Winnie Benjamin, a business performance advisor and leadership development coach who is active in southeast Queens, has been named as MWBE regional coordinator for Queens by the Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce (LIAACC).
Benjamin is an advisory board member of the St. Albans Chamber of Commerce and member of Plattsburg’s Maranatha Human Services Board of Directors.
She will serve on the MWBE – or minority/women-owned business enterprise – committee as the regional coordinator under the leadership of Charlene J. Thompson, chairwoman of the LIAACC, which is the state’s largest African American chamber of commerce.
In her new role, Benjamin hopes to introduce the MWBE program to as many small to medium size businesses that qualify for the program, but do not know have much knowledge of it or how they could benefit from it.
“There are so many ways that are legitimate and legal in which a MWBE certification could benefit their business growth and sustainability,” she said. “After discovering what their vision and values are, I am able then to share how MWBE Cert supports their vision and values.”
If the merchant is interested, she will connect them with agencies closest to their location that offer assistance getting them qualified for MWBE certification.
Benjamin has met with numerous business owners and says many of them were not aware of the ways MWBE certification could work for them outside of just waiting for contracts to land on their desk. As a LIAACC MWBE representative, she is also able to also facilitate MWBE Cert workshops hosted by any organization in Queens seeking to inform their business community.
“I am sincerely excited most of all for the economic opportunities and expansion that are available especially for the Southeast Queens business corridors and being able to assist in their capacity building,” Benjamin said.
Benjamin studied clinical nutrition at Misericordia University in Dallas, Penn. and human resource management at Villanova University Online. She has also obtained a number of technical skill certifications, including business and hospitality management, leadership development and coaching, business mentoring, strategic planning, theology, church growth and development consultancy over the life span of her career.
Benjamin’s development and business management skills, along with her passion for creating marketing concepts that keep businesses ahead of competitors, attracted the attention of several business investors who have offered her the opportunity to develop spas and salons.
Due to the success of her U.S. business ventures, she has been asked to replicate her work in international markets, such as the Caribbean and Ghana. Benjamin spent time mentoring and coaching entrepreneurs over a period of 10 years. She was rewarded for her effort after her trainees in the international markets effectively competed not only in their markets, but also became successful at exporting their goods. Benjamin puts her trainees through a five-step “holistic” approach.
Benjamin also leads a series of workshops to inspire performance, such as The Art of Effective Collaboration, Strategic Planning and Leadership Development.
“Winnie Benjamin’s appointment as LIAACC’S MWBE regional coordinator for the chamber will bring significant value to small business owners in the borough of Queens,” said Phil Andrews, president of the chamber of commerce. “LIAACC’S headquarters looks forward to supporting the efforts of our new MWBE Regional Coordinator.”