HSDA believes that sharing the success and accomplishments of our members helps us to build a strong network from which we can all benefit. Whether big or small, we can learn from each other. If you have something you would like us to share, we want to hear from you. Email us!

Atlanta MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Center to Host Virtual Matchmaking Event at Georgia Tech

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NEXTTECH Pitch Day to connect innovative Minority Business Enterprises with corporate and government agencies through a reverse pitch session.

ATLANTA (June 26, 2020) — The Atlanta Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Advanced Manufacturing Center will host the second NEXTTECH 2020 Pitch session on July 21, 2020.

NEXTTECH 2020 Pitch Day will match Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) to decision-makers during a series of meetings and presentations over the next six months. The first NEXTTECH presentation on May 19, 2020, focused on energy storage. Other challenges from corporations include training technology, virtual reality, and manufacturing innovations.

Slots are still available and companies and agencies interested in applying to participate in the NEXTTECH Pitch Day matchmaking series may contact Brandy Nagel at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and visit nexttechpitch.com for more information.

With funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce MBDA, the goal of the NEXTTECH initiative is to help corporations and government agencies solve challenges and reach their objectives with innovative solutions provided by MBEs.

Unlike traditional matchmaking events, the big buyers will pitch their challenges — typically a funded initiative — and the MBEs ask questions. Participating companies and agencies, as well as MBEs, will be screened to maximize opportunities for collaboration. To qualify, MBEs must own a product or market-ready service and have the capacity to address the needs of participating corporations and federal agencies.

“This effort is designed to make direct connections between the MBEs that own a product or market-ready service that will address the challenges and needs our participating corporations and government agencies face,” said Donna M. Ennis, C.P.F., director of the Atlanta MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Center, a program of Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute.

“We know that companies and government agencies at the federal and state levels are always looking for opportunities to incorporate new technologies into their organizations, and for diverse pipelines of innovation. This pilot is a critical way of bringing carefully curated MBEs, companies, and agencies together to spark these connections.”

About the Atlanta MBDA Centers
As part of a national network of 38 centers, the Atlanta MBDA Centers help MBEs access capital, increase profitability, and scale their businesses. Funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce MBDA, the Atlanta MBDA Business and Advanced Manufacturing Centers are part of Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive university-based program of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization, and economic development. To learn more, please visit mbdabusinesscenter-atlanta.org.

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Success Story - HPC’s Association and Conference Concierge Program recovers over $68K in registration fees for major mid-west healthcare system

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A major mid-west healthcare system, based in Indiana, has been using HPC’s Association and Conference Concierge Program for over 5 years. This service allows healthcare systems to drive down costs related to conference registration fees and association membership dues by using HPC to coordinate all activities for increased efficiency and to negotiate lower rates.

Year after year, they have seen the value of the program and together, HPC and this healthcare system have experienced overwhelming success in cost savings and centralization. Recently an unforeseen, yet valuable success in another important area of this program occurred.

Before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the healthcare system had many employees scheduled to attend association events and industry conferences for which all registration fees had already been paid. As information started to spread more widely about the pandemic, the healthcare system made the very difficult and unprecedented decision to suspend all travel. Given this information, HPC was able to cancel registrations and pursue refunds on their behalf.

As of the end of May, HPC has recovered $68K in fees that can be used on other vital needs.

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ZRG Medical Donates Essential Hospital Furniture and Supplies to MedShare

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ZRG Medical MedShare Donation

Although we specialize in medical equipment liquidation, we are bound to come across some excess assets from hospitals along with their decommissioned equipment that are non-medical. Instead of taking these items directly to be recycled or disposed of, we see where they could be donated first.

We chose to collaborate with MedShare to donate and distribute over 60 chairs and 20 medical storage essentials to under-served hospitals throughout the world. By assisting hospitals to clear out unwanted assets and redistributing them through a charitable supplier, we are helping facilities in need to be more organized and comfortable, benefitting workers and patients.

