The Umbrella Initiative
Managing Partner at The Umbrella Initiative
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Diversity and Inclusion through the elimination of barriers affecting minority, women and veteran-owned businesses (DBE) in public procurement, a $3 Trillion marketplace, has become a LEGACY for Raul Espinosa. His work is embodied in the work of the Fairness in Procurement (FPA) group he founded in 2005 and in the UMBRELLA INITIATIVE, conceived by the FPA Think Tank. Its mission is “to double the number of disadvantaged businesses contracting with the federal, state and local government by 2020.”
P.L. 95-507 requires that small businesses owned by individuals from groups under-represented and under-served in public procurement receive 'maximum practicable utilization' (MPU.) With support from a Think Tank of University and Law professors he manages, Raul helped develop a technology driven UPS portal with a matrix, that identifies barriers and measures participation and results while building DBE capacity. Management guru, Peter Druker, had put Raul's legacy into perspective when he said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”
Raul has been acknowledged, by his peers, as "One of the Nation Top Diversity Champions." His
success - at bringing 'inclusion and diversity' to public procurement - has set up in motion a process which will free up $64 Billion (in annual contracts) - formally excluded through regulations - for the small business statutory 23 % reservation. His success also inspired the 'Fast Pay Executive Order' which now allows small businesses to get pay within 15 days.
Raul is currently focused on helping the state of Florida become a model for diversity & inclusion and in transforming the successful FPA Think Tank he directs into a Policy Center for Minority, Women and Veteran-owned businesses at a Law School.
Raul is available for lectures, presentations and interviews. He can be reached at email@example.com
The Umbrella Initiative is a technology-driven public-private procurement initiative, developed by an academic Think Tank, for the State of Florida to affect policies, regulations and cooperation between the public and private sector. Its vision is to bring about 'diversity and inclusion' and to involve University and Law professors and their students in policy changes and commercial sustainable projects with contracting potential to specifically create jobs in under-served communities. The mission of the Umbrella Initiative is "to double the number of disadvantaged businesses (SDB) who contract with federal, state and local government by the year 2020."
The FPA Think Tank is comprised of university and Law School professors and students interested in public procurement. It started with the involvement of the University of North Florida (UNF). The Think Tank now includes professors and students from other campuses including Florida Atlantic University (FAU), Florida International University (FIU) and Florida Coastal School of Law (FCSL). The FPA Think Tank focuses on the objectives of P.L. 95-507 to offer 'maximum practicable utilization' (MPU) to disadvantaged business enterprises (SDB) in public procurement, a $600 Billion federal marketplace, but a $3 Trillion dollar marketplace when states and local governments are included. The Think Tank's flagship is The Umbrella Initiative whose mission is "to double the number of disadvantaged businesses (SDB) contracting with the government by the year 2020."
FPA is a non-profit organization, which represents the procurement interests of the disadvantaged business enterprises (DBE) for whom P.L. 95-507 was enacted, a national constituency 10 million small businesses. The FPA mission is to bring fairness to public procurement so disadvantaged businesses (DBE) can both compete and prosper in the $3 Trillion marketplace comprised of federal, state and local governments. The FPA activities are aimed at protecting and building capacity for DBE so that goals and participation can be tracked through technology and metrics. FPA relies on consultants, academicians, college and law students and volunteers in various affinity areas.
FPA has opportunities for professors, college students, lawyers, IT engineers and procurement experts to work on research, legal and advocacy issues and traininga, Contact FPA if you wish to participate in one of these opportunities.
FITNET is a purchasing and consulting group which specializes in niche marketing consulting. FITNET also conducts need assessments and offers advocacy representation to trade groups and private industry.
A Portal which would host ALL the essential procurement services (i.e., registration, certification, training, bid searching, an auction engine, contract funding, contract tracking plus a database for reporting procurement abuse. This Portal will feature procurement opportunities for the state and for local agencies not to mention federal opportunities as well. The portal will allow participating entities to aggregate current data sources into a single system without the requirement to replace their own stand-alone system.
A project to transform - with the help of university students and non-profits - recycled containers into distance learning centers and FEMA Disaster Units (letrines and temporary housing) for developing countries and for undeserved communities. The project trains and employ youngsters on trade jobs (e.g., carpentry, welding, electricians) and then markets the resulting units. Currently one pilot project in underway in the Dominican Republic.
The FPA Leaders Coalitions is a project whose goal is to unite minorities (MBE) and women-owned businesses (WBE) leaders - so they can speak with one voice on issues affecting their organizations members. FPA helps create DBE coalitions for regions (i.e., Florida First Coast) and for states. The FPA Coalitions rely on the UCC (unite, convince and conquer) strategy to pursue pre-defined results. Chambers of Commerce, non-profits and and business groups involved benefit directly from various 'benefit packages' that help the groups increase their memberships.
FMCRC 2013 'Builder of Community and Country' Award; 2013 Jacksonville Business Journal 'Diversity Champion'; Diversity Business Magazine 2012 National Diversity Champion; Director of FPA Think Tank at UNF (2010 - present); Palencia Home Owners Association (PAC), Founder and President 2003-2005; Businessman of the Year Award; Business Council, 2003; Customer Service Award, Int’l. Customer Service Association, 1999; Outstanding Industry Contribution Award, Aerobic Pipeline, 1998; National Board of Directors, Zero Population Growth (ZPG) 1982-1985; Hispanic Who’s Who in America, 1979; Who’s Who Among Latin Americans, 1976; Who’s Who in Public Relations, 1975; Outstanding Alumnus Award, Univ. of Texas Ex-Students Ass. 1971; Distinguished Service Award, Publicity Club of New York, 1970
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