Our Mission:

It is the policy of The Office of Diversity in Business Practices (ODPB) to provide all persons an equal and fair opportunity to participate in procurement and contracting opportunities sponsored by the District.

Our ultimate goal is to support sustainable growth and economic opportunities for small, women-owned, and minority businesses. School Board Policy 6.143

Understanding the Stages of Small Business Growth

Starting a small business comes with challenges and setbacks, requiring its leaders to make strategic decisions for growth. However, the need for growth doesn’t stop once your small business has taken off. Building a thriving and sustainable small business involves overcoming challenges at every stage of business growth. Typically, small businesses go through five stages of business growth. Understanding what stage your small business is currently in can help you make the best strategic decisions for advancement.

Identifying and understanding the five steps of company growth can give a clear idea of what to expect in your current or future stages.

  1. Establish existence: The first phase of a business involves delivering the initial product or service offering, securing customers and clients, and consistently delivering the product or service. 
  2. Survive to thrive: A viable product or service has been delivered, so focus shifts to retaining existing customers and refining its output.
  3. Build on success: Businesses at this stage face a new line of decision-making, leveraging existing clientele and accomplishments to scale-up the company towards sustainability. New personnel are recruited for hands-off ownership.
  4. Identify expansion: Companies look for ways to rapidly expand and finance that expansion.
  5. Reach maturity: Managerial talent is honed, systems are well-developed, and financial resources are substantial. The chief concern is managing financial gains and maintaining the entrepreneurial spirit.

Understanding the framework of business growth is a powerful tool in preparing for your business expansion. The sixth annual Small Business University is a 12-week series of free courses designed to support small businesses in the South Florida region. It is offered by the Office of Diversity in Business Practices at the School District of Palm Beach County in collaboration with Kaufman Lynn Construction and Palm Beach State College. The courses will be held both in-person and online every Thursday at Palm Beach State College starting May 11, 2023 for 12 weeks. Come and join us to learn and grow your network.

Patrick Chrysostome named the new Director of the Office of Diversity in Business Practices at the School District of Palm Beach County

The Office of Diversity in Business Practices staff would like to congratulate our new Director on his appointment to this exciting role! We are honored to be led by Patrick Chrysostome who had dedicated twenty two years of service to the School Board of Palm Beach County. With such a strong record of public service and a demonstrated commitment to The Office of Diversity in Business Practices, we know he will be a strong leader.

Small Business University

Kicking off May 11, 2023

In partnership with Kaufmann Lynn and Palm Beach State College and FAU's Small Business Development Center, the Office of Diversity in Business Practices proudly presents sixth year of Small Business University, featuring free business training for entrepreneurs at every stage of business. These courses will be presented in a hybrid format, with the live courses hosted at the Lake Worth Campus of Palm Beach State College. This year, we are pleased to announce a new partnership with Florida Atlantic University’s Small Business Development Center for the stage one courses. Another new feature of the 2023 offerings are courses organized into stage. In stage one, we will introduce topics like value proposition design, communication for businesses, and bankable business ideas. In stage two, courses will focus on proposal writing, bidding and pricing specifically for the construction industry. In stage three, topics will include important topics such as supply chain management, attracting and retaining employees and more. 

At each stage, there is an opportunity to earn a certificate and a micro credential with Palm Beach State College. If you complete eight out of twelve courses, you will receive a certificate from the Office of Diversity in Business Practices.

View the Course Catalogue
Register Here
View the Data 

Construction Update

There are currently 50 ongoing facility renewal projects (Design & Construction), 37 substantially completed projects, 20 new Facilities Renewal projects  recently started.

In the coming 6 months, 38 new projects will be awarded for Architecture and 10 new projects will be awarded for Construction Management. These 48 projects range from an average of $5 million with an estimated total of $280 Million.

All of these projects will have SBE participation requirements, providing millions of dollars of opportunities to certified small businesses.

The first step to taking part in these projects as a SBE and to be counted in the required quote, you must be certified with our office. To gain this important certification, please click the button following this article to learn how to certify your business with us

Multiple trades needed in these projects: 

• Plumbing

• Toilet Accessories

• Water Intrusion

• Electrical

• Mechanical

• Stucco


• Masonry & concrete

• Doors, Windows, wall and ceiling

• Finishes & Painting

• Site Work & Demolition

• Site Cleaning

• Roofing

• Flooring

Learn how to get certified
View current and upcoming construction opportunities

Congratulations to The School District of Palm Beach County Bid-Awarded Small Business Enterprise (SBE) certified vendors!

Cosugas, LLC, Hatcher Construction and Development, Inc.,

I.Q. Constructions, Inc., JIJ Construction Corporation, Mavolic, LLC., and Mueller Construction & Management Company on the recently awarded term contract for General Contracting Services for Facilities, Minor Repairs and Maintenance Under $300K. This is a three-year term contract and may be renewable for two one-year periods.

Mr. Herman Giacomelli is the owner of Cosugas, LLC. They were established in 2022 and provide general contracting services which also include all trades including MEP, fire alarm, sprinkler, structural, dry wall, metal stud, and finishing all with their own manpower.

Mr.William Hatcher, owner of Hatcher Construction & Development, Inc. is an African-American business that has been in business since 1999 and provides general contracting services at any phase of development from concept through completion.

Claudia Mendoza, owner of I.Q.Constructions, Inc. established her company in 2002. As a Hispanic-American Woman-Owned business, I.Q. Construction Inc. provides general contracting services for commercial, new construction, and renovation services.

J.I.J Construction Corporation is a Hispanic-American woman-owned General Construction company owned by Kati Cassiani. J.I.J Construction provides new construction, remodeling, repairs, stucco, framing, drywall, and finishing as well as a host of other services.

