EI2 officially launched its Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center (MBC) on May 25 at Georgia Tech’s Institute for People and Technology in Atlanta. The event brought together MBC clients, strategic partners, corporations, members of non-profit and government organizations and Georgia Tech staff to learn about the new direction of the MBC.
Archie W. Ervin, Georgia Tech’s vice president for institute diversity, was the keynote speaker. Appointed to this role in January 2011, Dr. Ervin is charged with providing leadership to the diversity mission and functions of Georgia Tech and ensuring that the diversity goals and priorities of the institution are met at all levels. Other speakers included Patricia Hanes, regional director of the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Atlanta National Enterprise Center, who brought greetings from the MBDA and the Department of Commerce.
The following companies won awards for their accomplishments as minority business enterprises (MBEs) and the following individuals won awards for their contribution to the minority business community:
- Minority Manufacturer of the Year Award to Homestead Packaging Solutions for success in employing new and innovative techniques leading to increases in market share, job growth and customer satisfaction;
- Minority Global Technology Firm of the Year Award to Global Resource Management, Inc. for success in bringing new technologies to the global market to increase efficiencies and jobs;
- Minority Global Supplier Distributor of the Year Award to Carter Brothers for success in penetrating domestic and global markets;
- Distinguished Supplier Diversity Award to Kenneth L. Huff, Georgia Power Company, for successful business practices that significantly impact the growth and development of MBEs;
- Media Award to Pat Lottier, Atlanta Tribune, for notable success in advancing public awareness of the positive impact of MBEs on the global economy;
- Advocate of the Year Award to Gwendolyn Miles for accomplishments in advocating for MBEs as an economic force in the global economy.
The group also recognized Maria Mar Hill, an MBC business advisor, for her dedication to helping MBEs succeed. Hill has been with the Center since its inception in 2004 and is an integral part of the team.
Donna Ennis, MBC project director, announced the launch of MBC’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program (EIR), a new initiative that will allow MBC clients access to a successful entrepreneur on a regular basis. Mark Wilson, founder and former CEO of Ryla, Inc., was introduced as the first EIR. Wilson will serve as a high-level resource for MBC clients interested in improving access to capital, making their businesses more profitable, creating jobs and improving sustainability.
Formerly the Georgia Minority Business Enterprise Center (GMBEC), MBC began on April 1 as a cooperative agreement won by Georgia Tech for the third consecutive funding cycle. The Center is funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency and operated by Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute.