2022 Hispanic Heritage Month
This Hispanic Heritage Month, The Council proudly recognizes the millions of Hispanic Americans who enrich our nation. We celebrate the prosperity of our nation’s Latinx/Hispanic businesses and business owners and applaud communities in New York and New Jersey — and around the nation — that fully commit to their growth and development.
The National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Managers (NCHEPM), announced the 2022 Hispanic Heritage Month Observance Theme to be: “Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation.” We believe this theme encourages people across the country to ensure that all voices are represented and welcomed to help build stronger communities — a core concept reflected in all work carried out by the NYNJMSDC.
This year is the 34th year we will recognize the contributions and importance of Hispanics and Latinos to the United States and those American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. From September 15 to October 15, we celebrate the extraordinary leadership shown by the Hispanic American community, including the achievements of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic-American appointed to the Supreme Court, and Lin-Manuel Miranda, a composer, actor, writer, and activist shaping modern pop culture through the re-imaging of America’s story told through the lens of people of color.
We also take the time to remember past visionaries like Cesar Chavez, a leading advocate for Latinx and workers’ rights; Roberto Clemente, who overcame racial bias as the first Hispanic American to play major league baseball; and Selena, the pop superstar who brought Mexican Tejano music to the masses. These and many other leaders have made significant contributions to American society, transforming perceptions of Hispanic Americans and serving as shining examples of diversity’s role in modern American culture.
This September and October, we ask you to uplift and celebrate the Hispanic American entrepreneurs, scientists, artists, teachers, athletes, and other professionals who are unabashedly sharing their heritage and culture to create a long-lasting, positive impact on our society and in our communities.
MBE Spotlight: Partake Foods
Denise Woodard is the Founder and CEO of Partake Foods, a natural food company that was inspired by her daughter’s experience with food allergies. Partake’s first product — delicious, better for you, allergy-friendly cookies — was launched in 2017 and can now be found in more than 8,000 retail outlets, including Target, Trader Joe’s, Kroger, Walmart, and Whole Foods Market.
Partake also offers a selection of delicious, allergy-friendly products including crunchy and soft baked cookie flavors such as chocolate chip, birthday cake, and double chocolate In 2021, Partake released a line of baking mixes—brownie mix, blondie mix, and a pizza crust baking mix—all available on partakefoods.com. In January 2022, Partake introduced pancake & waffle mixes in classic & confetti flavors available at select Target stores nationwide.
Denise is the first Black woman to raise more than $1 Million publicly for a CPG food startup. To date, the company has raised over $7.5M from investors including HER, Rihanna, CircleUp Growth Partners, FF2032 and Marcy Venture Partners.
Prior to launching Partake, Denise spent a decade in consumer packaged goods at various Fortune 100 companies. She lives in New York City with her husband, Jeremy, and daughter, Vivienne. She graduated with her BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MBA from Arizona State University.
All Partake offerings are certified gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan and are free of the top 9 allergens (wheat, tree nuts, peanuts, milk, eggs, soy, fish, sesame and shellfish). The products are made with love, better-for-you ingredients, and offer a variety of flavors that those with and without dietary restrictions can enjoy.
For more information, please visit: partakefoods.com or follow @PartakeFoods on Instagram.
2022 National Caribbean-American Heritage Month
In a month jam-packed with diversity celebrations, the New York & New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council would also like to take a moment and recognize the contributions of Caribbean-Americans to our nation—and our economy. We hope that by commemorating National Caribbean-American Heritage Month, we will remind all Americans that this country’s strength is rooted in its diversity, helping to highlight the pivotal role Caribbean immigrants play in shaping the American dream through their cultures, traditions, languages, and values.
Historically, the Caribbean American population in the United States grows more than 50% every ten years, though the pace of growth has nearly doubled in the last 20 years. According to U.S. Census data, there are around 4.4 million people of Caribbean descent working in and contributing to the U.S. economy and culture. From their distinct cuisine to influential music and dance styles, Caribbean traditions have had a profound impact on U.S. popular culture.
The celebration of Caribbean-American Heritage month began in June 2005 when the House of Representatives unanimously adopted H. Con. Res. 71, which recognized the significance of Caribbean people and their descendants in the history and culture of the United States. In February 2006, the resolution passed the senate, with the Proclamation being ultimately issued by President George W. Bush on June 6, 2006.
This year marks the fourteenth celebration of June as National Caribbean-American Heritage Month. We take this time to celebrate the extraordinary leadership shown by the Caribbean American community, including the achievements of Vice President Kamala Harris, the first Black American of Jamaican heritage to hold this high office, and Karine Jean-Pierre, the first White House press secretary of Haitian descent.
We also take the time to remember past visionaries like Alexander Hamilton, one of this nation’s founding fathers, and the late General Colin Powell, the son of Jamaican immigrants and the first Black Secretary of State. These and many other leaders have made significant contributions to American society and forged new paths in service to the American people.
This June, we ask you to uplift and celebrate the Caribbean-American entrepreneurs, teachers, scientists, artists, medical professionals, police officers, athletes, and others who are boldly sharing their heritage and culture to create a lasting positive impact on our society.
AAPI Heritage Month Spotlight: Navin Persaud
As the Procurement Outreach Partner at the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York (FHLBNY) for over four years Navin Persaud has been responsible for procurement, supplier diversity and facilities management in the Corporate Real Estate department.
Navin’s primary role is to support the procurement function, which includes supplier diversity initiatives under the pillars of governance, internal and external outreach, and education. In this role, Navin serves as a trusted adviser to the various business areas to ensure that policy requirements are met and procurement opportunities are provided to diverse suppliers whenever possible. Navin also partners with external organizations to promote the FHLBNY Supplier Diversity Program.
In addition to Navin’s role at FHLBNY, he has served as the President of the Institute for Supply Management in New York and as the Director of Supplier Diversity. Navin was awarded the “Champion for Industry” award by Thomas Net in 2020 for his work in Supplier Diversity.
Previously, Navin worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, also in the procurement department, where he developed his passion for promoting Supplier Diversity.
What does AAPI Heritage Month mean to Navin?
It is commendable to be able to celebrate AAPI Heritage month as part of the larger Supplier Diversity initiative. It is also equally important to be able to recognize the contributions of AAPI businesses and the positive impact on organizations and the American economy as a whole.
AAPI businesses have been making great strides in bringing diverse perspectives, different cultures and business practices to organizations to enhance efficiency, promote cultural tolerance and acceptance, and to drive overall progress in advancing Supplier Diversity.
It is in this spirit that I would like to encourage AAPI businesses to continue to deliver on commitments, be innovative and to prove to organizations that Supplier Diversity is a true success, as Lamar Alexander puts it: “We are the only country in the world that has taken people from so many different backgrounds, which is a great achievement by itself, but an even greater achievement is that we have turned all of that variety and diversity into unity.”