Join the Discussion: Invitation to the 101 Eligibility Roundtables at the Midwest Regional USPTO Monday, Nov 14, and Monday, Dec 5


The USPTO is seeking is seeking input from the public on patent subject-matter eligibility through two public roundtables: the first on November 14 in Alexandria, Virginia, and the second on December 5 in Stanford, California. You are cordially invited to attend the webcast of the USPTO Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Roundtables at the Midwest Regional Office in Detroit. 


Roundtable #1 will be broadcast from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. (ET) on Monday, November 14. The first roundtable will focus on ways to improve the USPTO’s subject-matter eligibility guidance for patent examiners and how that guidance is being applied by examiners.

 Roundtable #2 will be broadcast from 11:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. (ET) on Monday, December 5. The second roundtable will focus on the legal contours of eligible subject matter in the U.S. patent system.


How to participate: 

· Register Today: Registration to attend the roundtables is free. To register, visit the Midwest Regional Office Events Webpage.

· Participate at the USPTO Regional Office: Registrants have the option of participating via webcast at the Midwest Regional Office in Detroit.

· Observe from your Desk: For those who register, the roundtables will be available for viewing live via webcast.

· Request to Speak at the December 5 Roundtable: Those wishing to speak at Roundtable #2 must register online by November 14, 2016, and indicate in the registration an interest in speaking at the event.

· Provide Written Comments: All comments for Roundtable #1 will be accepted on an ongoing basis and should be sent to [email protected]. All comments for Roundtable #2 should be sent to [email protected] and will be accepted until January 18, 2017.


For additional information about the 101 Eligibility Roundtable series, please visit the USPTO Events WebpageRegional offices and the USPTO Headquarters will also be hosting events.

2016 ACE Awards: MMSDC celebrates Ambassadors Championing Excellence at annual awards event.

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October 6, 2016, Detroit, MI— Michigan’s top corporations and MBEs gathered this week at the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council’s 33rdAnnual Awards celebration, the ACE (Ambassadors Championing Excellence) Awards and the Hall of Fame at the Detroit Marriot at the Renaissance Center to honor those who champion excellence in business.

ACE Award winners were:

Minority Supplier of the Year – Class I: Jim Roberts Enterprises LLC
Minority Supplier of the Year – Class II:Mac Arthur Corporation

Minority Supplier of the Year – Class III,V2Soft, Inc;

Minority Supplier of the Year – Class IV, Dakkota Integrated Systems, LLC

MBE Luminary Award: Frank Venegas – Ideal Group

Corporate Buyer of the Year: Francis T Lebryk – Johnson Controls

Jethro Joseph Advocate of the Year Award: Kevin Bell – Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles

President’s Award: Leon Richardson — Chemico

Corporation of the Year Automotive OEM: Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (Tie)

Corporation of the Year Automotive OEM: General Motors Company (Tie)

Corporation of the Year Commercial Products: Herman Miller Inc.

Corporation of the Year Consumer Products Petrochemical, and Energy: DTE Energy Company

Corporation of the Year Financial & Insurance Services: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Corporation of the Year Manufacturing/Automotive: Lear Corporation

Corporation of the Year Professional Services & Staffing: Kelly Services, Inc

Volunteer of the Year: Teresa LeFevre – Comerica

Executive of the Year: David Drouillard – General Motors Company

Hall of Fame Inductee: Hank Aguirre – Mexican Industries

Hall of Fame Inductee: Ron Hall, Sr. — Bridgewater Interiors

“We recognized corporations, minority businesses, and individuals who excelled in engaging, mentoring and advocating diverse suppliers this past year,” said Michelle Sourie Robinson, President & CEO of MMSDC. “Our Ambassadors are true champions of excellence in minority supplier development.”

Boasting an attendance of 850, the ACE Awards is one of the most prestigious business events that takes place annually in our state where the top leaders, executives, and visionaries in the region gather to celebrate the people who are making significant contributions to minority supplier development. At this event, minority business enterprises (MBEs) are honored for their excellent service in the past year as well as corporate members for their commitment to supplier diversity and supporting minority-owned businesses through purchasing contracts.

Procurement News: Hau Thai Tang lays out his plans as chairman of the board of MMSDC

As the newly elected chairman of the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC) and first contributing author of Procurement News, I’d like to take this opportunity to outline my vision for the Council and share a bit about Ford’s commitment to supplier diversity.

