EMSDC's Valarie Cofield stepping down as CEO

Philadelphia, PA - May 25, 2022 – The Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council (EMSDC) announced today that after eight years, Valarie J. Cofield will leave her position as president and CEO to assume a new role as executive vice president of business development with an electrical construction firm in Huntington Valley, Pennsylvania. Her resignation is effective July 31, 2022.

“Working in service to a mission committed to driving economic equity and opportunity for businesses of color is humbling and motivating. Every day, I am reminded that the mission of ensuring economic access, justice, equity, and continuity is a fight that will define the future. We’ve raised the bar together, changed the “how” and amplified the “why” of our mission.” Cofield said.

As EMSDC’s board of directors launches a search for the organization’s next leader, an interim director will be named. Valarie and the board will work in partnership to ensure institutional knowledge transfer, partnership continuity, and membership stability during this transition.

During her time as president and CEO, Cofield led the organization through a contentious restructuring, transforming an underperforming nonprofit into a regional market leader, optimizing resources to achieve EMSDC's mission and earning the confidence of key stakeholders and unifying a detached team after a difficult merger. Collectively, EMSDC’s 800-plus certified businesses generate $4.8 billion in annual revenues and employ over 23,000 people; as a bloc, representing one of the region’s largest enterprises and employers.

“Valarie has contributed mightily to EMSDC. During her time as president and CEO, she has brought more regional corporations to the table and advocated for their increased spending with, and investment in, minority businesses; she has expanded opportunities for our certified MBEs to grow and scale, and she has been one of the region’s staunchest advocates for regional economic growth through powering diverse suppliers,” said Vernice Lewis, board chair and director, diverse business empowerment for Exelon Corp. “We thank Valarie for her commitment. Over the next two months the board will work with Valarie to ensure a smooth transition and identify the right leader to build upon the strong foundation she leaves behind.”

Cofield is considered a leader in the National Minority Supplier Development Council Inc. (NMSDC) network, serving as corporate services committee co-chair of the national presidents' leadership group. Among her many other awards and recognitions, Cofield was recently honored with the 2022 Voices of Hope, Innovation for Community Advancement Award, by the Mann Center for Performing Arts, and was named a 2022 100 Women Advancing Women honoree by WE USA. 

Over the last 30 years, she has worked proactively on all sides of the issues surrounding economic development, equity, access, growth and inclusion, including advocacy at the highest levels of government and industry. Cofield has used her many years working in business, economic development and supplier diversity to drive opportunities for ethnic minority businesses in the supply chains of corporate, government and institutional partners.

2022 is EMSDC’s 50th year of driving access, opportunity and impact for minority businesses. 


Philadelphia Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council EMSDC Valarie J. Cofield Huntington Valley regional Market Leader MBEs Vernice Lewis Diverse Business Empowerment for Exelon 2022 Voices of Hope Innovation for Community Advancement Award Mann Center for Performing Arts 100 Women Advancing Women honoree WE USA Meg Markley Kira Cofield

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