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BGE’s 2018 Focus Forward Class Graduates Thirteen (13) Diverse Firms

BGE’s 2018 Focus Forward Class Graduates Thirteen (13) Diverse Firms
BGE Focus Forward Graduation Class of 2018

Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE), An Exelon Company; its CEO, Calvin G. Butler, Jr.; President and COO, Stephen J. Woerner; and many senior leadership members welcomed and saluted the graduating Focus Forward class of 2018 on September 26, 2018. The ceremony was held at BGE’s headquarters in Baltimore City, in their lovely remodeled Smart Energy meeting room.


Speakers included: Calvin G. Butler, Jr.; Jeffrey Hargrave, CEO, Mahogany, Inc.; Frank Kelly, Diverse Supplier Business Manager – BGE; and Wayne R. Frazier, Sr., President, Md. Washington Minority Companies Association (MWMCA). In attendance was Kylie Patterson, Senior Advisor of Local Economic Inclusion, Johns Hopkins University and Medicine; Natalia Luis, CEO, M. Luis Construction Co., Inc.; and Kelly Tomblin, CEO, INTREN.


Focus Forward, formally Focus-25, was launched by BGE in 2013 as a strategic small business development program that helps educate small businesses, particularly diversity certified businesses, about how to navigate large business processes and better compete for contract opportunities.


The program provides a unique educational opportunity to diverse certified suppliers to learn firsthand from key BGE decision makers about what they need to know and what they need to do better to compete for sourcing opportunities and ultimately grow their business.


In addition to the 13 firms graduating from 2018’s Focus Forward class, twenty-nine other diverse supplier firms have graduated from the program in previous years.


Here’s feedback from some of 2018’s graduate firms regarding their experience with Focus Forward:


“The Focus Forward program provides diversity excellence to Maryland and the communities where we all live and work. Calvin Butler, CEO of BGE, and his senior leadership invite participants to BGE to learn the finer nuances of supply chain, partnering with minority companies, and working with a major utility company. Since becoming a graduate of Focus Forward, just one short month ago our company has enjoyed several new opportunities to provide jobs and important improvements to critical infrastructure!”

Harley Flack

President, Chief Executive Officer

Stella May Contracting Inc.


“BGE’s Focus Forward Program was greatly beneficial for my company. Each session provided useful information and excellent networking opportunities. A special thanks to BGE’s sourcing leaders for attending the sessions, their knowledge and expertise really made the experience invaluable.”

Amy Burns


Delta Utility Services, Inc.


“As a woman-owned business, the Focus Forward Academy gave me the ability to learn firsthand from BGE Leadership about the intricate details and requirements of the contracting process while building relationships with those individuals along the way.  Additionally, the networking sessions provided a gateway to interact with other qualified diverse contractors.  I would like to offer a special thank you to Mr. Frank Kelly for making this possible and to Mr. Stephen Woerner and Mr. Calvin Butler, Jr. for taking time out of their busy schedules to attend some of these training sessions.”

Kelli S. Scott


New Direction Utilities, Inc.


“Battaglia Associates, Inc. (BAI) was extremely proud to participate in BGE's Focus Forward Program.  The entire experience was not only informative, but it enabled us to network with other reputable local contractors, as well as with BGE employees from the top executives to the division mangers of all departments.  BAI believes that Focus Forward is a testimony to the level of commitment that BGE has in the success of our company, and other diverse partners like us.”

Christine B. Meyer


Battaglia Associates, Inc.


“The BGE Focus Forward program from which Dream Management just graduated is a blueprint for other companies on how to engage the minority community but also it provides a platform for the subcontractors to learn how to conduct business with a large corporation as Exelon. Congratulations to BGE and Calvin Butler for putting together such a great program!”

Luis Gutierrez, MBA




“Being a part of BGE’s Focus Forward provided my company an opportunity to meet category managers and learn what they look for in response to a bid. Even more significantly, I came to understand the inclusive culture of BGE and how they stress safety at all levels. Thanks for the opportunity.”

Kevin Day

President/CEO and Founder




“I truly appreciate the opportunity to have completed the Focus Forward program sponsored by BGE. Their meaningful program offers a series of seminars designed to help new firms become acclimated to BGE. Engineering firms learn how to successfully navigate BGE’s proposal process, and they gain access to end users and decision makers within BGE. This is valuable knowledge and critical access that we would otherwise not have. As Mr. Calvin Butler, Jr. said, BGE is very intentional in their efforts which was evident to me as a participant. Other large corporations and institutions should consider utilizing the BGE model. In short, the BGE Focus Forward program, with its intentionality, should be the gold standard for diversity and inclusion.”

Claire M. Williams, MT(ASCP), MSA


Environmental Design International, Inc.


“The Focus Forward Diversity Academy was an exceptional program that offered multiple benefits,” said Keith Garvey, INTREN’s Regional Vice President of Business Development. “It gave us the opportunity to meet BGE buyers and better understand their processes and selection criteria. The academy also gave us a chance to interact and build stronger relationships with both diverse regional companies and senior executives from BGE.”

Keith Garvey

Regional Vice President of Business Development, East Coast



“The leadership at BGE, created this inclusive and empowering program that has intentionally enabled certified diverse suppliers to grow and be able to contract with BGE. But not just with BGE, because they are not selfish, but with any major corporate entity or prime that seeks well prepared diverse suppliers. All major corporations should consider emulating BGE’s inclusiveness and provide a training program that can teach diverse suppliers how to do business with their prospective companies,” said Wayne R. Frazier, Sr., President of MWMCA. “The world will be better for it.”


To learn more about Focus Forward and how to get connected, visit BGE’s Supplier Diversity webpage.


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