Subject: #SoulBlast - Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council Hosts R.O.A.R. Conference & Matchmaker

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#SoulBlast - Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council Hosts R.O.A.R. Conference & Matchmaker

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Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council Hosts
R.O.A.R. Conference & Matchmaker

Minority-owned businesses and buying entities come together to explore business opportunities and develop their companies

PITTSBURGH, PA – More than 300 MWDBE business owners, corporate decision makers, government agencies, and community organizations converged on The Wyndham Grand in Pittsburgh, PA, on March 8, 2018, for the Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council’s (EMSDC) R.O.A.R. Conference & Matchmaker. UPMC and EQT were the top sponsors of this one-day supplier diversity conference which included dynamic speakers, concurrent workshops, the Stellar Awards Luncheon, one-on-one matchmaking meetings, Corporate Roundtable discussions, and endless networking opportunities.

“We strive to deliver value, increase partnerships and connections, expand our capacity to build legacy businesses, and foster an ecosystem of strong businesses that continue to create sustainable wealth within our communities,” said Valarie J. Cofield, president and CEO of the EMSDC, adding that “the R.O.A.R. Conference is just one of our many programs that help us accomplish these goals.”

Todd Cohen, the nation’s leading voice on building sales culture, delivered an interactive keynote presentation at the Power Breakfast on the importance of being present. Attendees also participated in a variety of workshops including “The Impact of the New Tax Plan,” “The Psyche of Supplier Diversity,” “Everyone’s in Sales,” and “Best Practices in Government Contracting.”

Stefani Pashman, Chief Executive Officer, Allegheny Conference on Community Development, spoke about the state of diversity in the region during the Stellar Awards Luncheon. The awards recognized the achievements of top minority-owned businesses, dynamic industry leaders and major corporations committed to supplier diversity. Todd Cohen also served as the Master of Ceremonies and presented the following prestigious awards:

  • Innovative Spirit Award – John Bettis & Jerome Bettis, Bettis Brothers Sand & Gravel
  • Resource Partner Award – Jennifer Rodriguez, President of The Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • MBE Forerunner Award – Bony Dawood, President of Dawood Engineering
  • MBE Partnership Award – Wu & Associates
  • MBE Fastest Growing Company Award – CDI Printing Services
  • Corporate Forerunner Award – Lance Hyde, Diversity Manager, EQT Corporation
  • Corporate Best Practice Award – UPMC
  • Corporate Leadership Cornerstone Award – EQT Corporation
  • The Alexander Nichols Lifetime Achievement Award – Pamela McMellon-Wells, Procurement Specialist, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

The afternoon focused on networking and connecting. Twenty-eight corporations and government agencies hosted tables to meet with MWDBE suppliers at the one-on-one matchmaking and corporate roundtables. EMSDC will host the R.O.A.R. Conference & Matchmaker again on September 11, 2018 in Philadelphia, PA.

Thank you to our sponsors AmeriHealth Caritas, Anderson Excavating, Bayer, Cameron & Associates 8, CDI Printing, Chevron, Citizens Bank, City of Philadelphia, Cut ‘N’ Run, e&e Technical Consultants, EQT, FTS International, Henkels & McCoy, Johnson Controls, LaFata Contract Services, Lexus Protection Services, PECO (An Exelon company), Pepco Holdings (An Exelon Company), Pfizer, PJ Dick/Trumbull/Lindy Paving, SoulPitt Media, UPMC, and Verizon.



The Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council (EMSDC) is one of 23 regional affiliates of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), operating in Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware. The Council fosters the development of minority business enterprises (Asian, Black, Hispanic, and Native American) to better align them with corporations and their diverse supply chains to initiate growth and opportunity. EMSDC is committed to facilitating economic development in its geographic territories by connecting corporations to compatible diverse suppliers, and assisting MBEs in developing their businesses to meet corporations’ needs. To learn more, visit

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