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Symposium Brings Asian-American Businesses Closer To Opportunities

November 2005
Symposium Brings Asian-American Businesses Closer To Opportunities

The Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Georgia (AACC) and the Governor's Entrepreneur and Small Business Office organized a "procurement symposium" to bring together suppliers, represented by minorities ? Asian-Americans, in particular ? and buyers, represented by businesses, corporations and government agencies, on the same platform.

The 4th Annual Asian Procurement Symposium, attended by business leaders and other dignitaries, offered resources and business opportunities to the participants at the Arkwright Auditorium of Georgia Power in Atlanta on October 19.

The Symposium offered information on how small business owners could market products and services to federal, state, and local government entities and corporations such as Lockheed Martin, Coca-Cola, MARTA, Cingular Wireless, Turner Broadcasting Services (TBS), BellSouth, Georgia Power and Coca-Cola Enterprises.

"We are proud to partner with the Asian American Chamber of Commerce to assist and support the growth and strength of the Asian business community in Georgia," said Gilda Watters, division director of the Governor's Small Business and Innovation Office, who was the mistress of ceremonies.

Marry Ellen McClanahan, director, Governor's Entrepreneur and Small Business, welcomed the participants. "The Governor's Entrepreneur and Small Business Office is committed to offering quality programs for minority entrepreneurs," she said. Gail Webb, regional outreach manager and co-chair of the symposium, echoed similar sentiments. Ellen then introduced the 2003 Ellis Island Medal of Honor recipient and the new president of AACC, Subash Razdan.

According to Razdan, "With the emergence of new Asian businesses in Georgia, the AACC hopes to provide the Asian business community with opportunities and resources to grow and expand their business. This year's symposium focused on government and the private sector and how that will affect the growth and survival of Asian businesses. The Asian Procurement Symposium provided an opportunity for business owners to consult one-on-one with government and corporate representatives."

He also commended former president of AACC, Soon-Hee Paik, for envisioning and realizing the concept of the symposium a few years ago. Founded in 1995, AACC works towards promoting international trade and commerce in the U.S., especially in Georgia.

AACC (www.aaccga.org) is an umbrella organization for other Asian chambers of commerce representing countries such as Korea, China, India, Philippines and Japan, various Fortune 500 corporations and government agencies.

On the sidelines, Razdan requested the CEO of American Red Cross, Tim English, to accept a donation check of $1001 from Ram Sidhaye, treasurer of AACC, for the Katrina Hurricane Relief Fund in presence of all the past and current officers including founding directors Lani Wong (2005 recipient of the Phoenix Award) and John Lee. Awards were also presented to the sponsors and supporters of the symposium.

During the event, a panel discussion, moderated by Willie Palmer of Georgia Power, touched upon the importance of "Understanding the Value of Certification." George Lottier and Catherine Morris of Marta, Leslie Duhe of Georgia Women's Business Council and Albert Smith of Georgia Department of Transportation were on the panel.���In the question and answer session that followed, there was one-on-one consultation between the suppliers and the buyers.

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