Procurement Luncheon Report

April 28, 2016

John F Robinson

National Minority Business Council (NMBC) Procurement Luncheon Offers D & B Insights on Credit Worthiness – Peaks and Pitfalls

New York, NY – The National Minority Business Council’s (NMBC) April presentation, “Leveraging Your Business Credit File,” the latest event in the nonprofit organization’s annual series of Procurement Opportunity luncheons, featured keynote speaker, Amber Colley, business credit expert with Dun & Bradstreet. Colley offered an in-depth exploration of the ‘why’s’ and ‘how’s’ of doing business with D & B to help startups and established businesses fully understand the role of credit worthiness and how to both protect their businesses and enable them to grow. The luncheon was held at BNY Mellon’s 101 Barclay St. offices in Manhattan.

NMBC President and CEO John F. Robinson noted that “The NMBC is dedicated to offering valuable insights to business owners which includes advising them of pitfalls to avoid and peaks to aspire to – credit worthiness clearly relates to both ends of the spectrum.”

Benjamin Jones, NMBC’s chairman of the board of directors and president of Lightning Supply Co., noted that “Fully understanding the financial component is key to building a business.” He introduced Amber Colley as “an industry resource and expert on how a business image and credit history tie into a company’s credit worthiness and credibility and, consequently, its growth.”

Colley told an audience comprised primarily of MBEs and WBEs (minority and women business enterprises) that she is passionate about working as a “small business advocate to help business owners grow their business and fuel our economy.”

Explaining that Dun & Bradstreet’s purpose is to mitigate risk by predicting the likelihood of distress, she explored a variety of topics including credit scores and ratings calculated to arrive at a delinquency predictor score; the value of obtaining a D & B D-U-N-S number to yield a more robust credit profile  –  a requirement of many Fortune 500 companies and banks; Credit Signal, a free D & B service which monitors credit; and a Paydex score which offers performance information on payment history.

A positive credit report can foster increased sales and loan opportunities; higher lines of credit; improved finance rates and terms; better cash flow – cash is king; and greater ability to access capital, win bids, and negotiate terms. In every way, opportunities are heightened.

Urging all to be proactive, not reactive and to be sure to evaluate the credit risk of business partners to keep the supply chain healthy and maintain a positive cash flow, Colley concluded by encouraging engagement with D & B. “We’re here to help,” she said.

Participants found the topic compelling and the networking extremely helpful.

Adjua Mantebea, owner/CEO, A Delight Production, said, “I’m getting a world of knowledge in a short time.”

Betty Brano, president, Brano Design, came for the “opportunity to meet people from different business backgrounds who share common goals and are open to exchanging ideas in a supportive, non-competitive setting.”

Jill Johnson, CEO, Workshop in Business Opportunities (WIBO), said, “Events like this are so important for owners to network with each other and take the business to the next level. This is a wonderful organization to help business owners gain access to opportunity.”

Sophia Samuel, president, Crescens Inc., IT staffing, gained “some interesting and valuable insights into the workings of Dun and Bradstreet “ and “learned quite a few good business practices and of other person’s experiences at the luncheon. ”

Roxanne Brown, president, Alpha & Omega Stone, said, “Since attending the luncheon I’ve already implemented specific points with three vendors I work with.”

The NMBC has been serving the minority, women and veteran-owned business community for over four decades through direct services in the areas of procurement, education and training, advocacy, global business services and financial resources. It is a not-for-profit organization meeting the needs of the Small Business Community domestically and globally since 1972.

For further information about NMBC please call 347-289-7620, email or visit the website.

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Caption: L-R – NMBC Chairman of the Board Benjamin Jones, president of Lightning Supply; Amber Colley, business credit expert, Dun & Bradstreet; NMBC President and CEO John F. Robinson at the National Minority Business Council’s Procurement Luncheon in April.





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Minority Business Hall of Fame Museum 12th Annual Induction Ceremony – 2016

MBHFM Invitation 2016

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Press Release: Minority Business Hall of Fame and Museum Inductees for 2016




For additional information contact
Carol Daugherty Foster

Minority Business Hall of Fame and Museum and the University of Washington Foster School of Business to Induct Six Minority Business Advocates and Pioneers

DALLAS April 26, 2016 – The Minority Business Hall of Fame and Museum Inc. in collaboration with the University of Washington Foster School of Business will induct six minority business pioneers and advocates at an awards dinner on May 10 at BNY Mellon in New York City.

“The MBHF&M is honored to have the opportunity to return to New York City after 10 years and hold this induction ceremony at BNY Mellon,” said John F. Robinson, president & CEO of the MBHF&M. “This is an ideal venue to honor pioneers and trailblazers as we induct a new generation of minority business entrepreneurs and advocates.”

This year’s inductees are The Billion Dollar Roundtable, Claire P. Scanlon, vice president of supplier diversity for BNY Mellon in New York City; Lou Switzer, founder, chairman and CEO of The Switzer Group in New York City; Rosa Santana, CEO of Integrated Human Capital International, LLC of El Paso; Tracey Pinson Dennis (posthumously), former director of Small/Diverse Business and Strategic Alliances for Boeing Defense, Space and Security; and Nina Vaca, chairman and CEO of Pinnacle Group in Dallas.

PepsiCo the founding corporate sponsor of MBHF&M and is joined this year by IBM, Northrop Grumman, and Toyota Motor North America.

About the Inductees:

The Billion Dollar Roundtable Inc. (BDR) is a not-for-profit organization providing thought leadership and solution-driven exploration of key issues and best practices in supplier diversity.  The BDR member companies, among the world’s largest and most important business firms, each spend $1 billion or more annually for a broad range of goods and services from certified Tier 1 companies whose owners are minorities and women.  The BDR was founded in 2001 by Don McKneely, chairman and chief executive officer, TexCorp Communications Inc.; Sharon Patterson, president and chief executive officer, Billion Dollar Roundtable Inc., and Shirley Harrison (retired). Rick Hughes, a retired chief procurement officer with Procter & Gamble Co., serves as the current BDR chairman.

Claire P. Scanlon leads the supplier diversity program as vice president of BNY Mellon in New York City. She was instrumental in creating and developing the company’s program, which was established in 1994 to promote the use of small and diverse-owned businesses minority-, women, veteran-, LGBT owned and other certain qualifying small business enterprises throughout the bank. In her role, Scanlon has led BNY Mellon to become a strong partner and supporter of many supplier diversity organizations.

Lou Switzer established The Switzer Group in 1975 in New York City. Under Switzer’s leadership as chairman and CEO, the firm has garnered prestigious U.S. and international assignments from Fortune 500 corporations.  Today, the firm ranks as the nation’s largest black-owned interior architectural design firm and is among the Top 100 American design firms. The dedicated staff is committed to preserving diversity within the firm and in the firm’s choice of suppliers and consultants.

 Rosa Santana is a staffing industry entrepreneur who began to make her mark as a staffing industry executive over 35 years ago. Currently, she is CEO of Human Capital International, LLC based in El Paso. Santana has a keen interest in minority business development and has dedicated countless hours mentoring other MBEs and WBEs. Santana cites her selection as the first female Hispanic Direct Tier 1 supplier in Toyota’s history as one of her proudest accomplishments. Her newest company, Forma Automotive, assembles truck beds for the Toyota Tacoma.

Tracey L. Pinson Dennis (posthumously recognized) served in various appointments in the public and private sector to advocate for disadvantaged and small businesses. In 1995, the Secretary of Defense appointed her director, Office of Small Business Programs, Office of the Secretary of the Army.  Under her leadership, the Army awarded over $300 billion in contracts to small businesses.  Pinson Dennis managed the Army Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Serving Institutions (MIs) Program. Under her leadership, more than $100 billion was awarded to HBCUs/MIs.  In 2014, Pinson Dennis joined The Boeing Company as director of Small/Diverse Business and Strategic Alliances for Boeing Defense, Space and Security.  Pinson Dennis passed away on December 14, 2014.

