Supplier Diversity Digest: A newsletter from the Office of Supplier Diversity
December 2017
End-of-Year Updates from the Office of Supplier Diversity

Mentor-Protégé   Program
In June, OSD re-launched its Mentor-Protégé Program. The first businesses to partner in this program are United Data Technologies, Inc. (UDT), a certified minority-owned business, and the protégé firm TriOrb Solutions, LLC (TriOrb), a certified minority- and veteran-owned business. The relationship has already proven fruitful, with the businesses having collaborated on a variety of projects.

Since the inception of their mentor-protégé relationship, UDT has supported TriOrb with marketing and business development activities, including executive coaching support. TriOrb now works as a subcontractor to UDT on three multimillion-dollar contracts supporting STEM education, digital learning convergence, and technology lifecycle management. In the past three months, UDT has more than doubled its workforce, which is comprised of nearly 40 percent veterans. Meanwhile, TriOrb has also won two prime contracts with the Department of Veterans Affairs and opened two offices in historically underutilized business zones and is in the process of submitting for 8(a) status with the Small Business Administration.

“Since starting this effort collaboratively with OSD and TriOrb, I have been pleasantly surprised,” said Jeffrey J. Engle, Vice President of Government & Legal Affairs (UDT) and mentor for TriOrb. “We are seeing the intersection of the things we are passionate about (veteran employment, STEM education, and promoting diverse businesses) and our business interests while seeing the importance of aligned business cultures. UDT and TriOrb are a great fit, and I am very excited to continue bringing value to our current and future customers as one team.” 

While traveling to Tampa, OSD Executive Director Hue Reynolds was lucky enough to meet with TriOrb’s Joseph Hall II (far left) and UDT’s Jeffrey Engle (far right). To learn more about each business, please visit UDT's and TriOrb's respective websites.
Our Gift to You!
Be sure to save the dates for these upcoming Supplier Diversity Exchanges.
  • February 6, 2018: Pensacola Supplier Diversity Exchange hosted by OSD and the City of Pensacola.
  • March 8, 2018: Gainesville Supplier Diversity Exchange hosted by OSD and the University of Florida.

In 2017, OSD hosted five Supplier Diversity Exchanges across the state—in Pensacola, Jacksonville, Broward County, Tallahassee, and Orlando. At each event, small businesses directly connect with state, county, and federal government representatives or buyers. These events are free to attendees and offer a jam-packed networking opportunity. We hope to see you in 2018!
Changes to OSD Certification
The Office of Supplier Diversity has updated its certification policy to include companies with owners who are permanent resident aliens (per OSD Rules 60A-9 as well as Florida Statutes 287.09451 and 288.703). Therefore, U.S. citizenship is not a requirement for certification, and Permanent Resident Alien cards are now accepted as appropriate documentation for certification eligibility. OSD has updated all information posted online and on the certification checklist to reflect this change. If you have any questions, please contact OSD
Small Business Update
Provided by the Florida SBDC Network

Do you have questions about government contracting? Wondering who the government purchases from? Is government contracting right for your business? Not sure where to look, how to start, or who to contact? The Florida SBDC Network offers comprehensive Government Contracting Services through its Procurement Technical Assistance Center to help position your company as a successful government contractor.

Florida SBDC Government Contracting Specialists can assist you in understanding the basics, securing necessary registrations, applying for certifications, identifying proposal and bid opportunities, and more. The Florida SBDC also offers hundreds of events and workshops throughout the year, including an introduction to government contracting and workshops on proposal and bid writing tips and techniques, marketing to the government, and more.

In addition, Government Contracting Specialists can help you find information related to government contracts, including federal and military specifications and standards, commercial and data item descriptions, and agency procurement histories and forecasts. To learn more, please visit here
Provided by the Florida Advisory Council on Small and Minority Business Development

The Florida Advisory Council on Small and Minority Business Development is proud to support OSD’s Supplier Diversity Exchange events. In fact, council members have attended the majority of the Supplier Diversity Exchanges in 2017 and plan to continue to attend future events in 2018. Pictured is OSD Executive Director Hue Reynolds (left) and council member Brian Williams of T&G Constructors (right) at the 2017 Orlando Supplier Diversity Exchange.
Veterans Florida
Provided by Veterans Florida

On Saturday, November 18, more than 100 veterans gathered at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton to attend the first annual Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Conference. The veteran-centric conference provided an opportunity for those interested in opening their own business in Florida to attend a series of educational sessions presented by business owners of all sizes—most of them veteran-owned. Session offerings included the following: Intellectual Property Law 101; Marketing Your Startup on a Dime; How to Increase Your Credibility in Raising Capital; Federal Government Contracting; Bootstrapping: Starting with Limited Resources; Veteran Small Business Financing; Is Franchise Ownership Right for You?; and Brewing Up a Business. Featured in the photo are conference participants listening to New York Times bestselling author Diana Kander, keynote speaker and author of “All In Startup.”
Small Business Snippets

MyFloridaMarketPlace (MFMP) uses an internationally accepted and standardized code set known as the  United Nations Standard Products and Services Classification (UNSPSC) . The MFMP team recommends that you periodically review your selected commodity codes to confirm that they best reflect the products and/or services that your company provides. Having the most up-to-date and relevant commodity codes selected in your MFMP VIP account allows you to receive notifications for upcoming solicitations. To review and update your commodity codes, visit your MFMP VIP  account. For more information, see the  MFMP Commodity Code webpage  or take the   Selecting Commodity Codes online training
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The content of this newsletter is intended to serve as informational only. It should not be construed as business advice or an endorsement of any particular organization by the Office of Supplier Diversity or the Florida Department of Management Services.