American Red Cross to conduct business matchmaking session at Connect 1 Conference

Daphne McBeth

“How To” workshop sessions another conference highlight

By Lonnie Ross

Online Editor

Daphne McBeth
Daphne McBeth

 JACKSON – The American Red Cross purchases products and services from businesses throughout the U.S., including minority and women owned businesses. On September 17 and 18, they will team up with the Southern Region Minority Suppliers Development Council (SRMSDC) to meet minority business owners and discuss opportunities to do business with the national organization at the Connect 1 Conference to be held at the Jackson Convention Complex in Jackson Mississippi.

The conference is an economic development networking event designed to match people and businesses to one another, including entrepreneurs, home-based businesses, new start-ups, established businesses, minority contractors/suppliers, prime contractors, major corporations, inventors/innovators, government agencies, educational institutions, venture capitalists, bankers, investment bankers, funders, media, consumers and more (something for everyone).

The conference will feature an expo, national celebrity guests, networking breakfast, business luncheon, awards dinner, numerous workshop sessions, and a VIP reception. Speakers and presenters headlining the conference will include nationally and locally known leaders, corporate owners and executives.

Conference organizers are hoping that more than 1,000 people from Mississippi and outside the state will register and attend the conference next month, including business owners, business executives, consumers and students. Registration for access to the full conference is $75.00 extended through August 31st ($100.00 beginning September 1st).

Daphne McBeth, Regional Director of SRMSDC, will be speaking to conference registrants and lead a workshop. Her organization will team with the American Red Cross to conduct a supplier-buyer matchmaking session at the conference.

SRMSDC serves and provides the only nationally recognized ethnic minority business certification (MBE) in the States of Louisiana, Alabama Arkansas and Mississippi. The main objective of the organization is to execute the Council’s aggressive outreach programs, which help to identify and certify minority suppliers as well as acquaint them with representatives of the corporate purchasing community. The MBE certification is the designation that Corporate America uses to track direct and indirect spending with businesses owned and controlled by ethnic minority owned suppliers. Through SRMSDC a certified minority supplier has access to nearly 3,600 leading companies and to corporate buyers.

The Supplier Diversity Program of the American Red Cross allows their Sourcing teams and Business units to build relationships with woman, disabled, and minority business enterprises and facilitate access to bid and contract opportunities through a combination of advocacy, outreach, certification support, mentoring and referral.

The American Red Cross provides disaster relief, support to America’s military families, lifesaving blood, health and safety services, and international services.

Joe Quinn, Walmart’s Senior Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations, will keynote the conference opening session on September 17. He will talk about Walmart’s $250 billion commitment to bringing manufacturing jobs back to America, creating more business opportunities, including the state of Mississippi.

There will be numerous workshops during the conference for registrants. “How to” workshop sessions at the conference include lessons on how to do business with the Federal, State and City government; how to do business with large corporations, agencies and institutions; how to get business funding and financial assistance; how a business can use Ecommerce and the Internet to grow; and more.  Anyone interested in attending workshop sessions can sign up online at

For more information go to the conference website at or send email to or call 601-368-8479. Register for the full conference online at: