OneZone to debut Diversity Mentor-Protege Program


OneZone Chamber of Commerce will debut its Supplier Diversity Mentor-Protege Program this spring with Carmel-based NextGear Capital as the initiative’s funding partner. 

“This is an important partnership because there is nothing like this in Hamilton County,” OneZone President Jack Russell said. “We are working hard for local women, minority, veteran, and disabled-owned businesses to feel more connected to our community and to help grow their business.”

The program has been established to develop working relationships between XBE, or women, minority, veteran and disabled-owned firms, and prime contracting firms with a proven track record of success. 

“Since the middle of 2020, our board of directors has been focused on serving XBE businesses,” Russell said. “Our partnership with Terry Dove-Pittman, a Carmel resident, and her company, The Gideon Group, are leading our efforts. Terry and her team are such an incredible asset to our organization, and I truly believe that our work will make a strong impact in Hamilton County.”

The OneZone Chamber Supplier Diversity Program is accepting applications from Hamilton County-based XBE-certified businesses with annual grossing revenue less than $2 million.


 “NextGear Capital and our parent company, Cox, have long been steadfast advocates for diversity and inclusion, a commitment demonstrated by Forbes including us on their list of ‘The Best Employers for Diversity’ as well as the Human Rights Campaign listing us among ‘Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality,’” stated John Wick, senior vice president of NextGear Capital. “Our enterprise-wide supplier diversity initiatives include inviting and encouraging the use of qualified minority, women, veteran, disability and LGBTQ-owned businesses in our companywide purchasing process. We are proud to take a leadership role in supporting worthwhile supplier diversity programs that make positive differences in our communities.” 

OneZone will review all applications and select 10 mentors and 10 proteges to participate in the 12-month program. If interested, visit Applications will be accepted through April 20. 


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