By DNC In-house WBT Reporter
There are 20 days until President Obama and Vice President Biden accept the nomination.
Convention fun fact of the day: Julian Castro, the Mayor of San Antonio will be the first Latino keynote speaker at a Democratic National Convention
Women-owned businesses, many from Charlotte, are playing a key role behind the scenes in making the convention happen.
Women-Owned Businesses Fuel the Convention
“With 35,000 people making their way to Charlotte for the 2012 Democratic National Convention, there are many opportunities for local businesses to contribute to the success of this historic event. To make sure that underrepresented entrepreneurs are included in these opportunities, the convention committee established an unprecedented policy to devote at least one-third of its spending to contracting diverse businesses. As part of that effort, the convention committee has contracted a number of local women-owned businesses for its projects. One woman-owned firm providing services to the convention is Rodgers Builders, Inc., headquartered in Charlotte and recognized as one of the top contractors in the nation. Rodgers oversees the temporary modification of Time Warner Cable Arena — from building media suites to rearranging seats– for the convention. Charlotte Business Journal named President and CEO Patricia Rodgers 2005 Business Person of the Year and 2009 Charlotte Woman of the Year. Creating the official convention credentials is woman-owned Zander Guinn Millan, Inc. (ZGM), full-service branding communications firm founded in 2006 in Charlotte. ZGM oversees the design and artwork for the convention credentials which will instantly become a piece of historic memorabilia. Get a peek inside the offices of ZGM with co-founder Melanie Guinn-Buchanan: Another woman-owned firm working with the convention is Charlotte-based It’s My Affair, which provides full-service conference, meeting, and event management services. The firm works closely with the convention committee to manage more than 15,000 hotel rooms for convention week guests. “When the convention is over, we all will be able to look back and say that the event was a success. I am proud that my business will have an important role to play in it,” says founder Karen Lawrence in a blog post for the Charlotte Host Committee. Charlotte Destination Group, recipient of the Visit Charlotte! Service Partner-of-the-Year Award, also works with the convention and is a full-service destination management company. The woman-owned company assists with designing and executing the elaborate shuttle bus system during the week of the convention. More than 250 buses will transport thousands of guests between 150 hotels and the convention venues. Charlotte Destination Group President Kymberly Brantigan is also the President of the public relations firm PR Plus.
The convention committee also works with DC-based Hargrove, Inc., a certified woman-owned business and one of the top general services contractors in the country, to outreach to minority businesses for exposition and event services. Populous, a team led by architect Lisa Opper who has overseen design and construction for the 2008 Democratic National Convention, the 2011 Super Bowl, and the 2010 Winter Olympics is designing this year’s convention venue.”
Delegates prepare for Charlotte…
Meet Your Delegates: Union Organizer in New York Heads to Charlotte
“When Cheska Tolentino comes to Charlotte to represent the New York delegation for the 2012 Democratic National Convention, it will mark yet another milestone in an increasingly accomplished career for the 25-year-old. Her path from childhood immigrant to union organizer and community leader has shown her passion for working with her community. And, she adds, “I feel like I’m only at the beginning.” Cheska, a political action organizer for the Transport Workers Union in New York, says she’s “really concerned about the broadening economic inequities in the country.” She serves on Brooklyn’s Community Board 3—a mini city council of sorts for her neighborhood— and uses her leadership to help address issues like zoning, housing and transportation in Brooklyn. After emigrating from the Philippines as a child and becoming a citizen at 17, Cheska attended Oberlin College on a scholarship, and almost immediately moved into organizing on behalf of immigrants. Her work with economically disadvantaged communities eventually led to her full-time job with TWU, and it remains the foundation of her career and her activism going forward. In 2012, Cheska was sponsored by Congresswoman Yvette Clarke to participate in the Congressional Black Caucus Institute Political Boot Camp Program, which she saw as a major opportunity to further advance her skills as a leader and public servant. She described the program as “eye-opening” and was especially impressed by the diversity of opinions, backgrounds, and outlooks of the attendees. Attending her first convention in Charlotte, Cheska says she’s “interested in everything,” but especially excited for two of her favorite people in the political arena, First Lady Michelle Obama and keynote speaker and San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro. For this immigrant turned community leader, they represent the best of what’s possible in America.”