October 15, 2007 – Erlanger, KY - Bob Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television and owner of the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats will be the keynote luncheon speaker at Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America's (TEMA) Opportunity Exchange on Tuesday, November 13 from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Duke Energy Convention Center in downtown Cincinnati. This annual minority business conference and trade fair, one of the largest in the country, has generated $100 million in new contracts since 1990.
Now in its 18th year as a top business forum, TEMA's Opportunity Exchange is designed to provide minority business enterprises (MBEs) across the nation with the chance to network and develop relationships with more than 300 of Toyota's Tier I suppliers.
Toyota's Tier I suppliers, those who supply parts directly to Toyota, attend the event as exhibitors for the purpose of doing more business with minority-owned companies. Toyota expects more than 800 MBEs to attend this year's event.
"Toyota is committed to doing business with minority businesses and we believe it helps our bottom line," said Adrienne Trimble, manager of supplier diversity for TEMA. "This year's Opportunity Exchange will provide all participants an outstanding opportunity to network with more than 300 of Toyota's direct suppliers and the chance to hear Bob Johnson,a true American entrepreneur."
Robert L. Johnson is the founder and chairman of The RLJ Companies, an innovative business network that owns or holds interests in a diverse portfolio of companies in the banking/financial services, real estate, hospitality, professional sports, film production and gaming industries. In July 2007, Johnson was chosen by USA Today as one of the 25 most influential business leaders of the past 25 years.
Prior to forming The RLJ Companies, Mr. Johnson was founder and chairman of Black Entertainment Television (BET), the nation's first and leading television network providing quality entertainment, music, news, sports and public affairs programming for the African American audience.
At the luncheon, Toyota will provide an update on its ten percent minority business spending goal for its U.S. operations, its commitment to working with MBEs for its new Blue Springs, Mississippi plant and outline plans to strengthen ties with local MBEs in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region.
Schedule of Events:
7:00 a.m. Registration/Continental Breakfast 8:00 a.m. MBE and Tier I Seminars 11:00 a.m. Luncheon & keynote speech, Mr. Bob Johnson 12:30 p.m. Trade Show Opens 4:00 p.m. Trade Show Adjourns
Since the first Opportunity Exchange in 1990, the event has grown from 100 participants and $350,000 in resulting MBE contracts to more than 1,700 participants and more than $100 million in new contracts through last year. In 2005, Toyota was inducted into the Billion Dollar Roundtable (BDR) in recognition of over $1 billion in annual spending with ethnic and diverse suppliers.
For more information about Toyota's Supplier Diversity Program or to register for Opportunity Exchange 2007, visit www.toyotasupplier.com.
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