Council President Panelist
President & CEO
Capital Regions Minority Supplier Development Council
Sharon R. Pinder is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council (CRMSDC). — a non-profit corporation whose mission is to link corporations and government agencies with competitively viable Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs). A renowned expert in entrepreneurial diversity and inclusion, Pinder has transformed the landscape for minority and women owned businesses, leveling the playing field and creating increased opportunities for these businesses to succeed.
Pinder may be best known as Maryland’s first appointed cabinet Secretary of the Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs and for her work as the architect of Maryland’s minority and small business reform movement. During her first three years in this position, the number of contracts awarded to Maryland’s women and minority businesses increased from 15% to 22% and payments to them increased by $1 billion. She was also responsible for the creation of the Small Business Reserve Program – the country’s first state level set aside for small businesses. Her work has served at a model for other states. Pinder also created the Top 100 MBE Awards© program. In its 12th year, it is the region’s premier recognition ceremony for minority businesses.
At CRMSDC, Pinder continues to bring change and innovation. In the first 18 months of her tenure, CRMSDC won $4 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency for a new MBDA Business Center, Capital Region, and the nation’s only Federal Procurement Center solely dedicated to helping MBEs obtain federal contracts. She also has implemented several signature programs significantly enhancing services to both corporate members and MBE suppliers.
Prior to taking the helm at CRMSDC, Pinder served as the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Minority and Women-Owned Business Development (MWBD) for the City of Baltimore. As a member of the Mayor’s cabinet, Ms. Pinder was responsible for the management of the City’s minority and women business programs. During Ms. Pinder’s three-year tenure she developed and implemented the supplier diversity and inclusion strategy for the City. Prior to her appointment with the City, Ms. Pinder was Chief Executive Officer of The Pinder Group, and the founder of the Center for Business Inclusion and Diversity.
Prior to her tenure in diversity and inclusion, Pinder spent over twenty-five years in the information technology sector in organizations such as USF&G (now Traveler’s Insurance) Equitable Trust Bank (now Bank of America) and General Electric Information Systems where she played a significant role in leading GE onto the Internet.
Pinder has a Masters of Science Degree in Technology Management from the University of Maryland University College where she has the honor of serving as Professor of Practice in the School of Graduate Studies and is the 2004 Alumnae of the Year. In 2014, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore named a scholarship, the Sharon Pinder Award for Entrepreneurship, in her honor.