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Fifth Third Bank to Boost Supplier Diversity



Fifth Third Bank today announced an agreement with supplier management software solutions provider ConnXus that makes it easier for the Bank to connect with woman- and minority-owned businesses.

“Just as we understand the value of an inclusive workforce that reflects our diverse customers and communities, we understand this value extends to our supply chain”

Stephanie Smith, vice president and director of Fifth Third’s supplier diversity program, said ConnXus will be integral in helping the Bank achieve its goals. “We strive to create a level playing field where diverse suppliers can compete for Fifth Third’s business on a fair and equal basis. We partner with organizations that provide diverse suppliers with opportunities for their businesses to grow and leverage diversity to provide the best solutions for our customers, shareholders, employees and communities. We are thrilled that ConnXus was able to provide the right solution as we work hard to be the best at supplier diversity.”

Fifth Third spends hundreds of millions of dollars annually on goods and services, ranging from facility-management services to information technology and office supplies. Awarding more of these contracts to diverse businesses has been a major focus of the Bank’s Strategic Sourcing department.

Daryl Hammett, co-owner and chief operating officer of Mason, Ohio-based ConnXus, said the joint effort will lead the way to create a new standard for supplier diversity in the workplace. “This strategic partnership will bring increased transparency and inclusion to Fifth Third’s cross-functional supply chain. This collaborative effort will streamline spending reporting and set an example for responsible and sustainable supplier management standards across the banking sector.”

Jule Kucera, Fifth Third’s senior vice president and chief diversity and corporate social responsibility officer, said that the partnership with ConnXus reflects the Bank’s commitment to working with diverse vendors. “Just as we understand the value of an inclusive workforce that reflects our diverse customers and communities, we understand this value extends to our supply chain,” she said. “We do not treat supplier diversity as something that’s just ‘nice to do.’ Supplier diversity is a means for keeping the customer at the center of all we do, and it serves as an engine for innovation and growth.”

For more information about Fifth Third’s supplier diversity program, please visit

About Fifth Third

Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. As of Dec. 31, 2017, the Company had $142 billion in assets and operated 1,154 full-service Banking Centers and 2,469 ATMs with Fifth Third branding in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina. In total, Fifth Third provides its customers with access to more than 54,000 fee-free ATMs across the United States. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending and Wealth & Asset Management. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of Dec. 31, 2017, had $362 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $37 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations through its Trust and Registered Investment Advisory businesses. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at Fifth Third’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq® Global Select Market under the symbol “FITB.” Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Member FDIC.

About ConnXus

ConnXus supplier management software solutions simplify the complexities of global supply chains and allow buyers to achieve their goals of responsible and sustainable sourcing. ConnXus is a NMSDC, CAMSC, CPUC and State of Ohio-certified minority-owned business enterprise based in Mason, Ohio, with local, regional and international capabilities. For additional information about ConnXus and their growing suite of supplier management solutions, visit the company’s website at, and to register your company on the ConnXus platform, visit

FEBRUARY 8, 2018



Fifth Third Bank
Danielle Jones, 513-534-0162
Fifth Third Bancorp
Investor Relations
Sameer Gokhale, 513-534-2219

President Recognizes Minority Businesses


President Donald J. Trump Recognizes Minority-Owned Businesses

For Immediate Release: October 24, 2017

“We are going to protect small businesses owners and their families so they can continue to run their companies with dedication and with love.” – President Donald J. Trump

HONORING MINORITY BUSINESS OWNERS: President Donald J. Trump is honoring minority-owned business owners and leading advocates of minority enterprises.

• Today, President Trump welcomes the recipients of the National Minority Enterprise Development Week Awards.

o The awards program celebrates and recognizes the outstanding achievements of minority entrepreneurs, as well as individuals and organizations that have demonstrated leaders in advancing global minority business enterprise.

• Last week, President Trump proclaimed October 22 through October 28, 2017, National Minority Enterprise Development Week, to recognize the contributions of minority owned businesses to our economy.

o The Trump Administration is committed to creating a business climate in which minority business enterprises can thrive and expand.

• Minority-owned businesses are a bedrock of the American economy and will be a critical component in the countries new period of economic revival.

o There nearly a million minority-owned firms employing 8 million American workers.

o Minority-owned firms are growing at a faster rate than non-minority owned firms.

o Minority-owned firms generate over $1 trillion in annual economic output.

o Minority-owned firms export their products at a greater rate than non-minority businesses.

