Dear NMSDC Community,
As I reflect on my two-year anniversary with NMSDC this week, I am truly humbled by the extraordinary journey of transformation we have undertaken together. Our mission to serve as a growth engine for NMSDC-certified MBEs and help our corporate members advance economic equity has been the guiding force behind everything we do.
The past two years have also come with their fair share of challenges and moments of uncertainty. Yet, through it all, we remained steadfast in our commitment to affect change and propel NMSDC and its mission forward.
I look back with immense gratitude for the incredible team that rallied behind our mission, contributing positively to our progress. NMSDC’s chairman of the board, board officers, and many of our board members have demonstrated courageous and positive leadership that has sparked the creativity and dedication of our small but mighty team, who in partnership with our 23 regional affiliate councils, drove progress in ways that have surpassed even my wildest expectation. We have overcome challenges, celebrated wins, and learned invaluable lessons along the way. Together, we have achieved several major milestones and laid the foundation for success. And we are poised to make an even greater impact in the years ahead. Thank you all for driving this transformation forward.
As I reminisced about our shared accomplishments, I was reminded of how the Late Show with David Letterman used to inspire me when I first arrived in this country with one suitcase and $1,000. Watching his show helped me improve my English and understand American humor better. One of my favorite segments was the Top 10 lists, and it got me thinking – what better way to celebrate all we’ve accomplished together in the last two years than with our own Top 10 list (though one with a more serious tone):
- We embarked on an audacious march towards $1 trillion in annual revenue for NMSDC-certified MBEs, and the commitment from many corporate members to increase their spending with MBEs has set us on a course toward accelerating the creation of generational wealth for the communities we serve.
- Our collective efforts resulted in a remarkable 21% year-over-year increase in annual revenue for NMSDC-certified MBEs. This tangible progress underscores the efficacy of our renewed focus on MBE growth. For further insights, I invite you to explore NMSDC’s 2022 Minority Businesses Economic Impact Report.
- We blazed a trail by pioneering the Minority Business Economic Forum. This platform galvanized a vanguard of corporate chief officers and policymakers, fostering actionable solutions to the critical challenges facing minority businesses while forging powerful connections between high-growth MBEs including our Corporate Plus members and key C-suite executives.
- We reimagined our annual conference and other programming to increase connections and opportunities for growth in direct response to our MBEs’ requests. For example, the 50th Anniversary Conference & Exchange broke the previous record for attendance and connections made. Thanks to our 11 regional councils that participated in the NMSDC’s Centers of Excellence, the program made a tangible impact with 97% of the MBEs participating in the programs reporting an increase in revenue.
- We elevated NMSDC’s brand through 15 strategic partnerships including agreements with the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) and BeyGOOD Foundation, impactful speaking engagements, and a stronger presence with the mainstream media. I invite you to read NMSDC stories in several major publications including the New York Times, Miami Herald, Forbes, and Inc.
- We doubled down on public policy, positioning NSMDC as a thought leader in the minority business development space. Our frequent engagements with top officials at the White House and key government agencies have allowed us to champion the interests of MBEs and explore collaborative opportunities to support their growth. I encourage you to sign up for our advocacy newsletter here and read the latest issue here.
- Achieving fiscal success and operational efficiency. We have realized over $1 million in cost savings and increased the percentage of our budgeted revenue by double digits in 2021 and 2022. I am incredibly grateful to all who provide the NMSDC network, including the regional councils, financial support and look forward to working with you to ensure a stronger financial foundation for our transformation and future endeavors.
- With a heightened commitment to MBE growth, we have implemented strategic organizational structures, including the Capital Manager’s Program, MBE Growth department, and a Corporate C-Suite Advisory Committee. These initiatives are equipping MBEs to address corporate demand and secure vital capital for scaling their businesses.
- We have embraced technology as a powerful tool in fulfilling our mission. Our comprehensive technology roadmap will ensure a seamless experience for all stakeholders, supporting our role as a growth engine for MBEs.
- Finally, we dared to challenge the status quo and embarked on a journey of change and transformation, beginning with a transition from a 50-year-old distributed certification model to a new and efficient hybrid model. This leap will unlock unparalleled efficiency, cost savings, and a heightened user experience, opening a new chapter of growth and success.
As we celebrate these momentous achievements, let us remember that our journey is far from over. Our transformation has only just begun. The $1 trillion mark is only a milestone on our path to a future where economic equity is not just a dream but a reality. Despite the recent policy and legal challenges surrounding DEI, we remain steadfast in our commitment, unwavering in our resolve, and resolute in our belief that growing MBEs is the bedrock of a better, more inclusive economy. Let this moment ignite a fire within us, a fire that fuels our determination to push forward with renewed vigor and unwavering dedication.
Today, I reaffirm my commitment to our shared mission and the belief that MBE growth and corporate member satisfaction come first. To everyone who has supported us, partnered with us, and challenged us – from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU! I am honored and privileged to lead this extraordinary network. In unity, we will shape the narrative of economic equity empowering MBEs and create a ripple effect that will uplift communities for generations to come.
With utmost gratitude and unshakable belief in our shared mission,
CEO and President