December 15, 2020

The events of 2020 reinforced for me the true meaning of this word. It is mid-December and the Council is still standing through the century’s most horrific Coronavirus pandemic. Trucks filled with vaccines are now rolling out and perhaps this is the best symbol that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Like most, we have been able to pivot and stay focused on our mission to support our corporate members and minority businesses. For that, I am sincerely grateful.

Much has happened to many of us and our families this year. I am grateful to work with such an awesome team filled with talent and an incredible work ethic. I am grateful for the leadership of the Council and the committed Board of Directors, sponsors and others. In case you missed our Annual Business Meeting, please take a look at those we honored. The link is provided below.

This is our last newsletter for 2021. I believe our best days are ahead of us. On behalf of CRMSDC, its Board of Directors and Sponsors, we wish you a safe and healthy holiday and we look forward to serving you in 2021.
Congratulations to Wells Fargo MBE CEO Leadership Academy Graduates
Wells Fargo partnered with CRMSDC to create a dynamic setting for learning and collaboration for our participants who comprise of CEOs of minority businesses across many industry sectors. We applaud their leadership and wish them all continued success as they work to continue to grow their organizations.

Ann Ramakumaran, Founder and CEO of Ampcus Inc., named to Women's Business Enterprise Hall of Fame
Congratulations to Ann Ramakumaran. We are very proud that she will be inducted into The Women's Business Enterprise Hall of Fame. A virtual induction ceremony, hosted by the American Institute of Diversity & Commerce, will be held Wednesday, March 10, 2021, at 6 p.m.

Women's Business Enterprise Hall of Fame
Virtual Food Drive in Tribute to Dr. Bai Akridge
In a tribute to Bai and his commitment to giving, our team at CRMSDC is hosting a virtual food drive with the Maryland Food Bank from December 14 - December 31.
You can click on the link below and make a cash contribution or select from their food choices.

Our Goal: Bringing some relief during this holiday season, especially during a time of heightening food insecurities. We hope to “pay forward” a little more of the love and caring Bai showed us as a cherished team member and friend.
Tommy Marks •
When You Can’t Add Cybersecurity Staff, Build Cyber-Resiliency Instead 
It isn’t always possible to hire new staff or implement new technology, so one solution is to build resilience into existing infrastructure. The concept of cyber resiliency is an evolving one, but in essence, the intention is to fortify structures so that they can operate continuously and without disruption, even when under attack. Effective cyber resiliency ensures data protection as well as operational and business continuity—going beyond traditional cybersecurity defense to build a more adaptive, proactive, and embedded security stance.
We are pleased to welcome the following corporate members who have joined our family this year. Our corporate members maintain supplier diversity programs and are seeking to do business with minority suppliers. Their active engagement is paramount and essential to creating business opportunities for our MBEs. Take a moment to look at their company bios and get to know them. For more information about becoming a corporate member or sponsor, please contact our Director of Business Development, Sonya Bigelow-Smith.
Highlighting 2020 Corporate Members
SAIC® is a premier Fortune 500® technology integrator solving our nation’s most complex modernization and readiness challenges across the defense, space, federal civilian, and intelligence markets. Their robust portfolio of offerings includes high-end solutions in systems engineering and integration; enterprise IT, including cloud services; cyber; software; advanced analytics and simulation; and training.

Modern Technology Solutions, Inc. (MTSI) is a 100% employee-owned engineering services and technology solutions company delivering first-choice capabilities to solve problems of global importance in the critical mission areas of missile defense, cyber security, intelligence, unmanned/autonomous systems, aviation, space, and homeland security.

At Learning Without Tears, the mission is to make learning and teaching easy and fun by providing superior, award-winning educational products, professional development training, teaching tools, and resources to educators and families.

F.N.B. Corporation (NYSE: FNB), headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a diversified financial services company operating in seven states and the District of Columbia. FNB’s market coverage spans several major metropolitan areas including: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Baltimore, Maryland; Cleveland, Ohio; Washington, D.C.; and Charlotte, Raleigh, Durham and the Piedmont Triad (Winston-Salem, Greensboro and High Point) in North Carolina. The Company has total assets of more than $35 billion and approximately 350 banking offices throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia

Aston Carter is part of Allegis Group, a global talent solutions provider. Aston Carter is a distinguished global provider of recruitment and staffing services to companies requiring highly specialized business professionals. Committed to delivering first class service to clients and business professionals across a variety of business disciplines, including Accounting and Finance, Change and Transformation, Compliance, Management Consultancy, Operations, and Risk and Regulation. With more than 60 offices across Europe, Asia Pacific and North America, Aston Carter provides local, regional and global expertise to drive value and meet our client’s unique needs.

