Innovative Initiative to Build Minority Business of Scale through Committed Partnerships.

Innovative Initiative to Build Minority Business of Scale through Committed Partnerships

CHICAGO, November 20, 2008 — SDI (System Development Integration, LLC), a systems integrator specializing in technical and operational support for capital asset intensive organizations, today announced that it has achieved silver level status in its commitment to the Chicago United’s Forward Program. Following the structured Five Forward implementation process, SDI has selected MBE-certified Catalyst Consulting Group, Inc., Fina Interactive, Inc., Peralta Garcia Solutions, LLC, Environmental Systems Design, Inc. (ESD),, Construction-CAD Solutions and Pace SYstems, Inc. (d.b.a. Micro City) as its partners in deliver critical technology services throughout Chicagoland.

Based on a 2006 economic impact study of Chicago Metropolitan Area corporations’ spend with local minority business enterprises, minority firms represent 19.74% of all firms, but receive only 2.6% of all sales and receipts. This finding prompted the development of Chicago United’s Five Forward program, a strategic initiative that enlists the commitment of CEOs of mid- to large-sized corporations in the Chicago metropolitan area to establish or expand business relationships with five current and/or new local minority firms. The initiative is designed to build a stronger regional economy and minority businesses of scale. Since its inception in May 2008, 18 leading, Chicago-based companies have committed to participating in the program, with 4 organizations– including SDI – leading the initiative’s implementation by reaching silver status.

“The Chicago United Five Forward program is designed to drive measurable impact in building minority businesses scale by allowing them to build capacity and demonstrate their ability to deliver,” states Chicago United President Gloria Castillo. “Firms like SDI have taken a leadership role in providing minority business the opportunity to experience lasting growth, which fuels our local economy.”

As the sole technology firm amongst the Five Forward committed companies, SDI was itself certified as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) with the City of Chicago and State of Illinois for 17 years, graduating out of its MBE status in February 2008. During its MBE-certified tenure, SDI has taken its service delivery model from $7MM in revenues and 27 clients to being the systems integrator of choice for over 150 clients including several nationally-recognized mission critical entities.

“SDI’s participation in the Five Forward program is a natural fit in the evolution of our firm’s long-standing commitment to diversity,” states SDI President David A. Gupta, named by Chicago United as a 2007 Chicago Business Leader of Color. “SDI appreciates Five Forward’s unique structure that encourages minority firms’ growth beyond typical procurement programs, and we look forward to being a leading driver in bringing this program to measurable success.”

In partnership with the University of Illinois Center for Urban Economic Development, Chicago United will monitor and publish the on-going economic impact of the Program, based on participating MBE and committed firms’ mutually agreed upon spend estimates, quarterly financial reporting, and evaluation surveys.

About SDI

SDI is a systems integrator that fuses information technology, security, operations and facility management to support critical organization systems and data by providing advisory services, technology delivery and SmartSourcingSM long-term support. With substantial private and public sector experience, SDI provides vendor-independent services and support to our nation’s critical environments to achieve a higher level of security, increase productivity and reduce operating costs. SDI embodies the technical breadth, depth of talent, and complex systems experience of a national, top-tier systems integrator – with a reputation of sticking with our projects until our obligations are met and our clients are successful. For more than 19 years, we’ve been there for our clients, and people are taking notice. Visit us at

About Chicago United

Chicago United is a racially diverse corporate membership organization, founded in 1968. Our mission is to bring together diverse business leaders to improve race relations and increase access to opportunities for people of color in the Chicago metropolitan area. Our vision is to build a racially diverse leadership continuum that links business, civic and not-for-profit leadership in the common goal of a stronger social and economic climate. Continue to peruse our site to learn more about our initiatives and members that work to bring our mission and vision to life for a Chicago that is united.


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