CBOF Celebrates 48 in Chicago

Donna Brazile at CBOF 48 addressing the audience
Donna Brazile at CBOF 48 addressing the audience

Donna Brazile on the big Screen at CBOF 48 Sponors Breakfast, Navy Pier , Chicago addressing Audience.
Donna Brazile on the big Screen at CBOF 48 Sponors Breakfast, Navy Pier , Chicago addressing Audience.

CBOF 48, the 48th Annual Chicago Business Opportunity Fair hosted by the preeminent  Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council Inc. organization met April 23 and 24, 2015 at Navy Pier, Chicago. ChicagoMSDC’s goal is to increase corporate and government  procurement from certified minority-owned businesses representing, African American, Asian American, Native American and Hispanic American business owners.  Those in attendance included the CBOF48planning committee, the ChicagoMSDC Board of Directors, members, certified MBES and staff.  This years theme, Reset, Revamp and Accelerate presented workshops, seminars, 1-on-1 targeted meetings and industry rows,such as Healthcare Row and University Row to help provide a meaningful opportunity fair assuring that each participant walked away with something of value. In addition theMBEIC Sharing Success Awards Reception, Dinner and Program ceremony honoring those whose  performance exhibits excellence took place Thursday evening at the Hyatt Regency Ballroom. The Sponsors Breakfast  featured Newly elect Governor Bruce Rauner who make a few remarks and keynote speaker, the world renowned highly respected and accomplished political Analyst, author and entrepreneur Donna Brazile.

Newly elect  Governor Rauner gives brief remarks at CBOF 48, Chicago Navy Pier
Newly elect Governor Rauner gives brief remarks at CBOF 48, Chicago Navy Pier

Rauner’s remarks about his intentions were hard to accept given his current budget suspensions and cuts.  He spoke of his corporate  past  and how his company supported minorities. He even said, “Our company particularly reached out to African Americans,” and  then shared the story he’s shared many times that he has endowed a full professor’s chair at historically black Morehouse College in Atlanta. He made a point of stating that he wants to reinstitute  industrial education courses into the high school curriculum. He also said that he want to close the salary gap.’ Of course all of thesis quite interesting. Be vey clear that Rauner is not interested in the under privileged, but rather those middle class and up.

Donna Brazile was entertaining, informative and inspirational. She landed with most as an accomplished woman who does not take her self too seriously yet  understands the struggle and the importance of commitment, hard work and integrity.

ChicagoMSDC President and CEO Sheila C. Morgan and Ruby McCleary, Director Supplier Diversity at United, Chairperson, CBOF48 Planning Committee were the hosts who presented the Presidents Gavel to Chairman, President  & CEO of United Airlines who served as Honorary Chair of CBOF48 planning Committee.  Other members of the committee were  Firoz Lalji, Ceo of Zomnes and Donna Bridgeforth, President of Bridgeforth Wolf & Associates.

Standing in for Stefan Holt Zorida Sambolin of channel 5 was the Mistress of Ceremony and added humor and lightness to the morning event. She closed the breakfast program and everyone headed out to the Ribbon Cutting Recessional.


Corporation of the Year – Anne Pramaggiore, President  & CEO ComEd

Anders C. Rasmussen, Jr. Award – Emmett Vaughn, Director Diversity & Inclusion  Exelon

Minority Business Impact Award – Myla Skinner, Directory of Strategy, University of Chicago

Maye Foster Thompson Minority Buisness Advocate Awards- Joyce Johnson, Anchor Staffing

Nobel Diversity Business Leader Award- Steve Pemberton, Divisional VP& Chief Diversity Officer, Walgreens

Vanguard Award – Juventino Cano, President & CEO, Cano Container Corporation

Pathfinder Award-Kathy April Rush – Supplier Diversity Small Business Liaison Officer, Abbive, Inc.

President’s Recognition Award – Alejandra Castillo, National Director, MBDA

Chairman’s Recognition Award – Cheryl Harris, Sr VP Sourcing $ Procurement Solutions,  Allstate

Corporate Rising Star Award – Dwayne Esterline, MB, Sr. Purchasing manager, Tenneco

MBE Rising Star Award – Jeff Tovar, President & CEO Tovar Snow Professionals

Transformational Leader Award – Jacqueline Rosa, Global head of Supplier Diversity, JP Morgan

Trailblazer Award -James Clayborne, 57th District Asst. Majority Leader, State of Illinois

Lifetime Achievement Award – Jesse White, Secretary of State, State of Illinois

Employee of the Year – Joshua Gutstein, Sr Financial Analyst, MBDA Buisness Center-Chicago


Class I – Jared Kelly, President, CEI Media  Group

Class II – Stephanie Hickman, President  & CEO, Trice Construction Company

Class III- Jeff Styers, President, Arrow Strategies

Class III – Vasanthi Ilangovan, President Viva USA

Class IV – Jim Reynolds, Chairman & Founder, Loop Capital Markets


George Avery, Manager, Faculities Service Maintenance WW Grainger

Veronica Biggs, Principal Category Manager Supply Hardware, Excelon

John Dixon, Manager $ CreativeDirector Design Group, Federal Reserve Bank

Rochelle Taylor, Purchasing Supervisior, Caesars Entertainment/Harrah’s Joliet Casino & Hotel

Carolyn Harris, Sr. Category Manager, United Airlines

Joseph Sellens, General Market, Scientific Games International

Ryan Stevens, Sr.Manager of Professional Services, Discover

JenniferJohnson, Washington, Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Chicago

Some of the Sponsors:

Abbott, Abbvie Inc., Allstate, Ariel Investments, AT & T, Blue Cross Blue Shielfd of IL, BMO Harris bank, BP, Capiyal One, Cardinal Health, Caterpillar Inc., CDW, CEI Media Group, CNA Insurance Companies,  Exelon, Harrah’s Joliet, Honda North America, Illinois Casino Gaming Association, Johnson Controls, JP Morgan, MZI Group Inc., National Material L.P., Navistar Nicor Gas, Nielsen, Northern Trust , Office Depot, Pepsico, People’sGas & North Shore Gas,Sprint, Staples, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Tenneco, The CRS Group,  Tovar Snow Professionals, UBM Facility Services, Inc., United Airlines, University of Chicago Office Business Diversity, Viva Usa, Inc, Walgreens, World Wide Technology, W.W Grainger, Zones, Inc.

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