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January 10, 2024 – As part of the University of Kentucky’s strategic plan to advance the interests of the Commonwealth , UK formed an Economic Inclusion Program. Led by Barry Swanson, UK’s chief procurement officer, and Marilyn Clark, UK’s first economic inclusion manager, the initiative strives to expand UK’s economic development efforts by providing support for diverse suppliers and Kentucky-located businesses.
To help these businesses more easily offer their goods and services to university departments, UK partnered with Lexington-located Equity Solutions Group (ESG) to develop an Economic Inclusion Marketplace. The businesses work with ESG to load the goods they want to offer to the university into an e-catalog that is available on the SRM Ariba Network platform.
“The north star that guides everything we do at the University of Kentucky is to advance Kentucky,” Swanson said. “This new e-catalog will add to the foundation, guided by UK’s strategic plan, of how we support local and diverse-owned businesses.”
ESG PRESENTS COMMERCE LEXINGTON’S FALL “OPPORTUNITY EXCHANGE” CELEBRATING 10’TH ANNIVERSARY OF MINORITY BUSINESS ACCELERATOR PROGRAM
September, 2023 – In September, Commerce Lexington held its Fall Opportunity Exchange presented by Equity Solutions Group, LLC at the Lyric Theatre. The event not only featured great networking opportunities for small business owners across the region but also connected minority businesses with procurement representatives from some of the largest companies in the region. In addition, the event marked the 10th anniversary of the Minority Business Accelerator.
NEW WEB PORTAL TO BOOST NUMBER, DIVERSITY OF VENDORS AT TRANSYLVANIA UNIVERSITY
May 9, 2023 – Transylvania University has partnered with Lexington-based Equity Solutions Group to develop a new web portal that will expand and diversify the university’s vendor pool.
Suppliers of goods and services can visit the new site to check out requests for proposals and register to participate in a competitive bid process for projects. In addition to expanding the pool of suppliers — which increases the odds of getting lower bids — the portal will help Transylvania bring on board more local businesses run by owners who are Black, women, veterans, or from other underrepresented groups.
“To be successful with Transylvania University, suppliers must provide impeccable quality and deliver as promised at competitive costs,” according to the site. Those who want to do business with the school should pre-qualify by registering as a new vendor at no cost. All of the potential suppliers are certified through a rigorous vetting process and identified with the assistance of Equity Solutions Group, a firm that helps clients reduce expenses “while ensuring competitive participation from qualified diverse businesses.” The project is part of the university’s Project One initiative.
Deidra Dennie, Transylvania’s vice president for diversity and inclusion, said the partnership is an example of how the university is reaching out beyond campus to strengthen its bonds with the community. “What is good business for Transy is good business for Lexington. The university often goes back to the same legacy vendors for projects. “New businesses didn’t have an opportunity to get into the mix,” Dennie said. “This is a way to let new business in.”
It had been more difficult for suppliers to connect with the university, resulting in fewer bids. “We really didn’t have a mechanism in place for other vendors to know how to do business with us,” said Eric Ramsey, the university’s purchasing coordinator. “I’m excited that we have this platform in place.”
TWO TRAILBLAZERS, INCLUDING ESG PRESIDENT/CEO RAYMOND DANIELS, MAKING NOISE IN THE HORSE RACING INDUSTRY BY MOVING MORE AFRICAN-AMERICANS FROM THE GRANDSTAND INTO THE THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
April 28, 2021 – Ray Daniels and Greg Harbut have formed an organization, the Ed Brown Society, to promote and educate African American participation in a sport where they were once the majority. Harbut and Daniels say their purpose is to “create workforce development and retain those people in the state of Kentucky the horse racing business is a multi-billion dollar business a year and we want to create awareness and opportunity to young people of color.” The Ed Brown Society wants to focus on educating students, showing them the many jobs they can have in the industry. Maybe it could move a fan from the grandstands to a buyer to an owner in the winner’s circle. “You gotta take young folks out to horse farms so they can see it for themselves and actually get hands-on and expertise about the work that goes on at a horse farm,” Daniels said. “We hope to expose them to it and let them know that these are really well-paid jobs.”
CHURCHILL DOWNS’ “CHAMPIONS FOR CHANGE” KENTUCKY DERBY TIE-IN EVENT FEATURES ESG PRESIDENT/CEO
April 27, 2021 – As one of two African-American owners of 2020 Derby runner Necker Island, Raymond Daniels to participate in “Champions for Change”. Part of Champions Day, the annual event highlights the history of the Kentucky Derby and the sport of Thoroughbred racing. This year, as part of an industry-wide commitment to increasing diversity and inclusivity in the sport of horse racing, the day will celebrate Black Horsemen in Thoroughbred racing and feature partner organizations whose mission supports equitable opportunities in racing.
LOCAL MINORITY-OWNED BUSINESS SEES SUCCESS AMID GLOBAL DOWNTURN
January 11, 2021 – Equity Solutions Group (ESG), a Lexington, KY-based certified minority-owned business, announced today the results of their successful multi-year engagement by MacLellan Integrated Services. ESG provides third party procurement support services, including automation of the entire purchasing cycle, through experienced people, proven strategic sourcing processes and a proprietary technology platform. The company also offers a ready-to-go catalog delivering immediate savings and the technology to access it, compatible with any existing procurement software a customer may be using. And, as a certified minority-owned supplier, all goods and services provided by ESG serve to increase Tier 1 diverse spend.
RAYMOND DANIELS, ESG PRESIDENT AND CEO, SPEAKS AT “TRUTH TO POWER” PANEL PRESENTED BY THE RACING BIZ
February 26, 2021 – The Thoroughbred industry needs to do more – much more – to reach out to, attract, and welcome women, people of color, and other minorities if it wants to thrive in the future. That was the general consensus of participants in “Truth to Power” panel presented by The Racing Biz.
RAYMOND DANIELS, ESG PRESIDENT AND CEO, APPPOINTED BY GOVERNOR TO UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY BOARD OF TRUSTEES
September 9, 2020 – Gov. Beshear has appointed Ron Geoghegan and Raymond Daniels as members of the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees. Gov. Beshear has also reappointed Robert Vance.