and a degree does not define an individual’s merit alone, it’s the passion and the go-getter spirit that does.

For more information on Net2Source, please visit: net2source.com or follow them on their social media: LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

MBE Spotlight: Ajeta Sinha

Coming from a small town in India and migrating to the US in 2017, Ajeta Sinha, or AJ, has moved her way through leadership roles at Net2Source. When she first joined the company, she was the first woman in their leadership team. Now, after 8 and a half years with the company, she has been promoted to the President of Net2Source. In this role, she is responsible for setting up and growing global businesses and managing a team of 2,000+ indirectly.

Through her work at Net2Source, AJ has received countless awards and recognition, both internally and externally, for her outstanding performance and success. It’s a true testament to the dedication, honesty, and sincerity that she puts into every aspect of her work.

Growing up, AJ was heavily influenced by the work ethic of her mother. She saw her as a superhero in their house who managed to be a homemaker and still take out time for her NGO. Her mother knew the importance of getting work done and AJ took inspiration from how much her mom could do with the limited resources that they had in India. In addition, she was also fascinated and inspired by the Google founders who took the world by storm with their inventions, and it led to her always looking for the answers in the problem itself. 

Since childhood, her parents always told her, “Whatever you do in life, always give it your best self, because if you do so, the results will speak for themselves.” AJ was not born into luxury and didn’t excel in academics either, but she used the skills she saw from her mother and was consistent, hardworking, and resilient. Once she started working, she faced massive resistance at her workplace from her male colleagues and had to prove herself every day to make her presence felt. She kept pushing and working hard and proved to herself and her colleagues just how much she was capable of. 

About Net2Source

Net2source (N2S) was formed in 2007 and they specialize in global workforce solutions in 32 countries. Net2Source is a certified-MBE company and is recognized as one of the largest and fastest IT staffing companies in North America for the last 3 years. They specialize in contingent hiring, full-time, RPO, EOR, SOW, and Nearshore/co-shoring services.

What does being a minority business, or supporting minority businesses, mean to you?

Being a minority business means facing unique challenges and barriers that can limit access to resources, opportunities, and capital. It often involves overcoming systemic inequalities and biases that exist in the business world. Supporting minority businesses involves intentionally and actively promoting their growth, sustainability, and success. This support can take various forms, such as purchasing goods and services from minority-owned businesses, investing in their ventures, mentoring and providing guidance, advocating for equitable policies and legislation, or creating inclusive business environments.

Supporting minority businesses is crucial for fostering diversity, inclusion, and economic empowerment. It helps address historical and ongoing disparities by providing opportunities for marginalized communities to participate fully in the economy, build wealth, and create jobs. By supporting and promoting diversity in entrepreneurship, we can encourage innovation, stimulate economic growth, and contribute to a more equitable society.

How has being certified with the NMSDC helped your business?

We are proud to be certified by NMSDC as it has opened floodgates of opportunities for us as an organization and given us a platform to shine.

What is one thing you wish you had known when you were starting out in your career?

One thing that many women of color like me face when starting out in their careers is the potential for encountering biases and stereotypes that can affect their opportunities for advancement and recognition. It is important to be aware that these biases exist and to develop strategies for overcoming them. I wish I had known the importance of having sponsors and mentors, building networks, finding your voice in a room full of opportunities, and cultivating resilience. As a woman of color, nothing is impossible, and your appearance doesn’t define you – your grit does.

For more information on Net2Source, please visit: net2source.com or follow them on their social media: LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

MBE Spotlight: Walker SCM

Emmett Walker, CEO of Walker SCM, joined the Council in 1989. Since joining, he has built long-standing relationships that have been an integral part of his success. In fact, after more than three decades at the Council—two of which he served as the Chair of the MBE Input Committee (MBEIC) (2013 to 2015)—Emmett Walker is still an avid supporter and made the generous choice to become our VIP Sponsor for our 50th Anniversary year. 

As a long-standing member and supporter of the Council, Walker SCM embodies the mission of growing and developing minority businesses. Through his years of experience in business Emmett has learned many life lessons. One of them is the belief that the measure of one’s success is not just based solely on professional accomplishments, but is a compilation of how you live your life, being a good role model, mentoring and sharing the challenges and obstacles you have faced. 

About your company

Walker SCM was started at the kitchen table by Emmett and Betty Walker in 1989. Throughout the growth of the company, they have continued to embody and cultivate a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion. Walker feels it is paramount to encourage and motivate all of their employees for the betterment of their self-development, the company, and their customers. The family-oriented culture at Walker SCM is who they are and why employees have built a career with them. This has led to strong customer service and relationships that have allowed Walker’s growth to continue to gain momentum. Because of Walker’s vision and values surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion, the company strengthens its access to top talent, increases the quality of decision making by adding diverse perspectives, and enhances employee engagement and satisfaction.

The company thrives on the powerful combination of its people, technology, customer focus, and continuous improvement mindset. Walker feels its people are the heart and soul of their organization, bringing their diverse skills, expertise, and passion together to drive success. They are the driving force behind innovative solutions, ensuring that Walker stays at the forefront of technological supply chain advancements. The company’s cutting-edge technology empowers them to deliver exceptional solutions to their customers, therefore, exceeding customer expectations. With a strong customer focus, Walker listens attentively, anticipates their needs, and tailors solutions accordingly. Moreover, their commitment to a continuous improvement mindset fosters a culture of learning, adaptation, and innovation. By embracing change and striving for excellence, Walker SCM constantly refines its processes, enhances efficiency, and maintains a competitive edge. 

Walker SCM offers a wealth of knowledge in all facets of global transportation, logistics optimization and supply chain integration. They have a global reach, operating directly and through partnerships in over 25 countries worldwide. Today, their customers include a diverse mix of multinational and Fortune 500 companies. 

Together, their people, technology, customer focus, and continuous improvement mindset has allowed them to form the foundation of their company’s exceptional performance and long-term growth.

Walker specializes in the following services:
  • Air & Ocean Freight Forwarding
  • Customs Brokerage 
  • Warehousing & Distribution
  • Procurement
  • Order Fulfillment
  • Assembly & Contract Packaging
  • Kitting & Sequencing

What does being a minority business, or supporting minority businesses, mean to you?

Being a minority business and supporting minority businesses holds significant meaning to me. It signifies a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. As a minority business, it means overcoming obstacles, breaking down barriers, and thriving in an environment that may not always be inclusive. It represents resilience, innovation, and the ability to succeed against all odds. 

Supporting minority businesses means actively leveling the playing field, fostering economic growth, and empowering underrepresented communities. It involves recognizing and valuing the unique perspectives, talents, and contributions of minority entrepreneurs. Ultimately, being a minority business or supporting one means championing equity, fairness, and creating a society where everyone has a fair chance to succeed and prosper.

How has being certified with the NMSDC helped your business?

The NYNJMSDC and NMSDC were where I met and built supplier and corporate relationships. The local and national levels of the organization forge a pathway for minority suppliers and corporations to not only work together but to hear each other thus laying the foundation for partnerships to grow over the years. Many of Walker’s top customers, which are Fortune 500 companies, are part of NMSDC and those relationships were grown through the organization.

What is one thing you wish you had known when you were starting out in your career?

One thing I wish I knew before starting my career is the importance of building a strong professional network. While academic achievements and technical skills are crucial, establishing meaningful connections with colleagues, mentors, and industry professionals can significantly impact one’s career trajectory and business opportunities. Networking opens doors to new opportunities, provides valuable insights, and allows for personal growth through shared experiences and knowledge exchange. By investing time and effort into fostering relationships within my field, I could have gained valuable guidance, access to opportunities, and a supportive community that could have helped propel my business forward.

For more information on Walker SCM, please visit: walkerscm.com or follow them on LinkedIn.

MBE Spotlight: Bruce Browning

“Where’s Bruce?”

A common phrase Bruce Browning’s former manager used to ask his colleagues at the Japanese bank he worked at after undergraduate school. He was working as a municipal bond analyst that helped to calculate the likelihood of a municipality defaulting on their municipal bonds. While he valued this position, it wasn’t the right fit for him. After the first few weeks of working there, he found himself wandering around to chat with folks at the bank, taking advantage of “10-minute breaks” just about every hour while looking for escapes from his work. Browning and his coworkers became very used to hearing the phrase, “Where’s Bruce?” 

