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New $1.1 Million Investment from Fifth Third Foundation Advances NMSDC Centers of Excellence Certificate Program

Organizations Announce 2023 Centers of Excellence Graduates

New $1.1 Million Investment from Fifth Third Foundation Advances NMSDC Centers of Excellence Certificate Program

Organizations Announce 2023 Centers of Excellence Graduates

Published 03-01-24

Submitted by Fifth Third Bancorp

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NEW YORK, March 1, 2024 /CSRwire/ - The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) and Fifth Third today announce the continuance of NMSDC’s innovative Centers of Excellence Certificate Program (COECP) through 2026. The COECP facilitates the development and growth of NMSDC-certified minority business enterprises, prepares them to compete for larger contracting opportunities and facilitates opportunities for strategic partnerships, mentoring and networking.

The Fifth Third Foundation will provide an additional $1.1 million over the next three years to sponsor the program — and three new classes of graduates — through 2026. Fifth Third also donated $1 million for the program from 2020-2023. In addition, the organizations today announced the 2023 COECP program graduates.

The 2023 graduates included participants from companies certified by five of NMSDC’s regional affiliates, including the Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council, the Carolinas-Virginia Minority Supplier Development Council, the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council, the Mid-States Minority Supplier Development Council, and the Ohio Minority Supplier Development Council.

“The Centers of Excellence program is a prime example of how exponential MBE growth is possible when NMSDC and our corporate members, MBEs, and regional affiliates work together to create an ecosystem of mentorship and collaboration,” said NMSDC CEO and President Ying McGuire. “Our partnership with strategic allies like Fifth Third enables us to drive change and advance economic equity by providing growth opportunities to minority business owners.”

“Collaborations like the one between Fifth Third, the NMSDC and other valued partners is lifting up small businesses across the country,” said Fifth Third Executive Vice President Kala Gibson, chief corporate responsibility officer at Fifth Third Bank and chairman of the board of the National Minority Supplier Development Council. “We are proud to financially support the program through our Foundation and to lend our expertise as educators and subject matter experts to create an incredibly valuable experience that will pay dividends for all involved long into the future.”

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To cultivate a robust supplier base throughout the country, the NMSDC COECP brings together the best and brightest minds in supplier diversity and inclusion. Through mentorship, executive coaching, and educational lessons, the program develops a stronger and more inclusive business community across multiple disciplines and geographic areas.

“We are delighted to deepen our relationship with NMSDC as part of our commitment to supporting small businesses and advancing inclusion in the economy,” said Fifth Third’s Director of Supplier Diversity Carla Cobb. “We are proud of the MBEs who committed themselves to this transformative program, thereby adding value to our supply chain and uplifting the communities they serve.”

In 2023, the program’s successes include an increase in profits of $15.8 million, new clients and/or contracts ranging from $20,000 to $7 million during the 12-month program, and a 90% success rate for graduates implementing strategic growth plans.

In addition to support from First Third and NMSDC, the program is made possible through strategic partnerships with corporate members, the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development at Rutgers Business School, Covenant Business Concepts, BCT Partners, and Institute Supply Management (ISM).

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Founded in 1972, NMSDC is the longest-operating business growth engine for the broadest group of systematically excluded communities of color (Asian-Indian, Asian-Pacific, Black, Hispanic, and Native American), and our impact goes far beyond the supply chain. It’s about upward mobility for the emerging majority of Americans, an equal shot at participating in the American experiment of free-market capitalism and entrepreneurship. Our work is about correcting the unequal access to wealth-building opportunities. For more information, please visit

About the Fifth Third Foundation 

Established in 1948, the Fifth Third Foundation was the first charitable foundation created by a financial institution. The Foundation supports worthy causes in the areas of health and human services, education, community development and the arts in the states where Fifth Third Bank operates.

About Fifth Third Bank

Fifth Third is a bank that’s as long on innovation as it is on history. Since 1858, we’ve been helping individuals, families, businesses and communities grow through smart financial services that improve lives. Our list of firsts is extensive, and it’s one that continues to expand as we explore the intersection of tech-driven innovation, dedicated people and focused community impact. Fifth Third is one of the few U.S.-based banks to have been named among Ethisphere’s World’s Most Ethical Companies® for several years. With a commitment to taking care of our customers, employees, communities and shareholders, our goal is not only to be the nation’s highest performing regional bank, but to be the bank people most value and trust.

Fifth Third Bank, National Association, is a federally chartered institution. Fifth Third Bancorp is the indirect parent company of Fifth Third Bank and its common stock is traded on the NASDAQ® Global Select Market under the symbol "FITB." Investor information and press releases can be viewed at Deposit and credit products provided by Fifth Third Bank, National Association. Member FDIC.


