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

As we end one fiscal year and begin a new one, we reflect on the learning during our Small Business University in partnership with Kaufman Lynn Construction, Palm Beach State College, and Small Business Development Center. We are reminded that it’s never too early or late to learn how to run a successful business. Whether your business is in its inception or you’ve been around for a while, there are several things you can do to advance toward your goals. Included are ten considerations that run the scale from operational to practical, and anyone can implement them.

Tips to be a Successful Small Business

Understanding Finance

Owners of profitable businesses take the time to learn about finance. They understand that cornerstone business success depends on the understanding basic financial principles. That doesn’t mean you have to become an accountant, but it doesn’t have to be difficult, either. It’s all about learning how finance affects your business, how to keep your debt in check, and what to do when you start turning a profit.

Practice Prudence

New companies tend to struggle with poor cash flow. That’s why, from the beginning, it’s important to run your company from a lean financial standpoint, reducing costs wherever possible.

One way to run a lean business is to overestimate expenses and underestimate revenue. Thinking in this manner is not hoping for less income, but it allows you to plan for all possible scenarios.

Another way to keep your finances lean is to minimize overhead costs as much as possible. Skip the fancy stuff, at least at first. You don’t need to splurge on unnecessary niceties, such as extravagant offices, the latest technology, or high-end office furniture.

As your cash flow increases, you can start to spend a bit more on quality of life, but it’s important to remember that money saved is money kept in the pocket for other expenses.


It is with great pride to share this award that was given to the School District of Palm Beach County, Office of Diversity in Business Practices to recognize their significant advocacy for small, women-owned, and minority businesses. The award distinguishes their strong focus and consistent effort to promote the economic growth of small businesses, and providing outstanding no-cost education to business owners in Palm Beach, Miami, and Broward County.

We would like to specially thank the team of Kaufman Lynn Construction for providing continuous educational support for 6 years through Small Business University.

View the Complete Data


FY 2022

FY 2023

Number of Attendees for Trainings, Events, and Outreach





FY 2023

Certified SBEs



Certified MWBEs



Dual Certified



MWBE by Ethnicity

African American



Hispanic American



Caucasian American



Asian American



Native American



Small Business University: A Three-tiered Approach to Success

This year's Small Business University was developed as a three-tiered course curriculum aimed at supporting those at various levels of business ownership.

  • Stage one is a set of foundational courses designed to prepare our newest small business owners to establish a comprehensive business plan.
  • Stage two is a set of mid-level courses designed to prepare small business owners in finding and participating in more business opportunities.
  • Stage three is a set of more advanced courses designed for businesses who are established and looking to manage and strengthen their business acumen.

Participants who attend each of the four sessions and complete evidence of learning within a stage can earn a badge from Palm Beach State College, which is part of the Pathway to the Bachelor's Degree.

Badge Awards from Palm Beach State College Using SBU Courses:

  1. Business Planning
  2. Business Bids and Proposals
  3. Business Management

On August 10, 2023, our participants will be honored at the closing ceremony where certificates, badges, and micro-credentials will be awarded to those meeting the requirements. This will be a celebration and an opportunity to network. All SBU attendees and instructors are invited to join us. Please see the attached flyer for registration information.

The Office of Diversity in Business Practices would like to recognize and give thanks to Kaufman Lynn Construction, Palm Beach State College, Small Business Development Center, and our volunteer course instructors for their support of our small, minority, and women-owned businesses! 

For More Information

Small Business University Stage 3: July 13 - August 3

Stage three courses will begin Thursday, July 13, 2023. As a reminder, these courses are geared toward established business owners, but all are welcome. These sessions will cover topics such as project management, understanding supply chain management, potential HR pitfalls, and procurement and contract oversight. For more information, see the session flyers below. To register, scan the QR code on the flyer or click the link.

Register Here
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Construction Update

There are currently 61 ongoing facility renewal projects (Design & Construction), 51 substantially completed projects, 8 new Facilities Renewal projects recently started.

In the coming 6 months, 25 new projects will be awarded for Architecture and 4 new projects will be awarded for Construction Management. These 29 projects range from an average of 7 million with an estimated total of 192 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

Vendor in the Spotlight

Kaufman Lynn Construction

Mentoring Makes a Difference for Subcontractors

A special thank you to Kaufman Lynn for your mentoring/protégé work at Olympic and Dwyer High Schools.

Current Connections, Inc., prime subcontractor to Kaufman Lynn is a District Certified SBE partnered with Arbor Electric Service, Inc. (dba Mr. Wireman Electric), a much smaller and upcoming SBE District Certified firm to help grow their business to the next level. Mr. Wireman installed approximately 3,200 light fixtures at Dwyer and Olympic as a second tiered subcontractor/partner to Current Connections. This supported both companies by allowing not only Mr. Wireman to grow their business but also supported and allowed Current Connections to successfully complete (top quality, ahead of schedule, under budget) major electrical upgrades at two high schools simultaneously during a very challenging market/economic period. This was a total win/win/win/win for the two SBE firms, Kaufmann Lynn, and the School District!

To learn more about Kaufman Lynn Construction, click below.

Visit Website

Vendor in the Spotlight

AirQuest Environmental, Inc.

The office of Diversity in Business Practices would like to Congratulate AirQuest Environmental, Inc. as one of the bid awarded vendors on the recent contract 23C-028V Indoor Air Quality and Infectious Disease Services. Under the contract with Palm Beach Schools, SBE certified AirQuest Environmental, Inc. will provide investigative analysis and recommend corrective actions to address indoor air quality issues on an as-needed basis.

AirQuest was founded in 2002 by Traci-Anne Boyle to fill a gap between the technical and scientific basis for environmental and industrial hygiene consulting and the reality and needs of clients. Starting in a home with a handful of staff, AirQuest has seen steady growth over the past 21 years. In 2013, buildings and land were purchased for the new corporate headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and within two years of renovations we were able to move in. During that time, AirQuest expanded not only its services and offerings by adding geology and engineering departments, but also its geographic footprint with offices in New York and California. Most recently, AirQuest expanded into the Gulf Coast with a new office in Tampa.

Today, over thirty-three employees span across various locations servicing the nation. In order to provide our clients with the highest quality consulting services, AirQuest maintains a full-time professional staff that includes Certified Industrial Hygienists, Professional Geologists, Professional Engineers, Certified Safety Professionals, and Licensed Asbestos Consultants. AirQuest's personnel play an important role in the daily operation of the firm. They share in our success through continuing education, development, and personal responsibility, which contributes to our shared commitment to our clients.

Our core competency is environmental and industrial hygiene consulting services, with specific concentrations in hazardous materials, asbestos, lead paint, indoor air quality, radon, soil and groundwater investigations, and worker-exposure evaluations.

To learn more about AirQuest Environmental, Inc. click below.

Visit Website

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

Food Festival: Showcasing Diversity in Business Practices'

Certified Food Vendors

A Gathering of School and District Leaders to Support Small Businesses

The School District of Palm Beach County’s Office of Diversity in Business Practices believes that diversity in business builds strong communities, strong families, and strong students in schools. In an effort to support sustainable growth and economic opportunities for small, women-owned, and minority businesses, the Office of Diversity in Business Practices, in partnership with the Black Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County, will be hosting the first annual Food Festival, showcasing six of the district’s certified food vendors. This event will take place on July 27, 2023 from 11:45-1:15 in the cafeteria of Santaluces Community High School during the Leadership Summit Meeting, where attendees will sample appealing appetizers from Angel Eggspressions, mouth watering main course selections from FIWE Caribbean Cuisine, Hugo’s Gourmet Catering, and Surry Co Smokehouse, and delectable desserts from Kakes by Kesline and Sunflower Brownies, LLC, for the low price of just $15. Beverages will be sponsored by Wharton-Smith, Inc. Construction Group. The goal of this event is to introduce and promote these vendors to school and district leaders who can support the small businesses by utilizing them for their future catering needs.

Congratulations Yolanda!

Please join us in congratulating Yolanda Fields, the new Manager of Business Compliance. If you have any questions or need assistance you can reach out to Yolanda or register to meet with our team to learn more about doing business the Office of Diversity in Business Practices - Click the link to register for vendor assistance.

Click Here for Vendor Assistance

Welcome Stefanie!

Stefanie has recently joined the department as a Specialist for Training, Events, & Outreach. Prior to her start, she spent 21 years on the academic side of SDPBC working as a teacher, literacy coach, and an Instructional Specialist with the Elementary Literacy Department. It was there that she developed a passion for training and supporting teachers as they developed and refined their art of teaching in schools from Boca to Jupiter and West Palm Beach to Belle Glade, providing her the opportunity to engage with diverse populations of teachers, students, and families.

Stefanie holds a master's degree in Reading K-12 from Nova Southeastern University and has completed post graduate work in adult learning theory.

UM Health-West launches tracking portal to increase supplier diversity

Original Article by Brian McVicar, Summarized by ODBP Staff

UM Health-West currently doesn't track how many of the more than 10,000 vendors, suppliers and contractors they do business with qualify as diverse. As a result of their diversity, equity and inclusion plan, announced by president and CEO, Dr. Peter Hahn, the health system is launching an online portal that will assist in the goal of an "inclusive" approach when selecting vendors with which to do business moving forward.

“Having a diverse supplier base makes economic sense,” Kris Kurtz, the health system’s chief operations and finance officer, said in a news release. “It encourages competition to drive costs down and quality up, while also adding incentives for supply chain agility.”

To learn more about the portal and it's expected benefits, read the full text here:

Read More Here

Intuit's First supplier Diversity Economic Impact Report Reinforces Commitment to Small & Diverse-Owned Businesses

Original Article by Keri Danielski

Summarized by ODBP Staff

Intuit, the business software company, recently released its first annual Supplier Diversity Economic Impact Report. As a result of their efforts to spend more money with 550 US-based diverse and small businesses, the company has shown a $24 million increase, year-over-year. Intuit's spending is generating economic activity and supporting thousands of jobs in its supply chain and communities, and it's generating hundreds of millions of dollars in wages to the economy. To learn more about Intuit's commitment to small and diverse-owned businesses, read the full article here:

Read More Here