At the time, his parents had a commercial printing business in White Plains, NY called “Magjak”, a blend of his mother’s name Maggie and his stepdad’s name Jack. Working here during the summers helped Browning find his passion for helping companies market their message and led to him making the jump to switch his career path. 

Bruce found that creativity was something that ran in his blood. His mother was a fashion designer who sold her brand to top retailers like Saks & Bloomingdale’s with features in vogue. His father was a commercial artist for top agencies like BBDO and Ogilvy, and even his sister found her creativity in jewelry, drawing, painting, or anything artistic. 

As the years went on, Magjak expanded, saw a rebrand, and in 2018 became an affiliate with Proforma and is now known as Proforma Edge. With the help of Proforma’s 200+ support staff, there is nothing that Proforma Edge can’t accomplish. With their parent companies’ support, Proforma Edge is able to provide helpful, reliable, friendly marketing and production services for their clients’ offline and online needs. Their clients all share the same opinion, that Proforma Edge is reliable, creative, and deadline driven.  

Since finding his calling, the days of hearing, “Where’s Bruce?” are long behind him now. He dedicates his time to helping other businesses and is motivated by seeing continued success with his clients. 

Today, their mission at Proforma Edge is quite simple: Help companies grow their brands using print, branded merchandise, branded apparel, and online technologies.

About Proforma Edge

Browning’s organization, Proforma Edge, is an affiliate of Proforma and a certified Minority Business Enterprise, and a certified woman-owned business. 

Since they are distributors, working with them and utilizing their extensive supply chain helps organizations achieve their ESG, Tier 1, and Tier 2 objectives. 

Proforma Edge is a friendly bunch and passionate about client service, execution, creativity, and follow-up, follow-up, follow-up! Basically, they’re the “roll up your sleeves and git ‘er done” type for all things commercial printing, direct mail, packaging, branded merchandise, and branded apparel/uniforms.

What does being a minority business, or supporting minority businesses, mean to you?

Over the years I have loved nothing more than helping companies achieve their commercial printing and promotional objectives. And now, as a registered minority-owned business, I’m excited to expand my assistance by helping organizations achieve their ESG and diversity objectives. It’s a great feeling to be able to achieve both and create winning results that ripple through our entire supply chain of providers.

What is one thing you wish you had known when you were starting out in your career?

My mom once told me this, and I wish I took it to heart earlier on: “What one can conceive and believe, one can achieve.”

For more information on Proforma Edge, please visit: theproformaedge.com or follow them on social media: LinkedIn & Instagram.

MBE Spotlight: Aakash Singh

Aakash Singh has a strong passion for technology and a background in account management leading to his success as an Account Manager at ATD Technology LLC. Through his work at ATD Technology, he was able to merge his love for technology with his expertise in managing accounts. He prides himself in being dedicated to providing exceptional service and building lasting relationships with his clients. Singh thrives on the challenges that come with understanding his clients’ needs and delivering tailored solutions to drive their success. 

As an Account Manager, Singh knows the importance of open communication, trust, and integrity when it comes to working with clients. His goal is to not only meet client expectations but exceed them by consistently delivering exceptional service and forging strong partnerships. Singh also stays knowledgeable and up to date about his products, services, and industry trends, to be able to provide valuable insights and recommendations that help his clients stay ahead of their competitors.

About ATD Technology

ATD Technology LLC is a leading technology solutions provider dedicated to empowering businesses with cutting-edge solutions and exceptional customer service. With a strong focus on innovation, they strive to deliver transformative technology solutions that drive their clients’ success.

They offer a comprehensive range of services, including software development, cloud computing, cybersecurity, data analytics, and IT consulting. Their solutions are tailored to each client to meet their unique needs and challenges to ensure optimal performance and maximum efficiency. 

What sets ATD Technology apart is its unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction. They believe in building strong relationships with their clients, understanding their goals, and working collaboratively to achieve success. They prioritize open communication and active listening to ensure they deliver solutions that align with their client’s objectives.

Their team of experts brings extensive knowledge and experience to the table, allowing them to tackle complex projects and deliver results. They combine technical expertise with a strong focus on quality, reliability, and innovation, ensuring that their clients receive best-in-class solutions.

