Converting Conversations to Contracts offers a trade show style environment for diverse small business owners, potential trade partners, procurement professionals, financial partners and others to build meaningful partnerships that will lead to transactions and economic activity.

Conversations to Contracts

October 14, 2023

CFCC Union Station (U) Building
502 North Front Street, Wilmington, NC

Fireside Chat Keynote Lunch

Third Floor

11 am -12:30 pm


Fifth Floor

1 – 5 pm


Fifth Floor, various rooms

2 & 3 pm


We aim to lower the barriers to contract conversion by providing...

Access to capital

Access to capital

Traditionally, Black and Hispanic owned businesses have lacked access to capital that fuels many high-growth industries. Conversations to Contracts partners with financial institutions in order for them to build relationships with diverse owned businesses and connect them with products suited for their stage in business development.

Access to customers

Access to customers

More customers for minority owned businesses will increase revenue which provides the resources for companies to increase their capacity. We intentionally partner with organizations focused on increasing their diversity spend and expanding their supply chain to include diverse owned businesses.

Access to knowledge and networks

Access to knowledge and networks

Strategic expertise and technical training are significant impediments to MBEs being competitive in the marketplace. Conversations to Contracts workshops provide insights and analysis for minority owned business enterprises to gain the information and networks needed to grow their business.


2 pm Workshops

 Taking Care of Business

  • Room: 528
  • Speaker: Chrystal Fray (State Farm)
  • Topic: Managing day-to-day business activities, understanding risks

Novant Health Supplier Diversity Program

  • Room: 526
  • Speaker: Erica Hall & Samantha Voreh (Novant Health)
  • Topic: Program overview, key processes

So You Have Opened a New Business…Now Become Bankable. 

  • Room: 529
  • Speaker: Ned Marable (First National Bank)
  • Topic: Opening deposit accounts, understanding credit options

Work in Wilmington

  • Room: 527
  • Speaker: Tunya Smith (NCDOT)
  • Topic: Opportunities to do work with NCDOT in the Wilmington area

Writing A Capability Statement

  • Room: 512
  • Speaker: Olivia Chavez-Carroll (NCMBC)
  • Topic: Capability Statement Writing (Details pending)

3 pm Workshops

Getting started in the Trucking Industry

  • Room: 529
  • Speaker: Lorenzo Thorpe (Roam Freely Logistics)
  • Topic: Insights into freight dispatching, entering the trucking industry

Novant Health Supplier Diversity Program

  • Room: 526
  • Speaker: Erica Hall & Samantha Voreh (Novant Health)
  • Topic: Program overview, key processes

Work in Wilmington

  • Room: 527
  • Speaker: Tunya Smith (NCDOT)
  • Topic: Opportunities to do work with NCDOT in the Wilmington area

Living the Dream: Don’t Let Anything Stand in Your Way!

  • Room: 528
  • Speaker: Sonya Peele (YWCA)
  • Topic: 3 Steps to Breaking through the Obstacles

Finance Panel Presentation

  • Room: 512
  • Speaker: Multiple Speakers
  • Topic: Various financial topics

Diverse-Owned Businesses

Are you a minority or woman-owned business looking to amplify your impact? Don’t miss this opportunity to showcase your products and services at Conversations to Contracts for FREE!

Why Apply for a Free Booth as a Diverse-Owned Business?

  1. Visibility: Garner invaluable exposure in front of a concentrated audience seeking diversity in business relationships.
  2. Networking: Form strategic alliances with other diverse-owned businesses and potential clients.
  3. Knowledge & Skill-building: Gain actionable insights from workshops tailor-made for Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs).
  4. Access to Capital: Meet and engage with financial institutions to explore your growth opportunities.
  5. Align with MED Week: Proudly represent your enterprise during Minority Enterprise Development Week.


Does your business offer essential services that could benefit Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) or other diverse-owned businesses? Here’s why becoming an exhibitor at Conversations to Contracts could be a transformative decision for your enterprise you should become an exhibitor.

Why Join as an Exhibitor? 

  1. Diverse Market: Access a market that is actively seeking to diversify their business relationships.
  2. Credibility: Associate your brand with an event focused on inclusion, diversity, and community development.
  3. Direct Engagement: Communicate directly with decision-makers, bypassing the usual barriers to entry.
  4. Strategic Partnerships: Align your business with organizations committed to diversity, enhancing your brand’s values.
  5. Expand Customer Base: Leverage this platform to convert meaningful conversations into profitable contracts.

Oct 14th | 11-12:30pm | Third Floor

Fireside Chat:
Building an Enterprise

Dr. Anthony Josey​

Facilitated by Girard Newkirk

James A. Josey has spent the past twelve years in government procurement and acquisitions. He is currently a Level III Certified Acquisition professional holding Unlimited Warrant Authority within the Department of State’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU).

James Josey joined the US Department of State in Washington, DC in February of 2015 as a Senior Procurement Analyst in the OSDBU Office. He oversees the small business efforts of the Bureau of Overseas Operations, WOSB/EDWOSB Program, and assists the Information Resources Management (IRM) Bureau for the OSDBU Office.

Josey was once asked, “What drives your passion for small business?” He responded, for most people working with small businesses is just a job, an occupation. For me, it is a ministry, part of God’s Great Commission. Many of these businesses employ people who are on the margins of our society.

What to Expect: Business networking Certification Support Contract Opportunities Workshops & Seminars

“We pair organizations with qualified diverse owned businesses and local small business owners.”

Girard Newkirk, Genesis Block CEO

Event Goals:

1. Create Contracting Opportunities

2. Grow Diverse Owned Businesses

3. Diversity Supply Chains

4. Reduce Barriers To Growth For Diverse Owned Business

From our Sponsors...

Sponsorship Opportunities

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