WTCGP Launches Global Diversity Advisory Council

Mar 08, 2023

The World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia (WTCGP) Launches its Inaugural Global Diversity Advisory Council (GDAC)  To Advance Initiative to Teach and Empower Minority and Women-Owned Businesses to Become Successful Exporters

Philadelphia, PA…March 7, 2023….The World Trade Center has launched its inaugural Global Diversity Advisory Council (GDAC), comprised of distinguished leaders in the Philadelphia business community and in supplier diversity who are dedicated to advancing economic growth opportunities for minority and women-owned business enterprises.  (MWBEs).  

Brian Oglesby, Interim President and CEO of the Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council (EMSDC) and Elizabeth Walsh, President of the Women’s Business Enterprise Center – East (WBEC) are Co-Chairs.

GDAC Members include:

·       Brian Oglesby, Co-Chair, Interim President/CEO, Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council

·       Elizabeth Walsh, Co-Chair, President, Women’s Business Enterprise Center - East

·       Kenneth Anderson, Vice President Civic Affairs, Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia

·       Bridgett M. Battles, Director of Community Engagement and Supplier Diversity, Thomas Jefferson University

·       Steven Scott Bradley, President and CEO, Bradley & Bradley Associates, Inc. (Vice Chair WTCGP and former Chair African American Chamber of Commerce)

·       L. Jay Burks, PhD, Director of Supplier Diversity, Comcast Corporation

·       Iola Harper, Senior Executive Vice President, The Enterprise Center

·       Casey McCourt, Senior Economic Development Specialist, PECO

·       Michelle Morin, Global Procurement Leader - Supplier Diversity & Sustainability, Corteva Agriscience

·       Sundari Pai, Senior Manager, Global Supplier Diversity, Bristol Myers Squibb

·       Beth Pomper, Director, International Business Development, State of Delaware 

·       Maria Prince, Global Procurement ESG Leader, DuPont

·       Christina Renna, President, Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey

·       Natily Santos, Vice President Responsible Sourcing, Aramark & Avendra Group

·       Lawrence Wooten, Senior Manager, National Supplier Diversity, American Water 

·       Khine Zaw Arthur, PhD, President and CEO, Asian American Chamber of Commerce 

GDAC Members have already held two monthly meetings (January 20 and February 21) to support the implementation of the Selling to the World initiative: Selling to the World: Growing a Vibrant, Inclusive, and Connected Economy for Greater Philadelphia. The COVID19 pandemic significantly impacted small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), including MWBEs. 

Selling to the World is a transformative public/private sector initiative to generate sustainable and inclusive economic growth and family-sustaining jobs.  The initiative is designed to restore and expand the growth of SMEs with a feature program to increase the capacity to transact business globally for MWBEs.  

The Selling to the World program will provide qualified MWBEs with export training and mentorship and will introduce a global supplier diversity program, a ground-breaking strategy for MWBEs to generate exports by selling into the global supply chains of international corporations. 


A Global Diversity Advisory Council meeting in session. 

“Engaging in the global marketplace is no longer a luxury for businesses seeking a greater level of opportunity and inclusion, it is an imperative for growth as a supplier both locally and globally. The GDAC serves as a bridge to the marketplace and convener of partners in an ever-shrinking world to elevate minority businesses who have traditionally been shut out of the market. In collaboration with our regional stakeholder, we will accelerate the movement of the needle,” says Brian Oglesby, GDAC Co-Chair,Interim President and CEO, Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council.

“The state of the world economy  and the global pandemic negatively impacted women owned businesses disproportionately these past three years; but it has also provided an opportunity to rethink and reinvent business strategies.  This program, as presented by the World Trade Center of Philadelphia,  will allow women owned businesses the opportunity to expand their business to the world’s stage.  

WBEC-East is excited to be a part of ensuring the ability of women-owned businesses become more resistant and competent in the face of any future global challenges,” says Elizabeth Walsh, GDAC Co-Chair and President, Women’s Business Enterprise Center – East.

GDAC members will provide guidance on the implementation of the MWBE program and help to promote and recruit companies to participate in the first cohort and training in the “Fundamentals of Exporting,” an in-person program in a dedicated learning community.

“I am grateful to our GDAC Members who will help support our Selling to the World program for MWBEs in our region.  For both non-profits and corporations committed to advancing inclusive economic opportunity, this represents an important opportunity to add value to the MWBEs they serve."

This initiative aligns with WTCGP’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and our mission of bringing growth and prosperity to businesses, communities and neighborhoods in Greater Philadelphia and worldwide through global trade and investment,” said Linda Conlin, past president, and current Senior Advisor for Strategic Initiatives, WTCGP.