COVID-19 Statements

Update- TSMSDC Announcement #3

July 16, 2020

Dear TSMSDC Members, Affiliates, and Supporters:

These last few months have been among the most challenging we have ever faced as an organization. We remain attentive to the impact of the pandemic, coupled with rampant injustices in our communities and across the country. How we respond to the incivility of these moments is what will define the true character within all of us. Critical times require bold and capable leadership. To help, all of us should find ways to use our talent, and our resources for the good of all humanity. The COVID-19 continues to effect the communities where we live, our way of life, and our businesses. This virus has exacerbated inefficiencies in the world of for-profit and nonprofit entities. In many cases, it has led to the loss of opportunities, earnings, and stifled morale. To turn things around, we each must support all people, encourage economic engagement, and eradicate discrimination of all kinds to ‘fix’ America. We are sending our #3 Announcement to outline how TSMSDC will continue to serve you now, and long after this crisis recedes.

Currently, here’s where we are:

• Since the onset of COVID-19, we made the decision to temporarily restrict access to TSMSDC, in line with the governor’s stay-at-home order. To continue to protect the health and safety of our supporters, members, associates, and staff, we are extending our office closures, and will serve you via online, email or by telephone until further notice.

• Our offices will remain in the same location – in Nashville and Louisville. At present, we are in search of a regional office in West Virginia.

• We are in the process of initiating some very enlightening virtual educational webinars for your engagement and involvement. Right now, we are finalizing a joint venture with Messer Construction Co., City of Knoxville, Knox County and TSMSDC entitled – “Get It Done – Building
for Tomorrow” Construction Forum which will happen on tomorrow, July 17, 8:30 am – 10:00 am EST. Already over 100 attendees have registered, thus far. Additionally, we are reviewing other various platforms to jump start our first 3-part series: Sustainability, Quality and Risk Management, with the support of Trane Technologies, based in North Carolina. At all or our
virtual opportunities, you will be able to submit questions, and use other interactive tools for the success of your business. We hope to end the Trane sponsored sessions with a virtual networking happy hour! Stay tuned!

• We are beefing-up even more our social media marketing to create and curate engaging content and traffic. Be sure to connect and increase your exposure through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

• We will feature ‘MBEs On the Move’ profiles, starting with Diana Lewis, president of Action Facilities Management, based in West Virginia, who is the recent winner of the 2020 SBA Region 3 Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year Award. The profiles will consist of businesses in
our footprint of Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia. This is an excellent way for you to know who is involved and supports TSMSDC. If you are affiliated with TSMSDC, and have exciting news to share about your business, please let us know!

• At this writing, we are proud to announce that this week’s Community Business News Bulletin will mark the 260th edition – sharing bid opportunities and associated supplier diversity and community events with our MBEs, corporate members, and other stakeholders. Also, our monthly TriState Talking News continually ‘hits the spot’ providing snapshots of news from around our geographic footprint, nationally and internationally too.

• We are actively initiating Phase 2 of our Centers of Excellence (COE) program, called COE NEXT! for ongoing collaborative relationships! More to come soon.

• The next inBusiness magazine will include a special COE feature of 7 corporations and 16 MBEs. We hope to finalize this 72-page publication by December. Watch for more information!

TriState welcomes new local corporate members:
▪ Vanderbilt University
▪ Pinnacle Financial Partners

Certification continues and is following the same format as in Announcement #2.

Upcoming TSMSDC events have been rescheduled until 2021:
▪ Impact Awards to change to May 6, 2021 (Renaissance Nashville Hotel);
▪ 19 graduating high school seniors will be interviewed July 27, 28 and 29 (via Zoom) for the TMSDC Education Foundation scholarships. This year our
scholarship drive has reached $101,500 so far.
▪ Golf Classic in Nashville, TN changed to June 17, 2020 (The Legends)
▪ Kentucky Golf Invitational, Louisville, KY changed to October 4, 2020 (Audubon Country Club)
▪ Business Marketplace changed to September 13-14, 2020 (Renaissance
Nashville Hotel)

On the national level with NMSDC:
▪ The 2020 Annual Conference and Business Opportunity Exchange scheduled for October 25-28, 2020 in Phoenix, AZ is being reformatted into a virtual experience. More details to follow.
▪ NMSDC has executed a network strategy called ‘In this Together’ which is
found on their website. The purpose is to enlist pledges and commitments for additional and specific funding, across the country There is more to come to review, retool and improve progress of the network for consistent growth of same.
▪ The NMSDC 2019 Affiliated Regional Council Performance Rankings were
released and TSMSDC is #2 out of the 23 Councils. We, at TSMSDC, remain poised to support you through the challenges of COVID-19. Business survival and continuity of TSMSDC will unequivocally guide our value proposition and opportunities forward to
serve you – our certified minority business enterprises and corporate members.

