GNEMSDC 2018 Expo

Greetings from the President & CEO, Peter Hurst

I’d like to share a special invitation to our upcoming GNEMSDC Business Opportunity Conference and Expo, which will take place on Thursday, September 20th and Friday, September 21st at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. We look forward to bringing together our corporate members and certified MBEs and welcoming our future corporate members and certified MBEs. The theme of this year’s Conference and Expo is “Reducing the Wealth Gap with Minority Business Development”.

We will kick off the Conference and Expo on September 20th with our “Shining Star” reception celebrating those who have been instrumental in helping GNEMSDC make a difference. We hope that you can join us in congratulating this years’ Shining Star award recipients and paying tribute to Ronald Williams, a former Shining Star recipient who left us much too soon.

On Friday morning, September 21st, two concurrent panel sessions will be held, each tailored to needs of GNEMSDC’s corporate partners and MBEs. Our corporate members will participate in a Corporate Roundtable planned by representatives of our corporate members. Our MBEs will enjoy a panel discussion with GNEMSDC’s Billion Dollar Club, a group of certified MBEs who collectively have generated $1 billion in revenue. The members of the Billion Dollar Club will share how they grew their businesses, the challenges they faced and overcame, and the opportunities ahead that they hope to seize.

On Friday, we will also give special recognition of individuals who have made tangible, significant contributions to using minority business development to reduce the wealth gap in our region. And, as always, we will host our Expo, where corporate members and certified MBEs convene to connect with each other. The Expo also provides a special opportunity for our smaller MBEs to connect with our larger MBEs with the goal of buying and selling goods and services.

Our theme of “Reducing the Wealth Gap with Minority Business Development” is very timely and important. As many of you know, the racial wealth gap is a serious civil rights and economic development challenge facing our country. Nationally, the median net worth of a White family is $116,800, while the median net worth for a Black family is $1,700 and the median net worth for a Hispanic family is $2,000. And, this disparity is more acute in seemingly prosperous and innovative cities like Boston, where we have an office. The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Duke University and the New School published a study that found that the median net worth for White families in Boston is $247,500, while the median net worth for a non-immigrant Black family in Boston is only $8. That is not a typo.

We believe that the pillars of our work — Certify; Connect; Develop; and Advocate– help reduce the racial wealth gap through the growth and development of ethnically diverse businesses, which in turn lays the groundwork for inter-generational transfers of wealth by the business owners. We are pleased that our certified MBEs in New England disproportionately employ diverse hiring practices, which helps to reduce the rates of under-employment and unemployment among people of color. For example, the total revenue for all of the minority businesses that we have certified in New England is $2.3 billion, and 50 percent of their employees are ethnic minorities. Despite the dismal data regarding the racial wealth gap in Boston and throughout the country, we are optimistic.

So, let us use the upcoming Conference and Expo as a time to discuss and debate what is working and what we need to do to improve. Most importantly, let us use the Conference and Expo to make connections that lead to additional revenues by having our corporate partners purchase goods and services from our MBEs, and by having our larger MBEs purchase goods and services from our smaller MBEs.

Let me close with a few requests. Please register as soon as possible. Please consider becoming an Event Sponsor. Please consider purchasing an ad in our program book. Most importantly, please keep doing everything you can to reduce the wealth gap by building minority owned businesses in our region.

See you at Gillette!!


Peter F. Hurst, Jr.
President and CEO