by Dan Perkins
Each year diversityinbusiness.com presents outstanding diverse businesses recognized for their exceptional performance by leading supplier diversity practitioners within Major League Baseball (MLB). The recognition is for services rendered the previous season and consists of year-long promotion on diversityinbusiness.com and the right to be called one of America's Best Diverse Suppliers. The term, America's Best Diverse Suppliers, is a registered service mark of diversityinbusiness.com. Since 1998, Major League Baseball has extended significant business opportunities to minority- and women-owned businesses through its Diverse Business Partners (DBP) Program. This year marks the fifth anniversary of MLB promotion of its best Diverse Business Partners as America’s Best Diverse Suppliers.
Eight businesses have are honored this year, and they represent core service areas within Baseball operations. They also reflect the continued progression of the DBP Program.
Highlighted among the eight suppliers is Jorge Medina, and his sports apparel and equipment company, Verdero, for blazing a trail that signals the highest aspirations of the DBP Program. Medina has not only beaten the odds in terms of thriving in a highly competitive field, but he has also achieved a level of success few start-ups dare to imagine. He has gone from operating a fledgling enterprise from his studio apartment in the Bronx to negotiating an agreement that has made Verdero a sponsor of a Major League ballclub - the New York Yankees, Baseball's premiere team.
diversityinbusiness.com first began documenting major milestones in Medina’s life six years ago, after he was approved as a supplier under the DBP Program. At that time, only a few pro ballplayers used Medina's products; but today, Verdero supplies an extensive line of baseball equipment and apparel and serves a much broader consumer base.
Medina is a man living life according to his principles. When I contacted him for an interview, he was on his way to a baseball tournament he runs in the Bronx. Medina founded his company with the intention of using a portion of his company's profits to help disadvantaged kids. The tournament is no small undertaking, but it is just one of the ways Medina is presently working to uplift kids in his urban community.
While Medina has accomplished more than most forty-somethings ever aspire to achieve, he has remained humble, good-natured, and true to his roots. He is reluctant to talk about himself; but ask him about the needs of urban youth and he has a lot to say. Aside from his family, few things are more important to Medina than making a positive difference in the lives of urban youth. Equally noteworthy is Medina's new business strategy, which focuses Verdero on doing well by kids in urban communities.
I am pleased to present this latest chapter in the unfolding story of an extraordinary entrepreneur, and to do so in conjunction with the naming of seven other companies by Major League Baseball as America’s Best Diverse Suppliers. I hope you enjoy discovering (or rediscovering) Jorge Medina and seeing why he is not only On Top of His Game, but the most celebrated supplier in this year’s class of America’s Best Diverse Suppliers.