Biz Smart Day 2019

November 20, 2019

About this event

Biz Smart Day is designed to enhance partnerships with diverse suppliers and procurement professionals by providing them with information on how to leverage certifications and receive recommendations on doing business with large corporations. 

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Who should attend?

Buyers & Corporate Procurement Teams; Purchasing & Supplier Diversity Executives; Minority Suppliers; B2B Industry suppliers; Emerging Entrepreneurs

Event details

Date Time Location
November 20, 2019 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. CST Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Conference Center


There is no cost to attend, but registration is required. 

Registration Deadline: November 15, 2019
Cost: $0

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Supplier Diversity

The Kansas City Fed believes diversity strengthens our organization and enriches our community. We encourage the participation of small and minority- and women-owned companies in our procurement process. In our effort to obtain competitive, high-quality goods and services, we utilize a variety of means to identify and maintain a diverse group of potential suppliers, with the goal of including these businesses in appropriate solicitation opportunities. Learn more about our Supplier Diversity Program

Contact Information

Dell Gines
Senior Community Development Advisor.

Biz Smart Day 2019


November 20
  • 8:30 - 9 a.m. Registration, Continental Breakfast and Networking Breakfast
  • 9 - 9:15 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks - Janel Frisch, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer


  • 9:10 - 10:15 a.m. Build Your Capacity, Be More Competitive

    Many corporate procurers state they have challenges finding diverse suppliers that have enough capacity to handle some of the corporation's large contracts. This panel will discuss practical ways diverse suppliers can scale up their companies, and become more competitive for bigger deals.

    Moderator: Dell Gines, Senior Community Development Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City


    • Nia Richardson, Assistant Director for Small Business, KC Bizcare
    • Maria Meyers, Executive Director, UMKC Innovation Center and Founder, KC SourceLink
    • Theodis Watson, Community Business Relationship Manager, Central Bank of the Midwest
  • 10:15 - 10:30 a.m. Morning Break
  • 10:30 - 10:45 a.m. Small Business Credit Survey Report The 2018 Survey is a national small business survey with involvement from all 50 states. Over 10,000 small employer firms responded to the survey. The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s Community Development Team is participating in this survey and this workshop will give and overview of last year’s results as well as inform small business owners of the importance of participating in the survey.

    - Kelly Edmiston, Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

  • 10:45 - 11:45 a.m. Successes Revealed: How We Differentiate Ourselves From the Competition

    The top two goals of any business that wants to be noticed is to grab the attention of potential customers and enhance the opportunity to acquire lucrative contracts with large corporations. During this panel discussion, you will hear empowering stories and learn actionable strategies on how to:

    • Prepare a compelling “Pitch” to articulate your value
    • Create a plan of action for a “Pitch” meeting
    • Land the contract

    Moderator: Mark Hands, Supplier Diversity Program Manager, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

    • Neelima Prasasker, President and Chief Executive Officer, SnapIt
    • Heather Kutz, Senior Project Manager, Encompas
    • Christine Kelly, Supplier Diversity Administrative Coordinator, Metropolitan Community College

  • 11:45 - 1:15 p.m. Keynote Luncheon Tech and Growth Enablement for MWBEs: Bridging the Digital Divide. Why MWBEs need to adopt cloud technologies to remain competitive!

    Research shows that 37% of small businesses believe there is no need to adopt technology. This couldn't be further from the truth. Research also shows that cloud solutions reduce business workload by 42% and has the potential to double profits. It’s time for us (MWBEs) to elevate our game and begin fully utilizing technologies that reduce cost, improve communications, and deliver growth. In this presentation, Leshane will discuss the impact of tech on businesses and share concrete examples with specific tech platforms.

    - Leshane Greenhill, Founder and Chief Executive Officer,

  • 1:15 - 2:15 p.m. The Contract Management Perspective: Evaluations before and Expectations after the Award

    A large contract can significantly change your business. In this panel discussion, corporate professionals will share ways diverse suppliers can overcome challenges to create opportunities in securing corporate contracts. This panel will help you understand the evaluation process and share expectations, terms and conditions that will determine your ability to successfully execute the contract on time, on budget and become a long term supplier.

    Moderator: Diana Serrano, Procurement Senior Supervisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

    • Joyce Christanio, Senior Supplier Diversity Manager, Sprint
    • Mark Havelka, Facilities Manager, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
    • Valerie Tucker, Manager of Sourcing, Sprint
    • Karen West, Small Business Program Manager, U.S. Department of Energy
  • 2:15 - 3 p.m. Meet the Purchaser and Networking
  • 3:00 p.m. Adjourn