Discover Construction Opportunities: OhioMBE Procurement Fair – Dec. 19, 2-4 pm!

Mark your calendar for the highly anticipated OhioMBE Procurement Fair on December 19, sponsored by the Ohio Department of Transportation! Here’s a glimpse of the organizations you’ll have the chance to connect with:

Participating Organizations:

  • City of Westerville
  • Columbus Airports
  • Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority
  • Columbus Zoo & Aquarium
  • Elford Construction
  • Gilbane Construction
  • Ohio Department of Transportation

Event Details:

  • Date: December 19
  • Time: 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
  • Location: State Library of Ohio, 274 E. 1st Avenue

This tailored event for construction companies and construction material suppliers offers 15-minute one-on-one appointments with key organizations committed to supplier diversity.

Secure Your Spot: Tickets are in high demand, and our last session sold out. Don’t miss this opportunity to foster valuable connections and propel your business forward!

Get Your Tickets Here:

Join us for an afternoon of networking, collaboration, and growth. We look forward to seeing you at the State Library of Ohio!

Columbus Zoo issues new design RFP

🌿 Exciting Opportunity! 🌟 Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is seeking design proposals for the Ohio Wildlife Conservation Center/Habitat Hollow Renovation. 🏡 Help transform the interactive space and create a new haven for fresh water species! 🦎 Submit sealed proposals to Karen Huebel by Dec 13, 2023, 12:00 pm local time. For details and inquiries, visit for details 📩 #DesignProposal #ColumbusZoo #WildlifeRenovation #OhioMBE #BidNotices #SupplierDiversity

The SSA Group issues RFP for Architectural Engineering and Interior Design Services

Project: Smok’t – North American Restaurant
Location: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, North America Exhibit
Client: The SSA Group in partnership with Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Request for Proposal: Architectural Engineering and Interior Design Services

Scope of Work:

  1. Conceptual Design: Development of design concept and layouts, including 3D renderings.
    Schematic Design: Detailed floor plans, elevations, sections, kitchen equipment layouts, and material coordination.
  2. Design Development: Detailed design coordination, including plans, schedules, finishes, and equipment lists.
  3. Construction Documents: Final design details for construction and permit applications.
  4. Construction Administration: Coordination with contractors, review of shop drawings, RFI answers, and site visits.

Restaurant Vision:

Smok’t aims to provide a world-class guest experience, uniquely positioned next to the sea otter exhibit.
Design must integrate steel frame and glass walls to merge indoor and outdoor spaces effectively.
Building size: Approximately 5000 sq ft, accommodating 200 indoor dining seats plus 200 outdoor seats.
Proposal Requirements:

  • Introduction of the firm, including history and relevant experience.
  • Clear understanding of project objectives and proposed approach.
  • Detailed scope of work, timelines, and project team.
  • Resumes of project team members.
  • At least three references.
  • Detailed fee proposal, including all costs and any additional services.
  • Design and project management process overview.
  • Estimated timeline with key milestones and deliverables.

Additional Requirements:

  • 10% of the fee structure must involve a local firm.
  • 10% of the fee structure must be with a minority-owned firm.
  • Coordination with FG Schaeffer (kitchen design) and PGAV (architect of record).
  • Coordination with Bayes Building Group (construction management).

Evaluation Criteria:

  • Understanding of project requirements and objectives.Firm and team qualifications and experience.
  • Proposed project approach, methodology, timeline, and deliverables.
  • Fee proposal assessment.

Bid Submission Deadline: December 1st
Submission Contact: Nick Rado, Email:
Inquiries Contact: Phone: 937-219-3227 or Email:

Note: Proposals must be comprehensive, demonstrating an understanding of the vision and objectives, and showcasing the ability to deliver a modern, functional, and enjoyable environment for Smok’t restaurant.

OBDC Winter Learn Series: Winter Biz Boost – December Training Workshops

Elevate your business this winter with the OBDC Winter Learn Series. Our December Training Workshops, the Winter Biz Boost, are designed to enhance your business skills and knowledge.

  1. Dec. 12 – Mastering Media & Press Releases: Learn to create compelling press releases with Carol Hector-Harris, an award-winning journalist. This session focuses on utilizing media releases to boost your business during the holiday season and the new year​​.
  2. Dec. 13 – Navigating Media Interviews with Expertise: Carol Hector-Harris returns to guide professionals in effectively conducting media interviews. This training is crucial for anyone looking to confidently interact with the media​​.
  3. Dec. 15 – OBDC Certification 101: Unlocking Opportunities in Minority Business: Led by Ronda Watson Barber, a prominent advocate for minority businesses, this class offers comprehensive insights into MBE, F/WBE, and DBE certifications. It’s an invaluable opportunity for small or minority-owned businesses to understand and navigate the certification process​​.