Mavolic LLC. is owned by Willy Vogt, a Hispanic-American man with over 34 years of professional experience in the construction industry as a civil engineer. Mavolic LLC. provides pre-construction, construction management, general contracting as well as design-build services.

Mueller Construction and Management Company is owned by Jacob Mueller, a general construction company who provides remodeling, commercial renovation, exterior renovation, and mold remediation services.

To learn more about these Bid-Awarded vendors, please visit their websites:

Hatcher Construction - hatcher-construction.com/

I.Q. Constructions, Inc. - iqconstructions.com/

J.I.J Construction Corporation - jijconstruction.com/

Mavolic, LLC - mavolic.com/

Mueller Construction and Management Company- muellerconstructioncompany.com/

Goods and Services Opportunities

If you are a vendor of goods and services looking to secure a contract with the School District of Palm Beach County, we invite you to visit our website where we list upcoming solicitations. Use the link below to view these opportunities.

New Goods & Services Solicitations

Certification Training in English and Spanish

April 12, 2023

Join us in a virtual training session via zoom to learn how and why you should certify your business with the Office of Diversity in Business Practices at the School District of Palm Beach County. In this special bilingual training session, your hosts Samantha Conde-Gau and Mona Guerrier will present the processes you need to take to become a certified vendor with the School District of Palm Beach County.

Register here

Calling all West Technical Education Center Students! We are working in partnership with our subcontractors to host a career expo just for you. Join us on May 2, 2023 from 5:00-7:30 to talk to potential employers and listen to the wisdom of former executive Pamela Toussaint, CEO of the Ultimate Image Coach as she shares secrets of personal branding. In her talk entitled, "The ABCs of Personal Branding," she will share how you can elevate your career through emotional intelligence. Don’t miss this great event full of networking and learning at the West Technical Education Center in Belle Glade Florida.

The Construction Procurement Summit was a great success, with over 140+ guests, we were proud to offer networking opportunities to all of our businesses in attendance. During the two panel discussions, we learned about the unique challenges faced by women in construction, particularly the long hours and how that can impact child care responsibilities. We also learned of the different approaches women in construction take to safety gear and how they feel about the color pink! It was a great learning experience. In the Becoming Prime panel discussion, we heard about how important it is to establish trusting relationships with vendors and suppliers in order to get the job done. During the trade show, we watched lots of networking and spoke to several of our guests on video. The series of short form videos showcasing our guests who took a few minutes out of their day to speak with us is located on our Linked In profile. If you’re not following us there, here is the link.

Linked In

We are proud to announce a new series of outreach events! In partnership with the Goods and Services team, we will announce upcoming opportunities via email and Linked In. The School District of Palm Beach County procures many diverse goods and services, so please keep your eyes out for new solicitations. You never know when we might be looking for the goods and services we provide. The best way to find out what we need is to be on our email list and follow us on Linked In. If you are receiving this email, you're on our list, but if you know of someone who isn't, please have them email Maricel De Leon, Manager, Training Events and Outreach at mariceldeleon@palmbeachschools.org to be added to the newsletter distribution list. If you're not following us on Linked In, use the button bellow to navigate to our linked In page and be sure to follow us.

Visit our Linked In Page

Listen and Learn

January 20, 2023

Listen and Learn was a special event designed to help our Latino & Latina business owners better understand the process of contracting with the School District of Palm Beach County. It was a great opportunity for District purchasing agents to share the behind the scenes details of how we operate. Our guests had the chance to ask questions and network with each other.

How to Register in Periscope S2G


If you’re a small business looking to do business with the School District of Palm Beach County, registering in Periscope S2G is an essential first step. If you missed this session, we will host another one in the near future. Attached is a quick start process to get you registered.

Responding Effectively to Bids in Periscope S2G


When you are registered with Periscope S2G, you will start to receive emails when there is an opportunity aligned to your business, it’s time to submit a bid package. Our Specialist, Yolanda Fields shared that process and will do so again in another session soon.

10 Steps to Register with Periscope S2G

Welcome Mona!

Mona is currently a Business Analyst. Most of her career she worked as a Case Manager for The Department of Social Services, devoting herself to helping families cope with the challenges and crises impacting their lives while facing eviction or abuse. A challenging and purposeful occupation.

Mona completed her education at Palm Beach Atlantic University, a faith-based University and was guided by Christian Values. Her aspiration is becoming a polyglot in order to have a deeper connection to foreign cultures.

Record Number Of Black CEOs Will Run S&P 500 Companies

Original Article by Jared Council, Summarized by ODBP Staff

Many of the C-Suite positions in America have yet to experience diversity, equity and inclusion, however this is changing as there are currently a growing number of black men leading fortune 500 companies. An overview of the numbers since 2016 shows that there were only 16 new C Suite appointees in the S & P 500 companies, according to Richie Zweigenhaft, of Guilford College in North Carolina, who studies executive diversity. More recently, there five new CEO appointments are to be celebrated, signaling change is happening at a faster pace. To read the full text, click here:

Read More Here

Latina Founder Overcame Sexism And Ageism To Raise $8.5 M, Now She Faces VCs Spooked By The Collapse Of SVB

Original Article by Geri Stengel

Summarized by ODBP Staff

April is Women’s history month and to amplify the voices of women entrepreneurs, we bring you the story of serial entrepreneur, Fran Mayer of Baby Quip, a service to help vacationers locate and rent quality baby gear. Just as Silicone Valley Bank collapsed, she began pitching her service to panels of all male investors, who may not fully recognize the value proposition in the same way female investors do. Despite her success in a variety of forums including Shark Tank, she has recently received negative commentary from male investors, posting a challenge to her business. To learn more about her journey, read the full article here:

Read More Here