AT&T Spent $232 Million With Vetrepreneurs Last Year

Listed as one of NaVOBA’s 25 Best Corporations for Veteran-Owned Businesses for 2014, AT&T recently released numbers that demonstrate the firm’s commitment to America’s vetrepreneurs. A frequent advertiser in Vetrepreneur magazine and ardent supporter of diverse, small business suppliers, AT&T spent $15.5 billion with diverse, small businesses in 2013, with more than $232 million spent with small businesses owned by service-disabled U.S. military veterans. This is a record number for the firm as it spent 28 percent of its total spend, with certified diverse suppliers – the highest percentage the company has ever achieved through its supplier diversity program. In 2012, AT&T spent $12.8 billion with diverse suppliers.

“Supplier diversity is key to our overall success, and we take pride in being a leader in this area,” said Tim Harden, AT&T Supply Chain president. “Diverse suppliers are an integral part of our supply chain, as evidenced by achieving our largest-ever diversity spend in 2013. They bring valuable perspective to the table, and that benefits everyone – our customers, the community and our company.”

AT&T’s Global Supplier Diversityorganization gives certified diverse businesses worldwide an opportunity to provide the company with products and services. AT&T Supplier Diversity promotes participation and helps bring more minority, women and service-disabled veteran owned businesses to its supply chain.

AT&T continues to look for diverse suppliers in key strategic areas like mobile Internet, wireless, U-verseand cloud services. AT&T is now innovating at a faster pace to continue delivering superior service. That means working with suppliers who can take AT&T to the next level. 

AT&T has a number of programs in place to identify and develop certified diverse suppliers. One of them is Operation Hand Salute, a national education and mentoring program for service-disabled veteran business owners. The initiative provides advanced training and mentoring for up to 15 qualified business owners – with the goal of improving their business operations and their ability to win corporate contracts.

Earlier this year, AT&T was ranked No. 1 DiversityBusiness.com’s Top 50 Companies for Multicultural Business Opportunitieslist. The company was also listed to the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council list of top corporations for Women’s Business Enterprisesfor the 15th year in a row.

To learn more about the AT&T Global Supplier Diversity organization, please visit www.attsupplierdiversity.com.


Posted by Matthew Pavelek at 04/23/2014 10:39 AM

SBA Appoints New Administrator

Contreras-Sweet is a successful entrepreneur, business executive, and state cabinet official. Throughout her career in the public and private sector, she has been a champion of diversity, access to capital and equal opportunity for all Americans.

Prior to her arrival in Washington, Contreras-Sweet founded ProAmérica Bank, the first Latino-formed commercial bank in California in more than 35 years. As the bank’s executive chairwoman, she focused on providing access to capital and counseling to small- and mid-size businesses in Los Angeles. She previously started Fortius Holdings, LLC, a venture capital firm that invested in small businesses.

Contreras-Sweet was the first Latina to hold a state cabinet post in California. As Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, she managed 13 departments, including Caltrans, the California Highway Patrol, the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Department of Financial Institutions. She managed a $14 billion budget and a workforce of more than 42,000 employees during her five-year tenure. She led in the creation of the state’s Department of Managed Health Care and its Office of Patient Advocate and in the implementation of a $2.1 billion housing bond that stimulated the state’s economy. During California’s energy crisis, she chaired the finance committee of the state’s electrical power grid, CA-ISO, helping to stabilize the state’s volatile energy market.

To learn more click here.

Posted by Matthew Pavelek at 04/14/2014 11:30 AM

Education & Entrepreneurship = Empowerment

The National Minority Business Council, Inc. (NMBC), Monroe College and BNYMellon have created the NMBC Executive Management Program for Minority, Women, Veterans, GLBT and People with Disabilities Business Owners. A five track comprehensive educational program and practicum to prepare business owners and their senior staffs to grow and compete in the Global Economy. Program workshops will be taught by working professionals who are experts in their fields and who understand the needs of entrepreneurs to be able to take back what they learn in the classroom and apply it immediately to their businesses.
A. Management, Leadership & Strategic Planning
1.Personal financial planning and wealth
building strategies
2.Developing personal leadership skills
3.Special issues of minority and women owned
4.Strategic planning & managing risk
B. Growth Strategy & Financial Management
1.Business plan development
2.Accounting principles, financial analysis and
cash flow management
3.Business valuation, banking relations,
preparing a loan package
4.Raising private equity, venture capital
C. Brand Management & Marketing Strategy
1.Developing a customer focused sales strategy
2.Selling and sales negotiating tactics
3.Developing marketing, advertising and
communications strategies
4.eMarketing & social media
D. Procurement, Alliances & Compliance
1.Negotiating supply contracts
2.Strategic supplier partnerships & alliances
3.Responding to a bid invitation, preparing
an RFP
4.Survey of business, employment & intellectual
property laws
E. Human Resource Strategy & Development
1.Talent acquisition and human resources
2.Managing a technology based business
3.Risk management principles
4.Information systems for business owners
For more information, contact the NMBC
at info@nmbc.org. or call the NMBC Office
at 347-289-9717.
Classes will be held on April 22,24, 29,
May 1,6 and 8.
Cost $1,075 Members, $1,150 non-members

