Mission: The Bridging the Gap Committee works with the GBC on interests related to minority- and women-owned businesses. Our goals are to: nurture the creation of legacy wealth among minority- and women-owned businesses, communicate the business case for minority inclusion and development to the region’s larger business community and provide training opportunities and a match program that enhances capabilities within the minority- and women-owned business community to enable successful participation in partnership opportunities.
Advisory committee members: Caryn Aslan (York), Job Opportunities Task Force (JOTF); Antoine Banks, Comcast; Roger Barnes, Lewrox Enterprises; Wendy Blair, Re/Max Commercial Logic; Shelia Brooks, SRB Communications; Deborah Haust, City Seeds; Jetheda Hernandez, Consult Square Group; Tiffany McGhee, Momentum Advisors; Christopher Mills, The Columbia Bank; Deborah Owens, Owens Media Group LLC; Dr. Karen Proudford, Morgan State University Graves School of Business Management; Judy L. Smith, Harris Corporation; Donna Stevenson, Early Morning Software; Paul Taylor, City of Baltimore Small Business Resource Center; and Dr. Ron Williams, Coppin State University College of Business.
- Nurture the creation of legacy wealth among minority- and women-owned businesses (MWBEs).
- Communicate the business case for minority inclusion and development to the region’s larger business community.
- Provide an acceleration program that enhances capabilities within the minority- and women-owned business community to enable successful participation in partnership opportunities.
Follow the Bridging the Gap on Twitter at @BridgeGBC1.
2015 Bridging the Gap Achievement Awards
Save the date for the 12th Annual Bridging the Gap Achievement Awards program, which will be held on November 12, 2015. The awards program is intended to celebrate successful minority- and women-owned businesses and to honor those who are striving to enhance the role and impact of minority- and women-owned businesses in the regional economy. The event will also help to cultivate diverse business relationships and recognize organizations and people for the following awards:
- Minority/women-owned businesses
- Majority-owned businesses or business leaders
- Partnership or strategic alliance
- President’s Award
The event’s keynote speaker will be Tiffany Eubanks-Saunders, senior vice president and enterprise services executive for Bank of America.
Complete this form to nominate a deserving company for a 2015 Bridging the Gap Achievement Award. Nomination forms must be received by September 18, 2015.
Last year, the GBC honored 16 winners of the 2014 Bridging the Gap Awards for outstanding achievement by minority-owned and women-owned businesses and for exemplary support of minority business development during the December 8, 2014 awards ceremonies at the Grand Historic Venue in Baltimore.
2015 Bridging the Gap Committee news:
At its Aug. 20, 2015 meeting, the Bridging the Gap Committee discussed the new Bridging the Gap Academy, a business accelerator for minority- and women-owned businesses which is expected to launch this fall. The academy will serve as a way for business owners to gain valuable knowledge from talented instructors who will help them start or grow their business. Additional information about the academy will be released in the coming weeks.
July 2, 2015
At the July 2, 2015 Bridging the Gap Advisory Committee meeting, Franklin Lee, partner at Tydings & Rosenberg LLP and a member of the Mayor’s Advisory Council on Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises, discussed how to strengthen Baltimore’s economy through economic inclusion, specifically with regards to minority- and women-owned businesses. View his presentation here.
Lee also shared with the committee the “A New Day A Better Way: Rebuilding a stronger Baltimore through economic inclusion” report, released in 2013 by the Mayor’s Advisory Council on Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises.
A DiversityInc article outlines best practices when it comes to the key to supplier-diversity success. Read the nine best practices here.
The Power of Diversity – a Bridging the Gap event on June 8, 2015
Christopher Simmons, former U.S. Chief Diversity Officer of PricewaterhouseCoopers and former Managing Partner of PwC for the Washington, D.C. region, addressed a crowd of 150 GBC members and guests at the Greater Baltimore Committee’s Bridging the Gap event on June 8.
Here are his top five tips:
A serious focus on diversity is important:
“Talent is equally distributed throughout the population,” Simmons said. “Every human being is given a brain that has great potential for something. Your breakthrough perspective may be in the brain of one of those people that you wouldn’t normally have involved in that activity.”
Judge less, assess more:
“Think about when you’re evaluating other people and you’re making assessments about their potential based on where they are,” Simmons said. “How much of that is based on you trying to justify yourself as opposed to being honest about why you are where you are, how you got there and how this other person maybe should be there with you. We have to deal with those realities. We need to judge less and assess more.”
Watch out for denial and minimalization:
“We’ve got to change our belief system about who we’re dealing with,” Simmons said. “We have to reorient some of our assessment approaches. The things we’re evaluating – potential employees – are those the things that really determine success once we get to doing it? I can tell you oftentimes it’s not the case.”
“We have to risk having a different dialogue with people,” Simmons said. “We have to risk talking to some people we wouldn’t normally talk to and really get to know them. We have to also give some people a little bit longer to figure some things out. Go in with a different mindset.”
Diversity can impact countless lives:
“The power of diversity is good for your bottom line,” Simmons said. “It’s good for your corporate or organizational culture, it’s great for positively impacting the lives of countless people in your community. But the real power of a focus on this: it will give you a chance to be a person that you’ll love.”
A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School, Simmons is chairman of the membership selection committee for the Executive Leadership Council, the organization for the highest ranking blacks in corporate America. He has a lifetime of experience navigating and creating diversity in the workplace and the community. Simmons’ diversity perspective is broad, as he has played a leadership role in the diversity efforts of African Americans, Asians, Latinos, GLBT individuals and women.
GBC Bridging the Gap: A minority- and women-owned business enterprise newsletter
Summer 2015 issue
County M/WBE offices:
County/city purchasing and procurement sites: (For bid awards and notices)
U.S. Commerce Department Minority Business Development Agency (national office)
U.S. Commerce Department Minority Business Development Agency (Maryland office)