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During the last month, OSD has made road trips across the Commonwealth for the five events in the MA Supplier Diversity Regional Series (“The Series”). In Lawrence, Worcester, Roxbury, New Bedford, and Springfield, the vibrant gatherings have provided small and diverse businesses the opportunity to network with state, municipal, and private buyers, State Contract vendors, and local development and non-profit organizations to advance their opportunity for growth.

Based on attendee participation and feedback, the events have been an overwhelming success. “The Series in Lawrence was fantastic. We’ve established SDO agreements and have strong leads on business opportunities. It was an outstanding event all around. I’m looking forward to Worcester, Roxbury and Springfield,” said Darby Bruno of BEI Net.works.

Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito gives the opening remarks at the Worcester event.

Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito gives the opening remarks at the Worcester event.

Mayor Dan Rivera of Lawrence kicked off The Series with his opening remarks. In Worcester, we were joined by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, State Representative Hannah Kane of Shrewsbury, and Senator Michael Moore. At the Roxbury event, Chief of Economic Development John Barros from the City of Boston spoke, and several elected officials present were acknowledged, including State Senator Linda Dorcena-Forry, State Representative Byron Rushing, State Representative Russell Holmes, and State Representative Evandro Carvalho. In New Bedford, Mayor Jon Mitchell gave the opening remarks. During the final event in Springfield, Mayor Domenic Sarno was introduced by Ryan Chamberland, Director of the Governor’s Office of Western MA.

We thank the exhibitors, many of whom attended all five events, for their participation and energy. We hope that these events were fruitful for exhibitors and attendees.

The panel at the Lawrence event included (left to right): Peter Milano (Massachusetts Office of Business Development), Frank O’Connor, Jr. (City of Lawrence), Bonnie Borch-Rote (Operational Services Division), Jessica Yamas (Center for Women & Enterprise), Lisa Gonzalez-Welch (U.S. Small Business Administration) & Jennifer Little-Greer (Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council)

Pictured from left to right: Peter Milano, Massachusetts Office of Business Development; Frank O’Connor, Jr., City of Lawrence; Bonnie Borch-Rote, Operational Services Division; Jessica Yamas, Center for Women & Enterprise; Lisa Gonzalez-Welch, U.S. Small Business Administration; Jennifer Little-Greer, Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council

We also thank the resource organizations and municipalities that participated in the Series’ panel discussions, including U.S. Small Business Administration, Massachusetts Office of Business Development, City of Lawrence, City of Worcester, City of Boston, New Bedford Economic Development Council, Center for Women and Enterprise, and Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council. These panelists supplied a wealth of information to attendees and we are grateful for their contributions.

Finally, we thank the facilities that graciously donated their space to host our events – Relief’s In, the College of the Holy Cross, the Reggie Lewis Center, Fort Taber Community Center, and the UMass Center at Springfield. Your hospitality is very much appreciated.

To see the highlights from each event, check out the conversation using the hashtag #TheSeriesMA on Twitter! For a more visual recap, take a look at our Flickr album.

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