These workshops are ideal for business owners looking to boost their visibility, media engagement, and understand certification processes to unlock new opportunities. Don’t miss this chance to propel your business forward this winter! Register online at

Business Tip: Building a Strong Team: The Bedrock of Business Success

In the journey of business growth, the significance of a strong, cohesive team cannot be overstated. A well-built team is more than a group of individuals working together; it’s a collective force driving your business forward. Here’s a deeper dive into creating a team that can elevate your business:

  1. Strategic Hiring: The foundation of a strong team is in its members. Look beyond skills and experience; hire individuals who align with your company’s values and culture. Consider personality traits and work ethics that complement the existing team dynamics.
  2. Continuous Training and Development: Invest in your team’s professional growth. Provide training that enhances their skills and knowledge. Encourage them to attend workshops, webinars, and industry conferences. This not only improves their capabilities but also keeps them motivated and loyal.
  3. Open and Transparent Communication: Establish a culture where ideas, feedback, and concerns can be openly shared. Effective communication fosters mutual trust and understanding, which are critical for teamwork and productivity.
  4. Recognition and Reward: People want to feel valued and appreciated. Regularly acknowledge and celebrate both individual and team achievements. Whether it’s through formal awards, bonuses, or public recognition, showing appreciation can significantly boost morale and engagement.
  5. Team Bonding and Collaboration: Foster a sense of unity and collaboration through team-building activities. These can range from professional development workshops to informal social events. Strong relationships within the team can lead to better collaboration, problem-solving, and a supportive work environment.
  6. Empowerment and Autonomy: Empower your team by delegating authority and decision-making power where appropriate. Autonomy can enhance job satisfaction and instill a sense of ownership, leading to more creativity and innovation.
  7. Conflict Resolution: Address conflicts promptly and constructively. Develop a framework for conflict resolution that emphasizes respect, fairness, and problem-solving.
  8. Diversity and Inclusion: Embrace diversity in your team. A variety of perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences enrich problem-solving and decision-making.

By focusing on these elements, you can build a team that not only excels in its current roles but also adapts and grows with your business. A strong team is a beacon that attracts talent, drives innovation, and sets the stage for lasting success.

Unlock Business Opportunities: OBDC’s Certification Class on Nov. 9

Join the Ohio Business Development Center (OBDC) for an enlightening online class on November 9th, from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm, dedicated to guiding you through the maze of Central Ohio’s certification programs. Whether you’re eyeing Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Women/Female Business Enterprise (W/FBE), or Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certifications, this class is your stepping stone.

Dive into the specifics of each certification type and understand the benefits they unlock for your business. Our experts will walk you through the essential documents needed to bolster your application, ensuring you’re well-prepared to take this significant step towards business growth.

Can’t make it to the live session? No worries! We’ve got you covered with an exclusive e-book that encapsulates all the critical information from the class. Get your copy at

Ready to secure your spot? Tickets are available now at Don’t miss out on this chance to elevate your business profile with the right certification!

New Release Alert: “Certification 101” by Ronda Watson Barber

Unlock the secrets to business certification success with Ronda Watson Barber’s latest ebook, “Certification 101”. This essential guide is your roadmap to navigating the complexities of MBE, F/WBE, and DBE certifications. Whether you’re a seasoned business owner or just starting out, this book offers invaluable insights to leverage certifications for business growth.

Get your copy now and take the first step towards transforming your business through certification! 📈

📖 Purchase here: Certification 101 Ebook

#Certification101 #BusinessGrowth #MBE #FWBE #DBE #EbookRelease #RondaWatsonBarber

Business Tip: Leveraging Tech to Streamline Your Business Operations

In the pursuit of operational excellence, technology stands as a pivotal force. It propels efficiency, accuracy, and innovation, enabling businesses to surpass conventional boundaries. Here’s how you can harness technology to streamline your operations:

  1. Embrace Automation: Begin by identifying tasks that consume disproportionate amounts of time with little added value—such as data entry, scheduling, and reporting. Implement automation tools to handle these processes. Technologies like AI and machine learning are now accessible to businesses of all sizes and can significantly reduce manual labor.

  2. Cloud Computing: The cloud offers more than just data storage. From cloud-based accounting software to project management platforms, it enables seamless collaboration across geographies. This agility is vital in responding to market changes and facilitating remote workforces.

  3. Data Analytics for Informed Decisions: Leverage sophisticated data analysis tools to turn raw data into actionable insights. Understanding customer preferences, optimizing supply chains, and personalizing marketing efforts are just a few of the benefits that data analytics can provide.

  4. Prioritize Cybersecurity: As you integrate more technology into your operations, the risk of cyber threats rises. Implement comprehensive cybersecurity measures, conduct regular security audits, and foster a culture of cybersecurity awareness within your organization.

  5. Streamline Communication: Efficient communication tools are the bedrock of productive teams. Applications such as Microsoft Teams, Slack, or Zoom can aid in breaking down silos and fostering a collaborative environment.

  6. Mobile Solutions: In today’s world, business mobility is crucial. Equip your team with mobile solutions that allow them to operate effectively, no matter where they are.

  7. Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Use CRM systems to track customer interactions, preferences, and feedback. This centralized database can drive sales and improve customer service.

  8. Tech Support and Training: Lastly, ensure that you have a solid tech support system in place. Equally important is the continuous training of your staff on new technologies to keep them proficient and productive.

Technology, when aligned with business goals, can drive significant improvements in operational efficiency. Stay abreast of technological advancements and be willing to adapt for the benefit of your business and customer satisfaction.

Thanks Sarabella Johnson, the first to donate to the OBDC Planroom Fundraiser!

I am thrilled to congratulate Sarabella Johnson, the 2023 OhioMBE Awards Top Family Business Honoree! Your achievements and dedication to your company is truly inspiring. And, not only are you successful in business, but you also support important causes. Thank you for making the first donation to the OBDC Minority Planroom Fundraiser. Your generosity will help create opportunities for minority-owned businesses in our community. #OhioMBEAwards #FamilyBusiness #MinorityBusiness #CommunitySupport