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TWO BROTHERS—Business partners John and Jerome Bettis sharing business ideas. (Photos by Diane I. Daniels)

It goes down in history as a great success.

That’s the phrase used by Lance Hyde, diversity manager at EQT, referring to his company’s Supplier Diversity Matchmaking Event; Six Degrees of Connection, held Aug. 17.

“Activities like these are very critical in our region as ‘recruiting and retaining’ top African American talent in our area has and continues to be a regional charge and concerted effort,” Hyde said. He said more than 60 of EQT’s prime suppliers were on hand conducting over 400 one-on-one meetings with diverse firms. The focus of the matchmaking event was to help expand business opportunities and to identify areas of support to assist minority, women and veteran-owned businesses.

Brad Maddox, director of drilling and plugging operations at EQT production, stated that having a diverse business supply chain is not only good business for corporations, but it assists in enhancing the rate of available business solutions, leading to game-changing and innovative ideas that can improve operational and financial results.

Along with the prime suppliers, supporting organizations on hand included the local African American Chamber of Commerce, Allegheny Conference on Community Development, American Association of Blacks in Energy, Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council Inc. and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.

Bofta Yimam, WTAE-TV anchor, served as mistress of ceremonies. She helped facilitate a fireside chat between Hyde and ex-Steeler Jerome Bettis, also president and CEO of Bettis Brothers Sand and Gravel. Co-owned with his brother, John, BBSG serves the needs of the oil and gas industry in the region.

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