Minnesota Minority Supplier Development Council event features Stedman Graham Trade Exchange promotes networking

Shot in the arm for minority business

The Minnesota Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC) plans to push minority-owned businesses to higher levels of growth through a trade exchange event that the organization… Shot in the arm for minority business

The Minnesota Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC) plans to push minority-owned businesses to higher levels of growth through a trade exchange event that the organization hopes may lead to more nationwide purchase orders from corporations in the United States.

A release from MMSDC organizers says the trade fair is promoted by the theme: "together, we can build a network" as it is the premiere yearly event for minority entrepreneurs to network with local and national corporations and showcase their products and services.

The Exchange offers an opportunity for certified Minority Business Enterprises (MBE's) to market their products to a large, receptive audience of corporate buyers as well as other MBE's. And for buying organizations, the Exchange is an outstanding opportunity to identify new suppliers, MMSDC contends.

The MMSDC 27th annual Business Opportunity Fair (Exchange) is billed for Wednesday September 17th through Thursday September18 at the Touchstone Energy Place 175 Kellogg Boulevard in St. Paul. The two-day program includes:

•Opening dinner with local motivational speaker and former professional athlete, Walter Bond;

•Power breakfast and panel discussion with corporate executives from Deluxe Corporation, Xcel Energy and Nath Companies;

•Exhibition booths (corporate members highlight their diversity programs and local minority entrepreneurs showcase their businesses);

•Awards luncheon with keynote speaker Stedman Graham, adjunct professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University;

•Closing reception with live entertainment;

Graham is also chairman and chief executive officer of S. Graham & Associates, an educational company that creates customized corporate training and leadership development programs. His clients include Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Manpower, GlaxoWellcome, Frankel, the Department of Labor’s Job Corps and the State Universities of New York.

MMSDC explained that Graham developed and teaches sports marketing for second-year MBA students and he co-authored The Ultimate Guide to Sport Event Management & Marketing, published by McGraw Hill. Graham serves on several charitable boards of directors including the national board of Junior Achievement (JA). He initiated and directed the creation of JA’s BASE program (Building Achievement through Sports and Entertainment). BASE provides a business curriculum on sports and entertainment for middle and high school students.

The Minnesota Minority Supplier Development Council strives to maximize business opportunities between corporations and Minority Business Enterprises (MBE's) by certifying, promoting, educating and developing MBE's through proactive assistance and participation of its corporate members.

The MMSDC was established in 1975 by corporate and minority businesses that realized a value of professionally organizing the vendor procurement process through equal opportunity competitive procurement initiatives. As an affiliate of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), New York, the MMSDC expedites the achievement of corporate minority purchasing goals by providing recommended vendors locally, regionally and nationally to corporate members.

In turn, minority businesses gain orders from major corporations. Ultimately, the MMSDC promotes an exchange of information between corporate members and Minority Business Enterprises (MBE) to ensure proper partnering, fit and cooperation.

Some 11,903-minority firms operate in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area grossing about $2.7 billion dollars in yearly sales and receipts according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

For more information call 612-259-6561 or visit

September 8, 2003
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