Our promise to you is that we will navigate this state of affairs as best as we can so that we can be there for you – for a long time to come. Our ask of you is to… Please stay safe, well and observe social distance and masks guidelines. Thank you – for your continued support during this time.

Best regards,
Cheri K. Henderson
TriState Minority Supplier Development Council (TSMSDC)

MetroCenter, Plaza 1 Building
220 Athens Way, Suite 105
Nashville, TN 37228
T: 615.259.4699
TF: 844.793.1289
F: 615.259.9480
Kentucky Regional Office: 502.365.9762
An Affiliate of NMSDC

Susan A. L. Marston, MBA
Regional Vice President, Kentucky, and West Virginia
TriState Minority Supplier Development Council (TSMSDC)

In a short span of time, the pandemic has upended our lives and radically
changed the world we once knew, with far-reaching consequences. TSMSDC cares about its members, affiliates, associates, and friends. As the ‘Lock Downs and Stay at Home Orders’ are slowly being lifted, we continue to provide useful information that you can apply to your lives and businesses. In our collective fight against COVID-19, we are all adjusting to the ‘New Normal’ and taking precautionary steps to stay healthy, both personally and professionally. It is our hope that soon we will be able to meet and greet in person, but until then, it is important to continue preparations and follow sound guidelines to help you to stay active, in good physical shape physically and emotionally. The ‘New Normal’ requires significant adjustments: One day at the office is now a full day of work at home; celebrations have turned into a parade of cars, and weekend outings consist of take-outs, home deliveries, while maintaining social distancing. All of this has prompted us to improvise, adapt, and rediscover the way we experience life as we used to know it. Below, are some tips for you to continue to be your healthiest, to be of service to yourself and others,
and to help ease this transition.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Prevention and to slow transmission of COVID-19, let me suggest the following:
▪ Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or clean them with alcohol-based hand rub.
▪ Maintain at least 6 feet distance (about 2 arms’ length) between you and the people coughing or sneezing.
▪ Avoid touching your face.
▪ Cover your mouth and nose, when coughing or sneezing.
▪ Stay home if you feel unwell.
▪ Refrain from smoking, and other activities that weaken the lungs.
▪ Practice physical distancing by avoiding unnecessary travel and staying away from large groups of people.

For additional information regarding COVID-19, please go to:

We are very fortunate to have the necessary resources to continue our progress, especially during this time. We strongly encourage you to observe social distance guidelines for your safety and that of others. TSMSDC believes in, and looks forward to building on the unique business relationships of our members and affiliates.

Until the next time, take care, stay safe, and do not underestimate the power of this epidemic.

Update- TSMSDC Announcement #2

March 31, 2020
Dear Valued Stakeholders:

TSMSDC Stands Ready!
In this time of so much uncertainty impacted by the COVID-19 virus, I want to reassure you that at TSMSDC, we are taking all the necessary steps to provide the support and advice for our corporate members, MBE affiliates, resource partners and the TSMSDC team. We are closely adhering to and guided by the following and adhering to government and healthcare authorities in our 3-state footprint. To this end, we are reviewing our business continuity plan with processes and procedures, and making the necessary changes to our programs, events and activities. Our service to you! TSMSDC is prepared and ready to support our stakeholders during this difficult time. By working together, we strongly believe we can mitigate the spread of this pandemic. Our infrastructure, communication and collaboration capability means TSMSDC can continue to deliver support to you. In the coming weeks, we will continue to navigate the constraints of this fast-moving landscape to deliver services to you without disruption. We understand that you may need extra or different support over this period, and we encourage you to stay in touch with us.

Building Management Office Updates!
• Nashville: Cushman & Wakefield Property Management has extended their work from home mandate to Monday, April 13, 2020. They will not be onsite, but available via email and telephone.
• Louisville: Al J. Schneider Company is following the government guidelines and will be available via e-mail or telephone. Status of Programs, Events, and Activities!
• The Impact Awards scheduled May 7 has been postponed to July 31.
• The interviews of 19 graduating high school scholarship candidates will be rescheduled prior to the Impact Awards Gala.
• The Certification Committee meeting was held on March 19. Meetings will continue via online conferencing.
• Both Executive Committee (April 15) and board meeting (April 22)will take place via conference call.
• We will review all other activities planned near the time and will advise you accordingly.
• Staff meetings will continue via conference call every Monday morning.
• The 2020 Marketplace will go on as scheduled on September 29-30, 2020.
• inBusiness Magazine is still in progress with a new target date of Q3.
• The ‘Raising the Bar’ Mini-Series is on schedule for the July 23, and hosted by Louisville Metropolitan Government.
• Both the weekly Community Business News Bulletin of Bid Opportunities and the monthly TriState Talking News will continue to go out as scheduled.
• Planning meetings are in process for COENext and information will be forthcoming to the 19 MBEs and 9 corporations.

