Northwest Mountain MSDC Announces 2020 Virtual Events

The Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council has released the new dates for their 2020 premier events. Considering the global, national, and local health risks posed by the recent outbreak of COVID-19, the Northwest Mountain MSDC’s responsibility is, first and foremost, to support its Council Members, MBEs, and Community Partners. The Council has spent a significant amount of time thoughtfully assessing the current situation and have decided to go virtual for all 2020 events. Don’t forget to save the following dates:

Scholarship Fundraiser & Silent Auction: September 3, 2020

Leadership & Advocacy Awards: October 1, 2020

Business Conference 3 Part Event: October 8, 2020; November 12, 2020; December 10, 2020

More information, including how to register for these events, will be available soon.

About the Council
Founded in 1978, the Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to drive economic value by equalizing opportunities. As an affiliate of the National MSDC, the Council certifies minority owned businesses and provides access to supplier development, supply chain inclusion, networking events and formal introductions. The Council serves the states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
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WSDOT Contract Opportunity

There is currently an opportunity open for an interim position as Project Delivery Environmental Coordinator. This position will be working with the WSDOT Environmental Program for Megaprograms to ensure compliance with environmental regulations and provide various types of support to the Megaprograms team regarding environmental issues.

Request for a Statement of Qualifications

Environmental Coordinator Job Description

Interested in this position? Email the Statement of qualifications to Usman Naushab at Naushau@consultant.wsdot.wa.gov by March 13th.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Rob Berman at (206) 949-0475 or rob.berman@hdrinc.com.

Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce: Employment Opportunity

Position Summary: 

This person executes day-to-day communications to our members and the general public through a variety of channels. Their work reflects a passion for the Chamber’s role as a champion for our members, as well as the value we offer members as an advocate, a convener, and a resource for key services. This person instinctively understands the Chamber’s voice and tone as a business advocate and a regional leadership organization. They are a “go-to” person within the organization who ensures that all communications align with and advance our brand.

The ideal candidate will have at least three years of experience working in communications. Previous communications experience in the policy/political fields, or for a membership organization, is a plus.

This position reports to the Vice President of Marketing and Communications.

For more information on this job posting and to apply, click here.

Council Hosts Year End Meeting to Close Out 2019

The Council closed out 2019 reporting back to its stakeholders across the region by hosting the Year End Meeting on December 10th. The team followed last year’s model and traveled to multiple states in the region to host a dynamic meeting where MBEs, members, and friends all called in to join one meeting. Fernando Martinez and Karla Malacon hosted from the University of Washington in Seattle, Mayra Rivera hosted from U.S. Translation Company’s headquarters in Utah, and Huda Al-musawi joined from Nike World Headquarters in Oregon. Everybody else had the option to call in via web video conference.

President and CEO of the Council, Fernando Martinez, delivered the presentation and answered live questions as attendees had a final opportunity to network in 2019. We look forward to what 2020 has in store for our network as we continue to drive Supplier Diversity forward!

Click here to view the presentation.

For photos of this event, click here.

           

NWMMSDC Attends the 2019 UW Impact Awards

The Council had a great time attending this year’s University of Washington Impact Awards at the Westin in Seattle on December 5th.

The Center celebrated its first 25 years by recognizing 25 individuals and corporations who have been essential to the success of the program. Congratulations to the evening’s honorees recognized for the impact they have made in growing businesses and jobs in under served communities across WA and accelerating students’ careers.

Special shout-out to our Council President, Fernando Martinez, recognized for the impact he has had over the years through his partnership with the UW Consulting & Business Development Center!

The Council supported the event as a gold table sponsor, with proceeds helping fund UW’s Student Consulting Programs. To learn more about the Consulting and Business Development Center, click here.

2019 NMSDC Conference + Business Opportunity Exchange

The Northwest Mountain MSDC had a productive week attending the NMSDC Conference + Business Opportunity Exchange in Atlanta from October 13th through October 16th. It was a week full of networking, workshops and Supplier Diversity discussions.

The Council hosted the annual Private Reception at Paschal’s following the Business Opportunity Exchange. Congratulations to Kevin Shirley, Co-Founder of American Soul Brothers and Eric Albinson, Director of Sales at BigR.io for winning the MBE Scholarships!

137th Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting

The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce hosted their 137th Annual Meeting September 19th at the Westin Hotel in Seattle. The luncheon included guest speakers Marilyn Strickland, President and CEO of the Seattle Metro Chamber, Gary Locke, former Washington state governor, Diana Birkett Rakow, Vice President of External Relations at Alaska Airlines and Hon. Jenny Durkan, Mayor of City of Seattle. The theme of this year’s luncheon, “Making Our Mark” was highlighted throughout the event. Watch the video below to hear Fernando Martinez, President and CEO of the NWMMSDC, speak more about “Making Our Mark”!

