Mayor Murray announces Women and Minority Owned Business Advisory Committee

Today Mayor Ed Murray announced the formation of a Women and Minority Owned Business Enterprise (WMBE) Advisory Committee. The committee is part of the Mayor’s ongoing efforts to strengthen equity and inclusion in City contracting.

“Seattle wants to expand contracting opportunities for our women and minority-owned businesses,” said Mayor Murray. “I look forward to the committee’s work and recommendations as we strive to create more equity in how the City works with local entrepreneurs.”

The committee will examine the impact of City procurement regulations, provide recommendations for the City to pursue to strengthen contracting equity, and evaluate the City’s progress on the Mayor’s April 2014 Executive Order on WMBE inclusion.

Serving on the WMBE Advisory Committee are the following business and community leaders:

  • Henry Yates, (Chair) Principal, Yates Consulting
  • Eleonor Oshitoye, (Vice Chair) Diversity Inclusion Manager, Mortenson Construction
  • Ethan Chin, past Vice President of Business Development and Co-Founder, Piraeus Consulting
  • Colleen Gants, Co-President, PRR Communications
  • Ollie Garrett, President, PMT Solutions
  • Regina Glenn, President and CEO, Pacific Communications Consultants
  • Fernando Martinez, President and CEO, NW Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council
  • George Pieper, CEO, Outsmart Office Solutions
  • Roman Richards, President and owner, RJ Richards Construction
  • David Warner, Sector Manager and Vice President, Parsons Corporation
  • Pastor Ricky Willis, President, United Black Clergy of Washington

The Advisory Committee will report directly to the Mayor’s Office and will make formal recommendations in 2016 and beyond. The Advisory Committee’s first meeting will take place on Thursday, December 3, 2015.

“This committee is an important effort in ensuring that the City provides opportunity and inclusion in contracting for all its citizens, regardless of race or gender,” said Henry Yates, chair of the WMBE committee. “This is another key step to address income inequality in Seattle.”

In the third quarter of 2015, 14 percent of all City contracting services went to WMBE firms, which puts the City on track to exceed its 2015 goal of 12 percent. In addition, 13 percent of all goods and service purchased in 2015 have come from WMBE vendors. Click here for more information about the City’s WMBE spending priorities.

These efforts to expand opportunities in City contracting follow the establishment of a community workforce agreement between the City and nearly 20 labor unions in May of 2015 to implement Seattle’s priority hire law. The ordinance improves access to construction careers for women, people of color and those from economically distressed areas on City construction projects of $5 million or more.