Twin Cities Startup Week 2021 Twin Cities Startup Week 2021
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Reimagining Supplier Diversity - Invite Only Breakfast presented by Ecolab

Char Dobbs
The Activate Network and Certified Access, COO of The Activate Network and Co Founder of Certified Access

Char Dobbs is the COO and co-owner of The Activate Network, which is a safe & supportive professional community for Women of Color to work, own and live well. Our mission is to catalyze evolution in the global business community by providing a library of resources designed specifically for women-of-color, and a safe space where they can connect, exchange ideas, and forge meaningful partnerships. Our distinguished and engaged collaborative is packed with visionaries, leaders and founders dedicated to building a more diverse, equitable, and vibrant business landscape.

Prior to her work with The Activate Network, Char has worked as an engineer, entrepreneur, supply chain manager, and as a personal branding specialist. Observant but personable, Char has a knack for empowering her others to cut through the clutter to make priority pivots, leading them toward more clarity, impact, and profit in their life and endeavors. She firmly believes that helping visionaries, leaders, and organizations, through the transformative work of embracing their purpose and power unlocks their potential to prosper and thrive.

Mercedes Jaime

Mercedes E. Jaime, an award-winning Business Development, Supplier Diversity and Inclusion Professional, is a connector with over 30 years of experience in establishing and managing B2B and B2C relationships.  Her passion and expertise has resulted in improved access by leveraging successful business practices to ensure equitable opportunities and growth for organizations of all sizes.

Mercedes is an active leader in several national and international organizations that represent and support the diverse business entrepreneurs. These include The National Diversity Advisory Board University of Minnesota (NDAB), National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), The Network of Executive Women (NEW) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI). 

Mercedes has been recognized with numerous honors and awards for her contributions and outstanding dedication to Business Development and Supplier Diversity:    

  •  "America’s Top 100 Leaders in Corporate Supplier Diversity" by Women’s Enterprise USA, 2014
  •  "Diversity in Business Award 2015" by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, 2015
  •  "Top 25 Women in Power Impacting Diversity" Diversity Plus Magazine, 2015
  • National Association Women Business Owners (NAWBO-MN) 2019 Advocate of the Year. 
  • Contributor Author book Latinas Rising Up In HR

Mercedes is committed to a products and services procurement process that meets the diverse needs of both customers and retail businesses. Supporting all business owners with an emphasis on women, minority, and diverse business entrepreneurs is a critical part of her Business Development, Supplier Diversity, and Inclusion business goals.

Tuning in virtually? Watch live on Hopin on the Stage here.

The procurement process can be complex without the proper guidance and resources in place. Hear from the BIPOC-owned startups, businesses, and supplier diversity professionals about challenges and new resolutions to payment structures, certifications, responding to RFPs, and outreach to diverse suppliers.

The purpose of the event is for Supplier Diversity Executives to connect, share best practices, and discuss how to improve the process to attract more diverse suppliers. Char Dobbs and Mercedes E. Jaime from the Activate Network will share knowledge on navigating the procurement process with large corporations and present lessons learned from helping hundreds navigate supplier diversity programs. 

We're excited to bring supplier diversity leaders together and help lay the foundation to create more effective supplier diversity programs.


Science Museum of Minnesota - Parking Map & Instructions.pdf - Parking in the museum lot is $5.