U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg recently met with Social Driver CEO Thomas Sanchez and other minority business leaders for a roundtable discussion about the growth of minority-led companies. The historic event featured leaders from the National Minority Supplier Development Council, the National Urban League and the National Minority Business Enterprise Input Committee.
Although minority-led businesses represent some of the most innovative, successful companies across the United States, they are often systematically excluded and underrepresented in economic development policies and programs. In the meeting with Secretary Buttigieg, Sanchez and other CEOs advocated for investment in diverse businesses in light of the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill signed into law in November 2021.
“Minority-led businesses tend to hire more diverse workforces, drive innovation in their industries, and make outsized impacts in their local communities. We all see that supporting minority-owned businesses is key to reducing economic disparities,” said Social Driver CEO Thomas Sanchez. “We’re thankful Secretary Buttigieg was interested in hearing how minority-owned businesses are innovating, hiring, and transforming our communities.”
In addition to Secretary Buttigieg, the meeting participants included:
- Marc H. Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League
- Jose Turkienicz, Chief Procurement & Real Estate Officer, Chairman of the Board at National Minority Supplier Development Council
- Ying McGuire, CEO and President, National Minority Supplier Development Council
- Thomas Sanchez, CEO, Social Driver
- Kevin Williams, CEO, TekConnx
- Ed Ryland, President, ARVO Realty
- Dokmai Webster, CEO, Pivotal Point, LLC
- Mercedita Roxas-Murray, CEO, Montage Marketing Group
- Sara Varner, President, Rath Builders Supply, Inc.
- Salil Sankaran, President, Ampcus, Inc.
- Stephen Hightower, President, Hightower Petroleum Company
- David Mason, CEO, David Masson & Associates
- Carlton ONeal, President, Lightspeed
Social Driver is dedicated to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion through its community engagement and internal initiatives, as well as award-winning work for clients. The firm is certified as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), and has been named a Top 100 MBE Awardee by the Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council. Social Driver was also named the top-ranking minority-owned digital agency in the U.S. by Clutch, the leading data-driven field guide for B2B buying and hiring decisions.
Sanchez was previously named Innovator of the Year by the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He was appointed by D.C.’s mayor to chair the Innovation & Technology Inclusion Council. He is also a board member and secretary of The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ people under 25.