Changing the Face of Entrepreneurship for Over 30 Years

Benita Fortner, who has enjoyed an illustrious career in supplier diversity for more than 25 years, recently retired from her position as director of supplier diversity for Raytheon Company.

Her leadership roles in government and industry have included: the National Chair for MED Week 2002–2004 and named Chair Emeritus in 2005; the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Small Business Week Planning Committee; the National Minority Supplier Development Council’s (NMSDC) Chairperson’s Committee; the Southern California Regional Purchasing Council; and a past Executive Committee Member of NMSDC.

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A growing cadre of business and educational leaders are campaigning to ensure every serious student — K-12 and beyond — is well-grounded in the arts.

The reason? Students heavily steeped in the arts tend to be more innovative, more creative and more successful in business – no matter what other training they happen to have, according to arts proponents.

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Embedding supplier diversity into procurement practices was a key element of the Pan American/Parapan American Games that Canada’s largest city, Toronto, hosted in 2015. This resulted in a total spend of almost $10 million with diverse suppliers or 8.6 percent of the total supplier spend. One of the goals of the organizing committee - TO2015 - was to leave a diversity legacy that Canada could be proud of – and that other international sporting events could emulate. The legacy of these Games has many different tentacles and is creating a new framework for how procurement will be looked at within Canada – not only from a corporate perspective, but from a government one as well.

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Throughout history, one of the most oft-used terms to describe an unorthodox or independent-minded person is “maverick.” U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is often hailed as a political maverick for standing up to his party on certain issues, and Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson has been branded with the term for his willingness to boldly enter the commercial airline market as a direct competitor of British Airways.

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MBE Resource Center

MBE's Business Opportunities resource covers business-related financing, consulting, and programs available for the Supplier Diversity community and M/WBEs. Updated monthly.

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MBE's M/WBE Resource Directory is a comprehensive list of resource organizations (including links) that support the Supplier Diversity community and M/WBEs.

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Refer to MBE's Acronyms & Terminology list for frequently used acronyms and terminology and an overview of the major organizations supporting the Supplier Diversity community.

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