It’s hard to believe that 100 (working) days have come and gone, but they have! It’s been a great transition and I want to personally thank the many corporate members, MBEs and the Indiana business community for all of the support, feedback and assistance that has been given. When I interviewed for the position I was charged with presenting a plan that would guide me through my first 100 days.
It was important to me that there were strong relationships internally, with staff and board and externally with our corporate members and MBEs. Internally I met with each member of the staff to discuss roles and responsibilities, develop goals and restructured the staff by promoting two key employees to positions with greater responsibility that would help us move the organization forward. I received great feedback and support from the IMSDC board and our corporate members. A common theme that was shared consistently was capacity. Ensuring that we have a robust pool of certified MBEs with capacity to respond to the opportunities from our member corporations. MBEs shared insight on some of the tools they would like for us to provide to help them build capacity and to develop stronger relationships with corporate members. As a result we have formed “industry groups” among our certified MBEs; bringing together businesses that are similar in scope to look at broader opportunities and to consider forming strategic alliances and new businesses.
We have had great conversations with potential partner organizations that will provide development opportunities for our MBEs and we are currently negotiating a strategic partnership with another Council on a very large project that should yield many opportunities for our certified MBEs. I hope to share the details of that partnership very soon. In addition, the Minority Business Development Agency Business Center, funded by the US Department of Commerce and operated by the IMSDC is another opportunity that will greatly benefit our certified MBEs by providing resources and tools to grow their businesses and create jobs.
The IMSDC’s three year strategic plan that was developed previously was refreshed and refocused and we identified measurable goals that will guide us for the next three years. The plan will focus on corporate and MBE growth, development opportunities for our MBEs and providing value added services for both groups. The IMSDC represents the entire state of Indiana and it is important to maintain and develop stronger relationships with our entire corporate and MBE base, however, a focus on the southern district (where we also have an office) and the northern part of the state are priorities. As a native of northern Indiana, I already have some great relationships but a more concerted effort to engage our friends in the northern part of the state is an important goal for me personally, our board and is also outlined in our plan. The full strategic plan and the vision for 2012 will be shared in the next 30 days.
I am also committed to better organization internally, providing you with information on upcoming events, deadlines and opportunities earlier and more often. We already have the theme for next year’s business opportunity fairs and we are planning a full annual meeting for April 2012. I will also begin writing a column in the Indiana Minority Business Magazine that will focus on some of my views as it relates to minority business development in the State of Indiana. As always, your ideas, thoughts and suggestions are welcome and encouraged.