Eddie Reyes, coordinator of UNT’s Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) program, was recently honored by UNT and the city of Denton for being named the 2010 National Minority Services Champion by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Reyes also was named this year’s Minority Small Business Champion of the Year for both the Dallas-Fort Worth district and Region VI, which includes Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma.
In honoring Reyes’ achievements, Denton Mayor Mike Burroughs read a proclamation from the city declaring May 28, 2010, Eddie Reyes, 2010 National Minority Services Champion Day.
Along with receiving the awards, Reyes attended the U.S. Small Business Administration's National Small Business Week celebration in Washington, D.C where he was invited to the White House, and along with other national award recipients met President Barack Obama. The event marked the 57th anniversary of the agency and the 47th annual proclamation of National Small Business Week. More than 100 award winners from across the country met with top agency officials, congressional representatives and national business leaders. Reyes, a Vietnam veteran, led attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance at the breakfast reception.
In May, Reyes was honored at the Small Business Awards Luncheon in Arlington.
Catherine Keeler and Pam Livingston, director and counselor at the Small Business Development Center at North Central Texas College, respectively, nominated Reyes for the award.
"He is so spontaneous to provide assistance," Keeler says. "Some people help because it's their job, but he does it from the heart."
Reyes joined UNT in 2004 as the associate coordinator of the HUB program. The HUB program, which operates under the Procurement and Support Services division of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, requires all state agencies to demonstrate a good faith effort in doing business with minority- and woman-owned businesses in contracts for construction, services and commodities purchases. This ensures that HUBs receive a fair share of state business.
Reyes, HUB staff members and employees in the Purchasing and Payment Services department join in a collaborative effort to reach out to minority- and woman-owned businesses. This includes offering opportunities to bid on goods or services and helping business owners to navigate the procurement process and to obtain certification as a HUB vendor. They also educate UNT department heads and staff with purchasing power to consider minority- and woman-owned businesses.
This fiscal year, UNT has spent more than $16 million with HUB-certified businesses, which represents nearly a third of the overall expenditures for goods and services. The state of Texas currently has more than 13,000 certified HUB vendors.
Reyes is a former Dallas police officer and gained much of his business experience while running a successful soap company in the 1990s, which he says helps him relate to local minority- and woman-business owners.
In 2005, Reyes began hosting a business radio program, Latino Business Hour with Eddie Reyes, to reach a wider audience. CNN Radio picked up the show in 2007. He now hosts an online radio show called Diversity in Action with Eddie Reyes, reaching 70,000 listeners in 42 countries.
National Small Business Week 2010 was observed May 23 through May 29. Since 1963, the president has issued a proclamation for Small Business Week to recognize outstanding small business owners for their personal successes, the contributions of small businesses to the economic well-being of America and the special impact made by outstanding entrepreneurs and small business owners.
The Small Business Administration was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise, and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.
Elizabeth Smith with UNT News Service can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.