For Immediate Release
December 07, 2021
Contact Information

Sonshine Communications ● Contact: Luisa Martinez
T: 305-948-8063 ● E:

(BPRW) Florida’s 39th Annual MEDWeek 2021 Business Matchmaker Conference Connected Minority-Owned Businesses with Procurement & Financing Opportunities

The MEDWeek 2021 Black Tie Gala Honored 18 Minority Businesses and MBDA Strategic Partners

(Black PR Wire) MIAMI – M. Gill & Associates, Inc. has been working tirelessly to connect Minority Businesses with the right financing and procurement opportunities.  On Friday, November 19th – Saturday, November 20th, 2021, M. Gill & Associates hosted and coordinated Florida’s 39th Annual MEDWeek Business Matchmaker Conference in conjunction with its Florida MBDA Export Center, Miami MBDA Business Center, and Florida MBDA CARES Act Relief Program, which the company operates.  The Conference took place at the elegant Hilton Hotel in downtown Miami, Florida.

“The purpose of MEDWeek is to connect minority-owned businesses with opportunities for growth. Corporations are looking for more diverse suppliers, and suppliers are looking for opportunities. During MEDWeek, we bring domestic and international corporations and government agencies together to do business with minority-owned firms,” said Marie Gill, Founder & CEO of M. Gill & Associates, and Executive Director of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center, Export Center and CARES Act Relief programs in Florida.

With the Conference theme “Minority Businesses—Rising Higher! Growing Stroger!” Florida's 39th Annual MEDWeek had an excellent kick-off with a Breakfast Fireside Chat with government agencies and corporate supplier diversity executives. Discussion topics such as business resiliency, accessing contracts and financing, and opportunities resulting from the recently approved Infrastructure Bill, created a lively discussion with tips and take-aways regarding major development projects underway by Moffitt Cancer Center, Miami Dade Aviation with its $5 Billion improvements in the pipeline, and with BankUnited advising that now is the time to seek financing while interest rates are at their lowest.

The Luncheon Program on Friday was sponsored by the M. Gill*Her Foundation, with founder, Marie Gill making a special appeal to the audience to support minority businesswomen in their struggles to find start-up financing and mentoring. Friday’s program ended with the Matchmaker Meetings between MEDWeek exhibitors and procurement companies. The Matchmaker meetings exposed minority businesses attending the event to a variety of contracting opportunities.

"I am thankful and proud of the support M. Gill & Associates and the MBDA programs have given my company. They have pointed me in the right direction and have linked me with the right procurement agencies to buy the equipment needed to grow for my business," said Maria Escuela, CEO of Mama Arepas, one of the minority business exhibitors at the Matchmaker.

The MEDWeek Awards Gala held on Saturday evening, November 20th, honored Minority Businesses for their achievements and contributions to the local and national economies, and MBDA Strategic Partners for their advocacy in helping minorities overcome the challenges they face when seeking business financing and procurement opportunities.

MED Week 2021-Honorees

Minority Business Advocate of the Year

  • Elijah L. Wooten Jr., Economic Development Administrator, City of Port St. Lucie, FL.
  • Sandy-Michael E. McDonald, Director Broward County Office of Economic & Small Business Development (OESBD)
  • Gordon Eric Knowles, President & CEO Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce

Statewide Minority Arts & entertainment Firm of the Year

  • New Century Dance Company - Alexandra Silva, Artistic Director,

Statewide Minority Construction Firm of the Year

  • Hatcher Construction Inc. - William Hatcher, President

Statewide Minority Marketing & Communications Firm of the Year

  • Sonshine Communications - Bernadette A. Morris, President & CEO

Statewide Minority Manufacturer of the Year

  • PJ Distributors - Eddie Jiron, President

Statewide Minority Exporter of the Year

  • G & L Trading, LLC - George Ferguson, President

Statewide Distinguished Suppliers Diversity Firm of the Year

  • Moffit Cancer Center - Desiree Hanson, Manager, Supplier Diversity

Statewide Minority Technology Firm of the Year

  • REAL Mobile - Robert Barrera, President

Minority Business Friendly Corporation of the Year

  • BankUnited - Clara Diaz-Leal, Retail EVP, Miami-Dade Market

Outstanding Economic Development Services Award

  • Miami-Dade Beacon Council - Michael A. Finney, President & CEO

Outstanding MBDA Strategic Partner Awards

  • City of Miami - William Porro, Director-Department of Human Services & Economic Initiatives
  • Liberty City Community Revitalization Trust - Elaine Black, President & CEO
  • Miami Dade College – Ms. Teddie Laing, Executive Director, Carrie P. Meek Entrepreneurial Education Center
  • S. Commercial Service - Miguel Olivares, Senior International Trade Specialist
  • Miami Dade County-International Trade Consortium (ITC) - Maria Dreyfus-Ulvert, Interim Director
  • Miami-Dade Aviation Department - Desmond Alufohai, Director-Protocol & International Affairs Division

Outstanding Employee of the Year

  • Heather Gordon, Administrative Manager – M. Gill & Associates & MBDA Programs

About M. Gill & Associates, Inc.

M. Gill & Associates, Inc. operates the Florida MBDA Export Center – the Miami MBDA Business Center and is a CARES Act Grantee that is operating the MBDA CARES Act Relief Initiative to help in the COVID-19 Recovery process for small and minority firms throughout Florida. All MBDA Programs are funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). All MBDA-funded programs provide technical assistance services, free of cost to assist minority businesses to build scale and capacity, increase revenues and investments, create and retain jobs, and expand into new and global markets. For more information on M. Gill & Associates, Inc., its MBDA Programs, and how to sponsor and participate in Florida’s 40th Annual MEDWeek Business Matchmaker Conference and Awards, please contact 305-576-7888; email or visit or