Minority Business Development Institute (MBDI) Celebrates Industry Pillars, and Support for Diverse Businesses at Inaugural Gala, and Announces 2024 Plans

NEW YORK, Feb. 20, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The Minority Business Development Institute (MBDI), a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit dedicated to providing education and advocacy to CEOs of minority, women, and veteran owned businesses (MWBEs and SDVOBs), announced today that it will host its second annual fundraising Gala event on November 21, 2024. MBDI’s inaugural Gala on November 30th, 2023, hosted more than 320 guests.

Highlights of the inaugural event included MBDI recognizing 42 MWBE and SDVOB business owners, to whom MBDI awarded full tuition scholarships for an advanced leadership development program sponsored by The Travelers. The total Travelers scholarship amount is valued at more than $630,000. K.A. Stacie Alexiou, CEO of Watt & Flux, scholarship recipient and graduate of MBDI’s capacity-building educational program, contributed, “MBDI saw our potential value and positioned the resources we needed so we could transform it into actual value, capabilities, and achieve successful performance all while mitigating ongoing risks of growing sustainably. We could not have grown to deliver millions in scope safely and successfully within our first 2 years of starting without the support of MBDI.”

MBDI honored pillars of the insurance, construction, and government agency sectors, recognizing five diversity leaders who have impacted the business community greatly through their efforts. Michael Clay, former Co-Leader of Procurement with The Dormitory Authority, State of NY (DASNY) received “The Diversity Lifetime Achievement Award”; Bob Raney, SVP of Construction Services, Travelers Bond & Specialty Insurance, was recognized with “The Diversity Surety Achievement Award;” “The Diversity Construction Company of the Year” award was received by Eric Reid, Chief Operating Officer with AECOM Tishman; Eric Alemany, Senior Director – Supplier Relationship Management and Strategic Supply Management with The New York Power Authority (NYPA), received “The Diversity Impact Award;” and “The Diversity Corporation of the Year Award” was received by LeAnne McCorry, Head of Aon’s North America Enterprise Client Group. Of note, MBDI is partially funded by Embrace Partners, a minority business enterprise-certified wholesale insurance company; at the event, Aon announced that Embrace Partners has been approved nationwide as an Aon wholesale broker.

MBDI also announced a generous grant award from Flagstar Bank. The $100,000 grant will support both MBDI’s general operations, and specific capacity building education programming for New York City MWBE and SDVOB small businesses. This grant arose because of 2023 revisions to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). Banks may now accrue “Community Service” by donating to non-profits like MBDI that “provide technical assistance to qualifying small businesses.” Flagstar Bank will count the MBDI grant toward its CRA requirements. “We are driven to help people take charge and thrive,” said Beverly Meek, Community Reinvestment Act Director for Flagstar Bank. “This grant paired with MBDI’s program embodies advancement, parity and opportunity to help entrepreneurs in skilled trades grow their business.”

David Cayemitte, CEO of MBDI, Embrace Partners, Inc., and of The Cayemitte Group, Inc. (TCG) said, “The Gala was one of the greatest nights in the history of our companies. We are thrilled with the number of attendees, the generous support of the more than 30 sponsoring organizations, the sincerity and ambition of the 42 MBDI scholars. Most importantly, the Gala’s success shows us that we are on the right path and that MBDI’s mission to educate minority, women and service-disabled owned veteran CEOs to grow their capacity to do more business is of great importance to the business community. We look forward to celebrating more success in 2024.”

For further information, please contact:
Liz Duncan-Gilmour
General Counsel
Minority Business Development Institute
Tel: (845) 616-2709