Nina Vaca is Pinnacle Group’s chairman and chief executive officer. Vaca’s leadership transformed the Dallas-based company from a niche IT services firm to a workforce solutions powerhouse, with a suite of business lines that address the range of human capital challenges companies face today. In addition to her varied business pursuits, Vaca is a committed civic leader and philanthropist. She is a passionate advocate for women and entrepreneurs, especially within the Hispanic and minority communities. In 2014, the White House appointed Vaca as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship.


The University of Washington’s Michael G. Foster School of Business ( was founded in 1917 and is ranked among the nation’s Top 10 public business schools. For 20 years the school’s Consulting and Business Development Center ( has been a national leader in engaging students and faculty in growing minority-owned businesses through consulting and business education programs.


The MBHF&M was founded in April of 2004 by the National Minority Business Council, Inc., based in New York City and the Minority Business News USA publication, a Dallas based minority business publication. John F. Robinson, Don McKneely, and Carol Foster are the charter founders of the MBHF&M. Since 2004, the MBHF&M has inducted over 60 pioneers and trailblazers of minority business development in the United States.

For more information about the MBHF&M please visit our website at or contact us at 347-289-7620 or 214-334-9538 For information about the exhibit honoring MBHF&M inductees at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business contact Michael Verchot at 206-543-9327.



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The New Health Care Reform Act of 2010

The new health care reform law, officially known as the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” was signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010. The media, not all of whom are friendly to this legislation, often refer to the new health law as “ObamaCare”. Many of the negative media comments concentrate on the fact that this bill contains over $400 billion in new taxes on individuals and businesses.
This complex Act runs to over 1,400 pages. In this analysis, we will attempt to gauge the effect of the Health Care Reform Act on small and medium-sized businesses. We will not try to cover all the points as they relate to small business: there are just too many for a short report. We will however take a look at the Act’s principal provisions.
 The Act provides for an employer tax credit for small businesses: If you have 25 or fewer employees and a full-time work force with average wages of less than $40,000, you can get tax credits to help buy health insurance: up to 35 percent of the cost of the premiums this year, rising to 50 percent in 2014. This tax credit is effective if you (the employer) contribute at least 50% of the total health insurance premiums. This tax credit runs from the present (2010) through 2013. Beginning in 2014, small businesses that purchase health insurance for their employees through state health insurance exchanges can receive a two-year small business tax credit of up to 50% of the cost of the premiums.
For tax-exempt (not for profit) organizations there is a 25% tax credit. It is not clear how this would work for organizations that do not pay taxes .
 Penalties – Starting in 2014, if you have 50 or more employees and do not provide minimum essential health insurance (not yet defined) you will be charged a non-deductible fee. This fee will equal $2,000 times the number of your employees, but it won’t count the first 30 workers in that calculation. As an example, if you have 75 employees and do not provide coverage, you will a pay the penalty for 45 workers, or $90,000 (45 x $2,000). Employers with 50 or fewer employees are exempt from penalties.
It appears that there are no restrictions on the types of plans an employer may offer and the cost-sharing arrangements between a company and its employees.
 Penalty if Employer Offers Coverage But Employee Receives a Tax Credit An employer offering “minimum essential coverage” may nevertheless have an employee who chooses to obtain subsidized coverage through an exchange (see below). An employer may face a penalty of up to $3,000 for each such individual. This appears to be an effort to ensure that employers subsidize coverage sufficiently to keep such individuals in the employer’s plan rather than in the federally subsidized individual market.
It is important to note that these penalties are indexed for inflation.
 Employee W-2’s Beginning in 2011 there is a requirement that businesses include the value of the health care benefits they provide to employees on W-2s.

