Hosted by Meda and The Minneapolis MBDA Business Center, the CEO Connect is a venue for entrepreneurs of color to gather among their peers to share challenges, opportunities and develop new skills to lead their companies into the future. Each meeting provides thought provoking discussions around different aspects of business for Meda 100 clients, and this year, Meda hosted its first culturally specific event – the Asian American CEO Connect.
This CEO Connect, specifically designed for Asian American entrepreneurs, created a space for networking and sharing success stories that impact small businesses led by Minnesotans of Asian descent. Held in collaboration with a rare visit to the Twin Cities by George Mui, Senior Advisor for the White House Initiative on Asian American and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) and the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) National Market Access Team Lead, this Asian American CEO Connect was the perfect platform to encourage and support the free flowing interaction and communication among Asian American business leaders.
Gary Cunningham, Meda President and CEO, provided opening remarks and introduction to the event. Mr. Mui followed by sharing a Presidential Proclamation acknowledging the White House’s efforts on behalf of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders that are aimed at increasing access to and involvement in federal programs. Mr. Mui provided one-on-one meetings with several Asian-American entrepreneurs, answering specific questions about business expansion, federal procurement opportunities and unique national collaborations.
The product of several months of planning and coordination with the office of MBDA in Washington DC and the WHIAAPI Team in Chicago, Mui’s visit was the culmination of efforts by George Jacobson, Director of the Minneapolis MBDA Business Center. The event was co-sponsored by Ni Corbin, the founder and CEO of Jade Logistics.
Established by Ni in 2007, Jade Logistics provides Freight Management and Third Party Logistics, both domestically and internationally. Currently, Jade Logistics employs over 25 Minnesotans and the company is experiencing rapid growth. Founded with strong guiding community principles, Jade Logistics has been a strong Meda supporter for many years. Additionally, the company supports over 50 other charities and nonprofits by donating a portion of their business profits and encouraging employee volunteerism.