March 24, 2023
Alejandra Y. Castillo
Alejandra Y. Castillo, national director, Minority Business, U.S. Dept. of Commerce.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 27, 2016) — The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency on Tuesday announced that the Agency will again partner with the National Minority Supplier Development Council to host the 2016 NMSDC Conference and Business Opportunity Exchange in conjunction with the annual Minority Enterprise Development Week (MED Week), Oct. 23-26, in Chicago. This year’s conference theme is “Investing in the Future.”

The conference and business exchange are designed to provide a venue for attendees to dialogue and exchange information, tools and resources to grow and scale their businesses locally and globally with a specific focus on minority supplier development.

MED Week is an annual week-long observance led by MBDA that honors the achievements and leadership of minority-owned firms, organizations and individuals from across the nation. This year’s MED Week award winners will be recognized at a special ceremony held during the conference.

“This partnership allows us to innovate our efforts to support minority entrepreneurs and firms and provide them with an even greater number of resources and opportunities,” said MBDA National Director Alejandra Y. Castillo. “Minority-owned firms are excelling in their respective industries and we want to ensure that growth remains strong in the future.”

The annual NMSDC Conference and Business Opportunity Exchange attracts more than 6,000 corporate CEOs, procurement executives, business leaders, and supplier diversity professionals from the top multinational companies, international organizations and minority firms.

“The 2016 Conference and Business Opportunity Exchange will give forward-thinking corporate executives and minority business owners the tools to cope with shifting economic winds, and to take advantage of as-yet unimagined opportunities for commerce presented in the near – and more distant – future. As the U.S. nears the point where minorities comprise greater than 50 percent of the population, the need for strong minority-owned businesses in national and global supply chains will be vital to the health of our economy,” said Joset Wright-Lacy, president of NMSDC.

The conference will feature workshops, exhibits, and panel discussions on issues such as federal contracting growth strategies; gaining competitive advantage in global markets; innovation and more.

For additional details on the 2016 NMSDC Conference and Business Opportunity Exchange and a full list of the 2016 MED Week winners, visit and

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