Supplier Diversity Matchmaker Forms Board of Advisors

CINCINNATI, June 14, 2011 –, an online service that helps corporations locate, evaluate and engage small, woman- and minority-owned businesses, announces the creation of a formalized Board of Advisors that includes Disney’s chairman, Silicon Valley start-up veterans and top minority-owned company leaders.

“We consider ourselves very fortunate to add this caliber of executives to our team,” said Founder Rod Robinson. “We expect the extraordinary knowledge, experience and passion for supplier diversity that these individuals bring to will help us continue to grow and better serve our community of members.” The new Board of Advisors includes:

John E. Pepper, Jr.: Since 2007, Pepper has served as Chairman of the Board for the Walt Disney Company and is Co-Chairman of National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Previously, he served as CEO of the Freedom Center, Vice President of Finance and Administration of Yale University, and CEO and Chairman of the Board of The Procter & Gamble Company.

Patrick Pohlen: Pohlen is a Partner of Latham & Watkins LLP’s Silicon Valley office, where he is one of the nation’s leading attorneys in representing internet and digital media companies. Prior to joining the firm, he ran a high profile technology start-up.

Jorge Plasencia: As Chairman and CEO of agency República, Plasencia leads one of America’s fastest growing advertising, digital and communications companies, which is recognized by Advertising Age as one of the Top 50 Hispanic agencies.

Josh Knepfle: The Chief Technology Officer of, Knepfle is responsible for technology strategy, architecture and infrastructure of America’s leading diet and fitness website, which receives over 6 million unique visitors per month.

Dave Heilmann: As Chief Operating Officer of, Heilmann runs the operations of America’s leading diet and fitness website. He previously was a member of the core team that built, an online auction site, into eBay’s largest competitor.

Carl Satterwhite: Satterwhite is President and CEO of Cincinnati-based River City Furniture, one of the region’s largest minority-owned businesses with over $40 million in annual revenue and clients that include P&G, Microsoft, Met Life and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

Online service helps corporations locate, evaluate and engage small, woman- and minority-owned businesses. Corporations register as buyer members and indicate which of the more than 100 products or service categories they have purchasing needs. Small, woman- or minority-owned businesses register as supplier members, indicating the products or service categories they provide, as well as creating a company profile highlighting their size, areas of expertise and representative customers. The profiles request performance ratings from prior customers, and just like many consumer-focused websites, more and better ratings translate into better search results. The system actively matches buyers with diverse suppliers that fit their purchasing needs. Buyers can also conduct searches for specific suppliers or post contract opportunities for suppliers to submit bids. Since launching in December 2010, hundreds of companies have joined connXus, and buyer members have posted more than $40 million in contract opportunities for supplier members. For more information, go to

Source:, Sandi Straetker