They take pride in their reputation for excellence and their track record of delivering successful projects across various industries. Whether their clients are small startups or large enterprises, they have the expertise and resources to meet their needs and exceed expectations.

ATD Technology is dedicated to being at the forefront of technological advancements and industry trends. They continuously invest in research and development to stay ahead of the curve and provide their clients with the most up-to-date and effective solutions.

What does being a minority business, or supporting minority businesses, mean to you?

Being a minority business means being a part of a community of businesses that are owned and operated by people who have been historically marginalized. It comes with the responsibility of being a role model for other minority businesses and showing them that it is possible to succeed. It also gives us a voice for the minority community and allows us to advocate for policies that will help to create a more just and equitable society.

ATD Technology LLC is committed to supporting other minority businesses. We believe that by working together, we can create a more prosperous future for all. We provide support to minority businesses in a variety of ways. We have a dedicated team that is responsible for sourcing minority businesses for our contracts and we offer mentoring and training programs to minority entrepreneurs. We advocate for policies to help minority businesses succeed and we believe that by supporting minority businesses, we can help to create a more prosperous future for all. 

We believe that supporting minority businesses is good for business. Minority businesses are more likely to hire from within their communities, which helps to create jobs and opportunities. They are also more likely to spend their profits in their communities, which helps to stimulate the local economy.

We are proud to be a minority business and we are committed to supporting other minority businesses. We believe that by working together, we can create a more just and equitable society for all.

How has being certified with the NMSDC helped your business?

Being certified with the NMSDC has helped ATD Technology LLC in a number of ways. First, it has given us access to a wider range of opportunities. The NMSDC has a network of over 10,000 corporate members, and as a certified business, we are eligible to bid on their contracts. This has opened up new opportunities for us and has helped us to grow our business. We were awarded a contract with a Fortune 500 company that we would not have been eligible for without our certification. 

Second, being certified with the NMSDC has given us access to resources and support. The NMSDC offers a variety of programs and services to help minority businesses succeed, including training, mentoring, and networking opportunities. These resources have been invaluable to us in our growth and development.

Finally, being certified with the NMSDC has given us credibility. When potential clients see that we are certified with the NMSDC, they know that we are a legitimate business that is committed to diversity and inclusion. This has helped us to build relationships with new clients and has helped us to win new contracts.

Overall, being certified with the NMSDC has been a valuable experience for ATD Technology LLC. It has helped us to grow our business, access new resources, and build credibility. We are grateful for the support of the NMSDC and we look forward to continuing our partnership in the future.

What is one thing you wish you had known when you were starting out in your career?

If I could go back in time and give myself one piece of advice when I was starting out in my career in Talent Acquisition, it would be to focus on building relationships. Talent Acquisition is all about people, and the best way to be successful in this field is to build strong relationships with candidates, hiring managers, and other stakeholders.

I had to learn how to handle rejection early on in my position. Not every candidate you place will be a good fit for the job and it is important to handle rejection gracefully and be able to move on to the next candidate and placement. 

You also have to learn how to work with a variety of people and personalities. In Talent Acquisition, you will work with candidates from all walks of life. It’s important to be able to build relationships with people from different backgrounds and cultures and be able to understand where they are coming from to better help them and their needs.

For more information on ATD Technology LLC, please visit: atdtechonolgy.com or follow them on social media: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, & Instagram.

MBE Spotlight: Alpha Business Solutions

Alpha Business Solution’s CEO, Gene Waddy, has been a long-standing member of the New York & New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council (NYNJMSDC). In fact, Gene joined the Council in 2005 when he co-founded his first enterprise, DIVERSANT.  Since then, Gene started and grew Alpha Business Solutions into the largest African American, male-owned payroll/employer-of-record firm in the industry and has seen explosive growth since its founding in 2017. 

As the Council celebrates its 50th anniversary, we are thrilled to announce the participation of Alpha Business Solutions as a VIP sponsor for this year’s anniversary activities and events. With Alpha Business Solutions joining as a VIP Sponsor, we look forward to furthering our shared mission and fostering meaningful connections between registered minority-owned businesses and corporate partners, propelling economic growth and opportunity for all. 

About Alpha Business Solutions

Alpha Business Solutions is a vision-driven company that is built for client service and community advancement. Their focus on diversity and inclusion is less to do with hitting quotas and more to do with making their company stronger and providing a competitive advantage for their clients. Gene Waddy started this company to create a different approach to staffing and employer-of-record services that combines professional solutions and diversity in a natural and authentic way. They are a payroll, staffing, and risk mitigation service provider for contingent labor, flexible workforces, interns, misclassified 1099 employees, pre-identified talent, seasonal workers, working retirees, and more. 

What They Provide:

Payroll Solutions

  • Payroll & Benefits Administration – Payroll solutions in all 50 states and Canada that feature background checks, multi-lingual employee support, remote onboarding / off-boarding, expense reporting, ACA-compliant medical benefits, voluntary health benefits, state / local tax deduction management, and a 401K offer.
  • Employer of Record – U.S. based customer service staff, client indemnification, customizable solutions for maximum MBE spend.
  • Compliance & Reporting – state and federal compliance, independent contractor vetting, invoicing, customized reporting, EEOC compliance, ACA affordability regulations

Staffing Solutions

  • Contract Staffing – They provide dedicated Account Managers and Recruiters to work with you to identify your talent needs and requirements. They provide top talent for IT and non-IT roles.
  • Risk Mitigation – They also provide employee vetting, proper tax classification and absorb cost burden.
What does being a minority business, or supporting minority businesses, mean to you?

Being a successful minority-owned business allows me to simultaneously live the “American Dream” while being “in service” to my employees, customers, community, and other MBEs via my mentoring program UNITY.

How has being certified with the NMSDC helped your business?

I built two great businesses by leveraging the power of minority business certification embodied in the services offered by NMSDC. I am still building on business relationships I first made via the Council almost 20 years ago and I fervently believe that the best is still yet to come!

I tell my MBE mentees that NMSDC means access, NMSDC means a seat at the table, and it means you have an advocate to speak “truth to power” when it comes to the procurement strategies of major corporations.

In short, being certified allowed me to develop and grow both DIVERSANT and now ALPHA into competitive and scalable firms that solved business problems. The NMSDC was a major facet of the blueprint of success for my companies and it will continue to be for many years to come.

What is one thing you wish you had known when you were starting out in your career?

The one thing I wish I had known when I was starting out in my entrepreneurial career is that you don’t have to know everything to be a good CEO or leader – it’s exactly the opposite, the key is to focus on what you do well and then hire great people to fill the gaps. Hire people that believe in your vision and fit the hiring profile, take care of them, be in service to them, and they will in turn take your business into the stratosphere!

For more information on Alpha Business Solutions, please visit: zebrastrategies.com or follow them on social media: FacebookLinkedIn, & Twitter.

MBE Spotlight: Denene Rodney

Denene Jonielle Rodney is an award-winning researcher, graduate of business acceleration programs, and CEO of the qualitative and quantitative research design firm, Zebra Strategies. Through Zebra Strategies, Denene has worked with hundreds of companies across various industries like nonprofits, foundations, government agencies, and varying aspects of healthcare. Zebra Strategies serves these firms with the aim of engaging perspectives of differing cultures, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Known for her warmth and humor, Denene creates a safe space for people to have open conversations on any topic while maintaining a sense of easiness and respect. Since she founded Zebra Strategies in 2000, Denene’s life, mission, and message have been fully integrated into her company. From her early years, Denene saw that typically many people do not draw a great “ticket” in the “lottery of life.” Through Zebra Strategies, she has made it her goal to bring these voices to the forefront, lift them up, and make them a part of the bigger conversation, and thereby gently shaping the world into a better place.

For Denene, the goal has always been to look past the numbers. She looks at the heart of people’s stories to help understand their background and help their business. “When we research, we find where we’re the same, study why we’re different, and help find actionable solutions that help us weave a web of respect and togetherness.” Denene is an entrepreneur driven by her passion for the communities that she serves. Through her work, she realized that her community and business belong not to just one, but the culmination of so many other communities. This helped her to find common ground, see people as individuals, and marry the perspectives for real-life change.

