Skip to content

Supplier Diversity: How to Do Business with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

February 21, 2018 Dallas Fed

Organized by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

In an effort to strengthen its relationships with outside organizations and chambers of commerce, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas is hosting “Supplier Diversity: How to Do Business with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.” This event will provide organizations and chambers in North Texas with information and tools to share with their membership. The half-day event welcomes Dallas Fed partners to share procurement-related information, programs and training for minority and women-owned business enterprises (MWBE) suppliers. The Dallas Fed procurement team will introduce the supplier diversity program and department contacts.

Attendees will learn about:

  • The role of the Dallas Fed
  • The supplier diversity program at the Dallas Fed
  • Five organizations in North Texas that provide supplier training and assistance
  • The importance of a capabilities statement
  • Networking opportunities with small-business agencies

The supplier diversity program helps promote the Dallas Fed’s vision and objective of diversity and inclusion in the supplier space. The Dallas Fed strives to ensure fair inclusion and utilization of MWBEs for supplier opportunities. The program also drives operational excellence and facilitates innovative and cost-effective approaches to address business needs. As part of the outreach effort to work with MWBE suppliers, the Dallas Fed is committed to providing technical assistance and access to procurement opportunities, as well as strengthening relationships.


  • February 21, 2018


This event is by invitation only


February 21
8:30 a.m. Check-in and Breakfast
9:00 a.m. Opening Remarks
  Kaitlin McCrum, Supplier Diversity Sourcing Specialist, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
  Role of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
  Stephen Clayton, Director of Community Engagement, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
9:10 a.m. Video Message
  Janet Yellen, Chair of the Board of Governors, Federal Reserve System
9:15 a.m. Financial Management Group Overview
  Stephan Booker, Assistant Vice President, Financial Management Group, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
9:30 a.m. Procurement and the Supplier Diversity Program
  Mari Phonasa, Procurement Manager, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
9:45 a.m. How to Do Business with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
  Kaitlin McCrum
10:05 a.m. U.S. Small Business Administration, Dallas–Fort Worth District Office
  Nancy Alvarez, Supervisory Business Opportunity Specialist
10:15 a.m. North Texas Small Business Development Center
  Mark Langford, Executive Director
10:30 a.m. Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses
Bill J. Priest Institute, Dallas County Community College District
  Natasha Harris, Outreach and Recruitment Director, Dallas County Community College District
Cristin Thomas, Executive District Director, Small Business and Entrepreneur Innovation
10:45 a.m. Minority Business Development Agency
  Raymond Cervantes, Procurement Consultant
10:55 a.m. Cross Timbers Procurement Center
  Gregory James, Program Director and Federal Contracting Specialist
Henry Vinson, Government Contracting Specialist and Construction Specialist
11:15 a.m. Networking Session
11:45 a.m. Closing Remarks
  Kaitlin McCrum

About the Speakers

Nancy Alvarez
Supervisory Business Opportunity Specialist
U.S. Small Business Administration, Dallas–Fort Worth District Office
Alvarez has led the 8(a) Business Development Program for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Dallas–Fort Worth district office since 2011. She is instrumental in providing leadership, management and oversight to optimize the deployment of SBA’s federal contracting programs and services within a 72-county geographical area covering North Texas. 

As the SBA’s women ownership business representative, she is responsible for increasing participation of women-owned small businesses in federal contracting programs and advocates to local federal agencies on behalf of women-owned small businesses. 

She is currently an advisory board member of the Dallas–Fort Worth Federal Agency Small Business Advocacy Council, a small-business professional’s forum.

Alvarez previously served as a board member of the city of Jacksonville’s Mayor’s Hispanic American Advisory Board and the Mayor’s Small & Emerging Business Advisory Council. Additionally, she served as an advisory board member to the Beaver Street Enterprise Center, Jacksonville’s first business incubator.

Alvarez holds a BBA from Jacksonville University.

Stephan Booker
Assistant Vice President, Financial Management Group
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Booker is the assistant vice president in the Financial Management Group. His responsibilities include the management of procurement, accounts payable, administration, and the shipping and receiving operations at the Dallas Fed. He is currently providing leadership to the Procure-to-Pay initiative for the Eleventh District.

Since joining the Dallas Fed in 1987, Booker has served as a bank examiner in Banking Supervision and has been responsible for various accounting, Lawson and procurement processes in Financial Management. Before joining the Bank, he worked at Arthur Young as an auditor.

He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Booker earned a BBA in accounting and an MBA from the University of Texas. 

Raymond Cervantes
Procurement Consultant
Minority Business Development Agency Business Center Dallas
Cervantes is the procurement consultant for the Minority Business Development Agency Business Center Dallas. The center is operated by the Dallas–Fort Worth Minority Supplier Development Council as part of a grant issued by the Department of Commerce. 

Prior to his current position, Cervantes was procurement director for TeleFix Communications Inc. 

Cervantes worked for the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency where he ascended to the position of acting regional director for the Dallas region. During his tenure, Cervantes was responsible for overseeing minority and Native American business development centers in 11 states. These centers provide management and technical assistance (financing and contractual) to minority business entrepreneurs.

Prior to joining MBDA, Cervantes worked as a public safety investigator for the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, where he performed investigations and inspections.

Along with his MBDA duties, Cervantes is active in minority community organizations. He is a past president of the Hispanic Bankers Association of Dallas–Fort Worth. 

Cervantes holds an MBA and has completed a business management program through Tuck School of Business–Dartmouth College.

Stephen Clayton
Director of Community Engagement
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Clayton joined the Communications and Outreach Department at the Dallas Fed in August 2010. He assumed responsibility for the Bank’s Community Engagement Department in October 2015. He is responsible for providing relevant and timely information on the Federal Reserve System, economic concepts, monetary policy and personal finance to audiences across the Eleventh District, including community groups, trade associations and service organizations.

