Diane E. Sumpter is President and Chief Executive Officer of DESA, Inc. which is a 20+ year operator of the US Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency Business Center – Columbia, SC. Sumpter has spent more than 40 years working as a catalyst for change in South Carolina and the nation. As a business leader, she has concentrated on economic development while strategizing and leading advocacy efforts for small, minority and women-owned businesses. As a community activist, Sumpter has dedicated time and resources to the causes of educational advancement and cultural awareness. Under Sumpter’s leadership, DESA remains one of the longest-running operators of the MBDA Business Center. Her primary areas of focus are facilitating business development opportunities, increasing procurement opportunities and guiding minority firms to the next level of growth, whether it is local, national or global. She leads a team of employees who share her vision and commitment to the development and success of minority-owned businesses. Along the way, Sumpter has been recognized locally and nationally for her talent and leadership. Additionally, Sumpter currently sits on the boards of Midlands Technical College, South Carolina Future Minds, and Forest Lake Educational Foundation. She’s a former board member of the Carolinas-Virginia Minority Supplier Development Council, SC State Department of Education, SC State NAACP, SC Council on Competitiveness, East Richland County Public Service Commission, and South Carolina Philharmonic.