MCC event gives diverse companies a chance to land new business

UPDATE from March 14 event: 

Summary of attendance:

  • 179 Individuals in attendance
  • 85 Diverse businesses
  • 132 Business owners
  • 42 Corporate, government and resource organizations
  • 48 Corporate, government and resource individuals
About 85 diverse business owners  registered to attend this year’s Procurement One-on-One at Metropolitan Community College.


“The exposition was a great success! We appreciate all you do to give us these opportunities.” Iyabo Dedmon, President ThriveOn Concepts, LLC.

“Great job with the event. Thank you for all you do for the small business community! I made some great connections and have several timely opportunities to start investigating immediately,” Kerri VanMeveren, Founder & CEO, Amazing Traditions, LLC.

“We as a small business certainly appreciate it!” Christopher McCarthy, PQC Tech.

For a full look at photos from the event, click on our Facebook gallery here:

Metropolitan Community College will host the sixth annual Procurement One-on-One Business Forum on Wednesday, March 14, at the MCC-Penn Valley Education Center (EC 0019). The event provides an opportunity for various types of minority-owned companies to do business with government institutions and large corporations.

The event is sponsored by MCC in partnership with Black & Veatch, DST, Hallmark, JE Dunn, Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, KCP&L, Kiewit, Sprint, Stowers Institute, the Builders Association and the Unified Government of Wyandotte County.

The event runs from 8 a.m. to noon.

Procurement One-on-One is designed to bring regional institutions, municipalities and state and federal government entities together in one venue to meet with minority-owned, women-owned, LGBT-owned, veteran-owned, service-disabled-veteran-owned, and Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUB Zone) businesses.

“It’s our way of giving back to our community and supplying diversity,” says MCC supplier diversity coordinator Chris Kelly. “As an educational institution, Metropolitan Community College works to educate our community and business leaders about securing contracts and searching for opportunities to partner with diverse businesses.”

After Ceil Lynch, owner of Superior Moving and Storage, attended the event last year, her company landed contracts with the Federal Reserve Bank and FHLBank in Topeka.

“We haven’t gotten any work from Hallmark yet, but instead of just emailing someone, I now have a face — because of Chris,” Lynch says. “She’s so instrumental in this community. Hallmark, KCP&L, Sprint — all of the procurement managers at those companies I would assume are good friends with Chris.”

Cynthia Smith, owner and CEO of Universal Construction, says the 2017 forum gave her the opportunity to discuss construction needs with representatives of organizations such as the Unified Government of Wyandotte County. Afterward, Smith learned that MCC was planning a remodeling project in the MCC-Penn Valley Campus Center — and Universal wound up winning the bid. The new Student Success Center opened last fall.

“Getting the experience (of a college construction job) to add to our resume was a big deal,” Smith says. “We wouldn’t have known about the opportunity without Chris reaching out.”

Here’s the list of businesses and organizations that will be on hand to meet with the diverse business owners. About 85 business owners are registered.

Black & Veatch
Brown & Root
City of Kansas City, Missouri
City of Olathe, Kansas
DOE’s KC National Security Campus managed by Honeywell
Federal Home Loan Bank Topeka
Federal Reserve Bank
General Services Administration
Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Isle Of Capri
JE Dunn
Johnson County, Kansas
Kansas City Area Transportation Authority
Kansas City Power & Light
Kansas City Public Schools
Kansas Department of Commerce
Metropolitan Community College
Mid-America Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Center
Missouri Office of Equal Opportunity
Stowers Institute for Medical Research
The Builders Association
Thinking Bigger Business Media
Unified Government of Wyandotte County
U.S. Department of Agriculture – Farm Agency
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. Small Business Administration
Veteran’s Health Administration
Women’s Business Development Center

Attending the forum is free, but registration is required. Register in advance at

For more information about MCC’s procurement initiatives, contact Chris Kelly at or 816.604.1106.

(With reporting by Laurel Zimmerman/MCC)