 State Run Exchanges Small Business Health Option Programs (“SHOP”) Beginning in 2014, health insurance will be available to individuals and small businesses through state-run “exchanges.” These will require insurance companies to compete for business in a marketplace. The objective is to make it easier for individuals and small businesses to obtain health insurance at a lower price.
The exchange program for small businesses, known as the “Small Business Health Options Program” (SHOP), will allow small businesses to pool together to increase their purchasing power. This will allow these businesses to offer health insurance to their employees at rates similar to those available to large corporations.
SHOP is available to small businesses with up to 100 employees, although states have the option to limit participation to businesses with 50 employees or less until 2016. If a business participating in SHOP grows to over 100 employees, it may continue to take advantage of the program. Beginning in 2017, states may opt to allow businesses with more than 100 employees to participate in SHOP as well.

 Pre-existing Conditions – Starting six months after the enactment of the Health reform Bill, insurance companies will no longer be able to deny children coverage based on a pre-existing condition. Beginning in 2014, insurance companies will not be able to deny coverage to anyone with pre-existing conditions. As a small business employer, your entire work-force will be eligible for coverage in 2014 no matter the physical condition of any of your employees.

 The Administration has stated that the Health Care Act provides the following Benefits for small Businesses

• End of Price Discrimination Based on Illness: Health reform will end price discrimination. Starting in 2014, “community rating” rules will prohibit insurers from charging more to cover small businesses with sicker workers or raising rates when someone gets sick.
• Health Security Empowers Entrepreneurship: By providing health security for every American and eliminating exclusions for pre-existing conditions and price discrimination against those who are sick, health reform will make it easier for small businesses to attract the best workers and easier for entrepreneurs to strike out on their own.
• Reduce Hidden Tax by Dramatically Expanding Coverage: Health reform will significantly reduce this tax by covering an additional 32 million Americans by 2019.
• Health Reform Will Lower Costs, Making Coverage More Affordable: Taken together, the measures described above will significantly reduce premiums for small businesses. According to CBO, health reform will reduce the cost of a given plan in the small group market by 1-4 percent by 2016.

However, the one area that might prove to be a major issue for small and medium-sized businesses is the “Penalties” provision (see above). The Act establishes a strong disincentive to expand employment, particularly for firms looking to grow beyond the threshold of 50 workers per firm. For many companies in the U.S., the marginal cost may be great enough to forgo hiring additional workers. This would be counterproductive to the Administration’s job creation initiatives.

Compiled by:

Alan J. Rude
NMBC Consultant


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THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMY (Opportunities for M/WBEs In Emerging Markets Worldwide)

By John F. Robinson and Gary D. Mizel


In doing research for this article regarding emerging markets, we came across an article by Chuan Li from The University of Iowa Center for International Finance and Development.  We are using a portion of Mr. Li’s article for which we want to give credit at the outset.

Emerging markets are countries that are restructuring their economies along market-oriented lines and offer a wealth of opportunities in trade, technology transfers, and foreign direct investment.  According to the World Bank, the five biggest emerging markets are China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, and Russia.  Other countries that are also considered as emerging markets include Mexico, Argentina, South Africa, Poland, Turkey, and South Korea.  These countries made a critical transition from a developing country to an emerging market.  Each of them is important as an individual market and the combined effect of the group as a whole will change the face of global economies and politics.  We want to make sure that we include Botswana (just above South Africa) as an essential part of our group of emerging market countries.  We also wanted to include in the emerging market menu of countries Peru, Uruguay, Ghana, South Africa and Tanzania – we are additionally including the Asian countries of Taiwan and Malaysia.

Taiwan is in the process of creating its own emerging market by promoting the free thinking ideals that led to their move from mainland China.  These principles are being prepared within the Taiwanese media to offer full and fair reporting plus accurate and reliable data within the programming scheme from Taiwan and its like-minded allies.  For geological greatness, Taiwan is an island that is sequestered – providing privacy from any nearby islands or any giant land masses such as Asia and China particularly.  Not to be misunderstood, Taiwan is developing trade relations with China and considers that country to be a vital emerging market.