Clayton is an adjunct professor of economics at Austin College in Sherman, Texas. Prior to joining the Dallas Fed, Clayton was a financial advisor at Edward Jones Investments in Carrollton, Texas. He has been published in the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports and written publications for the Dallas Fed.

Clayton holds a BA from Austin College, with a focus on economics, philosophy and math, and pursued graduate studies in economics at the University of North Texas.

Natasha Harris
Outreach and Recruitment Director
Dallas County Community College District
Harris started her career at Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) in 2017 when she joined the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses team. She has been working in the field of strategic planning and organizational and leadership development since 2002.

She previously served as assistant athletic director at Strake Jesuit College Preparatory in Houston. Harris also oversaw leadership development products, services and events for Women’s Foodservice Forum. Prior to joining DCCCD and the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, Harris was a consultant with a focus on strategic and operational planning.

Her volunteer efforts are spent educating and empowering children in the community in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM).

Harris earned a BS in biology and an MS in sport administration from Grambling State University.

Gregory James
Program Director and Federal Contracting Specialist
Cross Timbers Procurement Center
James currently serves as the program director and federal contracting specialist of the Cross Timbers Procurement Center (CTPC) located at the University of Texas at Arlington. CTPC assists business firms in obtaining government contracts and meeting federal, state and local government standards.

James has extensive experience in federal contracting and contract financing. Prior to CTPC, James was the project director of the Dallas–Fort Worth Minority Business Development Agency Business Center and the Minority Business Enterprise Center. James was an investor and former president/chief operations officer of PAZ Energy LLC.

James previously served on the Southern Methodist University alumni board of directors. He has published an eBook, The James Guide to Developing a Federal Marketing Plan.

James graduated from the SMU Cox School of Business.

Mark Langford
Executive Director
North Texas Small Business Development Center
Langford has been executive director of the North Texas Small Business Development Center (SBDC) since 2011. His primary responsibility is the leadership and management of the North Texas SBDC program, providing management consulting to small businesses.

He began his career with the North Texas SBDC over 20 years ago as a business adviser with the Collin Small Business Development Center, a field center of the North Texas SBDC. He served in this capacity until being named director of the Collin SBDC in 1999. Langford led the Collin SBDC in the director position for six years. He was named associate director of the North Texas SBDC in 2005. 

Langford is currently serving on the Association of Small Business Development Center’s board of directors as well as being a member of the America’s Small Business Development Center Accreditation Committee. 

Kaitlin McCrum
Supplier Diversity Sourcing Specialist
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
McCrum is the supplier diversity sourcing specialist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas where she manages the supplier diversity and vendor management programs.

McCrum has more than six years of experience in developing strategic plans—focusing on a company’s core values and strategic goals. She has experience coordinating events, project management, developing procedures, metrics and reporting, and management consulting.

Prior to joining the procurement team, McCrum worked as a project analyst in the Accounts Payable Shared Services Center in the Financial Management Department, where her primary responsibilities included communicating with stakeholders, analyzing and reporting metrics, process improvements and change management. Before joining the Dallas Fed, she was a consulting associate at Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association and performed project work for the union as well as Southwest Airlines.

McCrum holds a BBA from Texas Christian University where she majored in finance and real estate. She is currently pursuing her MBA at the University of Dallas. 

Mari Phonasa
Procurement Manager
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Phonasa is the procurement manager for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. She leads a team of seven procurement analysts responsible for all purchasing and sourcing for the Federal Reserve’s Eleventh District offices in Dallas, El Paso, Houston and San Antonio.

She has over 25 years of experience in supply chain, holding previous positions at Nokia, Alcon Laboratories and CHC Helicopters.

Phonasa has helped organizations establish, train and develop procurement systems, implemented various enterprise resource planning systems and led programs to develop process improvements.

Cristin Thomas
Executive District Director
Small Business and Entrepreneur Innovation
Thomas is executive district director of Small Business and Entrepreneur Innovation. She is also responsible for overseeing the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small BusinessesProgram. She has been with the Dallas County Community College District since 2009 serving in a variety of capacities.

Thomas has spent more than 15 years assisting nonprofits with reorganization and achieving operational effectiveness and has led teams in developing strategic plans.

Since joining Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, Thomas has successfully established the education program in North Texas as a catalyst for economic growth while striving to bring new and innovative program and high-growth opportunities to the attention of local small businesses.

At Bill J. Priest Institute, she is responsible for providing resources to small businesses to help them grow revenue, increase jobs and contribute to the economic growth of North Texas.

Thomas holds a BS and an MBA from Texas Woman’s University and an MFA from Louisiana State University.

Henry Vinson
Government Contracting Specialist and Construction Specialist
Cross Timbers Procurement Center
Vinson teaches and counsels businesses at the Cross Timbers Procurement Center at the University of Texas at Arlington. The Cross Timbers Procurement Center is funded through a joint agreement with prime contractors and the Department of Defense.

For 10 years, Vinson was president of Henry Vinson, Inc., which provided full government contracting services to small, medium and large businesses.

He has several years of U.S. government contracting experience in supplies, services and construction. He possessed an unlimited Contracting Officer’s Warrant with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service. He served as chief of the construction and equipment division that was responsible for all major construction and major equipment acquisition worldwide. He retired from the Department of Defense after more than 31 years. He attended the Masters Institute in Government Contracting.

Vinson also has over 18 years’ retail experience in the management of large retail department stores for military forces.

Vinson attended Texas A&M University, George Washington University (the National Law Center), the University of Wisconsin, Indiana University, Bellevue University in Bellevue, Nebraska, and Cedar Valley College in Lancaster, Texas.

For More Information

Contact Kaitlin McCrum at