Former Obama Campaign Aide Wade to Head Minority Business Outreach
Date: Monday, July 06, 2009, 4:12 pm
By: BlackAmericaWeb.com staff
Rick Wade, Deputy Chief of Staff for the U.S. Department of Commerce, will help oversee the department’s minority business efforts and community outreach for U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke.
Locke will host a conference call with African American journalists Thursday to discuss efforts by the Obama Administration to support minority businesses across the country.
At the Department of Commerce, Secretary Locke is charged with helping implement President Obama’s ambitious agenda to turn around the economy and put people back to work. His department’s Minority Business Development Agency was created specifically to foster the establishment and growth of minority-owned businesses in America.
Wade's involvement with the U.S. Commerce Department’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) comes as the agency is celebrating its 40th anniversary.
According to its Web site, the MBDA was originally established as theOffice of Minority Business Enterprise by President Richard M. Nixon on March 5, 1969.By establishing a federal agency dedicated exclusively to minority business enterprise, President Nixon recognized the impact of minority businesses on the nation’s economy and on the general welfare of the country.
This year, the Web site says, as the economy continues to present challenges to minority businesses, access to capital is a primary focus. MBDA plans several meetings with financial services companies and minority business community stakeholders to find ways to best serve the needs of minority businesses during this critical time.
During the Senate confimration process, Locke had the support of The Minority Business RoundTable, the only national non-profit organization for CEOs of the nation's leading African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic-American, Native-American and other minority-owned businesses.
Before Wade joined the Obama administration, he was in South Carolina Gov. Jim Hodges' cabinet before joining the Obama campaign and has been serving on the president's 10-person Task Force on the Auto Industry for the past two weeks.
Wade received a B.S. degree from the University of South Carolina and Master of Public Administration from Harvard University, where he was also a KennedyFellow, and has studied theology in Atlanta and in Washington.
In remarks in May at Zions Bank 8th Annual International Trade and Business Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, Wade said: “Secretary Locke expressed his vision of a vibrant Department of Commerce that is an engine for job growth and economic revival. At the Department, we have some potentially powerful tools to help U.S. companies looking to expand their business overseas and compete globally.”