As a standing committee of the SCMSDC Board of Directors, the Minority Business Enterprise Input Committee (MBEIC) facilitates collaboration and acts as the liaison between the Council’s corporate members, staff, and the MBE community. On June 27, 2017, it launched “Breakfast with Champions”, a quarterly speaker series that features a guest presenter and networking session, as well as a “Needs and Leads” session, in which MBEs address their business needs and discuss how they could meet them.
The first “Breakfast with Champions” was held at American Honda Motor Co. Headquarters in Torrance, California, and was hosted by Charles Harmon, SCMSDC Chair and Senior Manager of Corporate Procurement and Corporate Services at Honda. In addition to providing MBEs with constructive input and educational resources, the event afforded MBEs with an invaluable opportunity to connect with each other and corporate members. It was well attended by over 50 MBEs, including AB Unlimited, Abrams, Mah & Kahn, ARI Packaging, and Cho Estrada Communications.
Sanjay Kucheria, CEO of Trinus and Chair of the MBEIC, introduced the first “Breakfast with Champions” by elaborating on the three objectives of the speaker series: encourage collaboration and increase networking opportunities for MBEs, provide education resources to sharpen their business acumen, and help them generate business leads with fellow MBEs and corporations. “Our role is to support the Council’s goals, be the conduit between MBEs and the council and offer input on issues affecting minority-owned businesses,” he said of the MBEIC, “We’re all distinct from different industries and bring our own perspectives. We’re here to serve MBEs and the council. At the same time, as individuals and business owners, it’s great to talk to each other about our business issues and get different feedback and perspectives.”
In addition to Sanjay Kucheria, other MBEIC board members included Anita Kantak, Founder of Applied Research-West, Inc.; Bonnie Nijst, President and CEO of Zeesman; and Pat Watts, President and CEO of FCI Management Consultants.
The breakfast featured guest speaker William Matthies, CEO of Coyote Insight, a consulting firm that helps start-ups and established companies with customer relations, strategic planning, and ultimately profitable growth. As an expert in business development, he spoke on “Upscaling: Embracing Change and Growing into What’s Next.” Instead of passively reacting to change, he discussed, we can lead change, influence the outcome, and better prepare for the future. “Upscaling is the new ‘grow your business’,” he said. “You should build on what your company is, not what you want it to be.”
A business with a strong foundation should have a thorough understanding of its “Who”, “What”, “When”, “Where”, and “How”. He stressed, “Don’t confuse ‘what’ with ‘how’ – the ‘how’ is the strategic and tactical plans to achieve your goals, whereas ‘what’ is your company’s critical starting point. Get this wrong and little else you do will matter.” He concluded, “You have to respect the upscale model. If you can’t quantify it, you can’t plan for it.”
To view the complete event gallery, please click here.