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Atlanta MBDA Business Center Launches CARES Act Assistance Program

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ATLANTA– Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Atlanta Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Centers have responded to hundreds of requests for assistance with funding, opportunities, and disaster recovery and resilience.

The staff fielded more than 500 calls on a variety of questions and concerns related to COVID-19, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the economy, and the future of the business community. Our finance specialists have helped dozens of companies secure CARES Act funding.

The Atlanta MBDA Business Center has been awarded funding from the CARES Act to provide unique assistance and programming while leveraging the expertise of the business programs in the Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute.  The MBDA Business Center CARES Act Assistance Program will provide training and technical assistance in health and safety and cybersecurity, compliance to the Paycheck Protection Program, funding identification, and pivoting strategies. 

“We are pleased to receive this additional funding from the MBDA through the CARES Act,” says Project Director Donna Ennis, C.P.F.  “It gives us the opportunity to focus on the specific needs of our small and minority business community during these challenging times.”

The Atlanta MBDA Centers will partner with various Georgia Tech programs and organizations including the Georgia Tech Safety, Health, and Environmental Services (SHES) group. These partnerships will grant MBEs easy access to free and discounted resources while ensuring the MBE community continues to survive and thrive. In addition, the MBDA Business Center CARES Act Assistance Program will conduct listening sessions and roundtables with small and minority-owned businesses to determine needs, challenges and solutions that will ensure our companies succeed post-COVID-19.

The CARES Act is a law intended to address the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. As a two trillion dollar relief package, the CARES Act provides various economic relief to communities, taxpayers, and businesses including direct payments to eligible taxpayers, expanded lending for businesses and local governments, expanded unemployment insurance and new loans and grants for small businesses. 

The MBDA Business and Advanced Manufacturing Centers continue to update its lists of resources and funding related to COVID-19 and the CARES Act. 
Visit https://mbdabusinesscenter-atlanta.org/covid-19-resource-page/ for this listing.

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Black-Owned Marketing Firm Joins PPE Supply Chain To Fight Coronavirus

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A Black, female-owned marketing firm has switched gears to help companies and organizations acquire Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to help during the coronavirus pandemic.

Impact Consulting Enterprises announced Wednesday that it has changed its focus from marketing, website design, and development to temporarily join the PPE network. President and CEO Cheryl McCants activated her supply chain to begin helping organizations in New Jersey, where Impact is based.

“When I learned of the many challenges that procurement officers faced in identifying legitimate suppliers for masks, gloves, and other types of PPE, we instinctively jumped in to help,” McCants said in the release. “While we are not doctors, grocery workers, or first responders, Team Impact consists of great researchers and crises managers. We put our skills to use and shored up a portion of the PPE supply chain for those in need. It only made sense. We did what we could to help others save lives.”

Beginning in March, East Orange, New Jersey-based Impact Consulting began looking for reliable national and international suppliers to help deliver supplies during the coronavirus outbreak. Impact quickly acquired masks, gloves, hand sanitizers, and wipes for hospitals, schools, utility companies, and other organizations in need.

So far, Impact’s effort has led to 50,000 masks going to New Jersey’s University Hospital. Another 12,000 masks were sent to the Eden School for Autistic Children. 10,000 gloves were sent to Massachusetts’ Veterans Administration Hospital, and nearly 300,000 sanitizing wipes went to utility companies.

Robert Sharbaugh, University Hospital’s acting director of supply chain management, said the PPE it received from Impact Consulting was a huge assist.

“We had an immediate need for additional PPE supplies. Impact’s Newark office is located less than a mile away from University Hospital,” Sharbaugh said in the statement. “So working with Cheryl and her team was an easy, trustworthy and close-to-home solution for the hospital.”

Impact Consulting is still working to provide PPE for organizations in New Jersey. As the need for PPE sourcing settles down, McCants wants to resume her team’s focus on marketing.

Others have also contributed to help as the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect the U.S. A teen in Georgia secured an international PPE deal last week. In March, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo personally thanked musician Rihanna for her donation of PPE equipment to the state.


