Newark to be Site of Summit Highlighting $1B in Contracting Opportunities for Minority, Women, and Veteran Business Owners –

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TRENTON – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced that the State of New Jersey will host NJ Connects, the first-ever state summit designed to connect minority-, women-, veteran-, and LGBTQ-owned businesses with roughly one billion dollars in public and private sector contracting opportunities.

The event is being spearheaded by the state’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI), which was created by Governor Murphy shortly after taking office last year. The office is overseen by Hester Agudosi, Esq., who was appointed Chief Diversity Officer by the Governor to support the administration’s efforts to drive economic growth through the creation of more inclusive hiring opportunities for the state’s diverse businesses.

Chief Diversity Officer Hester Agudosi, Esq.
New Jersey Chief Diversity Officer Hester Agudosi, Esq.

 “It’s important that diverse business owners have a seat at the table,” said Chief Diversity Officer Agudosi. “NJ Connects will provide a forum for business owners to showcase their products and services, while connecting them to key public and private sector procurement decision-makers. Equally important, this annual event will provide a platform for procurement and purchasing leaders to introduce their organizations and specific project needs, while demonstrating their commitment to building a diverse contracting supply chain.” 

NJ Connects will be held on Friday, September 20, at the Wellness and Events Center on the campus of the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) in Newark. The event will feature learning sessions and panel discussions; business boot camps and “How To” workshops; public and private sector business exhibitors; and networking opportunities. More than 750 individuals are expected to attend with approximately 150 exhibitors from both the public and private sectors.

Minority, women, veteran, and LGBTQ business owners interested in working with the State of New Jersey and with New Jersey-based corporations that offer robust supplier diversity programs are encouraged to attend. Procurement and purchasing representatives from New Jersey-based corporations looking to introduce their organizations and opportunities to the MWVBE community are also encouraged to attend.

Exhibitor space is available for government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private corporations.  Copper, Platinum, and Diamond sponsorship packages are also available, which include complimentary registration tickets, a prime exhibitor location, participation in event programming, and a wide range of print and digital exposure from pre-event through post-event marketing.  Any public or private entity interested in serving as a sponsor or an exhibitor should contact Emogene Mitchell at or 908-899-0229.

The event is easily accessible by car, bus, train or air. For more information on registering for the event, becoming an exhibitor, or securing a sponsorship, visit the NJ Connects event page.

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