Technology Ready!
• We will continue to deliver our events online and will be announcing schedules of webinars.
• We are collaborating with our national office who continues to offer a series of Town Hall Live Webinars. Please look out for further announcements on our TSMSDC website and Social Media.
• Due to the recent devastating tornadoes, our Server was damaged and a new one is on order. We are researching options to replace our telephone system.
• We have installed upgraded software
• Maximizing QuickBooks for accounting
• Continuing to upgrade office equipment Certification Access!

The TSMSDC MBE Certification process is unchanged for both new
certification applications and re-certifications. We are still open to receive
first-time applications and re-certification applications. Feel free to go online to secure and complete the respective applications. Site visit interviews will be conducted via Skype. During this unique time, we will accept and process recertifications. The applicant is to provide previous year returns and/or the 2019 financials. If the application is not notarized, the applicant is to sign and submit the application. No payment extensions will be offered at this time. If you have any questions, please contact
Derrick Dowell, Vice President, at 615-259-4699, or via e-mail [email protected], or visit our website:

Prevention Tips!
Susan Marston, Regional VP of Kentucky and West Virginia of TSMSDC,
created some invaluable tips on coping with the spread and reducing the risk of COVID-19. We will continue to keep you updated on information
pertinent to this pandemic. As such, we encourage you to consider her tips

General Information:
CDC Frequently Asked Questions:
Updates from World Health Organization:
John Hopkins Live Updates and World Tracker:

Stay safe and be well! We will get through this pandemic… Together!

TSMSDC Announcement #1

The TriState Minority Supplier Development Council Announces Steps… in response to coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

 The TriState Council recognizes that health for all concerned is of the upmost importance at this time. We now face a significant challenge with the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). There are 73 confirmed cases in TN, 26 cases (including one death) in KY; and 1 very recent case in WV. As days progress, we know that the situation can change.

Since its onset, the Council has been closely monitoring, and taking precautionary measures. Our primary goal is the health and well-being of our immediate staff, as well as that of our constituent’s … corporate members, MBEs, and community partners, alike.  We will remain committed to our environment for supplier diversity, business development, and impact, to be responsible participants in the collective public health challenge for resolution.  Moving forward, we will announce future step(s) in response to the current extraordinary circumstances with COVID-19. We are committed to maintaining the council’s daily operations.  

This situation is frustrating, confusing and painful. But we know that small businesses, especially, are the most vulnerable, and yet very resilient. While these are very challenging times, we all must make the necessary adjustments in response to this threat by modeling the appropriate behavior – a combination of respect, compassion and responsible actions.

The Council has already taken first steps in adjusting to the situation by:

· Postponing the annual Impact Awards Gala and Scholarship Program, set for May 7, 2020, the Renaissance Nashville Hotel.  We will announce a new date in the near future.

·Rescheduling the interviews of 19 graduating high school seniors for the vetting of over $100K in scholarships.  We will announce a new date soon.

· Suspending all MBE site visits, and looking to use tools such as Skype, until such time of change.

· Advocating caution if one must travel.  

· Restricting all face meetings at headquarters in Nashville, and the regional office in Kentucky, until such time that it is appropriate.

· Avoiding attending group meetings of more than 10 people, at any given time.

· Conducting services via a virtual model, in progress.

· Operate from a number of remote work locations, if feasible.

· Putting together an all-inclusive plan to address – Telecommuting, and Business Continuity. 

· Using our collective voice to advocate on behalf of minority business enterprises, member corporations, and partnering organizations.

Let’s be clear:  We do not take these temporary measures lightly. We do not know where this outbreak and the disease it causes is going, and what impact it will have on individuals’ health and the global economy, now and into the future.  We recognize the disruption that this pandemic is causing. All we can do is hope and pray that it will end soon, with as little human and financial costs as possible. Through it all, we wish you well, and encourage your patience and support as we anticipate, in due time, a return to restoration and normalcy. 

We look forward to continuing to serve you.   

Take care, be safe and healthy!  


Cheri Henderson

President & CEO

An Affiliate of NMSDC – W: