Memphis Mayor To Headline Diversify 2013

Business Summit Supporting Diverse Entrepreneurship

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Chattanooga Chamber will host Diversify 2013, an inaugural event showcasing business opportunities for minorities, women and other disadvantaged entrepreneurs, on Wednesday.  

This full-day summit will feature free seminars, meetings with purchasing officials from major firms, a luncheon and keynote by Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton Jr. and a Business Diversity Expo/Market highlighting more than 60 exhibitors.

The event will be held at the Chattanooga Convention Center.  The free seminars and Expo/Market will be from 8:30–11:30 a.m. and 1–3 p.m.  There will be a luncheon with Mayor Wharton from 11:45 a.m.–1 p.m.

There will be remarks by: Mayor Wharton, Ron Harr, Chamber president and CEO, Yusuf Hakeem, Chattanooga City Council chairman and District 9 representative and Ken Jordan, Hamilton County Equal Employment Opportunity officer.

Jermaine Purifory, a former American Idol contestant, will perform the national anthem at the luncheon.  

Here is the schedule:

Expo Opens: 8:30 a.m.
Expo and Business Connections: 8:30 a.m.–3 p.m.
Opening Remarks: 9–9:10 a.m.

Securing the Contract - Panel Discussion: 9:10–10:10 a.m.
Purchasing officials weigh in on competing for corporate and government contracts
James McKissic, director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs for the City of Chattanooga Michael Jones, manager of Minority & Women-Owned Business Development Department for EPB Ella L. Clark, manager of Supplier & Partner Initiatives for Tennessee Valley Authority Ron Harris, director of Diversity for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee (Facilitator)
Break the cycle that prevents some minority businesses from being awarded corporate or governmental construction, supplier and/or professional services contracts. Learn how to secure contracts, grow your business, expand into other markets and leverage your competitive advantage in this challenging economy. 

Executive Perspective from Andre Gist: 10:15–10:50 a.m.
African American Executive Series
Andre Gist, president and CEO of Manufacturers Industrial Group, LLC/MIG Construction Services, LLC / MIG Wire and Tube, LLC
This titan of industry earned the distinction of having the 12th largest African American firm in the U.S., according to Black Enterprise magazine’s 2013 BE 100 list. Hear him share his remarkable journey.

Open for Business: 10:55-11:25 a.m.
Pursue your dream of owning your own business or expanding the one you have 
Sue Malone, Strategies for Small Business, SBA’s #1 lender (by volume)  It all starts with you. Come and hear how you can start your own business or expand your company’s growth. Now is the right time – more than ever before.  Do not let the current economic climate stop you.

Luncheon: 11:45 a.m.–1 p.m. (Registration begins at 11 a.m.)
Featuring a keynote from: Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton Jr.

Solving the Profit Puzzle: 1:20–1:50 p.m.
How minority and women business enterprises can crack the code on corporate contracts
Shayna Rattler, founder and CEO, Supplier Diversity Academy
In this content-rich session, Shayna Rattler shares the major benefits of selling to corporate America and what it takes to become a strong, reliable supplier to the firms that are committed to conducting business with small business owners.


Coopetition: 1:55–2:25 p.m.
How building regional teaming partners can build an endless sales pipeline
Doug Minter, Business Development Manager, Knoxville Chamber
“Coopetition” – it’s the one word every small business should know, and it’s the next level of teaming, joint ventures and partnering for growth.


Amplify Your Professional Development: 2:30–3 p.m.
Being nervous makes you human - Being prepared makes you a professional
Vincent Ivan Phipps, M.A., Founder and CEO of Communication VIP
Discover the three most important dynamics of public speaking when discussing your business. Learn how to create a value statement for prospective customers.



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