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Banneker earns mention in President Obama’s speech on Women and the Economy in visit to Rhode Island College

North Smithfield, R.I. (November 3, 2014) – Citing her entrepreneurial spirit and perseverance in building a world class logistics and supply chain services company after becoming one of the first African-American woman mechanical engineering graduates, President Barack Obama paid tribute to Banneker Industries’ Founder, President and CEO, Cheryl W. Snead, in a speech on women and the economy that he gave at Rhode Island College on October 31, 2014.

Mrs. Snead was personally invited to participate in a roundtable discussion with President Obama, as well as his Strategic Advisor, Valerie Jarrett, and Secretary of Labor, Thomas Perez. Mrs. Snead was one of only two Rhode Island women executives invited to participate in the intimate discussion with the President and his senior staff. Mrs. Snead shared her views with the President on the challenges of sequestration, defense cuts and the need for the government to open the doors for Women Businesses (WBEs) to compete on an equal footing for government contracts as a strategy to turn the economy around.

After the roundtable discussion, the President delivered his remarks to a packed house at Rhode Island College, in which he cited Banneker Industries and the role Mrs. Snead has played in the advancement of the company as a regional and global leader in the provision of supply chain management services.

The full text of the President’s remarks relative to Banneker Industries follows:

“And it’s not just these big corporations that are embracing these policies. So Cheryl Snead, who is the CEO of Banneker Industries -- where’s Cheryl? She was here just a second. There she is back there. So Banneker Industries, a supply chain management firm, is based in North Smithfield. And when Cheryl was in college, she studied mechanical engineering. At the time, there weren’t that many African American women in mechanical engineering. There still aren’t. (Laughter.) We're working to change that.

Cheryl wants to do something about that. Her company has made it a priority to find talented young women and minority students, encourage them to study science and math in college, hire them once they graduate. (Applause.) And what Cheryl was explaining was that having a diverse workforce, having more women in the workforce, all that makes her a stronger company. And it’s not just good for the workers -- it’s good for business.

So if large businesses like Google, small businesses like Cheryl’s all see the wisdom of this, let’s join them. Let’s encourage more women and more girls into fields like science and technology and engineering and math. And let’s work with those companies to ensure that family-friendly policies can support more women in that workforce.”


 A video link to the President’s remarks can be found here:

Banneker offers integrated logistics and supply chain management services including value-added warehousing, procurement, inspection, kitting, distribution, packaging and fulfillment, onsite services and supply chain consulting. It is one of the leading disadvantaged, minority and woman-owned small businesses in the country. For more information, visit


Banneker is a certified Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB), Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and a Women Business Enterprise (WBE)/Women Owned Small Business (WOSB).

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