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Photo of Ingrid Accepting GLAAAC Award

Photo of Ingrid Accepting GLAAAC Award

We’re tingling with pride to announce that our Ingrid Merriwether has won the Small Business Advocate Award from the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce. Presented in March, the award was given in recognition of MWIS’s bonding and finance programs that address the most difficult barriers faced by small and minority contractors seeking to work in the public sector.

The accolade was presented at the 19th Annual Economic Awards Dinner, which recognizes corporations and individuals that have provided scholarships, mentoring, jobs, and subcontracting opportunities for students and businesses in the Los Angeles area that strengthen the African American community.

A big congratulations to Ingrid, our staff, and our sponsors! Click here for more information about GLAAACC and the 19th Annual Economic Awards Dinner.

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Our wonderful team here at Merriwether & Williams Insurance Services is continuing to grow by leaps and bounds. Please meet our newest employees:

Jennifer Elmore, Surety Coordinator, Oakland 

Jennifer Elmore was rehired April 28, 2011 as a Surety Coordinator in the Oakland office reporting to Sharron Drake, Program Manager. Prior to working with Merriwether & Williams Insurance Services for 14 years, she also worked for ARISCO  and other industry employers. Contact Jennifer at Jennifer@imwis.com.

Ismael Osorio,  Administrative Assistant, Los Angeles

Ismael Osorio joined MWIS  in May as an full time Administrative Assistant in the Los Angeles office reporting to Navid Barkhordar, Operations ManagerBefore joining MWIS, Ismael worked for the University of Southern California, Saban Capital Group, and Los Angeles County Bar Association. Ismael has completed business/marketing course work at the College of the Canyons in California. Contact Ismael at Ismael@imwis.com.

Tiana Shaw, Surety Bond Specialist, San Francisco

Tiana Shaw joined MWIS in May as a Surety Bond Specialist in the S.F. office reporting to Nancy Owens, Bond Manager. Tiana has over 11 years of insurance and risk management experience, including working at the Builders & Tradesmen’s Insurance Services, Inc., AON Risk Insurance Services West, Inc., ABM Industries Inc. and Willis Insurance Services of California, Inc. She has a B.A. in Communication from California State University, East Bay. Contact Tiana at tiana@imwis.com.

Joanne Conwright, Human Resources & Employee Relations Manager, San Francisco

Joanne Conwright joined MWIS June 30, 2011. Joanne is the Human Resources & Employee Relations Manager located in the S.F. office reporting to Rick Williams, COO.  Joanne is available Monday to Friday (9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.).  Joanne has over 25 years experience in managing and administering personnel programs; employee relations; and management and organizational development. Joanne has worked for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; Tandem Computers; Irwin Memorial Blood Centers; and City of Oakland.  She has a B.A. in English from California State University, East Bay and graduate studies in Public Administration from Golden Gate University.  You can contact Joanne at joanne@imwis.com.

Delania Williams, Executive Assistant to Ingrid Merriwether, San Francisco

Delania Williams came on board in July as the Executive Assistant to President Ingrid Merriwether. Delania has worked for the Berkeley Housing Authority, Contra Costa Transportation Authority,  Oakland Housing Authority, and World Savings Bank. She has a B.A. degree from California State University East Bay in Liberal Studies. You can contact Delania at delania@imwis.com.

Monica D. Bell, Surety Coordinator, San Francisco

Monica D. Bell started as a Surety Coordinator in the San Francisco office reporting to Nancy Owens, Bond Manager.  Monica is a full-time employee who started in August, formerly worked for Argosy University and DeVry University where she was responsible for online student admissions, academic counseling,  and client database management.  Monica was in the U.S. Air Force for six years and held the rank of Staff Sergeant Non-Commissioned Officer, and she supervised both military and civilian employees. You can contact Monica at Monica@imwis.com.

“What’s in a number?” asks President and CEO Ingrid Merriwether.

“The $500 million number we’re celebrating is opportunity and contracts awarded to small community-based contractors with public agencies who support inclusion and business growth. Public agencies who’ve recognized that removing barriers to create access to public contracts is good business and saves taxpayer funded contracting dollars, good for small local firms who hire local workers, and good for the community who benefit from local economic activity.

On behalf of the community, we’d like to say thank you to our bonding assistance sponsors who’ve made $500 million of opportunity a reality for their community based businesses.”

Ingrid Merriwether accepting 100 Black Men of the Bay AwardIn June, over 100 people gathered at the San Francisco City Club to honor President and CEO Ingrid Merriwether with the 2011 Women of Color Achievement Award. The award, sponsored by the 100 Black Men of the Bay Area, Inc. and Women Presidents’ Organization, recognized Ingrid’s impressive record of success as a distinguished business leader and community visionary.

