The 2023 Business
Conference Presented
By Delta Faucet Company

Gateway to Opportunities

As Central Indiana corporations and organizations are committed to creating strategies to level the playing field, this conference will offer real and meaningful opportunities for black, brown, women, veterans, and disability business owners. Come meet and hear from key decision-makers about DEI initiatives and multi-million dollar contracting opportunities. Learn tips from established executives and business owners on doing business with public, private, and international companies. Hear from funders on how to increase your capacity through access to capital and experts on the advantages of partnerships.

The 2023 Business Conference will include:

  • An address by Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett;
  • Workshops on city, federal, and state contracting opportunities;
  • A Lunch & Learn presented by Northwest Bank; and
  • An address by Governor Eric Holcomb

Our 2023 Keynote Speakers

Indianapolis Mayor
Joe Hogsett

Mayor’s Breakfast 

This event includes business development, diversity highlights, award recognition, and networking opportunities. It will be emceed by Rafael Sanchez, a co-anchor and reporter for Good Morning Indiana, WRTV. This event is by invitation only.

Date: Monday, July 10, 2023
Time: Check-in begins at 8:00 AM; 8:30 AM-10:15 AM
Location: Indiana Convention Center, 500 Ballroom

Indiana Governor
Eric Holcomb

Governor’s Awards Reception

This reception acknowledges the outstanding achievement of African Americans throughout the State of Indiana. These awards recognize some of the community’s unsung heroes who work tirelessly for the advancement of all Hoosiers. The Governor will present awards to recipients in the following categories: Sam Jones Trailblazer; Reverend Charles Williams Community Service; Achievement in Education; Achievement in Business; Entrepreneurship; “Next Level” Award; and Harold O. Hatcher Award.

Date: Tuesday, July 11, 2023
Time: 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: Indiana Convention Center, 500 Ballroom

Register Now

Our 2023 Workshops

Session One

City of Indianapolis: Project Pipeline: 2024 Opportunities and Beyond

In this workshop, information regarding upcoming multi-million-dollar projects with numerous contracting opportunities for the Minority/Women/ Veteran and Disability-Owned Business community will be provided. Details and opportunities on several projects involving Indy Parks, Indianapolis Airport Authority, Health and Hospital Corporation, Indiana University HealthConstruction and Supply Chain; and the Capital Improvement Board.

Presenters: Jennifer Osei-Abebrese-Heltsley, Program Director, Indiana University Health Design & Construction; James Duke, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Indiana University Health; Phyllis Boyd, Director, Indy Parks, and Recreation; Holli Harrington, Sr. Director, Equity and Opportunity (Equity Officer), Indianapolis Airport Authority; Chelci Hunter, Program Manager, Business Equity and Opportunity, Indianapolis Airport Authority; Angela Smith Jones, Vice-President-Diversity and Inclusion, Health and Hospital Corporation; Kobi M. Wright, Business Operations Director/Senior Counsel, Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium.

Session two

Lunch & Learn “Fueling your Growth: Strategies for Accessing Capital”

Description: This Lunch & Learn panel discussion will discuss ways Black-owned Entrepreneur and XBEs share their expertise and insights on alternative financing methods, traditional lending options, government funding programs, and other available resources. The discussion will focus on actionable strategies and best practices for small businesses to improve their chances of securing funding, grow their operations, and achieving long-term success. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage with the panelists and ask questions to help inform their funding decisions.

Panelists:  Arlicia Robertson, Regional Vice President, Community Lending Officer, Northwest Bank; Stacey Walston. Community Relationship Manager, Bankable; Tammy Butler, CEO, Engaging Solutions; Marshawn Wolley, CDE, CFRE President and CEO, Black Onyx Management, Inc

Sponsors: Northwest Bank

session three

So, You Want to be Drafted? Doing Business with Professional Sports Teams

Description: On behalf of the NBA AllStar 2024 Host Committee, hear from a panel of sports representatives on what you need to prepare for procurement opportunities in professional sports. The panelists will provide insights and practical advice on how businesses can enhance their capacity, form strong partnerships, and negotiate contracts effectively in preparation for contract opportunities. The panel will also cover best practices in contract negotiation, including identifying critical contract provisions, leveraging negotiation tactics, and managing risk. 

