MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (Sept. 19, 2015) – Elise Hernandez is the new Technology Power Woman. Her story reads like something out of a Horatio Alger novel: the first in her family to get her MBA, she took her school business plan and created one of the fastest growing woman-owned IT solution providers in the country. Now, she’s made history as the only Minnesota-based, Hispanic, woman-owned business to be among 65 companies awarded a $20 billion government contract.
The announcement came today during a media conference at Ideal’s suburban Minneapolis office. Minnesota Senators Al Franken (D) and Amy Klobuchar (D) and Governor Mark Dayton (D) were among those in attendance as Hernandez shared details about the 10-year “Everything IT” government-wide contract, under Chief Information Officer – Commodities and Solutions (CIO-CS). The National Institute of Health Informational Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center awarded the Government Wide Acquisition Contract in May to 65 companies, ranging from large to small. Ideal benefited from the federal government’s objective to award 50 percent of the contract to small business. Ideal will provide federal agencies with IT commodity products and commodity-enabling solutions, on-site or in the cloud.
“I am elated that Ideal has been awarded this contract,” said Elise Hernandez, founder and CEO of Ideal. “We have spent the past 18 years developing strategic partnerships with innovative technology manufacturers and service partners to provide clients with ‘best-in-class’ technology products, services and support. These skills allow Ideal to offer government agencies a highly capable, one-stop IT service and solution provider.”
“Small businesses like Ideal System Solutions are the engines of economic growth in our state and our nation, creating tens of thousands of jobs every year in Minnesota alone,” Klobuchar said. “Meda contributes to Minnesota’s strong business community by working to create jobs, keep the economy moving, and support women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color, like Elise Hernandez. Elise is breaking barriers, and we need more leaders like her.”
“This is a great milestone for Ideal System Solutions and Minnesota’s small business community,” said Senator Al Franken, Minnesota. “Elise Hernandez’s success is a reminder how vital it is to encourage entrepreneurs and create opportunities so small businesses can realize their potential.”
Hernandez established her IT company18 years ago in the Brainerd Lakes area and Minneapolis. With the ability to service clients nationwide, Ideal also has offices in New Mexico, Iowa and Virginia. For the past six years, Hernandez has been working with the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (Meda) and its Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) offices in Minneapolis and Washington, DC to grow her business. Most recently, Hernandez was selected to receive the prestigious award of MBDA Minority Business Enterprise of the Year. This award is given to minority entrepreneurs who have demonstrated industry leadership, business success, economic impact and community involvement. She will receive the award during the National Minority Development (MED) Week Awards reception, Tuesday, October 20th.
“I am very pleased that Meda and the MBDA assisted Ideal System Solutions, Inc. in obtaining this contract. Meda exists to help minority entrepreneurs succeed. We believe that creating successful minority businesses is the key to addressing the racial wealth gap in our country. This historic award to Ideal demonstrates that minority businesses can compete and win,” said Gary L. Cunningham, President and CEO of Meda.
Prior to the award, Meda and its MBDA centers assisted Ideal to strengthen the business and position it for contract awards. The assistance included securing certifications, guiding strategic acquisitions, developing and executing financial growth strategies, identifying bidding opportunities and introducing Ideal to government agencies.
About Ideal System Solutions, Inc.
Ideal System Solutions, Inc. (Ideal) provides clients with business-driven enterprise technology solutions, infrastructure management and professional services. Since 1997, Ideal has become an industry leader in support of government, education and commercial organizations nationwide to design and implement custom IT solutions that achieve client’s business objectives.
Ideal’s professional sales and technical teams provide our clients with a broad range of innovative solutions and services to improve the overall performance and efficiency of the computing and data center, while optimizing technology investments. Ideal is partnered with over 100 leading-edge technology manufacturers such as Avaya, HP, NetApp, CISCO, VMWare, Oracle and National Instruments.
Metropolitan Economic Development Association (Meda) is a nonprofit organization that serves Minnesota businesses owned and managed by entrepreneurs of color. Meda provides consulting expertise, federal funding opportunities, financing, government procurement, leadership development, corporate networking, mentoring and educational opportunities. Meda services include additional resources that are open to all Minnesota businesses pursuing government contracting and funding opportunities.
In 2014, Meda served more than 1,600 clients across their service offerings and helped clients throughout the state of Minnesota secure more than $650 million in contracts. In addition, 55 minority-owned firms secured nearly $26 million in financial capital. Together these contracts and financial capital contributed to approximately more than 150 jobs with an average wage of $22 per hour.
Meda operates the MBDA Minneapolis Business Center and the Federal Procurement Center. Both centers are a part of a nationwide network of over 40 funded centers and strategic partners located throughout the United States. Their core services are tailored to the specific business needs and situation of each client. The MBDA Minneapolis Business Center and Federal Procurement Center is committed to help businesses identify business opportunities, develop the plans, establish the connections and acquire the resources needed to grow and expand.
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