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Commerce Department Recognizes Minority Business Community Champions

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Deputy Secretary Bruce Andrews, National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency Alejandra Castillo, and MBDA Public Affairs Team Lead Velicia Woods congratulate a MED Week Award winner

Today, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews recognized the 2014 National Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week Award winners during a ceremony at the annual MED Week Conference in Washington, D.C. MBDA awarded 13 organizations, businesses and individuals who have demonstrated leadership and commitment in advancing the minority business community.

As one of the longest running Minority Business Enterprise events in the United States, the National MED Week Conference recognizes the outstanding achievements of leading minority entrepreneurs and organizations while positioning business owners for opportunities that drive growth. Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) National Director Alejandra Y. Castillo and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet delivered remarks to kick off the one-day conference this morning.

The conference provided opportunities for small business owners and entrepreneurs to connect with senior public officials, industry executives and leaders from all over the country and learn about cutting-edge tools that can give their business a more competitive advantage.

The Obama Administration and Commerce Department have been laser-focused on helping businesses create good-paying jobs, particularly small and medium-sized businesses. On July 25, President Obama issued a proclamation declaring this week Minority Enterprise Development Week, during which Americans are celebrating the essential role that minority entrepreneurs and businesses play in our economy and communities.

During the MED Week awards ceremony, Deputy Secretary Andrews announced that Albert Shen will be the new National Deputy Director of MBDA. Shen is a second generation Chinese-American who grew up in Pullman, Wash., where his family owned several minority businesses.  In 2000, he founded Shen Consulting, which has played an instrumental role in the Port of Seattle’s Seattle Tacoma International Airport Capital Improvement Program project and numerous other capital programs in the greater Seattle area.

Deputy Secretary Andrews also told the 500 small business owners in attendance that working together we can, and will, build on the growth of minority-owned businesses across every sector of our economy. He also expressed confidence that, with the Commerce Department resources, the hard work and perseverance of MBDA, and the ingenuity of minority-owned businesses and entrepreneurs, we can start the next great chapter of progress and prosperity for minority-owned enterprises.

MED Week awards are given to recognize achievements of minority entrepreneurs based on the challenges the business has overcome, total revenues, total jobs created and the economic impact the business has had on their community. MBDA also recognizes individuals and organizations that have demonstrated leadership and commitment in advancing the minority business community.

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