Presenters: Daune Conwell, Senior Director, Procurement & Supplier Diversity at Pacers Sports & Entertainment; Kyle Fairchild, Corporate Counsel, Penske Entertainment Indianapolis Motor Speedway; Brian Richardson, Jr., Ms. Ed. Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Indianapolis Colts

Session Four

Opportunities to Grow Your Business in Underutilized Zones

Description: The following workshop will identify potential economic opportunities through HUD-funded projects and the Small Business Administration’s HUBZone to fuel small business growth in historically underutilized business zones.

Presenters:  Sharon Harvey, Lead Outreach and Marketing Specialist, Small Business Administration (SBA); Andrea Ekiyor, Field Policy and Management Analyst, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Session One

Business Diversity Strategies and Opportunities in Indiana’s Higher Education Institutions

Description: This workshop brings together decision-makers and procurement officers from the largest college and universities in the state. Hear about existing and upcoming multimillion-dollar projects and procurement opportunities from university representatives. Learn what it takes to tap into the current or future opportunities that exist with our SEI’s. Get all your questions answered and find out who you should be approaching to do business with Indiana’s state universities.

Presenters: Roger Hassenzahl, Director of Purchasing Services, Ball State University; Michael Morrison, Director of Purchasing and Risk Manager, Diversity Spend Program Manager, Vincennes University; Marcus D. Bickle, Executive Director of Strategic Sourcing, Ivy Tech; Dillon Garver, Director of Procurement, Indiana State University; Jeffrey Sponn, Director of Purchasing, University of Southern Indiana

Session Two

Preparation Meets Opportunity: Doing Business with the State

Description: This workshop, you will gain knowledge of different procurement methods and hear directly from state agencies on how to thrive once awarded a contract. Come and join our panelists representing agencies from across the State of Indiana and hear from them how their procurement agents can take you to the next level. During the workshop, the panel will share a presentation explaining their procurement process, followed by a Q&A session where you can pose questions to the panelists to gain more knowledge on their expertise. At the end of the workshop, all attendees will have an opportunity to grow their business acumen by networking.

Presenters:  Diana Poturalski, Procurement Manager, Indiana Department of Transportation; Holli Harrington, Sr. Director, Equity and Opportunity (Equity Officer), Indianapolis Airport Authority; Indianapolis Airport Authority; Chelci Hunter, Program Manager, Business Equity and Opportunity, Indianapolis Airport Authority; Eric Skaggs, State Program Director, Family & Social Services Administration; Gregory Wilson, Executive Director, Indiana Civil Rights Commission; Terri Messer, Procurement Manager, Indiana Office of Technology; Chris Springer, Strategic Sourcing Manager, Purdue University

Session Three

Breaking Borders: Navigating the Global Business Landscape

Description: The panel discussion on “Minority Businesses Doing Business Globally” will bring together experts in the field to explore the opportunities and challenges faced by minority-owned businesses when expanding their operations internationally. The panelists will share their experiences and insights on how minority businesses can successfully navigate cultural differences, regulatory requirements, and market competition in foreign markets. They will also discuss the role of technology, government policies, and strategic partnerships in supporting minority-owned businesses to achieve global success. The discussion promises to provide a unique perspective on the global economy and offer valuable advice to minority entrepreneurs looking to expand their businesses beyond their local communities.

Panelists:  Dr. Toby Malichi, Hon.D. Bus., D.H.L.T, Malichi Group Worldwide; Damon Hewlin CEO, Meticulous Design & Architecture; Ramon Morrison, Chief Commercial Officer, Meticulous Design & Architecture; Tim Harris II, International Director, Harris, and Ford LLC

Time: 1:00PM – 2:30PM

Registration for this year's event is now closed.

Sponsors & Partners

Presenting Sponsor & Mayor’s Breakfast Co-Sponsor


Event Sponsors

Patron Sponsors