Source: Black Enterprise Magazine

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Lowe's Companies, Inc. has opened its first round of grant applications to provide much-needed relief to minority-owned businesses. Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) will manage the process of vetting applications for $25 million in emergency grants that will offer critical aid to minority- and women-led small businesses. Discover how Lowe's is helping small businesses reopen and stay open.

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Cigna + Oscar Helps Small Business Owners who Recognize that a Healthy Workforce is the Key to a Vibrant Business in COVID-19 Environment

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Approximately two-thirds of small businesses say that providing health insurance to their employees is now a higher priority as a result of COVID-19. In Atlanta, the San Francisco Bay Area and across Tennessee, Cigna + Oscar will offer small businesses access to affordable local health insurance products. Covered employees will have access to free 24/7 virtual doctor visits, low cost prescription coverage, behavioral health support and access to multiple Cigna networks of quality physicians, specialists and hospitals - all to support a healthy and productive workforce, the foundation of a vibrant company. Cigna + Oscar expect significant interest in offerings with more than 50% of small businesses considering or unsure about changing their health insurer heading into 2021.

BLOOMFIELD, Conn. and NEW YORK, June 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Small businesses have been significantly hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to new research from Cigna and Oscar, 70% of small businesses have seen a decline in their revenue, and 52% have laid off or furloughed employees. As small businesses begin to reopen, the majority of decision makers reported that providing health insurance to employees is a higher priority in their budgets (66%), and that access to affordable solutions that support employee health and well-being (88%) – physical and mental – will be more important going forward. 

Today, Cigna and Oscar are announcing that Cigna + Oscar, a new affordable and consumer-first health insurance for small businesses, will be available in Atlanta and in the San Francisco Bay Area and across Tennessee, including Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, and Chattanooga effective Q4 2020, pending regulatory approvals.*

The fully-insured health plans available through Cigna + Oscar include no charge, 24/7 virtual doctor visits, $3 drug co-pays** and dedicated Care Team member support, all coupled with access to multiple Cigna networks of quality physicians, specialists and hospitals. The affordable plans are designed to fit the budgets of small businesses and provide care that's personalized to employees' needs.

The partnership also expands access to behavioral health services through Cigna Behavioral Health's specialized coaching programs and 24/7 crisis helpline.

"Companies across the U.S. have long recognized that investment in the health of employees and their families is critical, because they know that a healthy and productive workforce is a key driver of their business success," said Julie McCarter, vice president of product solutions at Cigna.  "Now that link has been magnified, as employers large and small view a healthy workforce as a condition of getting their businesses up and running again in a COVID-19 environment.  Through our partnership, we are providing more choices for affordable, predictable and simple health coverage to small businesses at a time when they need it most."

"Small businesses are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy and have been significantly challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic," said Chelsea Cooper, senior vice president of small group business at Oscar. "Cigna + Oscar was created with the purpose of addressing small businesses' unique challenges through solutions tailored to their budgets and care designed to prioritize their employees' health needs. Their top priority is our top priority, and right now that's recovery."

The Cigna + Oscar survey of over 1,000 small business decision makers released today finds that 88% of U.S. small business decision makers say the health and well-being of employees is a primary concern following the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 50% of small businesses are considering or unsure about changing their health insurer heading into 2021.

  • Respondents report that wellness benefits and health insurance rank as the top two most important benefits to offer their employees, above flexible or remote work options, financial planning resources like a 401(k), dental and vision insurance, and paid time off.
  • Top factors that would influence small businesses to change their health insurer include a large network of top hospitals, doctors, and specialists, and better understanding and greater care about their business and employees.
  • Whether an insurer provides flexible options to support business recovery and broad access to digital tools like telemedicine is more important to small businesses following the pandemic.

The survey results by region trend even higher.  Small businesses in Atlanta, GA (84%), Northern CA (77%), and Nashville, TN (73%) said that health insurance is more important in their budgets as a result of COVID-19, compared to 66% of national respondents. A majority of small businesses in Northern CA (57%) and Atlanta (51%) and nearly half of respondents in Nashville (48%) are actively considering changing their small business's health insurer heading into 2021, which is at least twice the rate of national respondents (24%).

