The Role of Asian American Business Leaders in the Recovery from COVID-19
A Fireside Chat with three Asian American Business Leaders on their experiences during COVID-19, how they pivoted, and thoughts on where we go from here.
Mr. Ron Uba, Senior Business Development Specialist at Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
Emily Kessel, Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs Specialist at Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
Krystal Ka‘ai, White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (WHIAANHPI) Executive Director
Aziz Ahmad is a thought leader and a Tech Entrepreneur, who is the Co-founder of UTC Associates and CodersTrust and the Managing Director of Grameen Solutions.
UTC Associates offers integrated portfolio of technology services and Business Strategy and to enable clients to navigate their digital transformation strategy with cybersecurity at core. CodersTrust founded with a vision to democratize global access to education via the internet supported by human mentors – and by training the disenfranchised across the developing world to channel their intense passion, hope and energy into contributions to the global economy as programmers, architects, Engineers, artists, etc. Today, after only 4 years, CodersTrust brought over 100,000 bright-eyed dreamers from across Asia’s rural villages and cities into the global digital economy. Grameen Solutions is the flagship technology company of the Grameen family of organizations founded in 1999 by Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Solutions is dedicated to solving the greatest technological challenges facing the poor and challenged – such as I was growing up.
(Mr. Aziz Ahmad’s full Bio)
Tracy Balazs is the Founder of Federal Staffing Resources (FSR) and Founder and CEO of Compass Government Solutions.
Tracy is an entrepreneur and senior executive with a foundation based in supporting both public and private sector organizations in Healthcare, Human Resources Consulting, and Human Performance for Military Readiness programs. She comes from a background of healthcare with 20 years of clinical trauma nursing followed by healthcare recruiting and federal government business development career prior to her starting her first business in 2004. In 2004,Tracy founded a company called Federal Staffing Resources (FSR) which obtained several hundred prime government contracts that cover the United States. After leading FSR as their CEO for 17 years, she transitioned to became the founder and CEO of Compass Government Solutions in April, 2021. Throughout Tracy’s career, she has always been involved and has subject matter expertise in Government Contracting, Health, Talent Acquisition, Leadership and Organizational Development. She has a vast network and is an active member in several associations and professional groups such as, Women’s Presidents Organization (WPO), Women Business Leaders (WBL), and various Government and Veterans organizations which gives her access to people with strong leadership and executive capabilities. Through these organizations and groups as either a board member or participant, she frequently mentors the professionals and has spoken at the behest of the SBA and for other organizations.
(Ms. Tracy Balazs’ full Bio)
Donna Fujimoto Cole is the President and CEO of Cole Chemical & Distributing, Inc. and President of ALFA-PPE, LLC.
After four years in the chemical industry, Donna Fujimoto Cole founded Cole Chemical in 1980 at the age of 27, divorced with a four-year old daughter with $5,000 from savings at the encouragement of the chemical buyers at Exxon, Shell, Monsanto and Dupont to start a certified minority and women owned business to help them meet their government purchasing goals. Ms. Cole not only hires minority and women she pioneered 2nd tier reporting of their own MBE/WBE purchases to her customers in 1982. After 41 years, Ms. Cole has started, sold, invested and divested many types of businesses; from civil construction, to drilling loss circulation materials, chemical manufacturing, real estate, promotional advertising, distribution, warehousing, blending and packaging, to provided financing alternatives, back office support and IT integration with supply chain management services.
(Ms. Donna Cole’s full Bio)
Mr. Jean-Robert (JR) Baguidy, Senior Advisor for Access to Capital at Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
Presented by MBDA in collaboration with the Commerce Research Library, as part of the series on the CARES Economies Act with MBDA’s OBD & OLEIA.
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