Wednesday, September 5, 2018

UIS to host Diverse Business Opportunity Fair

University of Illinois Springfield Chancellor Susan Koch and the University of Illinois System Chief Procurement Officer Ben Bagby will host a Diverse Business Opportunity Fair featuring representatives from several state universities and community colleges.

Diverse businesses in the community interested in doing business with the state of Illinois’ public universities and community colleges are invited to attend the event on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the UIS Student Union Ballroom, 2251 Richard Wright Drive, Springfield.

Working cooperatively with the state universities to increase participation by minority, women, persons with disabilities and veteran-owned firms in higher education procurement is a top priority for the University of Illinois System.

Chancellor Koch recognizes that these types of events are imperative in propelling economic growth and vital to establishing connections and collaborative relationships.

“Not only is our campus able to benefit from connecting with exceptional diverse businesses, other state universities and colleges participating have a vast array of needs that these firms are capable of meeting. Participating in the fair is a great way to gain a better understanding of what those needs are and who the decision makers are,” said Koch.

Bagby said the state has substantial opportunities for diverse firms to participate in the procurement and contracting process. He added, “It’s important that diverse businesses know that the state values their business and are always looking for new ways to expand the diverse supplier network. One way we are doing this is by reviewing the contract renewal process to ensure that the Business Enterprise Program (BEP) policies and goals are properly taken into account before a contract is renewed. This is a great example of a new process where a BEP goal can be established or increased,” Bagby finished.

The Diverse Business Opportunity Fair is sponsored by the Chief Procurement Office and organized by the University of Illinois and is open to all businesses who desire to do business with the state of Illinois public universities and colleges. There will also be prime contractors there who are interested in establishing partnerships with small and diverse businesses.

Businesses who are planning to attend the fair are strongly encouraged to register online.

For more information, contact Jill Menezes, UIS director of purchases, at 217/206-6651 or

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