President, Minority Business Economic Council, Inc. (MBEC), Former Maryland State Delegate
Public Engagement/Supplier Diversity
A: The morning routine now is to make sure you have one in this new “stay the home” economy, i.e. keep acting like you are about to go to the office even though you will be only going downstairs to work the entire day from your kitchen. I drink an 8 oz. cup of warm water with lemon followed by 48 oz. of room temperature bottled water, 30 minutes or so after that I will consume a hot or cold coffee beverage. I review my planner and check the inbox of both my personal and business email.
A: My role and the objective of the Minority Business Economic Council (MBEC) is to address the thicket of obstacles between qualified minority businesses and commercial success in the marketplace. We focus on breaking down decades of business-as-usual practices that have led to the exclusion of minority firms. We support government agencies and corporations with public engagement and evidence-based best practices for diverse business development. Additionally, we provide various advocacy and support services to minority firms such as facilitating both traditional and non-traditional lender relationships, we provide innovative and creative approaches to accessing capital, tax compliance advisory, and business development.
A:Speak Like Churchill Stand Like Lincoln. My take away from this the book was public address is more than what comes out of your mouth, it’s your composure, how you stand at the podium, etc.
A: Over the past decade, the country has entered a new Gilded Age of colossal income inequality. My prediction will be that the government will finally begin to curb their behavior of delivering the inequality that has also given the private sector permission to deliver the same. However, this climatic shift will be more of a result of the economy than the social justice movements. My belief is that due to the federal government borrowing and spending in order to address the economic effects of the pandemic, they will finally begin to address the enormous wealth disparities that the pandemic and the racial unrest has underscored. Some economists predict, if current economic trends persist, the median wealth of Black Americans will fall to $0 by 2053. State and local governments will also have more incentive and increased need for more individuals to participate and contribute to the economy due to their large financial shortfalls. As it relates to historically underutilized businesses, there will be an imperative for state and local governments to ensure fairness in public contracting programs. They will come to the understanding that decades of unfair denials of opportunities have not only created a thicket of obstacles for most minority-owned firms to compete for contracts but have also had a huge drain on the local economy.This underachievement deprives the local economy of the creativity, innovation, and technical expertise that could be offered if minority businesses were given a fair opportunity to compete for the distribution of government contract dollars. Because of this pandemic and racial uprising, all government sectors will have a better understanding of the need to close the wealth gap and the potential for billions or trillions of dollars that could be contributed to the economy over the next decade. Because understanding the scope of a problem is key to solving it.
A: We are all a product of our environments and my first sales job in the early 90’s I became very fascinated with the principals taught by organizations such as Dale Carnegie and Franklin Covey courses. The principals and lessons taught to me then are still relevant to how I organize my daily schedule now. I try to stay focused on what matters most and still use a written paper planner to organize my priorities.
A: Love is the answer. You must be involved in a business you love. You should be in love with the product or service you are offering and selling, your customers will then begin to relate to what you’re doing and become interested because they noticed your passion. My first business, Deskmate Office Product I bootstrapped from my mother’s basement and grew into a multimillion-dollar enterprise. I just loved dealing with the vast product offerings of gadgets that create office
About Herman Taylor:
Herman Taylor is a recognized business leader with over 20 years of executive experience. He is one of Maryland’s leading authorities on socio-economic policies that promote the use of small, minority-owned, and woman-owned businesses in public sector contracting. He currently serves as the Managing Director of the Minority Business Economic Council, Inc., the state of Maryland’s premier membership organization focused exclusively on advancing opportunities for historically underutilized firms. He is the former President/CEO of Deskmate Office Products, a Washington, DC based office supplier he founded in 1989. In 2001, his company was listed as one of the largest minority-owned office products distributors in the Washington metropolitan area.
In 1995, he was one of the 50 Leaders of Tomorrow in Ebony magazine’s Golden Anniversary issue. He served as a member of the Adventist Healthcare Board of Directors. He has served in advisory roles of several financial institutions such as Capital Bank, N.A. and FCNB Bank. In addition, he served on the Washington, DC Advisory Board of Branch Banking and Trust Company (BB&T). In 2005, he served as a member of Maryland’s Task Force on Lending Equity in order to review financial institutions that provide state depository services. In 2016, he was appointed by Howard University to serve on the Advisory Board of the DC Small Business Development Center (DCSBDC). Herman has also served on the boards of several community-based organizations; the Rainbow/Push
Coalition’s Wall Street Project, the National Coalition of Minority Business, the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, the Olney Theatre, Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington, The ARC of Montgomery County; Special Olympics of Maryland; the Maryland Black Caucus Foundation, Inc.; Montgomery County (MD) Delta Alumnae Foundation. Additionally, he led the Washington Adventist Hospital Foundation as Chairman of the Board and The African American Festival of Academic Excellence as President.
He is a former state representative that served in the Maryland House of Delegates from 2003 -2011 in Maryland’s 14th Legislative District. He served on the House Economic Matters Committee and was Chairman of the Joint Committee on Unemployment Insurance and Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Unemployment Insurance Oversight. He also served on the Banking and Economic Development Subcommittee and the Business Regulation and Public Utilities Subcommittee. In 2003, he served as the Historian of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland. From 2006–2008, he was the Second Vice-Chair of that caucus and was chaired the Economic Development Committee and Co-chaired the Legislative Review Committee. He was also a member of the Maryland Veterans Caucus and the Maryland Democratic Business Caucus. In 2015, he was appointed by the Montgomery County Council to Chair a Task Force that would recommend procurement reforms in order to provide more inclusion opportunities.
Herman has received several prominent awards recognizing his leadership during his distinguished career. In 2001, he was a recipient of The Washington Metropolitan Top Forty under 40 Award; 2003 The Maryland State Department of Education for Excellence in Education Award; 2004 Legislator of the Year by the Center for Policy Alternatives; 2006 Clean Energy Partnership Award; 2008 The Bethune-DuBois Institute Award; 2008 Legislator of the Year by the Washington DC Building and Construction Trades Council; 2008 Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Public Service Award; 2009 Community Builder Award from The Arc of Montgomery County; 2010 the Defender of Democracy Award from the Congressional Leadership Luncheon; 2012 The Business Award NAACP (Maryland) 72nd Annual Convention; 2016 Black History Month Award by the Maryland Washington Minority Companies Association; 2017 National Council of Negro Women (Potomac Valley Section) Public Service.