Tri-Council Minority Business Mega Summit

The Tri-Council Minority Business Mega Summit, was a one-day business conference hosted in collaboration with the Western Regional Council and the Pacific Southwest Council. Together, council presidents Fernando Martinez, Cecil Plummer and Rainey Alben successfully hosted a full day of development, networking and connecting with MBEs and NMSDC Members from three regions on February 28, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

We hope you enjoy the photos from this event!

See more photos in our event archive.

 

Best Practices – Effective Networking

This is a continuation of “How to Prepare for Effective Networking.”

We polled some of our corporate members and MBEs on effective networking. They sent us some of the best practices, tips, and Dos and Don’ts of networking.

When you get there:

  1. Be patient.  (Networking and establishing business relationships takes time).
  2. Come in with a targeted list of who you want to make an impact with and what you will offer.
  3. (Remember to always) be professional, have a professional presence.  First impressions are important.
  4. When I’m networking, I like to start out with the mindset of, “How can I help the people I meet?”
  5. Relax, networking events can be overwhelming at times.
  6. Believe that you can and will make great progress.  After making all the necessary preparations, having the right mindset can lead to many great things.

How to introduce yourself:

  1. Keep your introduction succinct.
  2. Offer a handshake and introduce yourself and what organization you are with. (Remember the name. Use it three times and it’s yours.)
  3. Smile… be welcoming.
  4. Don’t assume that the person that you met previously will remember your name!  Unless a person is addressing you by your name when you see them again, then assume they don’t know and state it again.

During the conversation:

  1. Show passion for what you do.
  2. LISTEN closely to what’s being said.
  3. Listen twice as much as talk. Ask questions.
  4. Show excitement for what they do.
  5. Write down information in stenography notebook.
  6. Consider this first meeting as an opportunity for relationship building and for future opportunities to connect… you’re not going to get it all done with the first meeting, so don’t try.  We don’t want to (and you shouldn’t want to) spend 30 minutes with any one individual at a networking event.
  7. Don’t be disappointed if a target corporation is not interested or doesn’t have any current opportunities.  It’s better that you know now than be strung along.
  8. However, don’t assume that corporations do not talk to each other… we do!  And often times, we can be your resource to meet other potential targets.

How to make the most out of it:

  1. Ask about other companies attending the event that they should meet.  We can be very helpful this way and want to direct you to those that can benefit from knowing more about your company.
  2. Instead of trying to collect contact information, I’m actively listening to the people I meet at an event and trying to figure out how I can help them solve a problem.
  3. If I can’t help them directly, I connect them with someone in my network who can do that for them. I try to be a connector and give more value than I get.
  4. Team up with an existing customer to use as an immediate reference to your work when meeting future/potential customers.  An in-person testimonial can seal next steps quickly.
  5. Seek to develop a relationship with the event host leadership.  In the case of the Northwest Minority Supplier Development Council, a MBE should develop a solid rapport with the CEO, Staff, Board of Directors and Corporate sponsors.

How to close:

  1. Make the ASK and go for the appropriate close so you get a chance at the next steps.
  2. Exchange cards and ask if you may contact them.
  3. Ask for a business card and let them know you’ll be contacting them in the near term to provide an electronic capabilities statement, but also an email to better define your value proposition for that particular corporation.
  4. Don’t ask for a business card if you have no intention of following up.  If you have provided us with your business card… we’ll remember that you didn’t follow up.
  5. If you make a solid corporate connection during an event and you would like to follow-up with that person, politely ask if you can schedule a meeting with them right on the spot!  Recommendation – ask for a date at least 30 days out from the current date to minimize potential conflicts as many Supplier Diversity professionals typically have a busy travel schedule.  Also for an initial call, I recommend you ask for a 30 minute or less conference call – not an hour.

What not to do:

  1. Don’t let nerves take over so you keep talking, don’t dominate the conversation.
  2. DO NOT take all of their time or make them feel captive.  Networking is meant to mingle with many people.
  3. Don’t try and “sell” your company’s products and services at a networking event unless the conversation lends itself to that; on the other hand, be prepared to clearly articulate your business in a 15 second elevator pitch because invariably someone will ask you “what do you do”.
  4. Don’t try to land a job, your goal is to make the introduction
  5. Don’t distribute handouts… this is not the time or place.
  6. LEAVE any marketing materials at home – give and collect business cards.

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to this blog: Dennis Brooks, Lisa Castillo, Pedro Castro, Lana Gosnell, James Hing, Sharon S. Lucas, Fernando Martinez, and Swen Nater.