While all respondents place more importance on the cost-effectiveness of health insurance factors like premiums and deductibles following the pandemic, local small businesses also value elements that have not been traditionally offered by many health insurance companies.

  • 74% of small businesses in Northern California indicated that flexible options to support recovery and communications and resources are the top two factors for them in selecting an insurer.
  • 75% of Nashville small business decision makers value an insurer that offers affordable coverage for employees' dependents like children.
  • 78% of small businesses in Atlanta say high-quality, personalized customer service and dedicated care support teams are more important to them following the pandemic.


About Cigna + Oscar

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The Trump Administration Weighing Rollback of Optional Practical Training (OPT) Program

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Foreign nationals who are in the U.S. in F-1 student status are often eligible to engage in employment after completing their academic program in what is referred to as Optional Practical Training (OPT). As a result of the current high unemployment rate in the U.S., the Trump Administration is currently reviewing the F-1 OPT program, and is considering taking action to suspend or limit the program until U.S. unemployment has declined. Within President Trump’s April 22, 2020 proclamation, there was a provision that tasked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of Labor to review nonimmigrant visa programs and recommend certain measures be taken to possibly suspenSuspending or limiting the F-1 OPT program would likely have a negative impact on the U.S. It would weaken its competitiveness and hinder economic recovery. Foreign nationals who participate in the F-1 OPT program bring skills and talent that are desperately needed, and that the U.S. labor force is unable to provide. In addition, suspending or limiting the F-1 OPT program would result in other countries benefiting from the education provided to these F-1 students by U.S. colleges and universities, and in some cases, may result in these foreign nationals and the overseas companies they may work for to compete against the U.S. and its interests.

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Department of Commerce Announces New National Director of Minority Business Development Agency

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WASHINGTON, June 17, 2020 – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that David J. Byrd will be the new National Director of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). Mr. Byrd will be the 18th National Director of the agency. 

Established by an Executive Order in 1969, MBDA is the only Federal agency solely dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of U.S. minority-owned businesses. 

“David’s vast experience in public service and as an entrepreneur are true assets to MBDA and the Department of Commerce,” said Secretary Ross. “In his new role, I fully expect him to continue to provide the type of leadership that will lay the foundation to usher in the next 50 years of opportunities and growth for minorities as well as the country as a whole.” 


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Cover Photo Source: https://www.blackenterprise.com/dept-of-commerce-names-david-byrd-new-national-director-of-minority-business-development-agency/

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Casco Manufacturing Solutions Creates New, Washable PPE Products During Pandemic-- and Business is Booming

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Cincinnati soft goods manufacturer creates booties, masks, gowns during crisis

When the coronavirus pandemic took the nation by surprise in mid-March, Casco Manufacturing Solutions of Cincinnati knew it had to pivot quickly to keep employees working.

The 60-year-old, woman-owned, soft goods manufacturer, which makes products ranging from medical mattresses to wheelchair pads to virtually anything involving a piece of fabric, called in its production team and brainstormed a new line of personal protection equipment (PPE) products. President and CEO Melissa Mangold said Casco was making and shipping masks, gowns and shoe/boot covers by mid-April.

“We employ a work force of industrial sewing operators who really need their jobs,” said Mangold. “We knew that the best way to survive the pandemic was to innovate, so we did.”

Business has increased so much Casco is considering adding a second shift of workers, with a Saturday shift.

The new PPE is only made in the U.S.A., it’s affordable, washable and reusable, said Mangold.

The masks, gowns and covers are made of polypropylene fabric under its Casco C-Matt brand. The products are best used for frontline medical providers or medical professionals seeing patients, such as nurses, technicians or physical therapists. The masks work up to Level 2 medical care; Casco is currently testing Level 3 masks.

The PPE can also be used by medical office administrative staff; long-term care facilities; surgical centers; home-care health providers; manufacturing, meatpacking; retail stores; and the general public to prevent the spread of infection.