• President Trump has advocated a plan for all minority communities to flourish:

o Great education through school choice and proper higher education funding;

o Financial reforms so all Americans can pursue their dreams and create jobs;

o Trade policies that put jobs back in American communities;

o New infrastructure investment throughout the country, particularly our inner cities;

o Tax reform to jumpstart the American economy.

TAX REFORM FOR MINORITY-OWNED BUSINESSES: The Unified Framework, supported by President Trump, cuts taxes and lowers the cost of tax compliance to unleash the potential of all businesses.

• Under the Unified Framework, any small business incorporated as either a sole proprietor, S corporation, or partnership, will have their top marginal tax rate capped at 25 percent.

• The framework will reduce the corporate tax rate to 20 percent.

• For the next five years, American businesses will immediately be able to fully write off the cost of their heavy equipment and other capital investments.

o This will help American businesses afford the heavy industrial machinery and other capital investments they need to grow.

• The Unified Framework ends the job killing “Death Tax” that currently harms too many American businesses.

o Close to 20 percent of family business owners say planning for the Death Tax affects their ability to create jobs, according to Family Enterprise USA.

o In 2016, family business owners spent an average of $74,940 on insurance for the death tax and $170,800 on other planning costs annually, according to Family Enterprise USA.

• The vast majority of Americans will be able to file their taxes on a single sheet of paper.

o American individuals and businesses spend more than 6 billion hours complying with the tax code, according to the National Taxpayer Advocate.

MINORITY-OWNED BUSINESSES GETTING AHEAD: President Trump has already taken action to remove the regulatory burdens all businesses face, particularly small businesses. 

• Small business owners have the highest levels of optimism in over a decade according to Wells Fargo.

• President Trump and his Administration are listening to small business owners.

o In August, President Trump met with over 100 small business owners to reaffirm his commitment to them.

o In February, Ivanka Trump joined a roundtable discussion with minority small business owners at the Greater Baltimore Urban League.

• President Trump signed an Executive Order, which mandates that for every one new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated in order to control regulatory costs.

• In President Trump’s first six months, there has been the fewest regulations with an economic impact of more than $100 million approved in over twenty years, according to the American Action Forum.

Small Business Funding


JPMorgan Chase & Co. and LiftFund Announce New Program to Increase Access to Capital for Minority and Women-Owned Small Businesses

A New Web-Based Lending Platform Will Reduce Loan Approval Time for Underserved Businesses

(Dallas, TX) – JPMorgan Chase & Co. and LiftFund today announced a new effort to increase access to capital for underserved minority and women-owned small businesses in the southern United States. Specifically, JPMorgan Chase is providing $4.6 million to the new LiftUP loan program, which will provide small businesses in Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, New Orleans and Atlanta faster access to affordable small business loans. Through its LiftUP loan, LiftFund will reduce the loan approval time for this type of loan from an average of 5 weeks to 4 days.

In 2011, JPMorgan Chase provided $5 million to the organization – then called Accion Texas – to increase its lending in Texas and Louisiana. That grant allowed the nonprofit to make more than 2,500 loans during the next three years, which helped create or retain an estimated 5,000 jobs.

“For a small business owner, quicker access to capital remains one of the top concerns and I’m excited to announce that we have developed a program in response to this need,” Janie Barrera, LiftFund President and CEO said. “With JPMorgan Chase’s support, LiftFund will address an enormous barrier for underserved small businesses and, in turn, increase the potential for these businesses to grow, offer employment and generate more economic opportunity in our communities.”

Small businesses have the potential to reduce unemployment and expand opportunity for all. According to a forthcoming study by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), it would take an 8 percent increase in small business jobs or less than one additional employee each to eliminate Dallas’s inner city unemployment.

Yet, the JPMorgan Chase Institute recently found that U.S. small business owners essentially live month to month with only 27 days of cash reserves on hand.  One in four small businesses hold a reserve of 13 cash-buffer days or fewer.

“Increasing access to capital is vital to the success of small businesses – and to the economic growth of our communities,” said Ken Sample, Credit Risk Director for Central Texas Region, JPMorgan Chase and longtime LiftFund board member. “It’s also a key component of JPMorgan Chase’s commitment to help women-, minority- and veteran-owned business grow, gain access to capital and create jobs. That’s why we are proud to expand our partnership with LiftFund to help close this funding gap for the small businesses that need it most.”