Disclaimer: The information on this site is general in nature and should not be considered to be legal, tax, accounting, consulting or any other professional advice or service. The views, opinions and positions expressed by the authors, contributors, references and commenters on this site do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council or its employees, stakeholders, members and sponsors. Any mention of other companies and organizations aside from the Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council does not necessarily reflect or represent the views, opinions or positions of those companies and organizations or their employees, stakeholders, members and sponsors. Read more: Legal Disclaimer

How to Prepare for Effective Networking

Direct recommendations from Supplier Diversity Executives and MBEs

Northwest Mountain MSDC events provide excellent venues for business networking. While preparing for the 2018 Annual Awards Dinner & Silent Auction, we polled some of our corporate members and MBEs on effective networking. They sent us some of the best practices, tips, and Dos and Don’ts of networking.

Please remember that these are the opinions of contributors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Council, and these apply to Premiere Events. For full legal disclaimer please visit the Council’s Disclaimer Page.

Preparing for the Event:
Before you attend an event, decide what success looks like for you. Document your objectives for the purpose of observing what you achieved after participating.
Plan your strategic approach and strategic communication.
Be prepared, review the members list before hand and set a goal for who you want to meet.
Identify important people you want to meet and reach out in advance, if possible. Say “Looking forward to meeting you.”
Make the most of your time by ensuring you do your homework and be prepared for those you will be meeting with.

On what to say:
Prepare a short paragraph on exactly what you do. Practice it.
Refine the introduction of yourself and the business your represent – customize an introduction for a corporate target vs an “unknown” individual, but also identify whether you are the business owner, BD rep, etc. We want to know who we’re talking to.

Have your elevator speech solid and ready including what is your value proposition specific to those you’re targeting at the networking event. A generalized value proposition doesn’t always cut it. Elevator speeches should not be more than 3 minutes.
Don’t try to land a job, your goal is to make the introduction.

On preparing your questions:
Building rapport with someone is extremely effective if you are good at asking questions – practice listening more and talking less.
Make a list of questions you want to ask your target company. It shows interest and intent. The answers you receive may also help develop your business strategy.

On what to know:
Know your audience: in other words, do your homework on WHO is attending the networking event and then DO research about them before you get to the networking event so you’re up to date about their business model, recent press releases & strategy plans.
Check out the company’s Supplier Diversity website – not all programs are the same and it will give you a foundation of understanding what you need to say.
Research the company’s mission, so you know their company’s top priorities and it then becomes apparent you have done your research.
If you can, KNOW what your future potential customer needs are BEFORE the event so that you network with future customers who actually could consume your products or services. A win-win for both parties at a networking event.

On preparing your value proposition:
Be prepared to communicate your value proposition and what makes you different than your competition. (Corporations are contacted by hundreds of suppliers via email, at events, phone calls etc., each supplier wants a contract and would like to do business with us – but why should we do business with you versus the other 99 suppliers who approached us before you? What makes you different? Be prepared and ready to communicate this).

Practice! Practice! Practice!
Practice your introduction with what you want to offer.
Practice on your elevator speech and make it brief but informative. Be professional!

On what to bring:
Bring business cards!
Know who is coming so you can plan what to say and what to bring.
Come in with a targeted list of who you want to make an impact with and what you will offer.
Bring a stenography notebook for writing down contacts. Four columns: Name, Organization, Position, Notes.
Always bring enough of your business cards to any event.
Don’t distribute handouts… this is not the time or place.

LEAVE any marketing materials at home – give and collect business cards.

On who to bring:
BRING your owner and decision makers to build those relationships and show the face of your company beyond the sales person.

What not to miss:
Be professional, have a professional presence and proofread your marketing materials. First impressions are important.
(With regards to your business cards) from a print perspective, glossy business cards look cool, but I prefer a semi-matte finish so that I can write on my cards with a ballpoint pen. This may be a website, an app, or a quick tip I can share with someone. It attaches greater value to my name and it’s convenient.
Make a list of current or past business partners that you can talk about and use as reference during and after networking.
If you can find an “icebreaker” or someone to make the introduction that is really helpful but not necessary.

A note (or more) on what to wear:
Over dress! Make sure to be in Business Professional Dress (No 2nd chance for a 1st impression).
Dress like an executive.
Wear something to an event that is professional, but memorable! Most business events have a plethora of people wearing black, however bright, solid colors really stand out. While your connection may not remember your name the next time, they may remember something about your outfit.
Dress appropriately & drink responsibly.

Final tip:
When you know that some of your target corporations will be attending a networking event…DO some homework, but DON’T dominate their time. Remember, this is your first opportunity to meet your target and leave a lasting and great impression. Make sure you leave us wanting to further the conversation because having a foundation of a strong relationship will keep you memorable.

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to this blog: Dennis Brooks, Lisa Castillo, Pedro Castro, Lana Gosnell, James Hing, Sharon S. Lucas, Fernando Martinez, Swen Nater.

The above information is intended solely for personal non-commercial use. Any information taken from this page is the full responsibility of the user. While we have taken every precaution to insure that the content is both current and accurate, errors can occur. The information provided is general in nature and should not be considered to be legal, tax, accounting, consulting or any other professional advice or service. Please read our legal disclaimer.