University of Illinois header

For Immediate Release
Contact: Dale Morrison at: 312-996-2971

June 16, 2015

Diverse Business Opportunity Fair
State Public Universities Host Fair at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
to Attract Diverse Firms

CHICAGO – Representatives from Illinois public universities and business owners from across the state will gather at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for a higher education diverse business opportunity fair on Tuesday, July 21, 2015, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. The fair will be held at the iHotel and Conference Center, 1900 South First Street, Champaign, Illinois.

The fair is an opportunity for minority, women, disabled, and military veteran business owners to meet face-to-face with university buyers from across the state to learn about procurement opportunities and the benefits of becoming a certified diverse vendor with the state of Illinois. The fair also includes workshops and panel discussions focused on the procurement process and other resources to assist business owners.

The outreach event is part of an ongoing initiative to stimulate interaction between public universities in the state and diverse businesses, according to Sharla Roberts, director of procurement diversity for the University of Illinois with campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago, and Springfield. The goal is to create partnerships and ultimately produce more contracting opportunities.

“State of Illinois public universities want to create a more open and transparent playing field for small and diverse businesses to benefit from procurement opportunities,” she said.

Paul McCann, chairperson of the Illinois Public Higher Education Cooperative (IPHEC) Board of Trustees, emphasized the important role that state public universities play in business development. “Small, local, and diverse businesses are key to job creation and economic stability in our state. Business owners should be aware of the variety and magnitude of purchasing made by state universities and learn about the process.”

The fair is sponsored by the Illinois Public Higher Education Cooperative (IPHEC) Purchasing Advisory Council (PAC) Diversity Working Group. It is free and open to any vendor seeking business with state public universities.

Event information and registration is online at: