The Northern Ohio Minority Supplier Development Council (NOMSDC) invited WWT to host their Annual Awards Gala in November 2011. At this event, Dave Steward shared his knowledge of running a successful company with an audience consisting primarily of M/WBEs and corporate members. As an added bonus, WWT auctioned off an opportunity to “spend an entire day at WWT” to the highest bidder. All proceeds benefited the Council in support of its programs.

In addition to being recognized as the Minority Supplier of the Year, APB & Associates, Inc. (APB) was the highest bidder and won the opportunity. After months of coordinating schedules, WWT hosted APB on their St. Louis campus in August of 2012. Founded in 2004, APB is a small, service-disabled veteran-owned minority firm headquartered in Cleveland, OH. APB uses professional project management and continuous process improvement to assist governments and global corporations in addressing the impact of national and international regulations across the supply chain. Their solutions help clients accurately verify and validate supplier information, product materials, and labor components within the supply chain using a variety of reporting protocols.

The day began with coffee and a brief conversation with WWT’s Supplier Diversity Manager, Shay Gillespie. In attendance from APB was owner, Andre Bryan and Director of Marketing, Myra Wallace. Next, Terry LaPosha, Warehouse, and ITC Manager led Andre, Myra, and Shay on a one-on-one tour of WWT’s one million square foot warehouse in Edwardsville, IL. The facility includes a key feature of the WWT’s supply chain and IT implementation services, known as the Integrated Technology Center (ITC). The ITC provides configuration, testing, and staging of IT products within WWT’s supply chain programs that support over 50 enterprise customers daily. Product loading, staging, asset tagging, and configuration are just a few of the services the ITC provides. Upon completion of the tour, Andre Bryan, owner of APB said “I was in Heaven. I have experience with similar warehouse and distribution operations, but this by far is the most impressive. The organization, precision, and execution are all superb! Now I know why the government and so many Fortune 500 companies trust WWT with their data. This experience also motivates me; it shows me what is possible.”

After the tour, APB invited a collaborative partner, Darryl Dennis, owner of Wire2Net, located in Washington, DC, to join them. Due to time constraints, Shay took the parties to lunch at a local, reasonably priced eatery. Shay instructed Andre, Myra, and Darryl not to let Mr. Steward know about the lunch accommodations, as he would playfully chastise her for not going to a more upscale restaurant.

The day continued with an APB meeting with John Rohde, Strategic Business Development Director for Energy and Utilities. In this meeting, APB provided Rohde with their capabilities around their energy practice to include software development for carbon emissions reporting, and energy analysis and validation. This meeting created a need for ongoing discussion and exploration as to how WWT and APB can partner on future energy opportunities. Finally, APB got an exclusive opportunity that made the auction worthwhile. They were able to sit down for a face-to-face conversation with Dave Steward, Chairman of WWT. During the meeting, Andre, Myra, and Darryl were able to ask Mr. Steward multiple questions about WWT’s history, business strategy, capital formation, growth management, company vision, and more.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Mr. Steward gave APB souvenirs and posed for pictures for a few minutes outside his office. As they were about to leave, and as sure as Shay predicted, Mr. Steward asked, ‘where did Shay take you to lunch?’. As Shay shakes her head, signaling Andre and Myra not to tell him, they revealed the restaurant. Mr. Steward looked with unbelief in his eyes and said, “What kind of impression are you trying to make?” But, after a few minutes of laughing about it, the meeting ended with WWT and APB parting ways in what hopes to be a promising future opportunity to partner.

Subsequent to the trip to St Louis, Shay was instrumental in connecting APB to WWTAS, a wholly owned subsidiary of WWT in Washington, DC. APB and Wire2Net met with Mike McGlynn and Craig Corbin and are having discussions around becoming a possible protégé of WWTAS in Cyber Security with the Federal government. Combining forces through a formal Mentor-Protégé agreement will enable each company to increase capabilities and capitalize on the opportunities available for SDVETs, 8(a) and HUBZone certified entities with DOD and SBA. What started as an auction to help NOMSDC may result in APB and Wire2Net, working with WWTAS, all being giant winners!

APB & Associates is a business management firm that specializes in consulting, training, and project management services and is dedicated to providing its clients with a cost-effective solution customized to meet their needs. Established in 2004, this minority, veteran-owned firm is a provider of high-quality business solutions, text, and computer-based instruction, and experiential learning designed to improve skills, and ensure significant growth for its clients.

1 Comment

  • Melissa Hunter
    Posted August 22, 2018 12:36 pm 0Likes

    I appreciate the fast replies from the tech support rep! Everything works fine now, thank you

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