According to the authors, the leading emerging market countries are from South America, Africa, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe and Latin America; to name a few places. We feel it is crucial to look at either the public or private sector of the mentioned countries for new business opportunities. These countries represent a new frontier of business opportunities for minority and women

owned businesses based in the United States of America.  Understanding that the US economy is in the process of a transitioning that is emphasizing global trade by the business community, for both small and large businesses alike. If M/WBEs do not seek out global business opportunities that are needed to survive as business owners in America, they will be very hard pressed to survive in a rapidly changing American economy where opportunities are shrinking for small, minority and women owned businesses as well as large enterprises alike.

Background on Emerging Markets

There are two critical reasons for the importance of emerging markets in this new decade; the failure of state-led economic development and the need for capital investment by emerging market countries.  First, state-led economic development has failed to produce sustainable growth in the traditional developing countries.  This failure and its tremendous negative impact pushed those countries to adopt open market policies and to change from the state’s being in charge of the economy to facilitating economic growth along market-driven lines.  Second, the developing countries desperately needed capital to finance their development, but the traditional government borrowing failed to fuel the development process.  In the past, the government of an emerging market country borrowed either from commercial banks or from foreign governments and multilateral lenders like the IMF and the World Bank.  This often resulted in heavy debt overload and led to a severe economic imbalance.  The past track record of many developing countries also demonstrates their inability to well manage and efficiently operate the borrowed funds to support economic growth.  In light of the unsatisfactory results of government borrowing, developing countries began to rely on equity investment as a means of financing their economic growth.  They sought to attract equity investment from private investors who would become their partners in development.  To attract equity financing, a developing country has to establish the preconditions of a market economy and create a business climate that meets the expectations of foreign investors.  This change in financial structuring thus became another factor leading to the rise of emerging markets.

As a precursor to engaging in emerging markets, we want to state emphatically that the worldwide emergence of entrepreneurship is the key element or trait necessary to succeed within this market environment.  Minority business enterprises based in the United States of America may find that they have a competitive advantage in doing business in countries that share their roots of origin.  That competitive advantage will only make it perhaps a little easier to do business in an emerging market country, but if your product, service, or price is not what a country is looking to obtain from your business your ethnic roots to that country will not help you “close the deal”.  Like any other place in the world that a business owner wishes to do business, he or she must be competitive and superior in its business transaction, whether with a country or a private enterprise within an emerging market country.

The rise of emerging markets is changing the traditional view of development as follows:  First, foreign “investment” is replacing foreign “assistance.”  Investing or doing business in emerging markets is no longer associated with the traditional notion of providing development assistance to poorer nations.  Second, emerging markets are rationalizing their trade relations and capital investment with industrialized countries.  Trade and capital flows are directed more toward new market opportunities, and less by political consideration.  Third, the increasing two-way trade and capital flows between emerging markets and industrialized countries reflect the transition from dependency to global interdependency.  The accelerated information exchange, especially with the aid of the Internet, is integrating emerging markets into the global market at a faster pace.

What are the challenges for companies interfacing within emerging market countries?  In their effort to create a market economy and to ensure sustainable development, emerging market countries still face big challenges that come from fundamental problems associated with their traditional economic and political systems.  A market economy requires those countries to redefine the role of the government in the development process and to reduce the government’s undue intervention.  Another serious problem that those countries have to confront is controlling corruption, which distorts the business environment and impedes the development process.  An even more challenging task for those countries is to undertake structural reforms with a disciplined and stable economy that is relatively free of political disturbances and interference.


The growth of emerging market countries will be determined by such key factors as the successful growth of world trade markets and global financial stability, emerging market countries will become critical players in the global economy based on their success of integration into the whole global marketplace.  Emerging markets countries have a huge untapped potential if they are determined to undertake domestic reforms to support sustainable economic growth.  If they can maintain political stability and succeed with their structural reforms, their future is promising and will provide great business opportunities for small, minority and women owned enterprises based in the United States of America and other countries around the world over the next decade.

