October Spotlight – Sharon Pinder

Spotlight

October Spotlight: Sharon Pinder

SPinder

Sharon Pinder, President, and CEO at Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council (CRMSDC)

Sharon R. Pinder is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council (CRMSDC). - a non-profit corporation whose mission is to link corporations and government agencies with competitively viable Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs). A renowned expert in entrepreneurial diversity and inclusion, Pinder has transformed the landscape for minority and women-owned businesses, leveling the playing field and creating increased opportunities for these businesses to succeed.

Pinder may be best known as Maryland's first appointed cabinet Secretary of the Governor's Office of Minority Affairs and for her work as the architect of Maryland's minority and small business reform movement. During her first three years in this position, the number of contracts awarded to Maryland's women and minority businesses increased from 15% to 22% and payments to them increased by $1 billion. She was also responsible for the creation of the Small Business Reserve Program - the country's first state-level set aside for small businesses. Her work has served as a model for other states. Pinder also created the Top 100 MBE Awards© program. In its 12th year, it is the region's premier recognition ceremony for minority businesses.

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Prior to CRMSC, Pinder served as Maryland's first Cabinet Secretary of the Governor's Office of Minority Affairs and as the architect of Maryland's minority and small business reform. During her tenure, payments to minority and women-owned businesses increased by $1 billion. She also created the Small Business Reserve Program - the country's first state-level set aside for small businesses. In 2014, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore named a scholarship in her honor.

There is a Chinese saying.."If you want to find out about the road ahead, then ask about it from those coming back." - Through all of my professional and personal experiences, I am on the road coming back. Mentoring is something I do as a natural part of my being. Throughout my career, I have successfully mentored others. I believe it is a two-way collaborative relationship. I receive as much (and sometimes more) than I give. Mentoring is sharing and it is learning as well.

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