American Business Women’s Association Hosts May Luncheon and Annual Awards Event

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The next American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) luncheon on May 17 will feature Klassi Duncan, Director of the Women’s Business Resource Center and the Contractor’s Resource Center at the Urban League of Louisiana presenting “Gratitude & Gifts: How to Use Your Gifts for Good.”

Klassi Duncan currently serves as the Director of the Women’s Business Resource Center and the Contractor’s Resource Center at the Urban League of Louisiana in New Orleans, La. In this role, Klassi is responsible for complete oversight and management of the organization’s operations, programming, and staff. Her responsibilities include establishing and leading the strategic direction of the organization, developing market-specific training curricula and special events, fund development and management, fostering strategic relationships, and growing the Center’s impact in the community.

Prior to assuming this role, Ms. Duncan served as the Director of Business Support & Evaluation for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program at Delgado Community College, New Orleans, La. In this role, she led the Business Support Services team in providing advising and technical assistance to small businesses. She also oversaw the program’s Measurement and Evaluation function to capture and assess the critical impact metrics of participating businesses before, during, and after graduation.

Ms. Duncan began her professional career as a Buyer at Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, MI, where she was responsible for the procurement of various products and services throughout her time with the company, including catalyst internals and IT products and services. In 2008, Ms. Duncan assumed the role of Manager of Supplier Diversity & Sustainability at Covidien, a healthcare manufacturer, in Mansfield, MA. There she was responsible for developing and implementing a strategy and program for the inclusion of small and diverse businesses into the strategic sourcing process, and for working with these businesses to build capacity and increase operational efficiencies. She was also responsible for developing the sustainable sourcing strategy which included product stewardship, materials compliance, and environmentally preferable sourcing policies for various products.

Klassi serves on the Board of Directors for the Committee for a Better New Orleans and is a member of Bryan Bell Metropolitan Leadership Forum Program Committee. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Homer A. Plessy Community School and serves as the Chair of the Development Committee. Klassi is an active member of the United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, the Association for Women’s Business Centers, and the Institute for Supply Management, Greater New Orleans, Inc. She is a Certified Professional in Supply Chain Management and a Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity. Klassi also supports various other organizations and cause-based non-profit organizations, including Warriors for Willow and Saul’s Light.

In 2016, Klassi was published in the Huffington Post blog What’s Working: Small Businesses where her article “The Power of the Pivot: Knowing When It’s Time to Change Direction” was featured. She also spoke on the topic of pivoting at the 2017 Essence Music Festival Entrepreneurship Series. She was also featured speaker during the 2016 Essence Music Festival’s Money + Power series for entrepreneurs speaking on the topic of ‘Designing a Winning Team’.

Under her leadership, the Women’s Business Resource Center was recently awarded the 2017 Women’s Business Champion Award by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Louisiana District Office for their work in promoting and developing women-owned businesses across the region.

Ms. Duncan earned a BS in Business Management and a Masters in Business Administration at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, FL.


The networking luncheon will be held on Thursday, May 17, 2017 from 11:00 – 1:00pm at The Cannery (3803 Toulouse St, New Orleans, LA).