CCC hosts Nestle North America during small business conference
CLARKSDALE – Coahoma Community College presented business leaders from across the Mid-South the opportunity to turn their “contacts into contracts” while learning about one of the largest food companies in the world.

CCC hosts Nestle North America during small business conference

Press Release from Coahoma Community College Public Relations; (662) 621-4061 - Brittany Davis-Green - bdavis@coahomacc.edu

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Wed Aug 12, 2015

CLARKSDALE – Coahoma Community College presented business leaders from across the Mid-South the opportunity to turn their “contacts into contracts” while learning about one of the largest food companies in the world.

More than 50 businessmen and women, from as far as Atlanta, attended a one-day conference hosted by Nestle North America in CCC’s Gallery, Friday.

Led by Nestle’s Manager of Supplier Diversity and Development Karen Blackwell of Los Angeles, the conference gave those in attendance the opportunity to learn about Nestle’s commitment to supplier diversity by establishing and growing successful business relationships, particularly with qualified and certified minority, women and veteran-owned suppliers, as well as an overview of the company’s procurement or acquisition process.

“With over 300,000 employees worldwide, and operations in more than 85 countries, we truly are a multinational, multicultural company,” said Blackwell. “We are committed to continuing the development of meaningful and mutually beneficial business relationships with diverse suppliers.”

While supplier diversity and procurement were the hot topics of the day, Blackwell pointed out it was the opportunity to achieve so much more.

“You’ve come here to learn about Nestle, which is great, but I would like us to use this day to learn more about Clarksdale, Coahoma Community College and one another,” she said. “Ron Langston who ran MBBA (Minority Business Development Agency) once said ‘for every contact, there’s a contract,’ so I would like us to use this day to really leverage that.”

CCC Executive Director of Workforce Development Steven Jossell said he was ecstatic that Nestle considered CCC to host the conference.

“For CCC to be considered as a partner and selected to host this event is truly an honor!  The opportunities abound and will be worth its weight in gold for Coahoma to continue to raise the bar of excellence and credibility” said Jossell.

In fact, Jossell said he’s in the process of establishing and building new partnerships and creating customized job-training opportunities designed to meet the needs of some of the employers in attendance to the conference.  Many of these employers and business owners expressed mutual sentiments in the difficulty in having a qualified pool of applicants for selection.

“This is great opportunity for internships, mentorships, apprenticeships and externships, not only with Nestle, but other companies represented at the meeting,” he said.

The day concluded with a panel of business owners who shared tips and information on running a successful business. Serving on that panel were Ken Weeden, president of Ken Weeden and Associates; Ron Purifoy, president of Johnson Byrce, Inc., and Erin McGahey, vice president of Prystrup.

Also on hand providing information on local resources for small business was Cheri Henderson of TriState MSDC, Luke Yancy of the MMBC Continuum and Jossell representing CCC.

CLICK HERE to view more photos from the conference on CCC's Facebook page!