Ugo Nwagbaraocha, president of Milwaukee-based Diamond Discs International, grew his company during the COVID-19 pandemic while continuing to serve as a leader for Milwaukee’s diverse community of business owners.
Nwagbaraocha recognized the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on minorities both in terms of health and business, so he leveraged his position as president of Wisconsin’s National Association of Minority Contractors to amplify their voice.
Nwagbaraocha, who is also chairman of Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce affiliate The Business Council, worked to ensure small businesses had equal access to resources and opportunities through federal, state and local programs.
Nwagbaraocha has advanced the discussion around the advantages of a thriving diverse business community through deliberate and intentional conversations with major corporations. In 2020, Diamond Discs earned recognition from the Small Business Administration, which awarded Nwagbaraocha with a small business champion award.
Diamond Discs also won a competitive request for proposal to provide Milwaukee Public Schools with personal protective equipment, providing millions of PPE to more than 200 locations throughout Milwaukee.
Nwagbaraocha pointed to MPS’ transparent RFP process as a great way to facilitate economic growth locally, adding that other businesses and organizations should follow suit.
“We need to see Milwaukee, Wisconsin and major corporations have the same type of transparent bidding opportunities through this pandemic to encourage local firms to supply these products and services,” he said.