Tuck MBE Alumni Feature: Willie E. Brake – All About Technology

Founded in 2001, All About Technology , an international certified disability owned minority business enterprise is a total solutions provider and value added reseller of computer hardware and software. We serve large companies, government agencies, small businesses and residential customers. Our services cover the technology life cycle from procurement to installation, warranty support to removal and recycling. Our street-level retail storefront on Michigan Avenue in Southwest Detroit provides customers with technology solutions. I started with humble beginnings and built a profitable business servicing loyal customers and pursuing my passion to bridge the digital divide by making sustainable technology accessible and affordable for all.

When did you attend Tuck? 

August 2015 – Growing The Minority Business To Scale

 December 2015 – Digital Excellence Program For Minority Entrepreneurs

What changes did you make in your business after attending Tuck? 

After attending Tuck, my passion was renewed as I reassessed and refined our business plan to reposition it for massive organic growth. I created more jobs and delegated more tasks that I used to complete on a daily basis. I streamlined our service offering, redefined our unique value proposition and executed a strategy that would leverage a wide array of digital technologies for business growth. As a result of being able to launch effective marketing campaigns and create immediate value for our clients, All About Technology continues to be an operational force in the marketplace.

What significant milestones, awards, contracts have you won since leaving Tuck?

Since leaving Tuck, in addition to exceeding our revenue goals, I decided to continue to pay it forward and be of service to others by finalizing the framework of the All About Technology mentoring program. This program helps youth interested in Information Technology gain meaningful work experience by providing job shadows, internships, and summer employment.

I’ve also earned many awards from various organizations for outstanding performance and environmental sustainability. I was recently recognized as one of 32 winners from a pool of over 640 applicants for a $10,000 grant from New Economy Initiative, an organization that rewards ideas for business growth.

In addition, All About Technology was approved as a supplier through the Michigan Gaming Control Board and was awarded a contract to supply touchscreen monitors to MotorCity Casino.

What do you remember most about your experience at Tuck?

My experience at Tuck opened the door for me to establish relationships with a solid group of scholars and successful minority business leaders. It also assisted in strengthening my existing marketing plan for a growth trajectory. I left with additional innovative ideas and the ability to understand the financial impact of every decision.

One memorable experience was developing a different prospective to increase profits by identifying and creating additional business opportunities. As a result, operations have been expanded by offering cellular phone accessories and establishing partnerships with other electronic manufacturers to provide warranty repair. I determined that it could be a profitable venture after I applied the numbers to the financial plan that we developed in class. I realized we could no longer miss this huge opportunity.

Professors Leonard Greenhalgh, Kevin Keller, Phillip Stocken, and Alva Taylor contributed to my memorable experience because of their enthusiasm, excitement and genuine concern for the students. Their collective thought leadership and application of principles forced me to think critically about creating value.

All of the exercises and experiences added immediate value to my leadership toolbox. My best Tuck take-away was when I realized the importance of sharpening my marketing message, strategically targeting customers, and deploying scarce resources more efficiently—all of which helped me realize a 37{79a647cca87b12cf96891231d015f720afa7c77d4a1b5a84763cbac83075a421} increase in revenue.

Networking with other Tuck program participants, faculty and staff has been extremely valuable to me and our relationship makes it feel like we’re one big family. We continued the dialogue and the exchange of ideas and strategies even after the class ended. We continue to maintain an open network and Dr. Fred McKinney is really passionate in keeping us in sync with the Tuck MBE Program electronic newsletter, which provides ample opportunities for support, to learn and stay connected

 

Special thanks to General Motors for providing four scholarships to the 2016 Class I-IV ACE award winners. They will attend Tuck’s important program for MBE development and growth this year.

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