Vinicio Mendez has been named small-business development manager for the UCLA Materiel Management Division.
In his new position, Mendez will be responsible for increasing UCLA's involvement with small businesses owned by women and minorities, a goal of the University of California Regents' policy on affirmative action in business contracting.
"The university system has a tremendous buying power," said Mendez, who was formerly with the Community Redevelopment Agency.
"UCLA alone spends approximately $200 million annually on various goods and services. We need to find a way to break through the stereotype that small businesses are less reliable or cost effective than larger firms."
The UCLA Materiel Management Division conducts workshops for minority business associations on university contracting procedures and other aspects of doing business with UCLA.