The products are Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-registered, and can be washed and reused multiple times, said Mangold.  

Casco C-Matt Reusable Face Masks are white, with a two-tie attachment. They are machine-washable and latex-free. A case of 200 costs $123 to $132 and will soon be available on Amazon for $158 per case of 200. They are not designated N95.

Casco-branded Black Shoe and Boot Covers (Booties) are made from latex-free, hydrophobic polypropylene. They also have a slip-resistant bottom and are sold in 50-pair boxes. Recommended prices range from $105 to $123 per box. They are also on Amazon in boxes of five pairs for $20; 10 pairs for $35; and 25 pairs for $75.

Casco’s white gowns are made of spunbond polypropylene fabric. Prices are $1,000 to $1,154 per box of 200 units.

“Throughout the crisis, we’ve been working and keeping compliant with Centers for Disease Control rules on distancing and sanitation,” said Mangold. “It’s been hard work, but it’s paying off. We’re working on three projects right now: positioning pads, sheets and a new Prevention mattress.”

Casco is also applying for an Ohio PPE grant.

A fourth product Casco has added to its PPE line is something it’s not actively promoting. Casco made body bags during the First Gulf War; it’s been making them again since the COVID-19 outbreak began.

“While we’re all tired of social distancing, we can’t forget that people are still getting sick and dying,” she said. “This is a sober reminder that the pandemic is dangerous. We have a responsibility to protect ourselves, our loved ones and others in our communities by wearing PPE when necessary.”

#casco #hsdafordiversity #healthcare #corporateresponsibility

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SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Advance Program Reopened to All Eligible Small Businesses and Non-Profits Impacted by COVID-19 Pandemic

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The SBA has reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID19.

SBA’s EIDL program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profit. These loans can provide vital economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue. EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses.

Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid.

For additional information, please visit the SBA disaster assistance website at

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The Atlanta Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Advanced Manufacturing Center will host the first NEXTTECH 2020 Pitch Day at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta on May 19, 2020.

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We’ve identified corporations and federal agencies who have a specific need or challenge to overcome. Decision makers are seeking businesses with a market-ready technology, product or service that can address their challenges. NEXTTECH 2020 Pitch Day will match Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) to these decision makers. 

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ELIGIBILITY: To qualify, MBEs must own a technology, product or market-ready service and have the capacity to address the needs of participating corporations and federal agencies.

Are you interested in participating in NEXTTECH 2020 Pitch Day?

MBEs, corporations and agencies interested in participating in NEXTTECH 2020 Pitch Day may apply at NEXTTECHPitch.com.

MBE applications are being accepted until April 15, 2020.

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Join us in Atlanta on August 30 – September 1, 2020 at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center for the 5th Annual National MBE Manufacturers Summit 2020.

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Event Details

NMMS 2020 Summit Sponsors

Discover the latest innovative market trends, pitch your products to large corporations, learn new strategies and methods from manufacturing experts and convene with leading Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) manufacturers during the National MBE Manufacturers Summit (NMMS) 2020

Engage with corporations, OEMs and government agencies to establish relationships for business opportunities.

Experience the Innovation Pod Showcase powered by the future, as technology companies reveal cutting-edge products and bots designed to optimize your processes and systems.

Explore top-of-the-line manufacturing plants and identify ways to improve your supply chain through the Manufacturing Technology Tour.

Expose your company to a national audience by participating in the annual Poster Walk Competition.


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NorthBay Healthcare Fills Gap with Medical Research & Library Service from Hilton Publishing

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HPC deployed their Medical Research & Library Service to help NorthBay Healthcare review its library research subscriptions, and ensure they had the right combination of resources to meet the needs of its staff, at the lowest cost.  It's a helpful tool for any healthcare provider, because this service can be established quickly to conduct ongoing research, in the rapidly changing areas of the COVID-19 pandemic and all related topics.  To find out more, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

HPC stepped in on short notice to assist us with reviewing our library subscriptions prior to the renewal deadlines.  Our assigned HPC librarian identified a subscription where our pricing appeared high.  She negotiated a price reduction on our behalf of nearly 50% versus what we were paying. 

