MED Week 2016 successfully wraps up

Last updated on January 5th, 2017 at 05:01 pm

(L-R)  Lethia Mann, Vicki Yates, Marilyn Robinson and  LaDonna Boyd

(L-R) Lethia Mann, Vicki Yates, Marilyn Robinson and LaDonna Boyd. (photo by Deborah A. Culp)

This year’s Nashville MED Week (Minority Enterprise Development Week) began on Sunday, October 30, with select churches across the city recognizing entrepreneurs worshipping within their congregations. November 1-3 events were hosted at the state capitol. This year’s theme was ‘Changing the Game: Contracting for Equity’ with the goal of helping to ensure that more diverse businesses have a fair chance of being awarded state contracts.

Invaluable topics were addressed, including: ‘Business Equity in Purchasing and Contracting – Best Practices From Seattle and Houston’; ‘Holding Ourselves Accountable: Lessons From Baltimore and the State of Maryland; and ‘Thought Leaders and Diverse Business Policy Forum.’ Google Fiber also held an informative evening session followed by a business night out, mid-week mixer. At the Google Fiber event minority business owners and guests received a well-rounded account of the technology available and how it could play a part in their businesses.

MED Week Nashville is a part of the Minority Business Center (MBC) support and entrepreneurial education approach. The MBC executive director is Marilyn Robinson. Minority Enterprise Development Week (MED Week) is an annual national celebration in recognition of the contributions made by minority businesses to the nation’s economy. This year marks the 32nd annual MED Week celebration.

This year’s partners included: HCA Tri-Star Health and First Tennessee. The patrons included: Google Fiber, R.H. Boyd Publishing Corp., and Regions Bank. MED Week partners and patrons worked in collaboration with other dynamic agencies and organizations, including: The Black Business Association of Memphis, Chattanooga TN.; the Chamber of Conference, Office of Business Diversity, Memphis, Tenn.; Business Diversity and Compliance, the Metropolitan Nashville Business Assistance Office, MMBC Continuum; the Nashville Black Chamber of Commerce; the Nashville Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; the TDOT Office of Civil Rights; DBE Supportive Services; the TBR Office of Organizational Effectiveness and Strategic Initiatives; and the U.S. Small Business Association. It’s clear to see why MED Week 2016 was so effective.

Welcome letters were received from some of Tennessee’s top politicians, including: Gov. Bill Haslam; Mayor Megan Barry; State Representative Brenda Gilmore; and this year’s corporate chair, Lethia S. Mann of First Tennessee.

The age-old adage “it takes a village” (generally when people pull together to raise a successful child) could be applied here. Marilyn Robinson and her team of qualified professionals nailed it!

Five Star properties Lowe’s Vanderbilt Hotel and Ruth’s Chris Steak House provided a fittingly beautiful backdrop for the awards ceremony and three-course dinner. Nashville Channel 5 WTVF Award winning anchor Vicki Yates was the mistress of ceremonies for ‘Dr. R.H. Boyd Minority Business Achievement Awards.’

MED Week 2016 has ended on yet another successful note: there are still resources to aid business owners, established or budding entrepreneurs. Contact the Nashville (MBC) Minority Business Center at 615-255-0403; or visit .