Linda's Small Business Corner: A Week of Diversity and Inclusion in Dallas

This was an amazing week for promoting Diversity and Inclusion, with events each day of the week that all were amazing opportunities for networking, meeting fellow MWBEs, and learning of opportunities in the DFW Area.

Our week started with an event on Monday where we met with current Affinity partners looking to expand their business base. We explored the areas of certification, proposal writing, prospecting on government sites, and the benefits of a 2 page business plan. We all got great takeaways and built some new friendships along the way.

Tuesday was a double duty day, with the morning at the DFW Minority Council, where we met with Cigna representatives who shared best practices on how to do business with them. They were well represented by close to ten people from various departments who explained each role and how to best prepare to bid on their business. They also stayed around after the presentation to do one on ones with the MBEs in the room, somewhat of speed dating rounds, but enough to identify which vendors they are taking to the next level. It was nice to see CIGNAs commitment to North Texas and to doing business with local companies.

The afternoon followed with Toyota's Community Event at the Plano Convention Center. It was an invitation only event, yet the program must have had over 300 attendees. Toyota spoke of what they are doing now and planning on doing in our community as well as upcoming opportunities for us to not only do business with them, but to get more involved in the community. They announce a new grant program that they launched with the United Way of North Texas, meant to promote transit and creative ideas. It was followed by a series of workshops, with topics ranging from doing business with Toyota to Community Involvement.

Wednesday was the big DFW Airport and Coca Cola "S.O.A.R." Conference, which I have to say was the highlight of the week. The event was meant to not only expose MWBEs to doing business with the airport, but also to give us skills and knowledge to help us in running our business. They hired an amazing speaker to talk about leadership and making things happen who definitely inspired us. I walked out of there feeling like nothing could stop me from my goals, as long as I continues to be willing to put in the time.

The evening was a spectacular event at the Meyerson Symphony where the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber conducted their installation of officers. It was a great event to meet with fellow Dallasites of all nationalities to celebrate the successes of the Chamber and to meet the new slate of board members. Rick Ortiz and his amazing team; Gabi, Paola, Sagi, and Daniel put together a great event. I don't deny to be partial to this chamber, as they do so much to help small businesses and provide educational opportunities not just for its members, but the community.

Thursday included two events as well; a Small Business workshop at the Bill Priest campus led by the SBDC Dallas. The SBDC continues to go a great job educating small businesses in North Texas and giving us the tools to not only grow, but to compete. The afternoon offered a networking opportunity hosted by Austin Industries on the new American Airlines headquarters. It allowed subs to meet primes and to ask questions on the project.

To final event of the week for us was the COMTO event. COMTO is an organization for Minority Transportation leaders and stuarts to promote the advancement of transportation in North Texas. Mayor Mike Rawlings spoke, along with US Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson , Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Erik Wilson, and Mayor Pro Tem Monica Alonzo. It was great to hear about the progress of the high speed rail as well as the upcoming DART initiatives in downtown Dallas, including the new subway. We were happy to be able to be a sponsor of the event along with many other great DFW Organizations.

So that was my week - how was yours?

~ Linda

#diversityandinclusion #greaterdallashispanicchamber #toyota #comto #dfwairport #cocacola

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