Posted by Len Vermillion at 04/01/2014 09:25 AM

California Disabled Veteran Business Alliance Celebrates 20th Anniversary at Keeping the Promise Expo

Entering its 20th year in 2014, the California Disabled Veteran Business Alliance hosts the annual Keeping the Promise Expo and Business Matchmaking Event May 12-13 at the Hyatt Regency Orange County in Garden Grove, Calif.

For information on attending, exhibiting or sponsoring at Keeping the Promise, visit the California Disabled Veteran Business Alliance (Alliance) at www.cadvbe.org, or call (916) 446-3510.

The name of the event — Keeping the Promise — honors President Abraham Lincoln’s call “to care for him who shall have borne the battle” in his inaugural address a month before the Civil War ended. For the Alliance, a century and a half later, that means assisting disabled veterans successfully transition back to civilian life through entrepreneurship.

Keeping the Promise brings together corporate sponsors and businesses owned by disabled veterans certified through California’s Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Program (DVBE), established in 1989. The DVBE program incentivizes businesses seeking state contracts to hire firms owned by disabled veterans. Since 1994, the Alliance has helped disabled veteran business owners obtain DVBE certification and serves as a portal through which businesses seeking state contracts can easily find disabled veteran-owned businesses.

At the same time, the Alliance offers networking opportunities, educational resources and legislative advocacy for businesses owned by disabled veterans, both existing owners, and those seeking to start their own businesses.

Creating more opportunities for disabled veterans to engage in entrepreneurship is vital. Owing to greater survival rates from medical advances, there are far more disabled veterans coming out of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars than there were from the Vietnam War. This is driving a generational shift within the disabled veteran community. 

There are already 89,000 service disabled veterans who own businesses in the United States, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That number will almost certainly rise along with estimates of Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans outnumbering today’s 15.8 million veterans from Vietnam and the following two decades by 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

“The majority of those veterans with disabilities are completely able to work and, if they want, operate their own businesses,” said Alliance Executive Director Rich Dryden. “For those joining the entrepreneurial community, we’re here to ensure they have every possible opportunity to achieve success in a way that honors their sacrifice for our country.”

Headquartered in Sacramento, the California Disabled Veteran Business Alliance is active statewide through nine chapters and is a 501(c)3 nonprofit. For more background, visit www.cadvbe.org.

Posted by Len Vermillion at 04/01/2014 08:57 AM

New York Poised to Become Vetrepreneur-Friendly

The New York State Assembly joined the State Senate in passing legislation (S2803/A5872) that sets a goal to award six percent of state contracts to service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSBs). The bill is expected to be signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Vetrepreneur advocates in New York, including NaVOBA member Tully Rinckey PLLC, have been leading the support for the measure alongside the bill’s sponsors, State Senator Greg Ball and Assemblyman Felix Ortiz.

“Providing this earned-opportunity to our heroes is common sense,” Ball said. “The governor’s public and recent support is exactly the kick in the pants this bill needed to make it a reality.”

There are more than 192,000 veterans living in New York City, and almost 900,000 veterans statewide. It's estimated that about 88,000 of these veterans have served in Iraq and Afghanistan post 9/11.

All New York veterans should reach out to Gov. Cuomo and encourage everyone they know to do the same and insist on the passage of this legislation. A similar measure for vetrepreneurs made it all the way to then Gov. Patterson’s desk in 2009, only to be vetoed. This new bill must not see a similar fate.

Contact the Governor's office by phone (518) 474-8390 or mail:
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

Posted by Matthew Pavelek at 03/26/2014 10:04 AM


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