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.



Justin Robinson State Farm Celebrates Grand Opening Feb. 2

Justin Robinson State Farm will celebrate a grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, Feb. 2, at 11 a.m. at 1459 North Mack Smith Road.  The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce will co-host this event with Justin Robinson State Farm.  Mr. Robinson said he has made it his life goal to serve the East Ridge and Chattanooga community with his ... (click for more)

BlueCross Taps Lawrence As Director of Ancillary, Behavioral Contracting

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee selected Scot Lawrence as director of ancillary and behavioral health contracting. In this role, Mr. Lawrence is responsible for defining and directing state-wide contracting strategies and negotiations for ancillary providers, including lab, home health, skilled nursing, and dialysis providers, as well as behavioral health providers such ... (click for more)

School Board Votes To Issue RFPs For Private School Bus Service; Allows Independent Drivers To Add 20 Routes

The Hamilton County School Board voted unanimously to issue a Request-for-Proposals (RFP) to private bus companies at a special-called session early  Saturday  afternoon.   The vote came at the end of a two-day strategy session where the school board has confronted a list of challenges but the busing question, spurred by the tragic bus wreck in November ... (click for more)

3 People Shot Early Saturday Morning On East 3rd Street

Three people were shot on East 3rd Street early Saturday morning. They were identified as Countess Clemons, 24, Kezia Jackson, 23, and Dutchess Lykes, 26.   The Chattanooga Police Department responded at 2:40 a.m. to a person(s) shot call at a local hospital. All three victims were transported to the hospital via a personally-owned vehicle.   All three ... (click for more)

A Light Rain Began To Fall - And Response (2)

Around noon Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the most powerful nation on Earth after a long and sometimes bitter campaign where 17 GOP candidates of his own party and two of the opposing party competed for the honor.   Thousands rejoiced in the Washington D.C. streets while policemen who had come along with national guardsmen pushed ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Jumoke’s Thuggery Ends

Jumoke Johnson, the most notorious criminal in Chattanooga’s recent history, was killed by a rain of bullets in the 2100 block of East 12 th Street at little after 8 o’clock Friday night and for the many of us who have kept up with the 23-year-old, you wonder how he ever lasted this long. He was aptly proclaimed as the “most dangerous man” to ever have been sentenced in Chattanooga’s ... (click for more)