Dean Named MBDA Minority Business Center Program Manager



Contact: Sherry Harlin, Senior VP of Development
800.658.2823 or




TULSA (February 14, 2022) – Susan Dean has been named Program Manager of REI Oklahoma’s Minority Business Center. In this role, she will provide guidance to help minority-owned businesses earn minority certifications, including 8(a) and HUBZone, through the US Small Business Administration. Dean will also be responsible for the oversight of the Oklahoma MBDA Business Center operated by REI Oklahoma. Through the MBDA Business Center, she will focus on creating opportunities for minority-owned companies to achieve new growth and pursue government-related contracting opportunities.


Dean, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation Tribe, will bring her own experiences as a minority small business owner. She holds firsthand knowledge in acquiring, managing and fulfilling government contracts. She is also familiar with the process and challenges associated with applying for and obtaining crucial certifications from a business owner perspective, which will be beneficial to clients seeking long-term results in the federal contracting market.


“We are very excited to have Susan serving in this role,” said Sherry Harlin, Senior Vice President of Development. “Her knowledge and first-hand experience will be helpful as she supports and guides Oklahoma’s minority business owners.”


REI’s Minority Business Center provides professional business consulting services and technical assistance to minority-owned entrepreneurs to help them manage, sustain and grow their businesses. The Minority Business Center is partially funded by the Minority Business Development Agency’s Business Center program. While government contracts are made available to specifically minority-owned businesses, the process for obtaining these contracts can be overwhelming. Assistance is available for all stages of business from startup through expansion and includes services such as marketing assistance and business plan development.


A non-profit economic development firm, REI Oklahoma offers services statewide. In addition to its work helping minority business owners, REI Business Lending collaborates closely with local lenders to help entrepreneurs navigate through business lending resources and programs. For women-owned businesses, REI Women’s Business Center offers unique training, as well as technical assistance and access to capital. REI Down Payment Assistance provides support to potential homeowners. Additionally, business space is made available through the organization’s commercial facilities program. REI Oklahoma leverages the New Markets Tax Credit program to attract new investments into Oklahoma and create needed jobs in underserved communities. Learn more about the organization at Follow REI Oklahoma on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.