Going forward, our healthcare system will also be utilizing the Library Services from HPC to provide evidence based literature needed by our clinical teams.  This will free up our clinicians from this time consuming responsibility, so we can focus on our patients.  I have already heard back from one of our program managers who told me that our assigned HPC librarian helped save him hours of literature search time to find evidence for a clinical question he had.  The HPC librarian was able to retrieve 10 articles within only 2 days on a topic that he thought there wasn’t a lot of evidence available.

We have not had a medical librarian in our organization for a few years and it was a gap that we have been wanting to fill.  I have been so happy and grateful for their services!

Elisa J.
Clinical Nurse Specialist
NorthBay Healthcare - CA

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ZRG Medical: Announcing New Team Member, Sydney Humes

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2020 has already brought an abundance of change—a new decade, a world population united by a pandemic, and a cry louder than ever for affordable healthcare services.

With these new circumstances, ZRG Medical is on a mission to provide affordable healthcare to those in need. By assisting more hospitals manage their excess medical products and devices, we can extend the life of equipment and offer it at a more accessible rate.

As a result of ZRG's rapid expansion in providing hospital liquidation services, we are welcoming a new team member—Sydney Humes as Business Development Director.

Sydney is joining our team with an existing foundation in the healthcare industry and is familiar with the level of service our community has come to expect. As the new lead for our acquisition team, Sydney will extend her high standard of service to new prospects and existing clients alike, paving the way for more diverse suppliers to enter the field.

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HSDA Supports “Black Lives and Businesses”

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The Healthcare Supplier Diversity Alliance (HSDA) is in a unique position to host an ongoing forum where all stakeholders can identify business challenges and collaborate on how to solve them.  Deborah Williams, Chair of HSDA, released a sincere and optimistic statement, to encourage participation in these discussions.

Dear HSDA Corporate Partners, Diverse (M/WBE), Veteran and Service-Disabled Veterans and Small Business Enterprises, Community Partners and Friends,

Over the past 3 months, we all have been touched by the unprecedented global pandemic and witnessed unthinkable racial injustice.  The short and long-term impacts from COVID-19 will require all of us to rethink our equity and social justice strategies. 

As we watch the protest taking place across this nation and the reopening of the economy across this country, it is imperative that we (HSDA Members) not ignore or lose sight of the ever-present CRISIS IN AMERICA: Racial Inequality.

As we look to the future as a nation and as an organization, we must not be silent. Although an eruption of violence is not the solution, we must acknowledge that it is an emotional response to years of abuse and failed systems.  To that end, and in the spirit of my grandson, who died from the COVID-19 virus, April 14, 2020, our mission is to…

…  Stand for Equality because Black Lives Matter, and
Stand for Disadvantaged and Small Business Enterprises that deserve an opportunity to thrive.
- We all have an opportunity to do better!

In the coming months, HSDA will be working on an equity and social justice strategy to help us RISE ABOVE the most prevalent challenges in the healthcare supply chain.  Our plan is to empower and provide actionable information to our members:

  • Adopt healthcare supply chain strategies to promote and market suppliers that provide (1) Personal protective equipment and (2) Innovate/emerging technologies.
  • Create collaboration to address opportunities and obstacles within the shipping and manufacturing industries.
  • Develop virtual work and remote learning opportunities.
  • Provide updates about funding (federal and state) that could help membership.
  • Support members, especially as they shift and adapt to supply chain needs.

We must uplift all around us with access and opportunities to do business with each other to support the health of our communities.

Thank you again for all your support!
Deborah Williams, MBA, MSM
Board Chair

Are you a minority-owned business? Here is one way that you can participate in the cause:  by lending your voice and joining us. Please connect via e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Click here to learn more about HSDA.

