Multicultural Business Summit

Multicultural Business Summit


The annual Multicultural Business Summit is our annual networking and training even for small business owners and small business supporters to learn about procurement-related topics.

This year’s theme, New Opportunities Post-Pandemic, includes a focus of doing business with healthcare systems and the University System of Georgia. Experts will be present to speak and network for future contracting opportunities.

Join us at The UGA Gwinnett campus on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the Summit will wrap around 2:00 p.m. Lunch is included with general admission tickets. Tickets to break-out sessions will be available once all general admission tickets have been sold.


General Admission:


 Friday, Oct. 22, 2021
8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.


UGA Gwinnett Campus

2530 Sever Rd

Lawrenceville, GA 30043



8:30 a.m. | Registration and Networking

9:00 a.m.
| Welcome

9:15 a.m.
 | Panel: Doing Business with University System of Georgia

10:30 a.m.
| Panel: Doing Business with Healthcare Systems

11:30 a.m.
| Lunch with Keynote Speaker Louis Enrique Negron

12:30 p.m.
| Networking

1:00 p.m.
| Breakout Sessions


Breaks will be included throughout the day.

This event will take place on the University of Georgia Gwinnett campus.
Current University System of Georgia guidelines strongly encourage mask wearing inside campus facilities.


9:15 - 10:15 a.m. | Panel: Doing Business with the University System of Georgia

Catherine Ice with Kennesaw State University

Catherine Ice is the head of the Contract Management team and the College University Procurement Officer (CUPO) for Kennesaw State University (KSU).  In her current position, she has led KSU to receive the University System of Georgia’s 2019 Excellence in Procurement Award, Comprehensive University Champion; she has taught at DOAS’ Georgia Procurement Conferences, NIGP The Ga Chapter’s, conferences and the University System of Georgia’s Interact conference. She has a wealth of procurement knowledge and experience from private and public industry. Catherine has a baccalaureate degree from Agnes Scott College and has a lifetime certification from the Institute for Supply Management as a Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.)  She has also earned her Georgia Certified Purchasing Manager (GCPM), Georgia Certified Purchasing Card Administrator (GCPCA), Request for Quotation (RFP) and Negotiations certifications from the Department of Administrative Services (DOAS).

Bruce Burbank with Georgia Gwinnett College

While accumulating over thirty years of governmental procurement experience, I enjoy the challenges presented daily to stay abreast of new techniques to procure that I’ve learned while working for different companies and professional organizations, in my roles. Bruce has earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Management with a minor in Project Manager and developed skills in assets, logistics, management of people and processes, change management and customer service. He loves guiding individuals who are curious about the procurement process.

Ajay Patel with Georgia Institute of Technology

Ajay Patel is currently the Director of Procurement at the Georgia Institute of Technology.  He has over 20 years of direct and indirect procurement experience purchasing a variety of commodities in various industries including higher education, automotive, utilities, apparel, textiles and consumer goods and packaging. Ajay has spent the majority of his career in the industry working for companies such as Ford Motor Company and Georgia Pacific.  He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin.

Karmen Milton with Georgia State University

Karmen Milton serves as the Interim Sr. Director of Business Services at Georgia State University.  With six campuses throughout metro Atlanta, the university serves more than 54,000 students and is among the most diverse colleges and universities in the United States.  Mrs. Milton began her career with the University in 1991 and has fulfilled a variety of roles serving the university’s extensive financial, procurement and operational needs.  Mrs. Milton received her Bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University with a focus in Sales and Marketing Operations.

10:30 - 11:30 a.m. | Panel: How to Do Business with Healthcare Systems

Speaker info coming soon…

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. | Lunch Keynote

Louis Enrique Negron, Executive Director / COO of 100 Black Men of Atlanta

Louis Enrique Negron

Born and raised in Oakland, Calif., to Puerto Rican parents, Negron’s story, both personally and professionally, is unique. After a decade-long stint in higher education, Negron returned to the nonprofit world, where over the years he worked with agencies such as Year Up, United Way of Atlanta, United Way of Transylvania County, Operation HOPE and Supportive Housing Communities.

Negron had a personal epiphany in 2016 after a stroke and he became an ordained minister and certified wellness and life coach. In May, Negron was awarded a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry from Mercer University. He previously earned a master’s degree in administration from Central Michigan University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from Morehouse College in Atlanta.

Louis Negron was named executive director and chief operating officer of the 100 Black Men of Atlanta in February.

1:00 - 2:00 p.m. | Breakout Sessions

Access to Capital: Chris Clay

Chris Clay brings over 10 years of professional banking experience concentrated in the community banking sector with further specialization in regulations as they pertain to the Community Reinvestment Act, small business & community development lending. Chris served as an advisory board member for a multistate Community Development Financial Institution and an Affordable Housing Agency serving the City of Atlanta and the State of Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. Chris has a passion for community service and views himself as an advocate of equitable communities. Chris earned his Bachelor’s Degree in History from Georgia Gwinnett College and his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Georgia Military College. Chris is currently completing his MBA program at Georgia College & State University.

How to Leverage Your Certification

Speaker info coming soon…

Doing Business with Gwinnett

Tony Harris

Tony was named the Pre-Construction Division Director in May of 2021. He joined Gwinnett County Transportation in May of 2017 and has over 26 years of Gwinnett County Government experience. 22 of those years was spent in Water Resources. For the last four years, Tony has managed the Transportation Utility Permitting Division. He developed new utility policies and procedures to adhere to new State laws and has been a great asset to the Transportation Department. Tony has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Construction Management, Master’s degree in Project Management and a Master’s in Business Administration with a minor of International Business. Tony grew up in Gwinnett County and has a wife and three children. He is very active in his church and community.

Doing Business with Gwinnett

Holly Cafferata

Holly began her career with Gwinnett County in 2008. She worked in the Administrative Office of the Courts prior to joining the Purchasing Division in 2009. Holly worked as a Purchasing Associate and a Purchasing Manager before being promoted to Purchasing Division Director. Holly earned a Master’s Degree of Business Administration and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Georgia. She is a member of the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing and the Georgia Chapter of NIGP. Holly has received her certification as a Certified Public Procurement Officer (CPPO) and Certified Professional Public Buyer (CPPB). She has over 12 years of experience in public sector procurement.

Doing Business with Gwinnett

Shantell Wilson

Shantell R. Wilson is the Economic Development Manager of Business Outreach for Gwinnett County Government Office of Economic Development

She is responsible for business outreach, retention and expansion. She works alongside business and industry to ensure their success in the Gwinnett community through eliminating barriers, providing access to tools and resources and stronger relationships with County officials. Shantell hosts Coffee and Conversation, a premier networking event for business owners and leaders to get face time and establish relationships with County officials. Shantell graduated from Georgia Southern University with a Bachelors of Business Administration in Economic Development and holds a Masters of Business Administration from Walden University. She is a member of the Georgia Economic Developers Association, International Economic Development Council, Gwinnett Young Professionals, International Council for Shopping Centers and the Rotary Club of Gwinnett County.





All programs of the UGA SBDC are open to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance.