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Carimus attends NVBDC’s 5th Annual Matchmaking Virtual Conference

November 13, 2020

Due to COVID-19, companies and organizations have been forced to get creative when it comes to hosting events. The National Veteran Business Development Council hosted their 5th Annual Matchmaking Virtual Conference & Vets Night Out Event online Nov. 5-6. 

Carimus attended both days of the online conference, and also served as a sponsor, creating the program guide for the event. 

We are Carimus, and we are at the intersection of art and engineering. The use of a virtual booth allowed fellow attendees to see our work and how it reflects this statement. 

The first day kicked off with presentations from Keith King, Founder and CEO of the NVBDC and Brigadier General (ret) Dick Miller, President President of the NVBDC. Following a short break, Matthew Kaiser, Senior Director Global Indirect Sourcing AmerisourceBergen, served as the opening keynote speaker before the first panel began.

The panel consisted of  Sheri Shafir, Head of Supplier Diversity at Novartis, Jason Trimiew, Director of Global Supplier Diversity at Facebook, Steve Charles Director of Strategic Sourcing at Sonoco Products Company and Sharon Manker, Sr. Diversity Program Lead at American Water Works Company, Inc. 

Mark Hands, Supplier Diversity Program Manager at Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, served as the moderator for the supplier diversity panel, where they discussed the impacts COVID-19 had on supplier diversity.

The first matchmaking session broke out, giving fellow veteran owned businesses and large companies to interact with one another via chat and video call in a networking lounge.

After closing remarks, the fun continued into the evening with music, meet and greets and a round-trip ticket giveaway provided by Delta Air Lines.

Day two opened with remarks from Keith King and Dick Miller, as well as Annette Stevenson, Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity & Procurement and member of  the NVBDC Board of Directors.

The three handed the spotlight off to the second panel of the online event. This veteran discussion panel featured Sgt U.S. Army (ret) De’Andre B. Wells, owner of AGX, John J. Piekarski, President of ALLY Construction and Dean Wegner, Founder & CEO of Authentically American. Moderated by Randall Laird, Senior VP at Anchor Trading, the panelists informed attendees about how to make their NVBDC certification successfully work for them.

After a break and handing out NVBDC awards, the third and final panel of the conference began.

The Corporate Veterans in Supplier Diversity panel composed of John Perez, Head of Military & Veterans Affairs at Johnson & Johnson, Wayne Shanks, Supplier Diversity Director at USAA Global Sourcing & Procurement and Michael K. Jackson, Business Development Specialist at Export-Import Bank of U.S., and was moderated by Brigadier General (ret) Richard Miller, President of the NVBDC.

Following the informational panel discussion, companies once again broke out into matchmaking and networking sessions.

Carimus is excited to have gathered helpful information and new contacts through this event. We learned veterans really do look out for one another, and they are the solution makers. Veterans do what they say they are going to do, and this determination is what helps them become successful entrepreneurs. 

NVBDC is providing a mentor/mentee program for their members and suppliers in 2021, and Carimus looks forward to becoming a part of it.

We can’t wait to pursue new business opportunities and relationships with those we met at the event, so make sure you’re staying tuned through either our socials or

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