For more than 20 years, LiftFund has helped small business owners with limited access to capital have a chance to live their dreams. The nonprofit lender provides small business loans and minority-business loans for women, startups and entrepreneurs, as well as essential technical assistance.

LiftFund has provided more than $200 million in small business loans with a default rate less than 5%. Their programs have supported the creation of 389 new businesses including 1,700 new jobs and the retention of an additional 3,300 jobs. LiftFund’s portfolio is 75% minority-owned businesses.

JPMorgan Chase’s support of LiftFund is part of the firm’s ongoing efforts to increase access to capital for underserved small business through its Small Business Forward program. Launched in 2014, Small Business Forward is a global initiative to support small businesses with the potential to grow, offer quality employment, and generate financial security and economic opportunity for vulnerable populations and their communities. Small Business Forward also includes the creation of the National African American Small Business Loan Fund with VEDCand Entrepreneurs of Color Fund with Detroit Development Fund, which both provide flexible capital and dedicated technical assistance to diverse entrepreneurs.

About JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.5 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at

About LiftFund
Established in 1994 in San Antonio, LiftFund is a financial and business-support service organization that helps entrepreneurs strengthen their businesses, stabilize and increase their incomes, create employment and contribute to the economic revitalization of their communities. LiftFund has the nation’s largest microlender portfolio and is committed to providing capital to entrepreneurs who do not have access to loans from commercial sources. Since its inception, LiftFund has made over 18,000 loans totaling more than $228 million. LiftFund operates in 13 states – Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Mexico, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. To learn more about LiftFund visit

Source: JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Avis Budget Group Recognized for Supplier Diversity


PRESS RELEASE:  PARSIPPANY, N.J., Oct. 24, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Avis Budget Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:CAR), a leading global provider of mobility solutions, has garnered accolades for its efforts in promoting opportunities for disadvantaged, minority and women-owned businesses. The recent awards include the following:

  • Top 100 Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprises — Conducted annually by Women’s Enterprise Magazine, the listing includes those companies that lift ceilings for women-owned business enterprises. Avis Budget Group is listed among the most influential companies that regard the inclusion of women’s business enterprises as essential to supply chain productivity and, ultimately, to corporate success.
  • 50 Top Companies for Supplier Diversity — Avis Budget Group was among the companies singled out by Black Enterprise for its efforts in procurement spending and partnership with minority firms.
  • 2017 Corporate 101: America’s Most Admired Corporations for Supplier Diversity— Bestowed by the editorial board of Minority Business News USAAvis Budget Group was selected among the top companies for its proven commitment to developing diverse enterprises and driving innovative supplier development initiatives as well as involvement with minority development councils.

“In order to operate in approximately 180 countries around the world, it is imperative that our supply chain be as diverse as our customer base,” said Larry De Shon, president and chief executive officer, Avis Budget Group. “For this reason, we have a long-standing commitment to working with diverse suppliers and believe it is a key component to our success as an organization. We are proud to be recognized for our efforts.”

About Avis Budget Group
Avis Budget Group, Inc. is a leading global provider of mobility solutions, both through its Avis and Budget brands, which have more than 11,000 rental locations in approximately 180 countries around the world, and through its Zipcar brand, which is the world’s leading car sharing network, with more than one million members. Avis Budget Group operates most of its car rental offices in North America, Europe and Australia directly, and operates primarily through licensees in other parts of the world. Avis Budget Group has approximately 30,000 employees and is headquartered in Parsippany, N.J. More information is available at

Contact:  Alice Pereira
(973) 496-3916

MBA Honors New American Funding


Press Release:  Tustin, California, October. 24, 2017 (PRNewswire) –The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) has recognized New American Funding with its Diversity and Inclusion Residential Leadership Award for Market Outreach Strategies for companies with more than 1,000 employees. MBA Chairman David Motley presented Co-Founders with the award on Sunday evening during MBA’s 104th annual convention and expo in Denver.

New American Funding honored by MBA for Diversity and Inclusion The Marketing Outreach Strategies Award salutes New American Funding’s hard work, dedication, and creativity in developing and New American Dream. MBA commended both initiatives as exemplary diversity and inclusion programs that are reaching the industry’s fastest-growing market segments.”It’s an honor to receive this recognition. We’re passionate about making an impact,” said President . “We believe it’s our responsibility to develop effective programs that equip more hard-working Americans with the opportunity to become viable homeowners.” Arvielo established both initiatives as a means of serving underserved consumers.

