2018 Winners of the 50 Fastest Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies Announced by Women Presidents’ Organization

Claudia Mirza of Akorbi Recognized at  11th Annual Awards Ceremony Held in Los Angeles

Plano, Texas – May 30, 2018 – The Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) has announced the 11th annual ranking of the 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies during the WPO Annual Conference held this year in Los Angeles. The companies featured on this year’s 50 Fastest list include a variety of industries — such as technology, finance, retail and entrepreneurial ventures. With aggregate revenues of $8.3 billion, this number is up $1 billion from last year’s ranking.

Claudia Mirza, CEO and Co-founder of Akorbi based in Plano, Texas has been ranked 13th among this year’s WPO 50 Fastest-Growing list.

Mrs. Mirza has grown Akorbi since 2003 to now be the 3rd fastest-growing language service provider in the world. What started as a small document translation business has now become a group of six companies providing solutions for the global economy including telephonic and video interpretation technologies, multilingual and technical staffing, multilingual contact centers, in-person interpretation, learning services and localization.  Claudia’s vision and leadership has driven Akorbi to substantial growth, earning a spot on WPO’s 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies for the past 3 consecutive years.

“I am honored by this award and to be a member of this amazing organization that works hard to empower female leaders. I am blessed to be surrounded by passionate, industry experts in my Akorbi family and I know without them, Akorbi would not be the company it is today” said Claudia.

“Since 2007, the WPO launched the listing of the 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies to focus much-needed attention on the vital role that women-owned/led companies have in boosting the economy and enhancing overall job growth,” notes WPO President and Founder Dr. Marsha Firestone. “We are proud that Claudia is among the unique women business leaders facing challenges yet rising to accelerate the growth of her business in today’s consistently growing economic landscape.”

All eligible companies were ranked according to a sales growth formula, combining percentage and absolute growth. To qualify for the ranking, businesses are required to be privately-held, woman-owned/led companies and have reached annual revenue of at least $500,000 as of January 1, 2013. Applicants are not required to be WPO members.

Additional facts about the 2018 WPO 50 Fastest:

  • Average age of women-owner/leader is 51; with half of the winners in their 30’s and 40’s
  • Aggregate revenue is $8.3 billion, up $1 billion from last year
  • Average 2017 revenue was $165.3 million
  • Average number of employees on first day: 13; projected average for 2018: 799
  • Funding sources at company start:
    • 70% with their own funds
    • 12% with funds from friends and family
    • 4% with a bank loan
    • 8% with a line of credit
    • 4% with a credit card
    • 4% with private investors/angels

About the Women Presidents’ Organization

The WPO is the premier peer advisory organization connecting women who own multi-million dollar companies. In monthly meetings across six continents, chapters of 20 women presidents from diverse industries invest time and energy in themselves and their businesses to drive their corporations to the next level. Local WPO chapters are coordinated by a professional facilitator and meet monthly to share business expertise and experience in a confidential setting. For more information, contact 212-688-4114 or visit www.womenpresidentsorg.com. Follow the WPO on Twitter @womenpresidents and Facebook @TheWPO.

About Akorbi

Akorbi is a U.S.-based company that provides enterprise solutions that empower companies to achieve success in the global economy. We help companies connect with employees, vendors and customers in over 170 languages 24×7, in any modality, from any location. Our customizable, enterprise solutions include: technical and multilingual staffing, learning services, multilingual contact centers, video remote solutions, translation/localization and in-person interpreting services. The company holds several certifications including ISO 9001:2015, ISO 13485:2016, EN 15038:2006 and M/WBE Certification.  Akorbi was recently named the 12th largest language service provider (LSP) in the US by global market research and international consulting company, Nimdzi Insights LLC. For more information, visit www.akorbi.com or call 1.877.4.AKORBI.

Akorbi Names Noted Industry Veteran Vera Richards as Vice President of Localization

 Continued acquisition of agile talent underscores Akorbi’s commitment of investing in industry experts to ensure optimized service delivery for customers.

PLANO, TX – (Embargo) MAY 3, 2018 – Akorbi, a leading global provider of language interpreting, translation and technology solutions, recently named by an independent research firm as one of the top three fastest-growing language service providers (LSP) in the world, today announced localization expert, interpreter, translator and cultural consultant, Vera Richards, has joined the company as Vice President of Localization.

