Vonda’s Kitchen, owned by Vonda McPherson, worked on several NFL-related events. Vonda’s Kitchen catered trade shows for the NFL at the Meadowlands and at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, fed over 500 people at each event. On Super Bowl game day, she catered the tailgate party at the Meadowlands Racetrack for 10,000 people.
McPherson’s relationship with the NFL began with a referral from Deborah E. Collins, Esq., Director of the Essex County Office of Small Business Development and Affirmative Action, who represents Essex County on the nine-member Super Bowl Business Advisory Board. "She referred me to the Super Bowl Committee and was instrumental in getting me an opportunity to cater the trade shows, which led to the tailgate party contract," McPherson said. “I'm so excited about the opportunity that has been presented to me. I thank Essex County so very much for putting my name in the right hands! This experience has been a positive one and I am so grateful for this opportunity,” she said.
MZM Construction and Management
MZM Construction and Management, which is led by President and CEO Marjorie Perry, received a contract to remove snow from the seating bowl, concourses, stair ramps and plaza areas at MetLife Stadium. The East Rutherford stadium is not foreign for Perry’s firm, which worked on a project to ensure worker safety during construction of the stadium.
"When Super Bowl goes looking, you have to be ready. I was already in their system because I helped build MetLife Stadium and understood the game. When they found this out, they gave me the job,” Perry said. “While acknowledging that it's hard to be a new kid on the block when bidding on Super Bowl XLVIII business, you have to be persistent, attend the workshops and keep bidding,” she noted.
Symphony Printing, led by Lee Johnson, said he learned about potential business opportunities through the Essex County SBDAA. The experience was very rewarding for Johnson, who completed several large printing jobs for the Super Bowl and other events related to the game. Besides the contract, Johnson attended a number of workshops hosted by the NFL, where he established relationships with other vendors and suppliers, and gained valuable insight from guest speakers who included Disney executives and NFL alumni who now own their own businesses.
“This was a very good experience for us. The NFL is probably the largest entity that we have done business with. Our relationship with the NFL has been great and they have been pleased with our work,” Johnson said. “It’s nice to see that not only is the NFL giving businesses like mine contracts to perform work, but they are educating us on how to expand our business and promoting networking with other companies. Opportunities like this will help us and also help the region,” he added.