August 14, 2020
We are still knee deep in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and this is our 11th newsletter since March! There is still plenty to share. In this issue look for tidbits about our new MBE Academy, corporate members spotlight, business opportunities, pro bono legal support, market intel you should know and the list goes on. I encourage you to scroll slowly from beginning to end. I promise you that you don’t want to miss a thing.

BTW – I was recently named as one of the Top 25 Women in Power Impacting Diversity by Diversity Plus magazine. I am grateful to be among some powerful women, such as JP Morgan’s Jill Davis, Wells Fargo’s Regina Heyward and two of my MSDC colleagues Michelle S. Robinson and Valerie Cofield. Read More
In 2020, Wells Fargo and the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) will collaborate in four “CEO Leadership Academies,” designed to build capacity and assist minority owned businesses with growth and scale. These Leadership CEO Academies will be hosted in Washington, D.C. by the Capital Region MSDC; Miami by the Florida State MSDC; New York by the New York-New Jersey MSDC; and Phoenix–San Diego by the Pacific Southwest MSDC.

The Minority Business Leadership Academy program has four basic goals:
  • Build the value proposition for each minority business owner;
  • Enhance best practices in business development, organizational capabilities and scalability;
  • Foster greater readiness to meet industry needs; and
  • Increase competitiveness when seeking contracts and opportunities in the global marketplace.

CRMSDC's co-hort includes:
David Williams, CEO
Abstract Evolutions LLC

Aland Acuna, CEO
Acuna Consulting Inc.

Cordell Robinson, CEO
Brownstone Consulting Firm

Louis Gilford, CEO
Gilford Corporation

William Scott II, President/CEO
Global Executive Staffing, LLC

Monica Kang, Founder & CEO
InnovatorsBox LLC

Bernard Mizelle,
Principal Broker/CEO
Mid-Atlantic Realty, LLC

Sheila Eldridge, President/CEO
Miles Ahead Entertainment, Inc.
Iqbal Amiri, Managing Partner
Secure Innovate Technology Corp.

Julie Diaz-Asper, Founding Partner
Social Lens Research LLC

Tayari Starr, President
Starr & Associates, LLC

LaToya White, President/CEO
Sylver Rain Consulting

Marvin Coles, President & CEO
The Coles Group LLC

Clare Razaq-Hines, President & CEO
The net.America Corporation

Gideon Fernandez, Principal
Velocity Sense

Mark Evans, Founder & CEO
Share Tech Solutions
The MSBDFA* Program-COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund Guidelines
The objective of this program is to provide financial relief to businesses that have experienced economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. This will be accomplished with low interest rateand low documentation loans to eligible Maryland businesses.

All loans will be in the form of term loans from $25,000 to $200,000. The term of the loans will be 5 years. The interest rate will be 0% for the first 12 months and 2% for the remaining term of the loan. The loan will not require payments during first 12 months.

All guidelines are available, and the application can be obtained and submitted on the Meridian Management Group, Inc. website,

*The Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority (“MSBDFA”) is an agency under the Maryland Department of Commerce and is managed by Meridian Management Group, Inc. (“MMG”).
House Appropriations Advances Defense Spending Bill
Areas of concern for cybersecurity include building the workforce and 5G development.
The House Appropriations Committee approved a $694.6 billion bill to fund the Defense Department in a 30-22 vote, as lawmakers noted the inclusion of resources to secure cyberspace.

“This bill strengthens national security with robust funding to support ongoing operations and maintenance of existing assets,” Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, D-NY, said at the beginning of a markup session Tuesday. “It procures the latest military systems while investing in research and development needed for future capabilities, especially the growing needs of cyberspace.”
Kaiser Permanente names Ruth Williams-Brinkley president of Mid-Atlantic region
The Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council would like to congratulate and welcome Ruth Williams-Brinkley, RN who was named president of Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States, which serves 770,000 members throughout Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia. Williams-Brinkley joins the Mid-Atlantic region from Kaiser Permanente Northwest, where she served as president since 2017.

As we emerge from this global pandemic, Ms. Williams-Brinkley looks forward to leading this region in the ongoing work to improve health and wellbeing so that our communities and members can thrive.
Voltaire Walker of Northrop Grumman joins CRMSDC’s Board of Directors
Voltaire C. Walker is currently Manager, Global Supplier Diversity Programs, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems Sector, headquartered in Linthicum, Maryland.

Walker is a 40 year experienced Supply Chain and Supplier Diversity Manager, serving in various management capacities within the Global Supply Chain organization, including Procurement Section Manager, Socio-Economic Business Programs Manager, Global Supply Chain Supplier Offset Support, Materials Manager, Program Subcontract Manager, Specialty Metals Compliance Manager, and Mentor Protégé Program Manager.

Walker is a former 10-year Board Director member of the Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council (formerly MD/DC MSDC)) with over 30 years’ experience in promoting and facilitating small business opportunities within Northrop Grumman Mission Systems at its procurement locations throughout the U.S.
Kate Weaver named Manager of Supplier Diversity for Retail Business Services, LLC, (RBS)
Kate replaces Cheryl Smith who retired in June. Kate’s energy is infectious and is both knowledgeable and innovative regarding supplier diversity. She has a sincere commitment in helping diverse businesses find opportunities in the food and beverage industry.

Retail Business Services, LLC is the services company of Ahold Delhaize USA, which provides services to six East Coast grocery brands, including Food Lion, Giant Food, GIANT/MARTIN'S, Hannaford and Stop & Shop, as well as the country’s largest online grocery retailer, Peapod. As manager, Kate will develop and oversee RBS's vendor diversity program. She will work to engage and develop woman-owned, minority-owned, veteran-owned and LGBTQ+-owned businesses, as well as integrate them into the company's merchandising process.
Congress pressed to rescue struggling Black-owned businesses
A bipartisan proposal by Sens. Steve Daines and Cory Booker would make $50 billion in grants available for the smallest businesses and nonprofits.
Lawmakers negotiating the next small-business rescue package are facing mounting pressure to direct more aid to minority employers who are hurting the most during the pandemic but have struggled to access hundreds of billions of federal dollars unleashed since March.

Business groups and consumer advocates are lobbying Congress to rethink a model that has leaned heavily on distributing funds via private lenders because of concerns that the smallest businesses lack relationships with traditional banks.
CRMSDC Benefits Hub
Coming Soon
EY launches Entrepreneurs Access Network
The EY Entrepreneurs Access Network elevates the ability for Black and Latinx entrepreneurs to obtain additional resources and networks needed to achieve new heights.

Entrepreneurs Access Network is a 12-month educational program and evergreen community, supported by a web of fellow advocating companies and organizations. This immersive journey includes a company assessment to identify the firm’s potential and needs to align it to the emerging, established or on-demand curriculums. It also includes teaming with a personal liaison for guidance throughout the program.

If you are interested in this program, email by Wednesday, August 19, 2020.
The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority is offering free Covid-19 legal consulting
The COVID-19 Pro Bono Collaborative, a growing network of trusted top-tier law firms, corporations and other legal service providers across the country, is providing a highly coordinated, emergency response to help small businesses and nonprofit organizations survive the economic impact of COVID-19. This collaborative will provide remote legal and financial clinics and one-on-one sessions on the COVID-19 stimulus package and similar programs as well as COVID-19 related legal issues.
As we continue to navigate changing dynamics in the wake of COVID-19, CRMSDC is planning more webinars to inform and support our community. Upcoming topics will include:

The Business Consortium
is Open for Business!
301.593.5860 |
MBDA Business Center
301.242.5320 |
MBDA Federal Procurement Center
301.857.0200 |
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