Richards broad knowledge and perspective stems from 17-years serving the language industry. She joins Akorbi after a decade with Moravia where she led a large scale production team across multiple global locations.  Richards carries a strong track record of operational agility and management of multi-million dollar portfolios combined with solid expertise overseeing all aspects of localization into over one hundred languages for the top technology companies in the world.

“We are committed to seeking proven experts and impact players who also possess the passion for delivering quality-rich services and advancing the industry” said Azam Mirza, Co-Founder & President, Akorbi. The language services market is reported by market research firm, Nimdzi as an estimated USD $50 billion industry for 2018. “This latest addition to our growing complement of leaders and industry experts supports our steadfast dedication to elevating world-class operational delivery with the reliable, exceptional service that characterizes Akorbi.” Said Mirza.

Born in the Czech Republic, and residing in Seattle, Washington, Richards is proficient in English, Czech, Slovak and Russian languages. “I am delighted to be joining the Akorbi team and work alongside the dedicated and innovative professionals committed to delivering excellence to the Akorbi clients.” Richards stated. “I look forward to leading the company’s Translation and Localization Division during the company’s exciting and dynamic growth phase.”

The announcement follows the recent appointment of industry leader Ken Anders to COO and supports the next phase of growth as the company continues to accelerate and solidify its global leadership position.

About Akorbi
Akorbi is a U.S.-based company that provides enterprise solutions that empower companies to achieve success in the global economy. We help companies connect with employees, vendors and customers in over 170 languages 24×7, in any modality, from any location. Our customizable, enterprise solutions include: technical and multilingual staffing, learning services, multilingual contact centers, video remote solutions, translation/localization and in-person interpreting services. The company holds several certifications including ISO 9001:2015, ISO 13485:2016, EN 15038:2006 and M/WBE Certification.  Akorbi was recently named the 12th largest language service provider (LSP) in the US by global market research and international consulting company, Nimdzi Insights LLC. For more information, visit www.akorbi.com or call 1.877.4.AKORBI.

Akorbi Expands With Multilingual Contact Center in Africa’s New Economic Zone

Strategy Enables Business Process Outsourcing for Global Organizations While Providing Enhanced Solution for U.S. Organizations Increasing Language Diversity Needs.

PLANO, TX – April 26, 2018 – Akorbi today announced expansion of its multilingual call center locations into Dakar, Senegal, as part of the company’s geographic strategy to  increase its presence in key growth markets.

Senegal has steadily expanded its business presence and economic growth potential, attracting large corporations.  This, along with a long-standing, stable political environment and new investment infrastructures, including new research centers, hotels, and a special economic zone, factored into Akorbi’s decision to select this country for its latest expansion.

Dakar, Senegal will become one of more than 24 strategic locations across 17 growth market countries as Akorbi significantly increases its global footprint.

Akorbi’s selection of Senegal, West Africa was the result of careful evaluation. Akorbi’s CEO and Co-Founder, Claudia Mirza, traveled extensively from West to East Africa to better understand the opportunities and challenges of the region. “One of our core competencies in the multilingual call center and BPO space is supporting a high-volume of rare languages through a professionally managed contact center. We are known in the industry for deploying custom multilingual contact center programs to support any language, in any region. Some of our most successful programs include support for rare language including Portuguese Creole, Haitian Creole, Wolof, Pular and Native American Languagesamong others” said Mirza.

Competing in today’s global economy, organizations are seeking to maintain visibility worldwide and communicate effectively with customers real-time in any language. Every aspect of an organization must maintain consistency across cultures through communication, messaging and cultural relevancy. Materials, and digital content, websites and marketing all must be “localized”.

Akorbi offers a full array of language solutions consisting of video, telephone, face-to-face interpreting, translation, localization of content and websites. Through its contact centers, Akorbi also offer comprehensive support for, customer service, email, chat, help-desk, back-office support and training for bilingual staff. All of this, provides global organizations with high-quality language capabilities to better serve their multilingual customers and expand their global market reach.

The Dakar, Senegal location is staffed with professional interpreters who understand cultural norms and behavior, a fully redundant data and communications infrastructure and integrated security system, with fail-safe backup systems combining the best of technology, people, language access and industry expertise.

Global organizations can focus on their core competencies and business growth objectives while Akorbi services all their multilingual and cultural needs” said Akorbi’s BPO President, Ralph Bonaduce. “We enable companies around the globe to promote their business and serve their customers in any language, while keeping costs low and delivering an outstanding customer experience and meeting their R.O.I. objectives” added Bonaduce.