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HIDA Establishes New Supplier Diversity Council

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Congratulations to HIDA, Andrea-Reubel Walker of Kerma Medical Products and Mara Maddocks of MAC Medical for establishing the new Supplier Diversity Council

--- Alexandria, VA --- The Health Industry Distributors Association is pleased to announce the formation of the Supplier Diversity Council, a new group providing networking and learning opportunities for diverse distributors, manufacturers, and other supply chain partners.

Andrea Reubel Walker

Andrea Reubel-Walker
Kerma Medical Products

Mara Maddocks MAC Medical

Mara Maddocks
MAC Medical

“This new council will facilitate the exchange of ideas and communication among distributors, manufacturers, GPOs, and IDNs to help address key issues unique to supply businesses owned by women, minorities, veterans, and members of the LGBTQ community,” said council co-chairs Andrea Ruebel-Walker with Kerma Medical Products and Mara Maddocks with MAC Medical.

“HIDA is committed to supporting supplier diversity,” said HIDA President & CEO Matt Rowan. “This new council creates a networking forum for the diverse supplier community, further strengthening our nation’s supply chain.”

The council’s charter meeting will be held in March during HIDA’s Executive Conference, an event for leaders involved in healthcare distribution, manufacturing, group purchasing, and related services.

Source: https://www.hida.org/hida/news/press_releases/distribution/news/press-releases/HIDA-Establishes-New-Supplier-Diversity-Council.aspx

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A Unique Artificial Intelligence (AI) Powered Collaborative Resource Planning Platform for Supplier Diversity Programs

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LOCOMeX annouces DivedIn: a cloud-based collaborative diversity resource planner platform with artificial intelligence (AI), data integration and blockchain solutions for small businesses & diverse suppliers to maintain competitiveness in the digital age.

Think of DivedIn as a Software As a Service (SaaS) supplier diversity platform solution for developing and implementing diverse supplier spend planning and tracking. This tool can be use for both Tier 1 & Tier 2 annual program goal setting, spend analytics and compliance & utilization reporting.

The platform offers a comprehensive suite of functionalities/features such as B2B2G Marketplace, Digital Matchmaker, Portal, Diversity & COPEX Planner, Invoice Tracker, RFP Creator, Team & BAFO Optimizer, Blockchain-based Contract Management Hub, Integration Gateways, etc. to optimize small & diverse businesses market share and profitability in the healthcare sector.

LOCOMeX's mission is to provide an innovative cloud-based platform using artificial intelligence, blockchain, data integration and digital content sharing, to small business & diverse supplier enterprise ecosystem.

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IBEX IT Business Experts and CEO Tracey Grace honored with Diversity Awards

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IBEX IT Business Experts was honored with the Earl G. Reubel Diverse Enterprise of the Year Award at the 2019 Earl G. Reubel Awards ceremony, which were presented on November 7, at a gala dinner hosted by Owens & Minor and Kerma Medical Products in Richmond, VA. The annual awards event recognize healthcare industry leaders — individuals and organizations — who advocate for diversity and inclusion within the healthcare supply chain.

The Earl G. Reubel Diverse Enterprise of the Year Award is given to a healthcare supplier delivering differentiated value as a minority-, woman-, veteran (disabled)-, or disabled-owned business enterprise (MWVBE). The 2019 honoree, IBEX IT Business Experts, is an Atlanta- based minority- and women-owned IT training and solutions small business led by Tracey Grace, President and CEO. IBEX created a Supplier Diversity Management System that helped UPMC Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to increase its diversity spend; bringing a diverse vendor base to a community health system.

Grace was also recognized in November by the Greater Women's Business Council (GWBC) as a 2019 LACE (Ladies Achieving Continuous Excellence) Trailblazer Award recipient (Category III). The GWBC announced the award winners at its annual LACE Awards Gala on Nov. 8 at the St. Regis hotel in Atlanta. This annual Black-tie event recognizes outstanding corporate partners and women business enterprises (WBEs) for their commitment and contributions in supporting women-owned businesses. The Trailblazer award recipients are selected based upon being a pillar in their community, contributing their time and talent with a proven track record of mentoring, partnerships, volunteerism and supporting other WBEs.

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