The project team for the 2020 Commonwealth of Virginia Disparity Study includes five firms that possess expertise directly relevant to conducting the study in a manner that meets the highest industry and legal standards. Three firms—Exstare Federal Services Group, The Miles Agency, and TMI Consulting—are Small, Women-owned, and Minority-owned (SWaM)-certified businesses based in Virginia, and BBC Research & Consulting (BBC), the prime consultant, is in the process of becoming SWaM-certified.
BBC is a 50-year-old economic and diversity research firm based in Denver, Colorado. The firm has completed more than 125 disparity studies for states, cities, transportation agencies, and other government organizations across the country. BBC is also considered a national expert in helping agencies develop and refine their implementations of small and diverse business programs. The firm has provided expert testimony related to disparity studies and diverse business programs on several different occasions, most recently as part of the successful defense of the California Department of Transportation’s implementation of the Federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program—which was based in large part on a 2007 BBC disparity study. For more information about BBC, please visit www.bbcresearch.com.
Exstare is a Black American woman owned management consulting firm based in Alexandria, Virginia. The firm’s core services include disparity studies, program implementation, strategic planning, public relations, business diversity program assessments, and government relations. Exstare routinely develops minority- and woman-owned business programs and contracting policies, conducts certification reviews, reports on annual minority- and woman-owned business achievement; provides outreach program assistance, and conducts compliance audits. For the Commonwealth’s disparity study, Exstare will provide guidance and recommendations related to program development and implementation. In addition, the firm will conduct in-depth anecdotal interviews with business owners and trade association representatives throughout Northern Virginia.
The Miles Agency is a Black American woman-owned, marketing and public relations firm based in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The firm specializes in creating programs through public and community relations and crafting promotions that communicate specific messages to target groups in the marketplace. The firm’s work focuses particularly on community outreach and multicultural marketing. The firm has expertise in focus groups; telephone and in-person interviews; surveys; charrettes; public meetings; and other interactive exercises. The Miles Agency recently worked with BBC to conduct the 2018 City of Virginia Beach Disparity Study. For the Commonwealth’s disparity study, The Miles agency will coordinate community engagement events, including public meetings, trade associate meetings, and focus groups. In addition, the firm will conduct in-depth anecdotal interviews with business owners and trade association representatives throughout Southeastern Virginia.
TMI is a Black American woman-owned diversity and inclusion strategy consulting firm based in Richmond, Virginia. The firm specializes in using innovative techniques and technologies to facilitate meetings, seminars, trainings, and focus groups on diversity and inclusion for both private sector and public sector organizations in Virginia, nationally, and internationally. TMI uses customized, research-based approaches to support its clients’ strategies and objectives. For the Commonwealth’s disparity study, TMI will review policies that executive branch agencies and higher education institutions use to award contracts and procurements and program measures that they use to encourage the participation of WAM businesses in their contracting. In addition, the firm will conduct in-depth anecdotal interviews with business owners and trade association representatives throughout Central Virginia and contribute to various community engagement efforts.
Holland & Knight is a multi‐national law firm and has participated in nearly 60 disparity studies with BBC. BBC employs Holland & Knight to develop the legal analysis and framework on disparity studies and to consult on legal issues. Holland & Knight also has extensive experience conducting in‐depth interviews; collecting and analyzing anecdotal evidence; and assessing potential DBE program measures. For the Commonwealth’s disparity study, Holland & Knight will develop the legal framework for the study and provide legal updates of relevant regulations and case law.
Customer Research International (CRI) is a Subcontinent Asian American‐owned telephone survey firm based in San Marcos, Texas. CRI has conducted tens of thousands of telephone surveys on more than 45 BBC disparity studies. The firm conducts telephone surveys all over the nation. CRI recently worked with BBC on disparity studies for the Ohio Department of Transportation, the Ohio Turnpike, the City of Denver, the City of Charlotte, and the City of Virginia Beach. For the Commonwealth’s disparity study, CRI will conduct telephone and online surveys with businesses in connection with core disparity study analyses.