CCF & UH Continue Collaboration to Support Economic Opportunity for Local Suppliers


September 12, 2023, CLEVELAND: Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals have selected five local diverse businesses to complete their annual six-month mentorship program called the Diversity Equity Inclusion (DEI) Supplier Accelerator. This program aims to expand the knowledge and impact of local businesses headquartered in Northeast Ohio and owned by traditionally under-represented entrepreneurs, including members of the LGBTQ+ community, minorities, veterans and women. Participating companies receive a $10,000 prize at the end of the program that provides business coaching, one-on-one access to health system leaders and networking opportunities with Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals decision makers and suppliers.

The DEI Supplier Accelerator first commenced in 2022 with five participating companies that were chosen from a pool of 19 applicants. In June 2023, the second iteration of five supplier finalists were selected from a pool of 48 applicants – a 153% increase. These five finalists will participate in the mentorship program that will run through November 2023.

The five 2023 finalists are:

BridgePort Group, LLC (Cleveland)

Andre Bryan, Managing Partner

A logistics, supply chain management and warehouse management firm, BridgePort Group, LLC, specializes in vendor-managed inventory, management consulting and technical certification training.


Critical Ops, LLC (Westlake)

Chelsea Treboniak, Owner

Guiding companies through a business modernization process that targets the core of operations, Critical Ops, LLC, looks beyond operational efficiencies, to a modern system that helps clients gain a competitive advantage.


EduCare Medical Staffing (Woodmere)

Naushay Adams, CEO


EduCare Medical Staffing is a staffing agency that provides highly skilled medical professionals to assist customers with their needs. In addition to medical staffing, it provides CPR training and is a certified WebCheck fingerprint scanning location.


Hunter International Recruiting (Avon)

Gabrielle Christman, President & CEO

A STEM-focused workforce solutions partner, Hunter International Recruiting delivers talent for mid-size companies to large, Fortune 500 organizations, and government entities across the country.


R.L. Cole Enterprises (Warrensville Heights)

Rhoni Thompson, President

R.L. Cole Enterprises is a second-generation woman-owned trucking company that supplies and delivers limestone, gravel, mulch, sand and salt in Cuyahoga and the surrounding counties. The business also operates a Clean Fill Site in Cleveland.

Benefits of participating in the DEI Supplier Accelerator program include:

·      Business development coaching and navigation of the large corporate sourcing process.

·      One-on-one access to leaders and subject matter experts from Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals.

·      Networking opportunities with Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals decision makers and suppliers.

·      Multidisciplinary business review process that provides actionable feedback to develop and grow their business.

·      A $10,000 cash prize upon successful completion of the program. 

The five businesses that completed the DEI Supplier Accelerator program in 2022 are:

CarTeCor Management, LLC (Shaker Heights)

Tommy and Sandra Farmer, Co-Founders

Created in 2009, CarTeCor Management, LLC, is a minority-owned construction contractor that works with architects, developers and homeowners to bring their remodeling projects to life.


Halle’s Design & Engineering (Akron)

Halle Jones Capers, Owner and President

Established in 2020, Halle’s Design & Engineering is the first woman- and minority-owned civil engineering firm in Akron.


HR Construction Services (Cleveland)

Heather R. Baines, Owner and President

Since it began in 2015, HR Construction Services has strived to make an impact in Northeast Ohio’s construction industry by creating jobs for women and people of color.


Nightsweats & T-cells (Cleveland)

Gil Kudrin, Owner

Founded in 1990, Nightsweats & T-cells is an LGBTQ+-owned commercial screen-printing shop that uses its merchandise – ranging from backpacks to T-shirts – to deliver powerful messages about HIV/AIDS.


WTD Mechanical (Cleveland)

Fatima Ware, President and CEO

Launched in 2016, WTD Mechanical is a woman- and minority-owned company that specializes in installing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems for commercial and residential clients.