Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals Continue Collaboration to Support Economic Opportunity for Local Suppliers

Five businesses chosen for six-month DEI accelerator mentorship program

Media Contact

Katrina Healy 216.386.0955

Media Downloads

Images 4 Videos 0 Audio 0 Text 0

Show Media Downloads

Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals have selected five local diverse businesses to complete their annual six-month mentorship program called the Diversity Equity Inclusion (DEI) Supplier Accelerator. This program aims to expand the knowledge and impact of local businesses headquartered in Northeast Ohio and owned by traditionally under-represented entrepreneurs, including members of the LGBTQ+ community, minorities, veterans and women. Participating companies receive a $10,000 prize at the end of the program that provides business coaching, one-on-one access to health system leaders and networking opportunities with Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals decision makers and suppliers.

The DEI Supplier Accelerator first commenced in 2022 with five participating companies that were chosen from a pool of 19 applicants. In June 2023, the second iteration of five supplier finalists were selected from a pool of 48 applicants – a 153% increase. These five finalists will participate in the mentorship program that will run through November 2023.

The five 2023 finalists are:

2023 DEI Supplier Accelerator Program Finalists

BridgePort Group, LLC (Cleveland)
Andre Bryan, Managing Partner
A logistics, supply chain management and warehouse management firm, BridgePort Group, LLC, specializes in vendor-managed inventory, management consulting and technical certification training.

Critical Ops, LLC (Westlake)
Chelsea Treboniak, Owner
Guiding companies through a business modernization process that targets the core of operations, Critical Ops, LLC, looks beyond operational efficiencies, to a modern system that helps clients gain a competitive advantage.

EduCare Medical Staffing (Woodmere)
Naushay Adams, CEO
EduCare Medical Staffing is a staffing agency that provides highly skilled medical professionals to assist customers with their needs. In addition to medical staffing, it provides CPR training and is a certified WebCheck fingerprint scanning location.

Hunter International Recruiting (Avon)
Gabrielle Christman, President & CEO
A STEM-focused workforce solutions partner, Hunter International Recruiting delivers talent for mid-size companies to large, Fortune 500 organizations, and government entities across the country.

R.L. Cole Enterprise (Warrensville Heights)
Rhoni Thompson, President
R.L. Cole Enterprise is a second-generation woman-owned trucking company that supplies and delivers limestone, gravel, mulch, sand and salt in Cuyahoga and the surrounding counties. The business also operates a Clean Fill Site in Cleveland.

Benefits of participating in the DEI Supplier Accelerator program include:

  • Business development coaching and navigation of the large corporate sourcing process.
  • One-on-one access to leaders and subject matter experts from Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals.
  • Networking opportunities with Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals decision makers and suppliers.
  • Multidisciplinary business review process that provides actionable feedback to develop and grow their business.
  • A $10,000 cash prize upon successful completion of the program.

The five businesses that completed the DEI Supplier Accelerator program in 2022 are:

2022 DEI Supplier Accelerator Program Participants

CarTeCor Management, LLC (Shaker Heights)
Tommy and Sandra Farmer, Co-Founders
Created in 2009, CarTeCor Management, LLC, is a minority-owned construction contractor that works with architects, developers and homeowners to bring their remodeling projects to life.

Halle’s Design & Engineering (Akron)
Halle Jones Capers, Owner and President
Established in 2020, Halle’s Design & Engineering is the first woman and minority-owned civil engineering firm in Akron.

HR Construction Services (Cleveland)
Heather R. Baines, Owner and President
Since it began in 2015, HR Construction Services has strived to make an impact in Northeast Ohio’s construction industry by creating jobs for women and people of color.

Nightsweats & T-cells (Cleveland)
Gil Kudrin, Owner
Founded in 1990, Nightsweats & T-cells is an LGBTQ+-owned commercial screen-printing shop that uses its merchandise – ranging from backpacks to T-shirts – to deliver powerful messages about HIV/AIDS.

WTD Mechanical (Cleveland)
Fatima Ware, President and CEO
Launched in 2016, WTD Mechanical is a woman and minority-owned company that specializes in installing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems for commercial and residential clients.


Cleveland Clinic:
Katrina Healy
216.386.0955 |

University Hospitals:
Carly Belsterling
412.889.8866 |


About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. Cleveland Clinic is consistently recognized in the U.S. and throughout the world for its expertise and care. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 77,000 employees worldwide are more than 5,658 salaried physicians and researchers, and 19,000 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,699-bed health system that includes a 173-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 23 hospitals, more than 275 outpatient facilities, including locations in northeast Ohio; southeast Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2022, there were 12.8 million outpatient encounters, 303,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 270,000 surgeries and procedures throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries. Visit us at Follow us at News and resources available at

Editor’s Note: Cleveland Clinic News Service is available to provide broadcast-quality interviews and B-roll upon request.

About University Hospitals

Founded in 1866, University Hospitals serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of 21 hospitals (including five joint ventures), more than 50 health centers and outpatient facilities, and over 200 physician offices in 16 counties throughout northern Ohio. The system’s flagship quaternary care, academic medical center, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, is affiliated with Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Oxford University, the Technion Israel Institute of Technology and National Taiwan University College of Medicine. The main campus also includes the UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the nation; UH MacDonald Women's Hospital, Ohio's only hospital for women; and UH Seidman Cancer Center, part of the NCI-designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. UH is home to some of the most prestigious clinical and research programs in the nation, with more than 3,000 active clinical trials and research studies underway. UH Cleveland Medical Center is perennially among the highest performers in national ranking surveys, including “America’s Best Hospitals” from U.S. News & World Report. UH is also home to 19 Clinical Care Delivery and Research Institutes. UH is one of the largest employers in Northeast Ohio with more than 30,000 employees. Follow UH on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. For more information, visit