NEW YORK, June 1, 2015 — The New York & New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council held The State of Asian-owned Business Forum on Friday, May 29, 2015 at the offices of BNY Mellon in lower Manhattan. This forum was the second in a series the Council is delivering throughout this year, designed to provide council stakeholders the opportunity to closely examine the business drivers, issues and challenges common within specific ethnic groups, and consider ways to create a positive impact on communities and the economy.

The program opened with a plenary session that included speakers from across the spectrum of supplier diversity, including, Joset Wright-Lacy, President of the National Minority Supplier Development Council; Susan Au Allen, National President & CEO of the US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce – Education Foundation; and Kerri Jew, Deputy Commissioner, NYC Department of Small Business Services.

Moderated by Joy Wong, Corporate Vice President of New York Life Insurance Company, the panelists discussed the changing demographics of the US population, the aging baby boom generation and how the fastest growing minority groups- Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans– will impact the economy.

The second part of the program included a panel of successful Council-certified Asian business owners including: John Lau, President, Appliedinfo Partners, Inc.; Ranjini Poddar, President, Artech Information Systems, LLC; Daniel Sung Park, President & CEO, Eclaro International Inc.; and Sameer Penakalapati, President & CEO, Avani Technology Solutions, Inc.

They each shared how they secured financing in the early stages of their businesses, the impact of their Asian ethnicity on their success, and important factors to consider when growing your business.

“These exchanges are an important way to examine the different pathways to success employed by each of the ethnic minority groups we serve,” says Terrence Clark, President & CEO of the New York & New Jersey MSDC. “Our role is to provide information that will help our certified suppliers to be better prepared to do business with our corporate membership, and to help our corporate members to better understand the business landscape their suppliers operate in.”

Sponsors for this forum included BNY Mellon and New Jersey Transit.

The New York & New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc. (The Council), established in 1973, is a vital link between major corporations and minority business enterprises (MBEs). Each year, member corporations have reported billions of dollars spent with Council-certified Minority Business Enterprises. Serving the New York and New Jersey region, The Council is one of the 24 regional affiliates of the National Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc.