The Southern Florida Minority Supplier Development Council (SFMSDC), a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing access and growth for minority businesses in Florida, announced yesterday that it is changing its name to Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council (FSMSDC) to reflect an expanded service area that now includes Central and Northern Florida. The Council is led by Beatrice Louissaint, whose role as SFMSDC CEO and president has expanded to cover the entire state as CEO and president of the FSMSDC. The organization is set to roll out a variety of new services and programs to its corporate members and MBEs statewide. FSMSDC, an affiliate of the National Minority Supplier Development Council Inc. (NMSDC), will be headquartered in Miami with regional offices and staff in Orlando, Tampa and Tallahassee.

“NMSDC remains committed to providing the highest level of service to its members and certified MBEs in central and north Florida. We have every confidence in Beatrice Louissaint’s leadership and her team’s ability to serve the complex needs of the state of Florida,” said NMSDC President Joset Wright-Lacy. “Under the leadership and vision of Ms. Louissaint, we will continue to foment new opportunities for members and implement next-level programs to develop and accelerate Florida businesses.”

Since its founding in 1975, SFMSDC’s mission has been to increase purchasing from Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) by corporations and government entities, while increasing MBEs’ operating capacity through hands-on business assistance, training and access to technology and capital resources. The newly formed FSMSDC will maintain the same core values with the aim of serving a larger number of MBEs—now an estimated 918. The organization will expand the services and programs it provides, such as the Technical Assistance Program (TAP), which offers certified MBEs unprecedented access to much-needed technical and professional services in the legal, marketing and finance areas; the Partners in Business Progress Mentor Protégé Program, in which a major corporation or large MBE works one-on-one with a certified minority-owned business for a specified period of time; loan programs and many others. All of these programs will now be offered statewide with the support of a greater number of stakeholders, national corporate members, local members and top Florida businesses.

“The new name, Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council, communicates that we are now one state, one council, with a mission that extends throughout Florida—to link corporations and government agencies with MBEs in order to foster business development and expansion,” said Beatrice Louissaint, president & CEO of the FSMSDC. “We are thrilled to be able to offer broader products and services across the state, which will not only help MBEs become certified, but will also propel their success and connect them to customers that will increase their profitability.”

More information on the new FSMSDC structure, staffing and service offerings is forthcoming; however, current corporate members and MBEs should not experience any delays or reduction in service during the transition. A transition advisory committee has been established and is chaired by April Harley of Duke Energy, with corporate and MBE representation from the entire state of Florida. The committee’s main role is to guide a smooth transition during the next few months. In addition, committee members will be integrally involved in providing recommendations on the statewide staffing model, new programs and services, board governance and marketing and engaging community stakeholders in the expanded areas.

The Council is currently in the process of updating its branding with new logos, website, e-mail addresses and more – which will be rolled out in the coming weeks. For additional information, please visit To access the online media kit, please visit

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