Minority Business Initiative

Advisory Council

The Minority Business Initiative Advisory Board is comprised of community leaders, small business owners, and business development professionals, with a range of experience in any of the following areas:
  • skill, knowledge and experience in business and business development, procurement, and state and federal contracting;
  • skill, knowledge and experience in developing minority-owned businesses;
  • membership or office position in a community organization serving minority populations that has economic development, including, but not limited to, business and entrepreneurial development, as part of its mission;
  • business development education and training expertise;
  • representing a business or organization that primarily engages in business development; or
  • business ownership.


The mission of the Minority Business Initiative (“MBI”) is to promote access and remove barriers to entrepreneurship for Connecticut minorities so that business ownership across Connecticut reflects the state’s demographic makeup.


MBI’s vision is that all Connecticut minorities should have fair and equal opportunity, access and support to pursue entrepreneurship.  Many social and environmental factors impact the likelihood an individual will succeed as an entrepreneur. These factors include access to quality education, access to information, adequate food, affordable healthcare, shelter and economic stability, and the degree to which individuals have access to these factors collectively reflects their economic resiliency.  As a body within Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development (“DECD”), MBI will strive to address economic resiliency gaps consistent with DECD’s mission and goals, and will seek partners and allies to collaborate with MBI to impact economic resiliency components that fall outside DECD’s charge.  With this holistic and collaborative view, MBI seeks to close the business ownership, prosperity and economic resiliency gaps for all Connecticut residents.

Current members:

Avery Gaddis
Director of Urban Affairs, Connecticut Senate Republican Caucus

Howard Hill
Owner, Howard K. Hill Funeral Services LLC

Roberta Hoskie
President, Outreach Realty Servicing LLC

Doug McCrory
State Senator, Connecticut Senate Democratic Caucus

George Mathanool
Managing Partner, Connecticut Overseas Ventures and Enterprises, Inc. (COVE)

Leticia Colon de Mejias
CEO, Energy Efficiencies Solutions

Pedro Soto
Owner, President and CEO, Hygrade Precision Technologies

Daniel O'Keefe
Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Economic & Community Development