Rolling Out

Bally’s diversity supplier fair is a milestone for Chicago’s business community

Over 100 vendors explore partnerships and certification opportunities at Bally’s diversity supplier fair
From l to r Cordell McGary,Associate Compliance Officer, City of Chicago, Vachon Harper-Young,Regional Manager - BMO Zero Barriers to Business, Georgia Marsh, Chief Development Officer, WBDC, Debra Jennings-Johnson,President and CEO Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council Chicago, Dr Makeba Butler-Phinn, Deputy Director Cook County, Bruce Montgomery, State of IL BEP, Larry Huggins, CCBC Riteway-Huggins, Tracey Wiley, Executive Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Bally’s Corporation, Mark Wong, Vice President and General Manager, Bally’s Chicago (Photo credit Eddy "Precise" Lamarre)

On June 11, 2024, Bally’s Chicago Casino took a groundbreaking step in fostering inclusivity by hosting a Diversity Supplier Vendor Fair at the Chicago Teachers Union Hall. The event saw enthusiastic participation from local minority, women, veteran, and disabled-owned businesses eager to explore potential collaborations and certification opportunities.

The event kicked off with registration at 9:30 a.m., and the atmosphere buzzed with anticipation. Ald. Walter Burnett Jr., a vocal advocate for diverse business inclusion in his 27th Ward, where Bally’s will be located, set the tone with an empowering message.

Mark Wong, vice president and general manager of Bally’s Chicago Casino, underscored the event’s significance. “​​This has been a historical moment akin to when we opened our temporary casino back in September of 2023,” Wong told rolling out. “This event is a pivotal step in moving forward with all of our plans. It’s really for diverse business owners to meet us and learn how they can get certified. We have various resources in the room from city to county to state agencies to help folks that are diversely owned but not yet certified with Chicago or Cook County.”

The fair opened doors for businesses that may not have been certified but were eager to tap into the extensive resources available. Representatives from Bally’s divisions, including purchasing, marketing, gaming operations, and more, were on hand to discuss opportunities and answer questions.

One of the fair’s highlights was a presentation by the Chicago Community Builders Collective (CCBC), the minority-led general contractor responsible for constructing Bally’s Chicago Casino. They provided a detailed overview of upcoming scopes of work, including doors and frames for the casino, hotel, and event center, overhead doors, and loading dock equipment.

Attendees were given a comprehensive understanding of bid documents, various scopes of work, and project requirements, setting the stage for future collaborations. Prime contractors, MBE/WBE/VBE/BEPD contractors, suppliers, and vendors seized the chance to network and establish new business relationships.

Further enriching the fair, representatives from the City of Chicago’s Office of Contracting Equity, the Cook County Office of Contract Compliance, the Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council (ChicagoMSDC), and the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) conducted presentations. They provided invaluable insights into the diversity certification application process and addressed the essential steps for completing it successfully.

Additional support came from organizations like the State of Illinois Business Enterprise Program (BEP) and BMO Bank’s Zero Barriers to Business Program, enhancing the fair’s offering of resources.

Bally’s Chicago Casino is currently housed at Medinah Temple in the heart of downtown Chicago. The permanent location will be along the river where the Chicago Tribune publishing location currently stands.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Join our Newsletter

Sign up for Rolling Out news straight to your inbox.

Read more about:
Also read
Rolling Out