Greensfelder serves as counsel to business owners who need legal support for getting certified as women-, minority- and veteran-owned business enterprises so they can bid on diverse supplier contracting opportunities, as well as supporting their ongoing business growth and compliance needs.
We have extensive experience in the complexities that arise during the certification and contracting process for MBE, WBE, VBE and DBE companies, including the many variations by location or state. Our certification-related services include contract drafting, review, and negotiation services.
Our team has hands-on experience with certification applications, including serving on an application review committee for one of the national certification agencies as well as having direct certified business owner experience.
We work with businesses looking to get certified in response to an opportunity to work with a certain partner or client, as well as those who are looking to grow their opportunities by qualifying for federal, state, local or public university contracts.
Our certification consultant services include:
- A planning and strategy session that includes counsel on what certification will best fit your goals
- A document checklist outlining all required documents for the certification process
- Document review to identify problems or challenges
- Application preparation and filing agency Q&A responses
- Site visit preparation
- Approval follow-up
- Based on established relationship post-certification, providing ongoing support for contracting and other legal matters.
To help business owners and executives increase efficiency and effectiveness while managing overhead expenses, our team operates in a day-to-day advisory capacity as outside general counsel. We provide “first call” counsel on matters that engage business owner and company executive priorities for:
- Organizational and operational advisory, including real estate, litigation disputes, insurance coverage, intellectual property and technology strategies, and record-keeping policies.
- Talent and employee management, including employment policies and handbooks, employee benefits, wage and hour law compliance, harassment and discrimination complaints and other labor and employment matters.
- Supplier and vendor management, including contracts and agreements
- Financial planning
- Strategic planning, including succession planning
- Intellectual Property protection and enforcement
As outside general counsel for a business or organization, we aim to provide ongoing legal services that match your company’s goals and exceed expectations. Starting with a deep dive into understanding your company and its people, we will begin an assessment that will help you mitigate risk and prioritize legal needs. The process is ongoing, with an annual review intended to assess progress and plan for the future, as well as continual communication on strategic goals and challenges.
Key Supplier Diversity Contacts
Paula Finch is an experienced business attorney who represents businesses in supplier diversity opportunities and certifications, as well as commercial transactions, acquisitions, negotiations, and contracting. For minority and women-owned businesses, Paula frequently assists in certifications, creating new business ventures, and negotiating contracts. She is experienced in the issues that arise during the certification and contracting process for MBE, WBE, VBE and DBE companies. Paula has previously been an entrepreneur herself, running a certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) firm focused on transactions, contract drafting and negotiations, supplier diversity certification, and other areas of practice. She was honored in 2019 as the WBE Role Model of the Year for the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council. She is a graduate of Indiana University McKinney School of Law.
Dee Harleston assists businesses and organizations with corporate and regulatory matters, including those related to supplier diversity, entity formation and dissolution, and various corporate governance matters. His practice includes ensuring compliance with federal and state laws, drafting and reviewing agreements, and all aspects of transactions. He has assisted numerous business owners with navigating the supplier diversity certification process and is well-versed in the program variations on the state and federal level. His prior in-house experience at several large health care systems provides him with an insider’s business perspective and allows him to tailor his advice for both legal and administrative issues. Dee earned a dual degree in law and public health from Saint Louis University.
News & Insights
- Interview with Paula Finch, "Construction attorney: Compliance ‘weakest part’ of supplier diversity efforts"Construction Dive, April 25, 2022
- Construction Dive, April 8, 2022
Seminars & Speaking Engagements
- "The Power of Better Together" webinarGreat Lakes Women's Business Council, November 9, 2021
- Moderator, "When Opportunity Knocks … Preparing to Transfer Your Business"National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), August 2021
- Moderator, "The Real Deal with WBE Certification"National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), August 2019
- Great Lakes Women’s Business Council Women’s Business SymposiumJune 1, 2019
- Speaker, "F.U.E.L (Females United and Empowered to Lead)"National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), October 2018
- Construction Executive, July 5, 2022
- St. Louis Business Journal, July 1, 2022
- SupplyChainBrain, May 26, 2022
- Commercial Construction & Renovation, April 26, 2022
- December 1, 2021
- Nuts & Bolts | Construction Law Blog, July 8, 2022
- Nuts & Bolts | Construction Law Blog, May 27, 2021