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Governor Cooper Signs Executive Order to Encourage Historically Underutilized Businesses Order to Spur More State Contracting with Minority Firms, Establish Council of Business Leaders


Governor Roy Cooper today signed Executive Order No. 25 to create jobs and expand economic opportunity for historically underutilized businesses in North Carolina.

The governor signed the order at a reception recognizing minority-owned businesses at the Executive Mansion and also named members to a new Governor's Advisory Council on Historically Underutilized Businesses.

Executive Order No. 25 sets a goal for each North Carolina executive branch agency to obtain 10 percent of its goods and services from historically underutilized businesses (HUBs), as measured in dollars. The order aims to make sure state government agencies continue considering minority-owned businesses in the bidding process for state contracts.

“Diverse businesses are engines for our economy and we need to encourage their growth and development,” Governor Cooper said. “We have minority business owners to thank for creating thousands of new jobs in communities both urban and rural, and we must nurture their success.”

North Carolina is home to more than 183,000 businesses owned by minorities and women, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency. These businesses achieve more than $16.1 billion in sales annually and employ more than 129,000 North Carolinians.

The NC Department of Administration’s Office of Historically Underutilized Businesses (the HUB Office) advocates and promotes the utilization of HUBs in the state’s procurement and contracting process, in accordance with statutory requirements. The HUB office is an integral contributor to Governor Cooper’s vision for an inclusive environment that works for all people. The Executive Order directs state agencies and state purchasing and contracting operations to work closely with the HUB Office to achieve the goal set forth in the order.

“Investing in the growth and development of small and minority owned businesses creates opportunities for individuals to improve their quality of life and the communities where they live,” Secretary Machelle Sanders said. “I have directed the HUB Office team to explore new and improved ways to deliver effective and efficient services that will spur economic growth.  Most importantly, we will foster meaningful and substantive inclusion of historically underutilized business across North Carolina to strengthen our state."

Last month, Gov. Roy Cooper proclaimed Minority Enterprise Development Month to acknowledge the outstanding achievements of minority businesses, corporations, and financial institutions that support minority business development. Several cities have participated in celebrations of minority businesses throughout the state in recent weeks. 

At today’s celebration at the Executive Mansion, Governor Cooper also named members to the Governor’s Advisory Council, a new Council created by today’s executive order.

The following North Carolinians will serve on the Governor’s Advisory Council:

  • Odessa McGlown of Raleigh as the State Purchasing Officer. McGlown is a Continuous Improvement Strategist who assists clients in increasing their efficiency in various capacities. She previously worked for the NC Department of Transportation for 21 years. 
  • Latif Kaid of Raleigh as the Director of the State Construction Office. Kaid oversees the State Construction Office in the North Carolina Department of Administration. He previously worked as an engineering manager for a North Carolina manufacturing firm. 
  • Mary Williams-Stover of Raleigh as the Executive Director of the North Carolina Council for Women and Youth Involvement. In addition to leading the N.C. Council of Women, Williams-Stover has also served as Vice-President of Triangle United Way. 
  • Greg Richardson of Raleigh as the Executive Director of the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs. Since 1995, Richardson has overseen the N.C. Commission of Indian Affairs, where he represents eight tribal communities and four Urban Indian tribes in the State of North Carolina.  
  • Valerie Jordan of Raleigh as the North Carolina Board of Transportation representative. Jordan is a US Partner Account Manager for Cisco Systems and IBM Global Alliance. She previously worked as a Service Customer Account Manager for Siemen’s Medical Solutions. 
  • Michael Leach of Raleigh as the Governor’s Office Liaison. Leach is currently the Director of Public Engagement for the Office of Governor Roy Cooper. He previously served as a program administrator of the Emergency Solutions Grants Programs at the Department of Health and Human Services. 
  • Doug Morton of Raleigh as the Senior Level Administrator for the University of North Carolina system. Morton is the Associate Vice Chancellor of Facilities for North Carolina State University. He has more than 30 years of experience as a Naval Corps Engineer Officer. 
  • Dorrine Fokes of Raleigh as the North Carolina Community College System representative. Fokes is currently the Associate Director of Capital Projects for the North Carolina Community College System. She previously worked in private enterprise. 
  • Cornelius Lambert of Greensboro as a HUB owner representative. Lambert is the former owner and Executive Vice President of CoMor Corporation, an IT and computer networking firm. He is a Board Member for the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce. 
  • Dr. Vinnie Goel of Morrisville as a HUB owner representative. Goel is the President and CEO of A1 Consulting, Inc., as well as the CEO and Chairman of Goels Plaza, LLC. Goel is currently a Board Member on the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Authority. 
  • Kristen Hess of Raleigh as a HUB owner representative. Hess is the President and business development leader of HH Architecture in Raleigh. Hess is also on the Board of Advisors for the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce. 
  • Annette Stevenson of Cary as a HUB owner representative. Stevenson is the President and CEO of Stevenson Consulting Group. She is also a former US Army Officer with more than 10 years of active duty service. Stevenson is currently the Vice-President of the N.C Veterans Business Association. 
  • Aaron Thomas of Pembroke as a HUB owner representative. Thomas is the founder, President, and CEO of Metcon, Inc., North Carolina’s largest minority-owned construction management firm. In 2013, Metcon was named the National Minority Construction Firm of the Year by the U.S. Department of Commerce. 
  • Iris Reese of Durham as a HUB owner representative. Reese is the President of Fusion Multicultural Marketing. She serves on the YMCA Advisory Board and formerly served on the Triangle United Way Women’s Network and the Durham Public Education Network. 
  • Kimberly Leazer of Charlotte as a HUB owner representative. Leazer is the Vice President of Sales and Customer Service for Forms and Supply, Inc. She is a member of the Board of Directors for National Office Products. 
  • Russell Parker of Greenville as a HUB owner representative. Parker is the founder of Clean Pressure Washing, which has been in business for 21 years. In 2010, Parker was elected President of the Minority Business Roundtable in Greenville. 
  • Tiffany Peguise-Powers of Lumberton as a HUB owner representative. Peguise-Powers is currently an attorney in private practice, where she specializes in criminal defense, child custody, and divorce law. She previously served on the Robeson County Board of Elections and on the Robeson Council on the Affairs of Black People. 
  • Lenwood V. Long Sr. of Raleigh as a representative of a non-profit having knowledge of, and expertise in, HUB activity. Long is the President and CEO of the Carolina Small Business Development Fund. 
  • Terrence Holt of Raleigh as a representative of a non-profit having knowledge of, and expertise in, HUB activity. Holt is the President of Holt Brothers Construction and the Vice-President of the Holt Brothers Foundation, and also serves on the Board of Directors for the Durham Chamber of Commerce. 
  • Andrea Harris of Raleigh as an executive officer, financial officer, purchasing officer, or supplier diversity chief of a large non-HUB business entity. Harris is the founder of and a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Minority Economic Development. At the age of 23, Harris became the Executive Director of a community organizing group in Henderson, and she was the youngest community action agency director in the nation at the time. 
  • Calvin Stevens of Raleigh as an executive officer, financial officer, purchasing officer, or supplier diversity chief of a large non-HUB business entity. Stevens is the Director of Business Development at Balfour Beatty Construction. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Read and Feed, a non-profit in Wake County. 


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