In 2013, she formed Latino Focus to enrich the Hispanic community with affordable homeownership opportunities; in May, New American Funding furthered that commitment by pledging to lend $25 billion in new mortgages to Hispanic borrowers by 2024.

Arvielo also created New American Dream as an avenue for educating African-American consumers and to equip them with access to relevant home loan options. Since then, she has become a frequent guest of Armstrong Williams’ Sirius XM Urban View radio show, where she has educated African-American consumers regarding homeownership.

Due to her role as a national housing advocate, earlier this year, CFPB appointed Arvielo to its Consumer Advisory Board. She’s also a member of the Corporate Board of Governors for the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals; and in 2016, LA Times recognized Arvielo’s contributions by honoring her with its Latinos de Hoy Business Award for stellar leadership and service.

About New American Funding

is a national mortgage banker licensed in 48 states with approximately 130 branches that offer a variety of home loan options including: Conventional, FHA, Cash Out, Fixed Rate and Adjustable Rate Mortgages, VA, HARP 2.0, Jumbo, and Reverse Mortgages. The company is a Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae Direct Seller/Servicer, FHA Direct Endorsement, and VA Automatic mortgage lender.

SOURCE: New American Funding

Top Twenty Cities for Minority Entrepreneurs


Houston takes the title as the number one best city for minority entrepreneurs.

Some of the best cities for minority entrepreneurs are outside the Silicon Valley bubble.

Across all 50 states, Houston, Miami and Atlanta are the top three cities that minority business owners are flocking to. From affordability to growth opportunities, these cities are becoming attractive tech hubs for these entrepreneurs to set up shop.

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Center for Opportunity Urbanism and the Kauffman Index, B2B company Expert Market recently released its list of the top cities for minority entrepreneurs. To uncover the best places for minorities to live, work and launch a business, the study took into account a number of factors, including the opportunity share for new entrepreneurs, the rate of new entrepreneurs, startup density, economic opportunities for minorities, the number of minority-owned enterprises, startup costs and funding access.

Boasting affordable living costs and a large number of incubators, Houston takes the title as the number one best city for minority entrepreneurs. The city has one of the most diverse populations and its bustling startup scene is full of minority-owned business ventures. It also comes in fourth place for the most economic opportunities for minorities.

Not sold on the southwestern city? Head down to the beach instead. Miami takes the spot for second top city for minority entrepreneurs. The energetic city comes in second place for startup density, and third place for the rate of emerging entrepreneurs. However, if you’re still not enthused, head slightly north to Atlanta, the third top city for minorities. With low startup costs, great access to funding, a high rate of new entrepreneurs and a load of economic opportunities for minorities, Atlanta is a great place for minority entrepreneurs to launch a business.

From Baltimore to New York City, check out the top 20 cities for minority entrepreneurs below.

The Top 20 Cities for Minority Entrepreneurs

1st Houston, Texas

2nd Miami, Florida

3rd Atlanta, Georgia

4th Riverside, California

5th Baltimore, Maryland

6th San Jose, California

7th Dallas, Texas

8th Austin, Texas

9th Orlando, Florida

10th New York, New York

11th San Antonio, Texas

12th Las Vegas, Nevada

13th Tampa, Florida

14th Washington, D.C.

15th Los Angeles, California

16th Charlotte, North Carolina

17th Jacksonville, Florida

18th Denver, Colorado

19th Chicago, Illinois

20th Detroit, Michigan

SOURCE:  This post was originally published on this site

Wells Fargo Home Lending Receives Diversity & Inclusion Award



WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) today announced that it has given Wells Fargo Home Lending an inaugural Diversity & Inclusion Award for its efforts in market outreach.

This is the first year that MBA recognized member companies for their diversity and inclusion efforts. Companies were recognized in two different categories: organizational diversity & inclusion and market outreach strategies.

“These awards recognize the importance of embracing a diverse and inclusive real estate finance industry,” said MBA Chairman Rodrigo López, CMB, Executive Chairman of NorthMarq Capital and the previous Chairman of MBA’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

“MBA received an overwhelming amount of submissions to our inaugural awards, and faced a difficult challenge in selecting from a strong pool of applicants. We are pleased to see so many companies dedicating resources and efforts towards these important issues,” Lopez continued.

