Women’s Business Council – Southwest Business Works Expo 2016

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WBCS Business Works Expo Connects Women-Owned Businesses with Supplier Diversity Advocates

The Women’s Business Council – Southwest (WBCS) hosts their annual Business Works Expo on April 19th from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm at the Irving Convention Center. The Expo connects women-owned businesses with supplier diversity advocates in the region. Through a series of events, the Expo helps provide and increase mutually beneficial procurement opportunities for women-owned businesses in corporate, government and institutional arenas. The event kicks off with a keynote breakfast with Amanda Messer, Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder of because I said I would, a social movement and nonprofit, then is followed by a full-day trade expo with a grab-and-go lunch, a silent auction and a networking reception.

“WBCS members begin valuable long-lasting relationships here,” explains Debbie Hurst, president of WBCS. Oncor Electric Delivery Co. LLC, a recognized leader of women-owned business supplier spending with an operating revenue of $3,878 million for 2015, is a very active WBCS Sustaining Member. "They have been participating in the Business Works Expo since its inception. They started meeting WBCS members then, and have given them opportunities from the beginning. Those relationships have grown and now represent some of their top suppliers."

“Over the years, we have helped members to develop and grow. We have really grown together,” said Oncor Supplier Diversity Manager Grace Hastings. “Some WBCS members, such as Pinnacle Group and Ricochet Fuel Distributors, Inc., have been with us from the start. As suppliers, you get to know the companies, and know their innovations and solutions.”

This year, Oncor gave its most prestigious recognition, the Omnis Award, to Ricochet for demonstrating excellence in business and community outreach. According to Kelly Roberts, Ricochet Fuel Distributors founder, president & CEO, the accolade came from a prized client. The same Omnis Award was presented to Pinnacle Technical Resources Inc. in 2014.

“We continue to see the value from the relationships the WBCS brings,” reiterated Hastings. “People don’t always think of women-owned businesses in the fuel logistics, technology and construction industries, but they are, and the WBCS is a great place to meet them.”

The Matchmaker program, held as an additional event during the Expo, provides a chance for WBCS members to set up meetings with suppliers interested in doing business with women-owned businesses. It provides the WBCS members with an opportunity to have 1:1 face time to meet and discuss long-term procurement opportunities.

The event is co-chaired by WBCS members Jennifer Blakeney, CEO of Guaranteed Express, Inc., and Pam Glover, Manager, Supplier Diversity at Southwest Airlines Co., and organized by a committee of volunteers.

Sponsors of the program include Energy Future Holdings, Luminant, TXU Energy, KellyMitchell, Asociar, Baylor Scott & White Health, ISP Studios, Ivie, Lockheed Martin, Painters USA Inc., PepsiCo Inc., Texas Instruments, Anderson Paving, Inc., BUSINESS INTERIORS, Dell, ICON Information Consultants, RMPersonnel, Toyota, American Airlines, FedEx Office, AT&T, Fluor, Brinker International, Chevron, DFW International Airport, Ericsson, Southside Bank, Southwest Airlines Co., UPS, Walmart.

About WBCS
Headquartered in Arlington, Texas, The Women’s Business Council – Southwest (WBCS) is dedicated to increasing mutually beneficial procurement opportunities between certified woman-owned businesses, corporations, businesses, government entities, institutions and other organizations. With more than 1,000 WBE members and nearly 100 Sustaining (Corporate) Members, WBCS is in its 21st year of providing national certification to women-owned businesses. To find out more about the WBCS, please visit http://www.wbcsouthwest.org. WBCS is a regional affiliate of the Women Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) covering Oklahoma, north central Texas, Arkansas and New Mexico. Founded in 1997, WBENC has become a powerhouse organization for women entrepreneurs across the country.

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Donna Hegdahl
The TransSynergy Group
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