The Third Annual Event Included Keynote Addresses from Top Executives and Entrepreneurs from Jordan Brand, BBVA USA, Turner Construction and Heartland Coca-Cola Bottling Company

ATLANTA — Over 50 percent of small businesses face immediate or near-term risk of shuttering permanently due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent analysis from the Brookings Institution. This year’s Global Supplier Diversity Conference (GSDC) gathered founders and business leaders from across the globe to examine the gaps for women and underrepresented founders when it comes to building strategic partnerships and securing funding.

The one-day virtual event themed “Pivot to Your Purpose” provided strategic programming teaching founders how to pursue high-value procurement opportunities, build strategic partnerships, and successfully win corporate contracts. Additional topics included how to research and prepare for supplier opportunities, how to become a certified business owner, and the art of closing the deal.

The event brought together thought leaders, buyers, women, and underrepresented founders for a day of innovative programming. Top business executives, including Craig Williams, President of Jordan Brand, delivered inspiring keynote addresses. Additional keynote speakers included Theresa Schroeder, VP of Community & Citizenship, Turner Construction and Ulysses L. Bridgeman, Jr., Owner and CEO of Heartland Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Rosilyn Houston, Senior Executive VP & Chief Talent and Cultural Executive, BBVA USA and Kevin Keith, Chief Brand Officer for Orangetheory Fitness.

Breakout speakers for the event included Cole Banks, Founder of Sisters Traveling Solo, Jessica Espinoza, Chair, The 2X Challenge and Global Gender Finance Lead, DEG, Aaron Hurst, Managing Director, Endeavor Atlanta and Adam Teeter, Co-founder and CEO, VinePair. The day concluded with an informative and inspiring ‘Ask Me Anything’ session with Zander Lurie, CEO of SurveyMonkey

The first GSDC was held in Atlanta in 2018. The visionary behind the event, Monica McCoy, has seen first-hand through her company Pitch University, the need for additional resources for founders of color. Pitch University aims to help women entrepreneurs scale their businesses by building strategic partnerships. To date, McCoy has assisted over 3,000 underrepresented minority and women-owned businesses around the country. Since 2018, Pitch University has expanded to more than 33 cities in the United States and 8 countries globally. Pitch University’s virtual platform allows McCoy to extend the Pitch University curriculum and offerings worldwide.

“I would like to thank our many founders and small business owners who engaged with us online throughout the day, and our amazing line-up of keynote speakers and breakout speakers for our 3rd annual event.  While we missed seeing you in person, we were thrilled to provide you with valuable resources and tremendous take-ways to help you sustain and grow your business in these unprecedented times.”  This year’s event registration was completely free to founders with an ask that the community consider paying it forward by making an optional donation to the Pitch University scholarship fund, which helps underrepresented founders scale their business. More information on the Pitch University Scholarship fund can be found here:

For more information on this year’s event visit:

About GSDC:

The Pivot to Your Purpose Global Supplier Diversity Conference held its first event in September 2018 with the aim of helping entrepreneurs of color learn the keys to success for scaling their business and creating global partnerships. Each year the event has featured keynote addresses and panel discussions with business thought leaders and top executives. Past speakers include Nzinga Shaw, Senior VP and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the Atlanta Hawks, Steve Bucherati, president of the Bucherati Group, and former Global Chief Diversity Officer for the Coca-Cola Company and Dr. Charles Thomas, Chief Data and Analytics Officer for General Motors.

About Monica McCoy, Conference Visionary:

Monica McCoy is a highly sought after, award-winning global speaker, executive coach and author, whose company, Monica Motivates, has developed and executed strategic programs to help underrepresented founders pursue, win and successfully maintain corporate contracts. A former Global Director of Strategy and Innovation for the McDonald’s Division for the Coca-Cola Company, McCoy has nearly two decades of experience in business diversity and inclusion. McCoy’s latest book “Treating Your Brand Like a Fortune 100 Company” serves as a step-by-step guide for founders looking to launch their business to the next level.

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