It’s not just what we do, it’s how we do it: Why M.E.D. Week matters

Lynette Darrell, right, honors Pizzazz Painting as winner of the Women-Owned Business Award.

Lynette Darrell, right, honors Pizzazz Painting as winner of the Women-Owned Business Award.

A strong community needs safe, reliable electricity and natural gas. But when a commitment to diversity undergirds those things, everyone is stronger still.

That, essentially, is where the goals of the Minority Enterprise Development (M.E.D.) Corporation coincide with those of TECO – and it covers a lot of ground. Showcasing this and much more was M.E.D. Week.

M.E.D. Week, Oct. 11-13 at the Tampa Marriot Westshore, saw Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman kicking things off. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (and NFL Hall of Fame) great Derrick Brooks gave a rousing, heartfelt keynote speech. In between were workshops, panel discussions and more, all aimed at nurturing a fair playing field for suppliers of all sizes.

At TECO Energy, our Supplier Diversity team is always ready to do business and pursue partnerships with high-quality small, minority, HUBZone, veteran, service-disabled veteran and women-owned businesses. During M.E.D. Week and all year round, that effort is on full display.

“Your participation shows a community commitment from TECO, but also provides us an opportunity to introduce Emera to the Tampa Bay area in a new way,” said Fred Bell, manager of Vendor Management and Supplier Diversity at TECO, to those who helped make M.E.D. Week 2016 another success. “Local business owners and aspiring TECO vendors get to see you put action to our company commitments. There isn’t a more powerful statement to be made than you sharing your talent and time with our local and small business owners.”

MED Week winners gather for a photo.

MED Week winners gather for a photo.

In her roles as chairperson for the conference, on the Minority Enterprise Development Corporation Board of Directors and as coordinator of supplier vendor development in Supplier Diversity at TECO, Lynette Darrell said she has a unique vantage point when it comes to watching businesses succeed.

“Just as our customers embody the full spectrum of diversity, so do our suppliers,” she said. “Because while many people may not spend a lot of time thinking about how a company like TECO serves the community, it’s of course what we focus on all day. And we owe it to the community to recognize and embrace the best products and services out there – with the knowledge that businesses without major corporate resources can obviously have just as much talent and drive to succeed if only there are those who will recognize them.”

She added, “That’s one big reason why M.E.D. Week matters.”

And now, some more recognition for M.E.D. Week winners that are outstanding in their fields:

Small Business Owner: Magnolia River Services Inc.

Women-Owned Business: Pizzazz Painting Inc.

Minority-Owned Business: Daniels Engineering Inc.

Veteran-Owned Business: Technology Transfer Services

Do you represent a high-quality small, minority, HUBZone, veteran, service-disabled veteran and women-owned business? We welcome hearing from you! Visit this page for more information – and provide us with yours if your products and services might sync up with our needs!