Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals Launch New Accelerator Program to Support Economic Equity and Growth for Local Diverse Suppliers

CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals have joined forces to boost the economic health of Northeast Ohio’s diverse business communities.

The health systems recently launched the Diversity Equity Inclusion (DEI) Supplier Accelerator, a business development mentorship program. It is designed to expand the knowledge and impact of local businesses owned by traditionally underrepresented entrepreneurs including members of the LGBTQ+ community, minorities, veterans and women.

To support participants in growing their companies, and being competitive in the market, the six-month training program offers: “We are incredibly proud to welcome our first cohort of diverse business owners in construction, engineering, graphic design and sheet metal manufacturing to the DEI Supplier Accelerator,” said Steve Downey, Chief Supply Chain and Patient Services Officer at Cleveland Clinic. “Investing in the growth and success of minority and women-owned businesses builds on our commitment to the communities we serve. We look forward to working alongside University Hospitals to leverage our combined resources and expertise to help these entrepreneurs strengthen their core business, grow and thrive. As we support them in achieving their goals, the impact will create a positive ripple effect in the community.” 

“University Hospitals is steadfast in its support of minority, women, LGBTQ+ and local business enterprises which includes contracting with firms that share the same dedication while providing the best quality and value-added products and services. We are pleased to partner with Cleveland Clinic in mentoring members of Northeast Ohio’s diverse business communities,” said Chad Fleischer, Vice President, Supply Chain, University Hospitals. In accordance with one of UH’s core values – belonging – we are committed to building an inclusive, encouraging and caring culture where all can thrive as demonstrated through this initiative.”

Companies selected for the inaugural cohort include:

CarTeCor Management, LLC (Shaker Heights)
Co-Founders: Tommy and Sandra Farmer
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. Led by a husband-wife duo and their sons, the business specializes in designing and building kitchens, bathrooms, custom walk-in closets, roofing and siding.
Halle’s Design & Engineering (Akron)
Owner and President: Halle Jones Capers
Established in 2020, Halle’s Design & Engineering is the first woman – and minority-owned civil engineering firm in Akron. The company – which services clients in the public and private sector – focuses on designing local roads, highways, tunnels, water treatment plants and site infrastructure for buildings and public spaces such as parking lots, utilities and other amenities.  
HR Construction Services (Cleveland)
Owner and President: Heather R. Baines
Since it began in 2015, HR Construction Services has strived to make an impact in Northeast Ohio’s construction industry by creating more jobs for women and people of color. This woman– and minority-owned company is a signatory contractor that employs laborers from local building trade unions to install reinforcing steel bars for concrete companies, perform concrete placement and other general contracting services.
Nightsweats & T-cells (Cleveland)
Owner: Gil Kudrin
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. The socially conscious company is staffed entirely by long-term AIDS survivors and HIV-positive workers who design custom products for AIDS service organizations, special events and mainstream businesses.
WTD Mechanical (Cleveland)
President and CEO: Fatima Ware
Launched in 2008, WTD Mechanical is a woman– and minority-owned company which specializes in installing heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems for commercial and residential clients. The company is committed to creating opportunities for women of color to advance in the male-dominated sheet metal industry.
The DEI Supplier Accelerator program runs through November 2022.