About Akorbi

Akorbi is a U.S.-based company that provides enterprise solutions that empower companies to achieve success in the global economy. We help companies connect with employees, vendors and customers in over 170 languages 24×7, in any modality, from any location. Our customizable, enterprise solutions include: technical and multilingual staffing, learning services, multilingual contact centers, video remote solutions, translation/localization and in-person interpreting services. The company holds several certifications including ISO 9001:2008, ISO 13485:2003, EN 15038:2006 and M/WBE Certification.  Akorbi was recently named the 12th largest language service provider (LSP) in the US by global market research and international consulting company, Nimdzi Insights LLC. For more information, visit www.akorbi.com or call 1.877.4.AKORBI.

Akorbi Ranked 12th Largest Language Service Provider in the Nation

Independent Global Market Research Firm Shows Akorbi’s Growth in US and Global Rankings

PLANO, TX – March 29, 2018 – Nimdzi Insights LLC, a global market research and international consulting company focusing on the language, translation and localization industries, has ranked Texas based Akorbi as the 12th largest language service provider (LSP) in the US.

The report titled, “Nimdzi 100” released earlier this month, also ranks Akorbi as the 34th largest LSP in the world, and the 4th largest organization globally to have achieved organic growth.

Akorbi’s President and Co-Founder Azam Mirza said “We are tremendously grateful to be recognized by Nimdzi Insights as a global leader in the LSP industry.” 

Akorbi attributes its rapid growth to listening to its customers needs, analyzing trends with the changing requirements of the market, and quickly adapting to meet those needs. This culture of versatility and market adaptability compliments the delivery of a full service offering of language solutions to meet those needs including video technology, staffing, multilingual call center solutions, translation, localization, interpreting and learning services to businesses across the globe.

Our success is a result of the hard work and dedication of our hundreds of team members and partners worldwide as well as the focus on delivering quality, reliable services tailored for each customer’s individual needs” said Mirza.

Akorbi bases its success on its continued investment in intellectual property such as its patent pending platform that provides enterprise solutions, processes and market analytics for any language.  It is also developing innovative language solutions for Telemedicine. Harmonizing innovation that is representative of the diverse and ever-changing market needs has allowed the company to stay one step ahead of the competition and continue growing at a rapid pace.

The Nimdzi report ranks the top LSPs by revenue worldwide. It conservatively estimates the LSP industry value at USD $50 billion in 2018 and projected to reach USD $66.5 billion by 2022.  Companies range in revenue from $615 million to $10.6 million.  The research found that the US is the most promising growth market with heavy concentration of large LSPs attributes to North America having many of the world’s top accounts.

Konstantin Dranch, chief researcher at Nimdzi stated “We used an investigative approach that included the assistance of in-country experts, and we have invested countless hours into intense research, data collection and analysis in order to present our exclusive findings”. 


About Akorbi

Akorbi is a U.S.-based company that provides enterprise solutions that empower companies to achieve success in the global economy. We help companies connect with employees, vendors and customers in over 170 languages 24×7, in any modality, from any location. Our customizable, enterprise solutions include: technical and multilingual staffing, learning services, multilingual contact centers, video remote solutions, translation/localization and in-person interpreting services. The company holds several certifications including ISO 9001:2008, ISO 13485:2003, EN 15038:2006 and M/WBE Certification.  For more information, visit www.akorbi.com or call 1.877.4.AKORBI.

About Nimdzi Insights LLC

Based in Seattle, Nimdzi Insights LLC is a full-service analyst and consulting firm focused on the language, translation and localization industries. For more information, visit: www.nimdzi.com.

Akorbi Names Language Services Veteran Kenneth Anders as Chief Operating Officer

PLANO, TX – December 14, 2017 – Akorbi, a leading global provider of language and technology solutions, recently named by an independent research firm as one of the top three fastest-growing language service providers (LSP) in the world, today announced the appointment of Kenneth (Ken) Anders as its new Chief Operating Officer (COO).

Anders, a trusted leader and pioneer in the language service arena, has joined the organization to differentiate, implement and innovate the organization to further fast-track its rapid growth through quality language communication services and a customer-centric delivery platform and applications.

With 35-years of leadership experience, Ken brings an extensive portfolio of technology, operations and optimal service delivery for Fortune 500 companies including the Walt Disney Company and Hughes Aircraft (Raytheon) and carries an impressive industry background from developing language start-up organizations, to engineering world-wide interpreting, translation and localization companies. No stranger to managing large scale universal operations, he held executive roles at both CyraCom and TransPerfect, and a previous key role in the delivery of new technology for LanguageLine Solutions three of the largest language service providers.

Akorbi selected Anders for his passion and deep footprint in the industry, along with his a unique track-record of inventive and industry disruptive technology to meet the evolving needs of global customers, resulting in more efficient, higher quality language communication.

“Ken possesses a rare combination of capabilities in all facets of language solutions. That, coupled with a keen vision of where each customer experience can be optimized, made him stand out amongst all the other candidate” said Azam Mirza, President and co-founder of Akorbi.

Having held the role of Officer with the “National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters” and currently appointed President for the “Arizona Translators and Interpreters”, Anders has linked standards of practice and firsthand experience to build a reputation for meeting the most challenging needs of customers through world-class operations.

“Ken’s sincere appreciation of the people behind the service of interpreting and translating perfectly dovetails with our own values and will aid us in our commitment to deliver reliable, effective, quality communications around the world.” said Claudia Mirza, CEO and co-founder of Akorbi. “We feel these qualities make him most capable to support our path to a greater future and will further solidify our position as a premium provider of full range language services for our customers.” added Mirza.

A tested and proven innovator, Anders brought technological developments to the language service industry with the introduction of the first dual-handset phone which became an industry staple for healthcare, government and other organizations for telephonic interpreting needs.

“I am extremely excited to be part of this dynamic and talented organization.” said Anders.  “Akorbi has strong core principles, its team’s passion to execute and deliver is invigorating. Given the sizeable market opportunity and untapped potential, I look forward to contributing to the next level of Akorbi’s already impressive growth.” added Anders.

About Akorbi

Akorbi is a U.S.-based company providing enterprise solutions that empower companies to achieve success in the global economy. These solutions include: technical and multilingual staffing, learning services, multilingual contact centers, technology and language services. Our customer-driven solutions help companies establish or strengthen compassionate, human connections, between businesses, customers and employees, across languages, cultures and industries, in any modality, from any location. For more information, visit http://www.akorbi.com or call 1.877.4.AKORBI.

Akorbi Ranked #27 in Dallas Business Journal’s Middle Market 50: Based on revenue nearly tripling in 3 years

Park in Dallas Texas

PLANO, Texas – June 22, 2017 – Akorbi was ranked as the 27th fastest-growing Middle Market Company in North Texas based on their revenue nearly tripling from 2014 to 2016. The award’s ceremony was hosted by the Dallas Business Journal on June 15th at The Ritz-Carlton in Dallas.  The award ranks public and private companies in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with annual revenue of $25 to $750 million.

This award is a welcome acknowledgment of the company’s commitment to aggressive growth (1,267% from 2012 to 2016) fueled by innovation and technology.  It comes on the heels of recognition by the Women Presidents’ Organization and American Express, which ranked Akorbi as the 8th fastest-growing woman-owned/led company globally in its 2017 list (up from 12th place in 2016). The company is also leading its sector as a language service provider. In 2016, Common Sense Advisory ranked Akorbi as the 3rd fastest-growing language services provider in the world.

“It is an honor to be included in this prestigious list with so many respected DFW-based companies,” said Claudia Mirza, CEO and co-founder of Akorbi. “I credit our entire forward-thinking executive leadership team for helping us stay on track with our vision of exponential growth.”

“We appreciate the Dallas Business Journal for encouraging and recognizing outstanding growth in our local community,” said Azam Mirza, President and co-founder of Akorbi. “Although we have a presence around the world and serve a global customer base, we are proud to call North Texas our home.”

About Akorbi

Akorbi is a U.S.-based company that provides enterprise solutions that empower companies to achieve success in the global economy. We help companies connect with employees, vendors and customers in over 170 languages 24×7, in any modality, from any location. Our customizable, enterprise solutions include: technical and multilingual staffing, learning services, multilingual contact centers, video remote solutions, translation/localization and in-person interpretation services. The company holds several certifications including ISO 9001:2008, ISO 13485:2003, EN 15038:2006 and M/WBE Certification.  For more information, visit www.akorbi.com or call 1.877.4.AKORBI.

 About the Dallas Business Journal

Founded in 1977, Dallas Business Journal is the leading source for local business news, research, and events in the DFW area. The publication offers print and digital editions and hosts awards events including Best Places to Work, 40 Under Forty, Women in Business, and the Middle Market 50. For more information, visit http://www.bizjournals.com/dallas.

Exclusive: These Are the 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned Companies in the U.S.

50-fastest-growing-women-owned businesses badge

Akorbi has snagged the No. 8 spot on the annual ranking of the fastest growing women-owned or led businesses released by the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) and American Express

The list, which is in its tenth year, ranks companies based on both percentage and absolute growth. To qualify, businesses must be privately-held, woman-owned or led, and have reached an annual revenue of at least $500,000 as of Jan. 1, 2012. The 50 companies generated a combined $7.2 billion last year, up from $75 million in 2007, the first year the list was compiled.

Top-ranked Orangetheory is followed by Pinnacle Group, an IT workforce solutions firm based in Dallas, which has remained in the No. 2 spot for the second year in a row. IT services firm Technology Concepts Group International, a newcomer to the list, was ranked No. 3.

Here is the full list of the 50 below:

  1. Orangetheory Fitness
  2. Pinnacle Technical Resources
  3. Technology Concepts Group International
  4. Morning Sun Financial Services
  5. CATMEDIA
  6. Contract Direct
  7. Xtreme Solutions
  8. Akorbi
  9. Maximum Games
  10. Contingent Resource Solutions
  11. Aden & Anais
  12. Nugate Group
  13. Atrium Staffing
  14. MYCA Material Handling Solutions
  15. Ivie & Associates
  16. TKT & Associates, Inc.
  17. Quality Business Solutions
  18. Merrimak Capital Company
  19. BrightStar Franchising
  20. The Revel Group
  21. Prim Construction
  22. Influenster
  23. TransPerfect
  24. CorAnet Corp
  25. Renogy
  26. Twelve, Inc.
  27. CA South
  28. Chas Roberts A/C & Plumping, Inc.
  29. Greene-Group
  30. Ampcus Inc.
  31. Schendel Mechanical Contracting Ltd.
  32. Innovation Office Solutions

Read the Original Article on Fortune.com

Latina Entrepreneurs Elevate Minority Business Issues During Meeting With President Trump

Translation company owner standing in oval office
President Trump meets with women small business owners at the White House.

Twelve days after the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce facilitated a roundtable discussion with Latina business owners, a meeting with President Trump, Vice President Pence and Linda McMahon, Head of the Small Business Administration, quickly was arranged to continue to elevate the issues and seek further engagement to advance the priorities of women and minority owned businesses.

Joining a total group of eleven women small business owners, we- four Latina business owners- embraced the responsibility to speak up on behalf of the issues and barriers faced by the fastest growing business segment in the country; Hispanic-owned businesses.

The four Latinas at the table with the President included Patricia Funegra, a social entrepreneur and activist, founder and CEO of La Cocina VA, Dyan Medina Gibbens, former Air Force Captain now founder and CEO of the drone company Trumbull Unmanned, Claudia Mizra, an immigrant from Colombia founder and CEO of Akorbi a global provider of multilingual services and staffing and I, Lili Gil Valletta, CEO and co-founder of CIEN+ and CulturIntel.

Lili Gil Valletta, Dyan Medina Gibbens, Claudia Mirza, Paty Funegra

Some of the key issues discussed included mentoring, better awareness of SBA programs to ensure equity in access to capital and opportunities like government contracting, training and STEM programs for children K-12 and removing barriers for lending that disproportionately affect women and minorities.

As private citizens and Latina business owners without party affiliation, we proudly shared our journeys as immigrants and underscored the importance of recognizing America’s shifting demographics and closing inequality gaps.

I particularly brought up the need to engage Hispanics as programs are designed and the need for relevant community outreach and role models among minority children and their parents to foster a culture of education, STEM and innovation. These inclusive strategies can make generational impact by leaving a legacy of systemic changes and programs that empower the diverse segments that are set to drive incremental growth, but have yet to achieve their full potential.

While many organizations have recognized diversity in talent and leadership as a key business priority, many still lag behind when it comes to diversity as a priority for vendor or partner contracting. This is what is called supplier diversity, a term often misunderstood as an effort to fulfill quotas instead of a key strategy to drive innovation, sustainability and economic growth.

The shifting demographics in America are an eminent reality. In fact, the U.S. Census estimates that by the year 2044 we will be a majority-minority nation; however this milestone has already arrived across public schools in America today. In fact, according to the US Census, minorities drive 100 percent of population growth.

But how are these trends linked into the economy of our businesses and nation? Simply said, it’s about growth. Common business sense tells us that investment and priority ought to be allocated to the trends and factors driving growth.

According to the SBA, small businesses have created 66% of net new jobs since the 1970s; a key economic indicator tied directly to the overall health of the economy. In addition, minorities are fueling small business growth and outpacing other segments in firm creation. For example, over the last decade, Hispanic-owned companies have grown at a rate 15 times higher than that of all other firms, according to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; with Latinas outpacing their male counterparts within the segment. African-Americans and Asians also report higher growth rates in new firm creation at 34% and 24% respectively, versus -6% for non-minority firms, according to the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). ­­

Among women, Latina owned businesses lead the way driving new business growth according to The 2016 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report commissioned by American Express OPEN. Between 2007 and 2016 the number of Latina owned firms increased by 137% versus 45% for overall women-owned firms.

Unfortunately, while minority owned businesses are driving new small business growth and creating new jobs that play a critical role for American prosperity, a closer look at the revenues performance and access to capital of these businesses highlight concerning inequality gaps that have a direct impact in America’s ability to achieve its full growth potential.

While minority owned businesses drive all the growth, they report disproportionately less average gross receipts at $173,552 versus $552,079 for non-minority firms, according to the MBDA. That is .31 cents to the dollar in revenues, which translates into a $3.1 trillion gap that should be coming into the economy. Overall minority-owned businesses today contribute $1.4 trillion in combined gross receipts. For Hispanic-owned businesses the disparity is greater at .25 cents to the dollar, this according to the U.S. Minority-Owned Fact Sheet published by the MBDA January of 2016. Only earning a third of their full revenue potential also means their ability to generate new jobs is not being exercised at their full potential. Overall, minority firms today represent approximately 28 percent of all firms in the U.S., however they only contribute 0.04 percent in combined gross receipts of all U.S. firms contributing $1.4 trillion out of $33.5 trillion, according to numbers reported by the MBDA.

This issue trickles down to women, particularly Latinas, who lag behind achieving their full economic potential earning 36 cents to the dollar in revenues versus their female counterparts. Overall women-owned businesses report average revenues of $143,431 while Latinas report $52,087. If Latina owned businesses were to reach parity in revenues with their female counterparts this will bring into the economy an additional 172 billion in revenues. Today’s $97 billion would become $269 billion.

The Small Business Administration plays an important role in helping fill these gaps. Programs like Scale Up and Score were mentioned as successful models. However, new strategies must be explored to provide for more flexibility in startup funding, minority business inclusion and bringing flexibility to lending mechanisms.

When the segments that are driving the growth in new small business creation- who are also the ones driving new job creation- are not achieving their full revenue potential, the American economy is not – and will not- prosper at its full potential either. “ Lili Gil Valletta

This is not a minority issue, but an American issue. This is why organizations like the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce under the leadership of President and CEO Javier Palomarez, have taken a stand to advocate for minority and Hispanic owned businesses. Palomarez has made it clear that his role is one to elevate the priority and economic power we, Latino business owners, represent to the economic well being of this country.

Despite his harsh criticism of Trump during the campaign, he is now open to work with the president on issues they agree on. Palomarez told the New York Times recently “I’d much rather campaign from the inside than complain from the outside.”

As a member of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce I am proud to support this call to action. Despite the emotional charge that may be associated with approaching the Trump administration, I am willing to speak out and speak up. In a way, presenting the Hispanic and multicultural business case with hard facts to the board rooms of Fortune 100 companies for the last 20 years of my career have prepared me now to elevate the same priority on a much larger stage at the White House.

In summary, designing inclusive policies and procurement practices is not an altruistic mission but a critical requirement for our economy to grow and for all Americans to prosper. However for that to take place, the segments driving the growth in population and businesses must be properly included, heard and prioritized when decisions are being made. We must find more inclusive and positive ways to work together, especially after a divisive and emotionally charged campaign year; and this meeting represents an important step forward for all.