Houston METRO, …show us what you got


May 22, 2009

DavidWolffOn yesterday, I summarily spoke before the Houston METRO board of directors in regards to the undeniable evidence of its anemic procurement activity with local, Black-male owned businesses. The goal was to find out if, in light of this evidence, President Frank Wilson would adjust his rhetoric to bring it more in line with the reality established by the numbers. The crux of my statement was as follows:

“As a member and advocate for the race-gender group of Black-male owned small business, I speak for us in the aggregate when I say that, based upon the preponderance of the evidence; Black-male owned small businesses are currently, and have been historically, adversely affected by the manner and methods by which procurement is conducted by the Authority.

Empirical predicate can be found in the reports and records of the Authority itself, and those of the Federal Transit Administration, which clearly establish that over the last 10 YEARS, Zero percent of the more than ~ $500M in contract spend by the Authority has gone to Black-male owned small business in the form of Prime Contracts, in particular Professional Services. This has occurred despite the fact that there is an ample pool of ready, willing, and able Black-Male owned businesses in our community that provide Professional Services within the verticals historically and currently procured by the Authority.

In light of the aforementioned, I pose the following question to the Authority Board of Directors and METRO President, Mr. Frank Wilson in particular; “Mr. President, how does this fact reconcile with your statement at the last Board meeting that METRO has a proud record of issuing PROFESSIONAL SERVICES Prime-Contracts to Black-Male owned businesses?”

Please advise.”

The response to this question came, not from the President, but from the Chairman, Mr. David S.Wolff (pictured above). His was a request for offline review of the facts with senior management personnel, Mr. Paul L. Como, Vice President – Procurement & Materials; and, Ms. Deborah A. Richard, Vice President – Administrative Services.

Stay tuned for the outcome of those discussions.


Rudy Sutherland, 8-PAC Editor

8(a) Serial Entrepreneur & Small Business Evangelist

  1. Hank Wilfong Jr. said:


    Please keep us informed. It’s hard to believe that in this day and age any City (particularly Houston) can pat themselves on the back, as “being all that”, while achieving “ZERO percent” business with a sizeable element of their community.

    “Have they no shame, no decency”……

    • Yes, Hank – it is amazing. We will most certainly keep our stakeholder community abreast of our progress and discussions with the Houston METRO leadership.
      Rudy Sutherland, MBA| 8(a) Serial Entrepreneur
      8VSB Political Action Committee
      8vsb@aljucar.com | http://www.8vsb.wordpress.com

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