If any of our M/WBE readers have comments about the above article, please communicate with us through our blog at

Copyright 2010

National Minority Business Council, Inc.

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FALL 2009




In view of the current economic situation, we would like to know whether your business has benefited from the stimulus Bill by new contract or expanded financing to your business through your local bank?

ANSWER:  YES: 1 (6%)

NO: 16(94%)


1, The billions for biotechnology research awarded for NIH did not go for small biotech-IT

2, Nothing in the bill helps manufacturing, financing is tough to find

3, In the mental arena and nothing a advantage of stimulus funds, though they are dealing

with suicidal clients daily who are situations due to lost job


Based on recent business activity during the third quarter(July, August and September, 2009) has your business profitability in creased?

ANSWER: YES: 2 (12%)

NO: 14(82%)

SAME: 1(6%)


1, Manufacturing has dried up, major corporations have no money

2, lost city contracts and competitive bids and finding the healthcare arena to stay a float

3, Business is dramatically down


Do you feel that your business` bottom line will improve in the first quarter of 2010?

ANSWER: YES:  6(36%)

NO: 8(48%)

NOT SURE : 3(18%)


1, Manufacturing is a an all time low

2, Yes but not because of the stimulus funds

3, Forecast no increases but staying about the same

We sent this survey to 300 NMBC members and   7% responded.

According to the answers most of the stimulus funds didn`t work in small business and most money floated into big company. Only 12% of the people said they had their business profitability increased during the third quarter (July, August and September, 2009).  Most people said their businesses decreased and some people were worried about contracts which they lost, due to the recession.  About 70% of the people think that their business’s bottom line will not improve in the first quarter of 2010.

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January 2010

NMBC Announces New Financing Initiative for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

Dear NMBC Member:

The National Minority Business Council is pleased to announce a new, major financing initiative designed to assist small and medium-sized enterprises in obtaining ‘permanent’ funding to grow their businesses.

The Council is partnering with a substantial private equity/ venture capital investment fund working to provide equity financing for qualified companies.  This assistance will be in the form of Alternative Public Offerings (“APOs”), an attractive alternative to the traditional costly and time-consuming IPO approach. If your company meets the following criteria you may be eligible for this program:

  • A minimum of three years of continuous operations
  • Financial statements for the past two years prepared by an outside accountant
  • Revenues of $3,000,000 per year or more
  • Profitable operations in the past year
  • Doing business in the following growth sectors: healthcare and biomedical, information technology, water pollution control, clean/green energy or infrastructure

The mechanics of the APO program are straightforward.  You would merge your company into a clean public vehicle with its stock already listed either on the NYSE – AMEX or the Bulletin Board.  Simultaneously we would provide the required equity financing to enable your business to move forward. This equity financing would be in the range of $2 million to $10 million depending on the size and type of company being financed. Unlike the typical private equity or venture fund we would NOT demand majority control of a firm we are financing.

There will be significant benefits to you and your firm – a few of these are:

  • An infusion of permanent capital
  • Control of a public company which will enable you to raise additional capital or acquire other businesses
  • Publicly traded stock which will enhance your ability to hire high-talent personnel
  • You will have stock which can be sold in the market at the appropriate time to provide liquidity for you and your family

If you believe your business might benefit from this Program please fill out the attached Questionnaire and forward to the NMBC at INFO@NMBC.ORG attn: John F. Robinson.  We believe that this may be the best time for a company to take itself public to be ready for the improvement in the economy that is sure to happen in the next five to six months.  Please consider this financial program as a way of taking your business to the next level. Any questions about this program please feel free to call me at the NMBC telephone number:  (212) 693-5050.


John F. Robinson

John F. Robinson

President  & CEO

NMBC, Inc.

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