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At&T Congratulates First Graduates From Its Women Of Color Businesses Mentoring Program

program for women owners of small busi- nesses and the graduation of its first seven participants. The rigorous program included men-


toring, coaching, classes, webinars and other activities that taught participants how to operate effectively within a global supply chain, utilize government and pri- vate sector resources, and incorporate cutting-edge technology to improve their business operations, remove defects and elevate customer satisfaction. The mentoring program is part of

AT&T’s Women of Color Businesses (WOCB) Growth Initiative. Launched in 2009, the initiative aims to help minority women owners develop the tools and ex- pertise to win large corporate contracts. In addition to sponsoring the seven businesses in the WOCB Growth Initia- tive, AT&T provided scholarships to the participants to attend executive training programs at leading business schools. Ad- ditionally, it awarded $250,000 Micro- Businesses Technical Assistance Grants to non-profit community organizations that focus on the development of small businesses owned by women of color. “For AT&T to succeed we need to be

able to count on quality-certified suppliers that can help us deliver best-in-class prod- ucts and services to our customers,” said Marianne Strobel, executive director, AT&T Global Supplier Diversity. During the past twelve months, the

program’s seven participants were also mentored by existing minority women AT&T suppliers who shared their exper- tise and quality certification journey with the mentees. Upon completing the pro- gram, participants obtained their TL 9000 quality certification – an internationally recognized quality system requirement for telecom suppliers.


T&T recently announced the comple- tion of its first year-long mentoring

The seven graduates of AT&T’s 2010 WOCBG program are: Madinah S. Ali, chairwoman & CEO,

MSA Global, a contact center provider with both domestic and near shore capa- bilities in the U.S., Mexico, and Philip- pines.

Cindy Kazee, owner & president of

Universal Network Development Corpo- ration, a supplier of engineers and other technical workers to telecommunications companies. Kim Le, CPA & CIA, CEO and found-

er of A2Q2 Corporation, a professional services firm specializing in accounting projects, business process optimization, internal controls and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance. Gloria Robbins, CEO and founder of Specialized Marketing Services, a com- pany that develops innovative online and off-line marketing solutions to help busi- nesses find and retain customers, and grow revenues. Shavila Singh, founder and president

of Zero Waste Solutions, a company that provides services to help businesses and government agencies reduce operational while protecting and preserving the envi- ronment. Tracy Stanhoff, president & creative

director of AD PRO, a firm that specializes in advertising, graphic design, convention exhibit, promotional item, large format graphic, printing and web services. Harriet Stricklen, founder & past presi-

dent of AMG-A Management Group, a provider of human resources services and SaaS Applications, and a workforce train- ing and placement firm. After graduation, participants will con-

tinue to be introduced to AT&T opportu- nities that match their specific offerings and to AT&T Prime Suppliers to explore potential business opportunities. AT&T implemented the mentoring


program in response to the Center for Women’s Business Research’s 2008 study of women of color businesses. The study found these businesses are starting at three times the rate of all other groups yet lag behind other firms in terms of growth fac- tors such as revenue and number of em- ployees. AT&T’s WOCB Growth Initiative re-

flects the company’s commitment to in- creasing its vendor diversity by putting in place a program that addresses the needs small businesses have competing in large global supply chains. AT&T is a pioneer of including diversity owned businesses in its supply chain and has been named to WBENC’s list of America’s Top Corpora- tions for Women’s Business Enterprises every year since the list’s inception 11 years ago for its efforts in breaking down barriers that impede women-owned busi- nesses from gaining fair access to pro- curement opportunities. For more information and detailed dis-

claimer information, please review this announcement in the AT&T newsroom at . AT&T products and services are pro-

vided or offered by subsidiaries and affili- ates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc. Source:


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