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.




Chattanooga Chamber Calendar Of Events For Oct. 23-27

TUES/24 East Brainerd Council Meeting 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Car Barn:  6721 Heritage Business Court Speaker: Steven Wagner, Erlanger Children's Hospital $12.   TUES/24 Grand Re-Opening of Food City 5 - 5:30 p.m. Food City:  7804 E. Brainerd Rd .   THUR/26 Reality Check - East Ridge High School ... (click for more)

Catherine Heigel Named Chief Operating Officer For Elliott Davis

Catherine Heigel, the former director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, has returned to Elliott Davis, LLC as its chief operating officer.  In this role, Ms. Heigel manages the firm’s operational support functions, including legal, information technology, human resource, marketing and communications, and firm administration. In addition, ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain To Hold Public Meetings On Idea Of Setting Up Own School System

Discussion about follow-up public meetings regarding the Signal Mountain School System Viability Committee (SMSSVC) report dominated the council’s work session on Friday afternoon. Council member Dan Landrum’s opinion about how to proceed differed from the other four council members. Mr. Landrum argued to end the study and to hold no public meetings. His reason was that of the 738 ... (click for more)

Man Shot Multiple Times In Cleveland; Jesus Teague, 14, Is Arrested

On Saturday, at 6:12 a.m., Cleveland Police Department responded to 1210 Elrod Place SE in reference to a domestic disturbance.   A man sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was transported to Erlanger by Life Force. His condition is stable, at this time.   The suspect, Jesus Tyler Teague, 14, was located and was in custody as of 3:25 p.m. ... (click for more)

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Myth And Fact Check

My husband and I recently had the privilege of participating in the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in Chattanooga. I listened as my husband told the audience about how his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when he was nine and how she died from the disease when he was fourteen. As a child, my husband didn’t understand what breast cancer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: It’s All About People

The leaders of Hamilton County’s Mental Health Court held a heart-warming open house Friday afternoon and it was announced that just since February, the creation has saved the county over $3 million in incarceration costs. But to hear County Mayor Jim Coppinger or Judge Don Poole tell it, that’s not what is important. “Soon after the court started, a kind, quiet man I’ll ... (click for more)