Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America's (TEMA) Opportunity Exchange (OE) will take place on November 9-10 at the Duke Energy Center in downtown Cincinnati. Now in its 21st year, the event serves as a business development opportunity for minority business enterprises (MBEs) from across the nation to make viable connections – and land potential contracts – with Toyota's direct suppliers.
"We are always searching for new MBEs that can help Toyota and our suppliers improve our diversity objectives, but also add value and innovation to our products and services," said Adrienne Trimble, manager of supplier diversity at TEMA. "Opportunity Exchange has paved the way for many MBEs, and now we're ready to turn that road into a superhighway in the years ahead."
Opportunity Exchange, one of the largest events of its kind, has grown from 100 guests to more than 1,600 participants annually over the last 20 years. In addition to generating new business for MBEs, it continues to help Toyota's direct suppliers diversify its own supply base. Moreover, Toyota's supplier diversity program encourages economic inclusion, growth and opportunity amongst its more than 500 Tier 1 suppliers in North America. Since 1990, OE has resulted in more than $160 million in new contracts for MBEs.
The two-day event begins with seminars and educational opportunities for MBEs led by industry leaders such as Ralph Moore of RGMA Consulting and Len Greenhalgh from the Tuck School of Business as well as members of Toyota's management team. Topics include: learning how to do business with Toyota and its direct suppliers, the future of supplier diversity and how to best position a company when dealing with a potential customer.
Day-two will kick off with a breakfast and keynote address from Wil James, newly appointed president of Toyota's Kentucky plant, and a 20-year Toyota veteran, in addition to remarks by special guest Reverend Jesse Jackson. Participants are welcome to attend free of charge, but must register in advance by Friday, October 29, by visiting www.toyotaopportunityexchange.com.