On Monday, October 5th, the Council held its Business Opportunity Exchange and regional Awards Luncheon in Riverside, Missouri, at the award winning Argosy Casino Hotel and Spa.  Attendees experienced a full day of programming specifically designed to re-energize them; making them smarter, more visible, and better connected.

During the State of Minority Business: Economic Outlook Breakfast guests were led, by Clyde McQueen, President and CEO of the Full Employment Council , through a dialogue between Helena Haynes-Carter, Executive Director of the Denver Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Center, and Dell Gines, Sr. Community Development Advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank, Tenth District about the current State of Minority Business, the economic impact and outlook.

  • The Mountain Plains Minority Supplier Development Council makes up 9% of total minority firms
  • In Kansas and Missouri our minority firms represent all 20 industry sectors
  • Annual Payrolls of Kansas and Missouri minority firms equal $137,000,000
  • Kansas and Missouri minority firms employ 3,300,000
  • In Kansas and Missouri, our minority firms generate $967,000,000 in revenue
  • Kansas and Missouri have 730,724 minority firms

Joste Wright-Lacy, President, National Minority Supplier Development Council

Download your copy of Helena Haynes Carter’s, Executive Director, Denver MBDA Center, presentation on the State of Minority Affairs

Download your copy of the National Minority Supplier Development Council’s Economic Impact Study

Following the State of Minority Business: Economic Outlook Breakfast, corporate members and certified MBEs were able to attend workshops focused on best practices for minority supplier development, creating winning partnerships through collaboration, and MBE-to-MBE strategic initiatives.

Our signature corporate workshop, a Corporate View from the Top: The Benefits of an Effective Supplier Diversity Program was facilitated by Joyce Christianio, Sr. Manager, Supplier Diversity, Sprint, presented by Maria Jenks, Vice President, Supply Chain, Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) and Byron Witherspoon, Director-Office of  Supplier Diversity, Ameren . This interactive session gave attendees the opportunity to learn from supplier diversity leaders in the utilities industry, addressing innovative ways companies can collaborate to build and develop strategic supplier diversity initiatives.

Our complementing signature MBE workshop, an MBE View from the Top: The Importance of the Minority Business Enterprise Input Committee (MBEIC) was presented by Clifford Bailey, National MBEIC Chairperson-President & CEO, TechSoft Systems, Inc., Attendees received a first-hand look at National MBEIC initiatives, an understanding of the mission of the MBEIC, its relationship and importance to the Board and Council staff.

The Regional Awards Luncheon: Creating Winning Partnerships

This year’s Awards Luncheon, was an opportunity to recognize MBEs and Corporations across our regional footprint (Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska).  We were excited to host the inaugural regional Awards Luncheon in Missouri this year.

Kelly Scanlon, President & CEO, Thinking Bigger Business Media, Inc. facilitated a conversation with Wy Livingston, President & CEO, Wystone’s World Teas, a Mountain Plains MSDC Certified MBE, about her winning partnership with MillerCoors  to create their very own Chai Spiced Ale.  Kelly and Wy guided us through the importance of fostering relations that further your business footprint; negotiating payment and contract terms; identifying partners and leveraging Council/professional resources.

Congratulations to all of the award winners in the following categories:

Supplier of the Year, Class 1 Extra Hands Services, Inc.













Supplier of the Year, Class 3 Fortis Networks

Not pictured

Advocate of the Year: Devere Meyer, Sprint













Corporation of the Year: Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L)













Our day long Business Opportunity Exchange and Regional Awards Luncheon culminated with the Connection Zone, a 1:1 dialogue between corporate members, community partners and MBEs about current and pipeline contracting opportunities.  We had more than 20 participating corporate members.


SAVE THE DATE to join us May 11th and 12th for our Annual Golf Tournament and Business Opportunity Exchange!

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Thank you to all of our 2015 Business Opportunity Exchange and regional Awards Luncheon Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor

Argosy Flat Coated (Solid)_BLK (1)







Breakfast Sponsors

Commercial Litho (1)







Awards Luncheon Sponsors







Reception Sponsors

CenturyLinklogoCopy of NSC Small Business logo tagline (b)_vFINp.ai (1)










Print Sponsors







Corporate Silver Sponsor










Break Station Sponsors



burns and mc (2)








*Statistics derived from the US CENSUS; 2012 Survey of Minority Business Owners
Scott Anthony Vowels, PhD, Co-founder of the Institute for Thought Diversity

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