October 2, 2014  

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Vendors Meet with Southern Miss Representatives at Minority Business Expo

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Representatives from the College of Business at Southern Miss meet with an attendee during the Minority Business Expo held July 9 on the Hattiesburg campus. (University Communications photo by Van Arnold)

Approximately 40 vendors participated in the Minority Business Expo Tuesday, July 9 on the Hattiesburg campus of The University of Southern Mississippi, part of an initiative of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning known as the Mississippi Public University Minority Economic Opportunity Initiative.

With assistance from www.WhereToGo411.com, minority-owned companies gain opportunities through the initiative to interact with and promote their goods and services to the state’s eight public universities, the University Medical Center and IHL office. The event at Southern Miss was hosted by its Department of Procurement and Contract Services.

WhereToGo411.com connects vendors to buyers through its quote feature. Minority companies post information about their business and the goods and services they provide. Universities send and receive quotes, proposals and subcontracting opportunities through the online system.

“We’re proud to be a facilitator for this effort and connect the dots seamlessly between these entrepreneurs and procurement opportunities with higher education in Mississippi,” said Kathy Times, vice president/COO of WhereToGo411.com.

Learnard Dickerson, president and owner of DACO LLC, participated in the event along with the company’s general manager Jackie Vaughn. Based in New Orleans with an office in Columbus, Miss., DACO LLC offers promotional products, printing and marketing services.

Dickerson has already made connections through minority vendor fairs at other universities in the state, and was looking forward to doing the same at Southern Miss on Tuesday. “This initiative is long overdue,” he said. “It’s tough sometimes to just knock on doors to let people at universities know about the services you offer, but with this vendor fair we have a direct opportunity to develop relationships.”

James Covington, president and CEO of WhereToGo411.com, praised the university’s preparation for the event. “From the planning to the publicity of the exp, Southern Miss has really shown how it should be done when you work together to connect businesses with the procurement process at a university,” he said.  

To learn more, visit www.WhereToGo411.com.