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September 16, 2016

Chicago is Host City for Annual Gathering, October 23-26, 2016; 
Event is Nation’s Largest Forum in Support of Supplier Diversity

The 2016 National Minority Supplier Development Council Conference and Business Opportunity Exchange will be held at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois, October 23-26. This annual event is the nation’s premier forum on minority supplier development. For four days, more than 6,000 corporate CEOs, procurement executives and supplier diversity professionals from the top multinational companies, as well as leading Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American business owners and international organizations, will convene to re-energize their collective efforts to develop and advocate for more vigorous participation by minority-owned firms in global corporate supply chains.

The theme of this year’s NMSDC Conference and Business Opportunity Exchange is “Minority Supplier Development: Investing in the Future.” During the event, more than 20 educational seminar sessions and interactive workshops will engage attendees with details of the latest commercial advances, and strategies and techniques to prepare for economic developments in the coming years.

Opportunities on Sunday, October 23, include “Boot Camps” for Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs), which offer strategic advice on customer relations, business management, and establishing collaborative relationships with other companies. On Monday, October 24, there will be a one-day Business Opportunity Exchange with more than 700 exhibit booths and opportunities for establishing business-to-business ties. Networking scenarios abound at this event as well as at the NMSDC Matchmaking Event for corporate members and certified MBEs on Tuesday, October 25, and in the Connect Zone business lounge.

In one of the highlights of the Conference, the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency will again partner with NMSDC to present Powered by MBDA, a cluster of learning sessions featuring the latest information and trends in federal procurement, international trade and technological innovation. In addition, various federal agencies will also exhibit together in an area of the Business Opportunity Exchange known as Federal Gateway. Powered by MBDA is organized in conjunction with the National Minority Enterprise Development Week (MED Week, an annual event scheduled by U.S. presidential proclamation since 1983).

Wednesday, October 26, will see the Conference wrap up with a black-tie Awards Banquet and Reception, honoring the NMSDC Corporation of the Year, Corporate Innovation, Corporate Excellence in Access to Capital, and Supplier, Minority Supplier Development Leader and Regional Council of the Year.

According to Joset Wright-Lacy, president of NMSDC, “The 2016 Conference and Business Opportunity Exchange will give forward-thinking corporate executives and minority business owners the tools to cope with shifting economic winds, and to take advantage of as-yet unimagined opportunities for commerce presented in the near – and more distant – future. As the U.S. nears the point where minorities comprise greater than 50% of the population, the need for strong minority-owned businesses in national and global supply chains will be vital to the health of our economy.”

The economic impact generated by the Conference itself is considerable: $7.5 million total, including an estimate of more than $1 million in state and local taxes and 1,400+ jobs supported. A survey of last year’s Conference attendees show that 73% of the over 6,000 attendees spent more than $1,000 each in the Conference city.

Conference sponsors include: Ampcus (MBE Presenting Sponsor), BP (Corporate Presenting Sponsor), MetLife (Corporate Platinum Sponsor), Ongweoweh Corp. (MBE Platinum Sponsor), VIVA (MBE Co-Chair) and Walgreens (Corporate Co-Chair). DiversityComm is the NMSDC’s media partner for the event. For a complete list of companies supporting the Conference, please go to and scroll to the bottom.


The National Minority Supplier Development Council advances business opportunities for certified minority business enterprises and connects them to corporate members. One of the country’s leading corporate membership organizations, NMSDC was chartered in 1972 to provide increased procurement and business opportunities for minority businesses of all sizes. The NMSDC Network includes a National Office in New York and 23 affiliate regional councils across the country. The network also includes five international partner organizations located in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, China and South Africa.

To meet the growing need for supplier diversity, NMSDC matches its more than 12,000 certified minority-owned businesses to our network of more than 1,750 corporate members who wish to purchase their products, services and solutions. NMSDC, a unique and specialized player in the field of minority business enterprise, is proud of its unwavering commitment to advance Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American suppliers in a globalized corporate supply chain. For more information, visit