Triad Minority and Women’s Business Expo continues to grow

Triad Minority and Women’s Business Expo continues to grow
August 29
03:20 2019

In 2013 Reginald McCaskill, founder and owner of Maximum Enterprises Inc., set out to create a space where local small business owners could gain exposure and build relationships with their peers as well as consumers, thus the Triad Minority and Women’s Business Expo was born. From humble beginnings with only 25 vendors, this year the annual event spanned over two days and featured more than 125 businesses and entrepreneurs.

The festivities began on Friday, Aug. 23, with the Empowerment & Wealth Building Summit. Held at the Anderson Center on the campus of Winston-Salem State University, the summit included several workshops and seminars, a panel discussion on the economic forecast for M/WBE (Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise) in the current economy, and a speed networking session, all free of charge.

The fun continued on Friday night when hundreds of people came together for the awards reception. During the sold-out event, entrepreneurs and business owners from Winston-Salem, Greensboro and High Point received awards for Business of the Year, Newcomer of the Year, the Pioneer Award, and Non-Profit Organization of the Year.

Winston-Salem award winners were:

*Dr. Vivian H. Burke Business of the Year: Forsyth Seafood

*Newcomer of the Year: Ta’Nisha Monique Cupcakes

*Pioneer Award: S & L Painting and Decorating, Inc.

*Non-Profit of the Year: The Kyndall Project

During the awards ceremony, Mayor Allen Joines presented McCaskill with a proclamation. Joines, who served as chairman of the Expo in 2016, expressed pleasure with his continued participation and support of the annual event. Joines said, “It’s been an honor to be the chairman of this and to be able to continue to support it. I just want to congratulate Reginald and Aimee for their hard work to make this happen.”

The main event, the Expo, was held at the Benton Convention Center on Saturday, Aug.24.

Along with dozens of vendors, those who attended the Expo also had the opportunity to attend six different workshops that covered a variety of topics including business marketing strategies and the Community Reinvestment Act, a federal law designed to encourage depository institutions to help meet the credit needs of low and moderate-income neighborhoods.

While attending the workshop on marketing, local entrepreneur Maryann Epson, who was attending the Expo for the first time, said she learned a lot from the various workshops and by just mingling and conversing with other entrepreneurs. “Everything has just been excellent,” Epson said. “I’ve learned a lot this weekend and I’m ready to put all this information to use.”

Dr. Monica Guillory, associate professor of marketing at WSSU and a social media expert, said events like the Triad Minority and Women’s Business Expo are important because it gives business owners a chance to market themselves. She said, “I really believe that marketing is the foundation of all things.

“Everything we do leads back to marketing and I just get great joy in being able to share that with people, whether it’s a business or some of my students who are going to work in marketing.”

Local artist and entrepreneur Leo Rucker, who has participated in the Expo since the beginning, echoed Dr. Guillory’s sentiments when asked about the Expo. Rucker said in order to be successful, you have to be seen and the Expo provides that.

“In order for us as business owners, as entrepreneurs, to be successful, we have to be seen by our communities. That’s why I think this is so important and I’m thankful that Reggie had the vision to make this come to fruition,” Rucker said.

For more information on the Triad Minority and Women’s Business Expo visit or  “Triad Minority Business Expo” on Facebook.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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