Company initiatives were scored by two groups of judges consisting of members of MBA’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and MBA staff. The companies were scored based on: the quality of their overall submission; identification of a target audience and annual goals; demonstration of a tangible benefit to participants and the overall enterprise; replicability of the program; innovative program approaches; and program success in broadening the culture of the organization through the values of diversity and inclusion.

For Market Outreach Strategies: Wells Fargo Home Lending

The Market Strategies award recognizes company initiatives that are specifically developed and designed to increase outreach, marketing, and products to attract customers from the industry’s fastest growing market segments. This award commends the hard work, dedication, and creativity in the creation of exemplary diversity and inclusion programs focused on new market outreach.

Wells Fargo Home Lending has developed and sustained broad comprehensive strategies over the past several years to make sustainable homeownership possible for low-to-moderate and minority customers.

Since 2012, Wells Fargo has provided nearly $302 million in downpayment assistance and program support through LIFT programs (NeighborhoodLIFT®, CityLIFT® and HomeLIFT) educating thousands of potential homeowners, revitalizing communities, and helping create thousands of homeowners. In May 2016, the company launched yourFirst Mortgage, a new low down payment home loan program that reduces complexity and the barriers to access of similar conventional low down payment options in the market today. Also in 2016, Wells Fargo Home Lending received USDA recognition as a “Champion of Rural Housing.”

Wells Fargo Home Lending has also partnered with the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) on a 10-year, $125 billion commitment to lend to Hispanic households for the purpose of buying a home, and a $10 million pledge by the Wells Fargo Foundation in support of financial education and counselling for Hispanic homebuyers. In addition, Wells Fargo Home Lending continued to focus on the diversity of its sales team, including a plan to substantially increase the number of Hispanic Home Mortgage Consultants. In 2015, half of the originators on NAHREP’s list of the top 250 Latino Mortgage Originators were Wells Fargo Home Mortgage consultants, including 10 of the top 25.

Thus far in 2016, over 11,000 Wells Fargo employees dedicated over 60,000 hours to support more than 390 organizations build, renovate, paint, or repair more than 500 homes for low-to-moderate income homebuyers and homeowners in 44 states and the District of Columbia. Since 2009, Wells Fargo Home Lending has helped more than 46,000 customers at over 7,700 outreach activities across the country, including more than 1,619 home preservation events and 117 Home Preservation Workshops hosted by Wells Fargo Home Lending.

At MBA’s Annual Convention in Boston this past October, Ballard Spahr and SunTrust Mortgage were recognized for their efforts in Organizational Diversity & Inclusion, and The PrivateBank and Trust Company was also recognized for Market Outreach Strategies.

Commercial and Multifamily members will have a separate award process, with nominations opening at a later date to be announced and awards presented at the CREF/Multifamily Housing Convention & Expo next February in San Diego, CA.

MBA is hosting its third annual Summit on Diversity and Inclusion in Washington, DC, November 16-17, click here for more information. To learn more about MBA’s Diversity and Inclusion efforts, visit

Ali Ahmad
(202) 557- 2727

Source: Minority Banker’s Association

Small Business Expo


business loanDate: December 8, 2016

The Nation’s Largest Business to Business Trade Show, Conference & Networking Event

This FREE solution allows you to easily monitor the business credit of your customers and their ability to pay bills on time.

Every year, approximately 50,000 small business professionals and entrepreneurs across the United States attend ‘Small Business Expo’ to take their business to the next level. Join the brightest in the industry as you network with like-minded business professionals and learn strategies to advance your business.

Free Guide: Improve Your Leadership and Management Skills


Image resultAccording to Dun & Bradstreet, 90% of all business failures analyzed can be traced to poor management. This free Ebook features effective strategies and clever techniques to help you improve your leadership and management skills.

Author Meir Liraz points out that you must be a leader that people follow, keep informed, make timely decisions and take effective action. As a business coach and consultant to managers for over 30 years, Mr. Liraz has seen dozens of managers fail — not because they weren’t talented or smart enough — but because they were trying to re-invent the wheel rather than rely on proven, tested methods that work.

His goal in “Improve Your Leadership and Management Skills” is to teach you how to avoid the common traps and mistakes and do everything right the first time.

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