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Miguel Villarreal of Villa-Tech spoke to fellow MBEs at the recent Cyber Summit. His company is close to landing a large government contract and he credits the CyberReadyMBE® program for that opportunity.  

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“We all come from different businesses. You might think ‘why do I need cybersecurity?’ The answer is as simple as ‘you have intellectual property and somebody wants it.’ As entrepreneurs, it is our responsibility to anticipate these things in advance. You don’t have to have a technology background to understand the risks. You have intellectual property to protect. It doesn’t matter what type of company you are.

– Traci Shirachi, The Mark

“No matter where you are doing business, it is clear that a strong cybersecurity backbone is vital. And that is why NMSDC is taking the lead on a national scale to support MBEs in building capacity in cybersecurity with the CyberReadyMBE® certification program. This program, the first of its kind, will enable MBEs to be the solution providers to the national issues of cybercrimes happening across the nation and the globe.”


Ying McGuire, President and CEO of NMSDC

Lissa Miller of Truist endorses the program for its role in giving MBEs a competitive edge when seeking business and also ensuring the protection of data. 

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“As a company that provides prevention and health promotion services, including workplace physical therapy, to some of the country’s largest utility, construction and manufacturing companies, we take data and information technology very seriously.  Many of our clients could be considered prime targets for cyberattacks, so we have to be as protected as possible in an effort to mitigate risk and also protect them. That is why we needed this, and it’s also why every other MBE needs this. Our clients’ needs are our needs.”   

– Nick Pfaff, Pro Activity 

Kristin Harper of Driven to Succeed, urged her peers to take cybersecurity seriously at the 2023 Cyber Summit. 

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 “CyberReadyMBE® walked me through the process of implementing critical controls for my business, like multi-factor authentication, and hiring a dedicated information security manager. The experts addressed the three pillars of cyber protection: people, process and technology. Because of this training, we can expand our services and even find our way into federal contracting.”

– Balaji Rengamannar, A1PlusSoft 

Jetheda Hernandez of NMSDC, backs the CyberReadyMBE® program as an effective way to fuel economic growth and prosperity. 


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 “I appreciated hearing procurement specialists and government suppliers talk through the onboarding process as part of the CyberReadyMBE® program. Learning how businesses can engage with the government and the onboarding process was very helpful.”  

– John Mendes, PamTen

CyberReadyMBE is a great start for MBEs to assess, address and implement a formidable Cybersecurity solution for MBEs. This program will help improve the cyber maturity of the participating MBEs. DivIHN looks forward to working closely with the program to support MBEs as they close their cybersecurity gaps. 

– Shantanoo A Govilkar, Vice President – Strategic Solutions, DivIHN Integration Inc.

Sandra Cardenas of Advanced Foam and Packaging is grateful for the safety net the program provides for her business and her clients. 

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“Bank of America has been committed to working with diverse businesses for more than 30 years.  We understand that for them to be competitive in the marketplace, they must have the knowledge, support and tools that enable them to effectively compete for corporate and government business. We’re excited to join with NMSDC, our long-standing partner, to help diverse businesses reach an essential goal – becoming cyber ready now and in the future.”  

Vonshe Jenkins, Bank of America 

“We have to make sure the contractors are safeguarding the information they have. To have knowledgeable people with valuable information on what being cyber ready means can set you apart from others who work in the government space, but aren’t willing to take the steps that you are about to. It is important because a lot of our large Department of Defense suppliers and our DoD industry partners are requiring their small business subcontractors to be cyber compliant.”  

Matt Burkett, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division 

What better security model can you implement than something that the government wants? Because we committed to the CyberReadyMBE® program, we are now in the middle of doing one of the largest contracts that our company has ever done and probably will ever do. For a minority company to have access to a program like the CyberReadyMBE® program, to get ready to be at a level where you can deal with the government, be part of their supply chain is the greatest gift. I recommend all MBEs to become cyber ready and this program will lead them on a pathway to close their gaps and onto future contracting opportunities.”

– Miguel Villarreal, President, and CEO Villa Tech