About Zebra Strategies

Zebra Strategies is a certified woman and minority-owned, integrated, qualitative and quantitative market research and strategy firm. They specialize in marginalized, vulnerable, and hard-to-engage populations. Zebra Strategies has over 20 years of experience and over 400 client engagements across a wide range of industries like consumer products, B2B, Pharma, technology, public health, financial services, nonprofits, foundations, government agencies, and all aspects of healthcare. They focus on difficult-to-reach populations and targets and are known for their inventive recruitment and engagement strategies. Zebra Strategies offers an unparalleled approach to understanding the motivations and cultural nuances of underserved communities and the impact on products, services, social initiatives, and user experiences. Employing a nationwide staff of thirty dedicated professionals, Zebra Strategies has the ability to facilitate research in a number of languages. In each language, the team is highly skilled in engaging vulnerable populations, interpreting responses, and transforming insights into action.

Helping clients see beyond the numbers, Zebra Strategies as a whole is led by the mantra, “Be curious—but not judgmental.” It is this idea that allows the team to connect with various communities and gain insight on sensitive topics, providing safe spaces for candor and respect. 

It’s not just black and white. Zebra Strategies’ consultants are a mix of classically trained market researchers, strategists from advertising agencies, and academic researchers—resulting in a holistic portrait of marketing issues with actionable solutions. The mission is to amplify the voices of marginalized and vulnerable populations through meaningful qualitative & quantitative market research.

What does being a minority business, or supporting minority businesses, mean to you?

Being a minority business owner means I’m taking an active role in changing the landscape of what other aspiring entrepreneurs see. When trying to push forward, it’s encouraging to see other people who look like yourself making it on their own terms. Also, it means that I get to bring so many marginalized communities to the table with me when I take my seat.

How has being certified with the NMSDC helped your business?

NMSDC has brought awareness to my business and brand. Clients know who we are and trust us to serve.

What is one thing you wish you had known when you were starting gout in your career?

There will always be something to overcome and people are not always as kind and professional as you think they should be. However, when servicing with dignity and passion, the rewards are always great.

For more information on Zebra Strategies, please visit: zebrastrategies.com or follow them on social media: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, & Instagram.

MBE Spotlight: Mildred Tolentino

Mildred Tolentino has more than 20 years of experience in project and program management, design, and construction. While working at M TO Pros Development, she has been a dynamic leader in the construction industry with a “we can do it attitude”. Her current responsibilities include leading the company operations and account management. Mildred has an excellent track record for delivering complex projects within budget & schedule. Her diverse range of projects goes from the non-profit sector to commercial interiors, ground-ups, retail, residential, hospitality, industrial, healthcare and education. She prides herself in being an expert in baseline schedule development & resource allocation, financial planning, forecasting, and cost reductions strategies.

Before her work at M TO Pros Development, Mildred led the Cumming Construction New York office project management team of approximately 14 project managers and office operations. Previous to that Mildred was Vice-President of project management services at Jones Lang LaSalle. Mildred also worked at CBRE and was responsible for overseeing major renovations, new developments and new store openings for Bank of America. Previous to that Mildred worked at Leclere Assoc. Architects.

Mildred is a strong advocate for advancing women in the construction agency and serves on several boards of women-led organizations. Her passion is breaking down the barriers of entry for disadvantaged immigrants. Her uncompromising approach and advocacy are to ensure that we build young leaders through providing mentoring and leadership opportunities.

She currently resides in the New York/New Jersey area and enjoys spending time with family and friends both near and far.

About M To-Pros Development

M To-Pros is a Minority- and Woman-Owned Business certified in New York City, New York State, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Texas and Massachusetts. We provide Construction Management, Project Controls, and Project Administration services for the public and private sectors. Our portfolio includes commercial interiors, healthcare, education, housing, and more. We are a diverse company in our specializations and also our staff.  

What does being a minority business mean to you?

It means breaking down barriers of entry and providing opportunities for those that are disadvantaged to enter the construction industry.  It’s supporting fellow minority businesses in familiar ways to provide for a stronger network of professionals.

How has being certified with The Council helped your business?

It will provide an opportunity to network with the other corporate members and to gain an understanding of increased awareness for black owned businesses through various learning channels.

What is one thing you wish you had known when you were starting out in your career?

I wish I had known the value of networking and relationships. If I was aware of the magnitude of how leveraging relationships would be significant in building my career, I would have been more advantageous now in my business.

For more information on M To-Pros, please visit: mtopros.com or follow them on social media: Facebook, LinkedIn, & Instagram.