Recognizing our 2020 MBE Sponsors
Thank you for your support.
Jennifer D. Collins, President and CEO  
JDC Events delivers a fresh, polished and inspired approach to event design and management. They partner with corporate, government and non-profits to create distinctive events and impact experiences that spark change in the lives of those who participate in and benefit from them.

Debasish Hota, Founder and CEO
CompuGain is a leading tech and talent solutions organization creating seamless digital experiences for customers, employees, and partners to achieve the “NEXT”. For over two decades, CompuGain has enabled key Fortune 500 firms, government agencies and emerging enterprises across industries achieve their “NEXT” by modernizing tech, data, and bringing digital visions to reality faster.

Pivoting During The Pandemic: 21st Century Expo Group Ray McFarland, Founder & CEO
On March 15th, 2020 21st Century Expo Group’s entire business model and client base was devastated by the COVID -19 pandemic. Though all of our corporate and association clients cancelled their 2020 events, the McFarland family envisioned a real opportunity to “pivot”. Due to the closing of all State, County, and local athletic facilities and schools, we saw an unfulfilled and potentially highly profitable need for a sports facility in Prince Georges County, MD and Washington, DC metro area. Within its 40,000 sq. ft facility, 21st Century Expo Group created its own version of a convention center-like sports and events facility known as “The Campus.”
The Campus, an Academic, Athletic, and Wellness Center is designed to facilitate multi-sports training and games, online high-quality live streaming, hybrid, and virtual programming, customized enrichment services, special events, and business meetings. Youth and adult sports organizations, coaches, trainers, professional athletes, and junior/high school players have responded very favorably to the facility since its September 19th opening with event/court reservations extending into the third quarter of 2021. One of the key mission elements of our new community focused business model is serving the thousands of affected African American and minority communities that are part of the 60 million participants in the billion-dollar Youth sports industry. 21stCEG’s management is very optimistic about The Campus’ future as part of the evolution of the 21st CEG’s brand and expanded revenue stream while planning for the return of its event business in Q4 2021 or Q1 2022.

Corey C. Briscoe Joins the Ranks of Connect's 40 Under 40 Class of 2020 — The Messengers
Rockville, MD—Corey C. Briscoe, Managing Partner and Chief Operating Officer at ABCD & Company, was recognized as a member of Connect Association Magazine’s “40 Under 40.” Connect, a national leader in events, honors the top young professionals in the association events industry annually. Nominations were received from leading event professionals from across the country.
“I’m honored to break barriers and to shine a light on the diversity within the events industry,” said Briscoe. “At a time of national reckoning, and as one of few African-American men being celebrated in the events space, I take this moment seriously because my success is opening doors for more African-American men who otherwise may not have the opportunity to shine.”

The entire list of recognized honorees and individual profiles can be found here.
McKissack & McKissack Earns Inc. Magazine’s Best in Business Award
Inc. Magazine named McKissack & McKissack to its inaugural Best in Business list. The award was launched to recognize companies that have had a superlative impact on their industries, their communities, the environment and society as a whole. CEO Deryl McKissack was cited for her effort to reverse bias in the architecture, engineering and construction industry. The profile is a deep and insightful look into how peers view the McKissack firm’s history, leadership and integrity. McKissack is one of three AEC firms cited in the Inc. awards.
NIST Offers Cash Prizes for New Ways to Maintain Anonymity in Data
Federal, state and local agencies are collecting massive amounts of data on public safety and policing and one federal agency wants to help protect the privacy of the individuals that data represents and is offering $276,000 for ideas.

The submission window opened on October 1 and runs through 8 p.m. May 17, 2021.


Recently NMSDC MBE certified firms are invited to attend this event to learn more about CRMSDC, NMSDC, and leveraging your certification.

Read more
2020-2021 NMSDC Pre-Certification Briefing – Jan. 28, 2021

MBEs who plan to apply for National Minority Supplier Development Council certification in the next 30 days should attend this session.

Read more



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