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Atlanta Tribune Article


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Atlanta Tribune Article

  1. 1. BRIDGE BUILDERS By Audrey Arthur Rosemary Jones Mary Parker Lori Beard-Daily Gail Webb Tarece Johnson Hassell
  2. 2. The Georgia Governor’s Mentor Protégé program is turning unlikely partnerships into exemplary archetypes for supplier diversity. “I’m in it to win it,” says Lori Beard-Daily, CEO of LBD Companies chosen to participate in the program must be in Advertising Associates. Beard-Daily is referring to her goal of business for at least three years and for no more than 25 years, becoming one of Atlanta’s top advertising/public relations with increasing financial revenue according to Gail Webb, direc- agencies. She may well be on her way to achieving that objective tor of the GMPP. They enjoy the advantages of a mutually ben- having earned a coveted spot earlier this year as one of 28 com- eficial relationship that lasts between 12 and 18 months. panies taking part in the Georgia Governor’s Mentor Protégé “Businesses selected as protégés benefit in several ways,” Program. says Webb. “They have an opportunity to be mentored by a The GMPP was launched in 2001 as a conduit for support- company that will help them to strategically grow their business, ing formal mentorship relationships between Atlanta corpora- and they get to enhance their professional development. There tions and emerging Georgia small businesses. The program, are also opportunities to market themselves not only to corpo- sponsored by the State of Georgia and eight companies: The rations but also to government entities that could possibly Coca-Cola Company, The Home Depot, GE Energy, Lockheed become their clients.” Quarterly reporting sessions, monthly Martin, Hardin Construction, UPS, Turner Broadcasting System meetings, networking events, and workshops are inclusive of the and Georgia Power, falls under the direction of the Georgia Mentor Protégé program. Entrepreneur and Small Business Office, a division of the Training is at the essential core of the program. So much so Georgia Department of Economic Development. Six years that several mentor companies routinely sponsor their protégés after the first mentor relationships began, more than 100 minor- at entrepreneur training programs at Tuck School of Business at ity-owned, women-owned and small State of Georgia business- Dartmouth, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern es have completed the program as protégés. University, FastTrac® GrowthVenture at Georgia State Counted in the program’s 2006-2008 class are 29 mentor University and Alliance Academy. And with the support of their companies including AT&T South, C.D. Moody Construction mentors, a fair number of protégés attend conferences hosted Company, Deloitte Consulting, Gulf Stream Aerospace and by the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council, the The Home Depot. The 28 protégé companies signed on for the National Minority Supplier Development Council and other program are just as diverse, ranging from a non-profit, commu- organizations. nity-based development organization and document manage- “I have heard first-hand the impact this program has on ment company to a transportation provider. Georgia’s small businesses,” says Heidi Green, deputy commis- 41 ATLANTA TRIBUNE: THE MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2007
  3. 3. sioner for global commerce at the Georgia Department of “We really want to be a part of their success.” Economic Development. “Not only is there job and investment While LBD Advertising had a healthy list of corporate growth, there are improvements and successes in new ways to clients as an advertising sales company prior to being accepted structure internal operations, bringing clearer direction and broad- into the GMPP, Beard-Daily and her husband, Byron Daily, er thinking.” LBD Advertising president, were ready to re-brand the compa- In addition to committing resources of time, institutional ny and set in motion a move to become a more traditional knowledge, and in some cases, tuition support, corporations also advertising and public relations agency. “I thought the program delegate one of their executives to serve as a point person in the would help us focus on how to get there,” says Beard-Daily. Mentor Protégé program. Rosemary Jones, director of supplier “Rosemary Jones has been tremendous in giving us helpful diversity at TBS, oversees her company’s participation. TBS was a information and introducing us to so many contacts including long-time sponsor of the program before stepping into what Hughes Media and Cartoon Network. I know I sound like a Jones describes as a more intimate role as a mentor in 2005. cheerleader, but I’m so excited about where we are today. I had “The biggest benefit to being a mentor, I think, is TBS’s no idea of the difference it would make to be in this program. commitment to helping our [protégés] become more prof- Rosemary is good in terms of being the driver as a mentor, but itable,” says Jones. “It benefits us because it realizes our core as a protégé it’s a two way street. It’s my job to make it happen. commitment of inclusion. We see diversity in many aspects as It’s up to me to make the relationships work.” the core reason for our success. It benefits TBS that we support Like LBD Advertising, ALL(n)1 Security Services