2023 NMSDC Centers of Excellence Graduates

2023 Centers of Excellence mentees include business leaders from the following regional affiliates:

Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council (CMSDC)

  • Terry Atwater II, National Materials Transport LLC.
  • Travis Latham, Fellowship Fleet Limousine and Bus Company.
  • Rudy Hernandez, Transworld Plastic Films Inc.
  • Shin Kishioko, ITA Inc.
  • Rico Martinez, Arco Enterprises LLC.
  • Zenja Glass, Unlocking Greatness Staffing Inc.
  • Felix Villa, Global Brand and Expert Development.
  • Garvita Sethi, Accede Solutions Inc.
  • Victor Estrada, LiftUp Enterprises/ Do Right Services Company.
  • Kevin Jones, Jones Software Corporation.
  • Robin Beaman, Beaman Public Relations Inc.
  • Demetrius Watson, International Filter Manufacturing Corporation.
  • Marcus Sanders, Midwest Regional Trucking.
  • Karen Mason, TriStone Security Consultants, LLC.
  • Regina Jones, Accurate C&S Services Inc.
  • Patil Shiraji, Genius Business Solution, Inc.

Carolinas-Virginia Minority Supplier Development Council (CVMSDC)

  • Dorothy Askew, The Askew Group.
  • Supreeth Savithri, Grey Matter Solutions.
  • Geoff Foster, Core Technology Molding Corporation.
  • Joe Lee, JLGOV LLC.
  • Alex Moore, Stratagon.
  • Lisa Moss, Buckingham Greenery
  • Kyle Samuels, CTE Search.
  • Sadie Catlett, Progressive Business Solutions.
  • Lance Brown, Rhino Medical Supply.
  • Alka Manyapu, Datasoft Technologies.
  • Melanie Harris, TEC Electric.
  • Ana Sai, ComNet Group Inc.
  • Tracey Wallace, Profile Building Services.

Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council (GMSDC) 

  • Jamira Williams, JLUL Logistics.
  • Cheryl Washington, Platinum World Logistics.
  • Sabrina Williams, Southern Perfection Painting Inc.
  • Barry Crocker, Cyntechs.
  • L'Tryce Slade, Slade Environmental Consulting.
  • Chondra Webster-Myers, WEBMyers Construction.
  • Holly Reed, The Diamond & Suede Group.
  • Star English, Star English Construction Inc.
  • Barry Bennett, Metals & Materials Engineers.
  • Jennifer Barbosa, International Supply Partners.
  • Heather Fatzinger, Fuller Circle Communications.
  • Gretchen Fuller, Warner Fuller Consulting.
  • Cynthia Jones Parks, Jones Worley Communications.
  • Guiomar Obregon, Precision 2000 (P2K).
  • Jennifer Lyles, Firesign Inc.
  • Brennon Smith Sr., JBrennon Construction Inc.
  • Kevin Mobolade, Swipe Credit.
  • Kendra Ward, unboXt.

Mid-States Minority Supplier Development Council (MSMSDC)

  • Anita Woolridge, Impact Specialties & Promotion LLC.
  • Frank Codozer, Worldwide Filters.
  • Jim Vizcarra, DSV LLC.
  • Robert Reed, RCR Technology Corporation.
  • Gary Naylor, FrontRunner Media NG.
  • Jesse Camacho, Camacho Equipment & Janitorial Supply Inc.
  • Sanjay Patel, VS Engineering Inc.
  • Alicia Minter, Biggs Creative.
  • Monte Bailey, CLG International.
  • Willie Pritchett, Rack Bunker Data Centers LLC.

Ohio Minority Supplier Development Council (OMSDC)

  • Aaron Williams, TelNet Technologies LLC.
  • Teresa Macalolooy, Macalogic.
  • Monroe Barnes, MBJ Consultants.
  • Akia Booker, Green Clean Ohio.
  • Abraham Moreno, Hambone Collective.
  • Haleema Shafeek, GOFS Commercial Interiors.
  • Christopher Holmes, Riskversity.
  • Steven Williams, Packaging Tech LLC.
  • Aswin Jhaveri, GSR Global.
  • Christopher Jones, Warhol & WALL Street.
  • Carlton Dean III, Evolve Logistics
  • Eli Morla, Innovative Architectural Planners Inc.
  • Abby Allen, Neon Butterfly.
  • Devin Flowers, Ph.D, DixiTech CNC. 
  • Sudhir Achar, EOX Vantage.
  • David Henry, Universe Electric LLC. 
  • Tia Johnson, Fresh Bloom Bins.
  • Christopher Vincent, Genesis Consulting LLC.
  • John Reid, SKY, Inc.
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Fifth Third Bancorp

Fifth Third Bancorp

Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio and the indirect parent company of Fifth Third Bank, National Association, a federally chartered institution. As of Dec. 31, 2021, Fifth Third had $211 billion in assets and operated 1,117 full-service banking centers and 2,322 ATMs with Fifth Third branding in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina. In total, Fifth Third provides its customers with access to approximately 54,000 fee-free ATMs across the United States. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending and Wealth & Asset Management. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at Fifth Third’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq® Global Select Market under the symbol “FITB.” Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Deposit and Credit products are offered by Fifth Third Bank, National Association. Member FDIC.

Fifth Third’s Purpose is to improve lives and the well-being of its communities by being the One Bank people most value and trust. The Company believes in doing well by doing good and delivering long-term sustainable value to all its stakeholders. Fifth Third is focused on five environmental, social and governance priorities: keeping the customer at the center, demonstrating its commitment to employees, strengthening its communities, promoting inclusion and diversity, and addressing climate change.

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