Before I get started, I’d like to acknowledge the contributions of outgoing chairman, Steve Keifer and give thanks to the extended General Motors team. Their time and contributions to the MMSDC have been commendable. I’d also like to thank Michelle Sourie Robinson, the MMSDC staff, and the Board of Directors for the role they continue to play in certifying and providing minority businesses with development opportunities.

fordAs a founding member of the MMSDC, Ford Motor Company understands that diversity makes us a better and stronger company, by bringing in fresh ideas, perspectives, and experiences. Ford’s journey to ensure a diverse supply chain network began in 1978 and is built on a strong foundation of commitment, perseverance, and integrity. Our aim to source at least 10 percent of Ford’s $55 billion U.S. purchasing budget, with diverse production and non-production suppliers annually, is something we are extremely proud of. As chairman, I plan to work with the MMSDC to serve both corporate members and minority business enterprises while using Ford’s strong history in this area as a benchmark.

MMSDC is a leader in advancing business opportunities for its certified Asian, Black, Hispanic, and Native American business enterprises and connecting them to member corporations. In 2016, I plan to continue aligning our organization with the National Minority Supplier Development Council and work to support the four strategic priorities:

  • Certify minority businesses and promote the value of certification, focusing on targeting MBEs of scale that can best serve our corporate members
  • Develop stakeholders and build capacity and capability, targeting innovationHau-thai-tangand technology to provide MBEs with sustainable competitive advantage
  • Connect certified minority businesses with corporate members, developing innovative methods to connect MBEs and corporate members. Our efforts will include broadening the reach of MMSDC beyond Southeast Michigan.
  • Advocate for minority businesses and promote the value proposition of minority supplier development, continuing to expand MBEs and corporate membership beyond automotive. In addition, we will plan for a Conference in Detroit in 2017.

Each of these priorities will guide the MMSDC over the coming months, but in order to truly succeed, we must focus on our relationships – with each other and the community. Relationships are a key driver of our success, and I look forward to working together to deliver sustained, quantifiable results.  Thank you very much for the honor of leading this fantastic organization – let’s work together to demonstrate the tremendous value that MBEs provide to the community on both a corporate and business-to-business level.


Women: The New Economic Super Power

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Women: The New Economic Super Power

During Women’s History Month, we often highlight the contributions of such pioneers as Rosa Parks and Dolores Huerta, there is no doubt that these ‘sheroes’ blazed trails and opened doors that help contemporary women like Joan Mattox-Gray and Sonia Laguna have a foundation on which they can be a part of the growing economic super power that is emerging in the US.

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EWIE Co & Cadena: The Role of Mentorship In Developing an MBE

Through our blog, the MMSDC and the Detroit MBDA Center plans to feature stories and reflections from people in the minority supplier development community. For one of our first posts, we wanted to highlight the role mentorship plays among MBEs. As Dilip shows us, mentoring a fellow entrepreneur can not only benefit minority communities, but it can also lead to new business success.


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U.S. featured as Hannover Messe Trade Show Partner Country for 2016


MBDA to be featured in US Investment Pavilion, looking for qualified, interested MBEs


The International trade show Hannover Messe 2016 which focuses on industrial equipment is scheduled for April 25-29 in Hannover, Germany and is inviting all MBEs to attend. This year, for the first time, the United States has been named the featured Partner Country for the event, highlighting the U.S. as a leader in the world of innovative technology through the 250 companies in the US Pavilion that will be attending.  Additionally, this year, President Barack Obama will join the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, to open the industrial technology trade fair, appearing at the opening ceremony and touring the fair.

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2016 for the MMSDC & MBDA: Michelle Sourie Robinson

Happy New Year!  This is truly an exciting time at the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC).  Our year is off to a great start and I wanted to personally write to alert you about many improvements already in the works.  There are far too many enhancements to list, but a few are highlighted as follows:

New Strategy: At our Annual Meeting in November, 2015 we released our strategic plan.  Over the past several months you, our constituents provided input via surveys and participated in focus groups, interviews, etc to inform the plan and help us drive business growth for our corporate and MBE constituents.

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MBDA Scholarship Recipients selected


It is with excitement that the Detroit MBDA Business Center and its operator, the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council, announce the recipients of the $1,000 MBDA Scholarships that will be used to cover the registration fee at this year’s NMSDC National Conference and Business Opportunity Exchange in San Diego this October.

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Detroit MBDA Business Center Blog – Welcome!

On behalf of Detroit’s MBDA Business Center, we would like to welcome you to our newest website addition. Here you will be able to find success stories of Center clients, short entries regarding helpful topics for your companies, such as succession planning or various suggestions on raising capital, and descriptions of our latest initiatives that you can be a part of.

The MBDA Center, first and foremost, is an agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, dedicated to promoting the growth and success of the minority-owned business community. It is the mission of the Center to help clients expand their businesses in a variety of industries, provide access to capital, and, overall, to work with companies by providing consulting services and opportunities for contracts and financing.

It is the hope of the Center that you will find the entries in our Blog to be beneficial, informative, and a chance to share your successes with one another. Enjoy!