More accolades came our way this summer. Out of over 2,000 nominations, MWIS was selected for the Inner City 100 List, which was published in the May issue of FortuneIngrid Merriwether accepting ICIC award. CEO and President Ingrid Merriwether was acknowledged for this achievement at the Inner City Advisors Brunch in Oakland. In May, our COO Rick Williams accepted the award at a Gala Awards Dinner in Boston, with more than 600 people in attendance.

The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) and Fortune Magazine partnered together to create the Inner City 100 List, which spotlight and support growing companies in urban areas; highlight the importance of a healthy economy in developing healthy urban communities; explore how the advantages of inner cities, such as a diverse workforce and strategic location, can combine to create explosive growth; and change perceptions about inner city business.

Congratulations to our hard-working team for making a huge impact on communities and lives. We’re proud to get acknowledgement for our efforts in business and the community.

On April 19th, the Contractor’s Bonding Assistance Program (CBAP) held its second free seminar of the year. The seminar, which focused on implementing a quality infrastructure, was attended by small local contractors from Alameda County.

The event featured Deirdre Mercedes —  owner of OPAL, Quality Systems Management which she founded in 1998. OPAL is a service organization that provides consulting, training, coaching and program management assistance in support of organizational improvement and implementation of quality & environmental management system standards. Deirdré focuses on improving business processes, promoting continuous improvement and facilitating growth and development.

“The seminar was very helpful,” said attendee Gary King. “I have learned quite a bit and now understand what I need to establish my businesses infrastructure.”

Every seminar/workshop CBAP hosts gives contractors and vendors an opportunity to connect with professionals who do exactly what they do. CBAP takes a holistic approach to our services, helping contractors gain knowledge, strategies, and techniques to increase their bonding capacity and improve their administrative skills.

For more information about the Contractor’s Bonding Assistance Program (CBAP), be sure to visit our website or give us a call at 510-740-6922.

On March 29th, the Contractor’s Bonding Assistance Program (CBAP) held its first free seminar of the year. The seminar, which focused on financial statements, was well attended by many small local contractors from Alameda County.

The event featured Karl Schunck — an accountant, active member of industry trade associations including CFMA, EUCA and AGC, past president of the Surety Association of Northern California, and partner in charge of accounting and auditing with Jones, Henele and Schunck. A frequent lecturer on construction accounting topics, Schunck focused on addressing some of the key business/financial planning and transactional needs of privately held companies in construction. The forum also provided contractors with a venue to share some of their challenges and find solutions with the goal of leading to greater financial success.

“The seminar was very helpful,” said attendee Bryant Fields. “I have learned quite a bit and now understand what I need to look for in an accountant for my businesses.”

Every seminar/workshop CBAP hosts gives contractors and vendors an opportunity to connect with professionals who do exactly what they do. CBAP takes a holistic approach to our services, helping contractors gain knowledge, strategies, and techniques to increase their bonding capacity and improve their administrative skills.

“I’m grateful that CBAP is providing this valuable information around surety bonding for local contractors,” adds Fields.

At the heart of Merriwether & Williams Insurance Services is the motto “Of Like Minds”. It’s about bringing together people “Of Like Minds” in Community, Business and Collaboration to create fairness, equity and a positive impact that ripples out through the community and beyond.

That’s why we named the part of our company that brings individuals and organizations together through social and fund raising events “Of Like Mind Productions” (OLMP). OLMP has come to life as a representation of the Merriwether and Williams passion for fairness, equity and their connection to smart business. OLMP is a way to bring together outstanding individuals and organizations throughout the year who share Like Minds to:

  • Highlight the positive impacts that have been made in our communities by those who are willing to step beyond their comfort zone for the sake of others.
  • Celebrate these contributions and achievements.
  • Convene discussions to share insights and innovative approaches to removing systemic barriers to diversity and inclusion.
  • Connect the dots – bringing “doers” together for the sake of community growth and development.
  • Spur direct engagement with policy makers to increase opportunity and inclusion of diverase communities.

Of Like Minds Productions is also a way for Merriwether & Williams to say Thank You to our clients and give back to our community through social and fund raising events. We will periodically select an organization or charity that aligns with the principles Of Like Minds to be the recipient of our fund raising efforts.

We strongly believe that it takes a village to help each other create thriving communities. Of Like Minds Productions is an engaging way for us to seed collaboration and further fuel the passions of equity and fairness for the sake of growth in the communities we serve.

We hope you’ll bookmark the Of Like Minds Blog so you can continue to receive interesting, relevant and exciting news of various insurance and surety bonding programs available throughout the state of California.

Sincerely,

Ingrid Merriwther, CEO

Merriwether & Williams Insurance Services