credits its companies that look like our customers who use our products mentorship under TBS with helping to take the company to the and services.” She continues, “When we reach out to these next level. The company’s president, Mary Parker, emphasizes small businesses and see their inherent potential, we want to be that a protégé firm that gets involved in the program solely to a means that can help them get to the top. The key to success win contracts is off the mark and missing out. She advises cur- for them is aligning their strategies and helping them work rent and prospective protégés to set objectives and approach the through steps in front of them. We are helping to keep the program from a relationship and business management stand- entrepreneurial spirit alive.” point. “Take advantage of all the resources that are at your dis- Having completed its first mentorship with ALL(n)1 Security posal during the program and thereafter. Let the mentors grow Services, an African-American woman-owned security firm in you up so you can do business with them.” 2006, TBS is now a mentor to LBD Advertising Associates, also For ALL(n)1 Security Services and now for LBD an African-American woman-owned agency. “We saw the Advertising, Jones set up a customized six-prong plan that Governor’s Program as a golden opportunity to allow LBD addressed finance, purchasing, marketing, legal, human Advertising into our space to help identify how we could resources and risk management — topics she found were para- advance their business and accelerate their growth,” says Jones. mount for suppliers. Subject matter experts were identified with- “The biggest benefit to being a mentor is TBS’s commitment to helping our [protégés] become more profitable … It benefits TBS that we sup- port companies that look like our customers who use our products and services.” — Rosemary Jones 42 ATLANTA TRIBUNE: THE MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2007
  4. 4. in TBS’s various business units to counsel the protégés. At the start, Jones and Beard-Daily sat down and named key areas that needed development within LBD Advertising and discussed where Beard-Daily wanted her company to be in the next one to five years. In Beard-Daily’s case, it was decided that a corporate attorney would meet with her to review employment liability contracts from a corporate per- spective, TBS finance representative would talk about ways Lori Beard-Daily, CEO to access capital and coach Beard-Daily on how to present LBD Advertising Associates her company when a need arose to request funding, and marketing would take her through the basics of branding. 404.870.9131 With insight gained from the Mentor Protégé program, some protégés come to realize a shift, or in some cases, a LBD total overhaul of their internal management processes is required. Take ALL(n)1 Security Services, for example. Parker recalls that one of the highlights of being in the Mentor Protégé program with TBS was being able to observe and experience firsthand how a large company Mary Parker, President/CEO actually operated. “From a business perspective, it was very All(n)1 Security Services LLC enlightening, and secondly, the care and concern TBS gave our company; ensuring that we received the greatest value 404.691.4915 from the program was invaluable. With the access we were granted to the different departments at TBS, we were able to evaluate where we were with processes within our own departments.” Consequently, Parker’s accounting procedures and human resource policies were standardized and she soon began to bid on more projects. “I dare say our busi- ness has increased 300 percent and 100 percent of that is a direct result of the Governor’s Program,” says Parker, who Gail Webb, Director is now looking to tap into the government market once her Governor’s Mentor Protégé Program company receives 8a certification. AGL Resources originally participated in the GMPP in 404.962.4821 2004-2006 and plans to resume as a mentor in 2008. “The Mentor Protégé program is important because it’s necessary that corporations like AGL Resources partner with busi- nesses that need assistance, whether it’s by providing techni- cal assistance, coaching on service delivery and cost com- petitiveness, or helping them to get transparency or under- standing around the gas utility industry,” says Tarece Johnson Hassell, manager of supplier diversity for AGL Rosemary Jones, Director Resources. TBS, Supplier Diversity Program Johnson Hassell adds that one of the main challenges, 404.827 .2104 on the supplier diversity side, for her company is the lack of women and minority-owned gas pipeline construction com- panies. The Mentor Protégé program bridges a gap for AGL Resources in an industry where its critical suppliers comprehend the bidding process and are familiar with inter- nal networks. She’d like to see more small businesses that have the desire to learn about gas pipeline construction, and the potential to do business with AGL Resources, take Tarece Johnson Hassell, Manager advantage of the Mentor Protégé program. AGL Resources, Supplier Diversity Program Beard-Daily continues to make the most of her experi- ence as a protégé. “I didn’t get in this program just to have another feather in my cap. I’m in it because I’m moving for- ward. I’m on the tail end of greatness and I’m excited.” AT 43 ATLANTA TRIBUNE: THE MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2007