Programmed for Success

Through its Supplier Development Program, Blue Wave provides local Hispanic-owned companies, including three HCCL members, the guidance to take their business to another level.
Blue Wave

For Blue Wave International, a consulting firm that specializes in serving diverse and under-represented suppliers, the goal is grand but the process to achieve it is focused and concentrated: Change the World, One Supplier at a Time.

Co-founded by Alma Del Toro and Eduardo Nunez, a duo with experience working high level positions within the energy sector, Blue Wave developed its own curriculum for its half-year-long course known as the Blue Wave Supplier Development Program. The program incorporates a variety of disciplines applicable to small businesses, assisting Hispanic-owned entities to land supplier contracts with government agencies and international corporations.

Recently, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana (HCCL) played matchmaker and invited three local Hispanic-owned small businesses and HCCL members (Daniel Toro, financial adviser with Edward Jones; JPS Home Builders LLC; and Colmex Construction) to enroll in Blue Wave’s program at no cost.

Within the program, established and neophyte small business owners/operators learn to self-assess their methods and identify and close gaps that could be stunting economic growth and revenue generation. Those enrolled in the program gain tools and training to not only knock on doors they never had access to, but to open those doors, as well.

“What was interesting about the course is that there were participants who all had different businesses, but many of the questions and blind spots and curiosities we had on expanding our reach were largely the same,” Toro said. “Their stories and their struggles – I’ve gone through much of that, as well. Improving our processes. Bettering communication with our team members. The program taught you how to not only grow and improve, but to become introspective and examine if there’s a better way to do the things we’re already doing.”

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“Very simply, your network is your net worth,” Toro continued. “Going through this program not only showed me how to pursue those government and large corporation clients, but I also got to make connections with small-business owners across the United States that were a part of this program, just like I was.”

The Blue Wave program evaluates suppliers’ current capabilities within seven business pillars of expertise: Health, Safety, Security, Environment; Quality; Cyber Security; Corporate Policies; Technical Capabilities; Finance; and Environmental, Social and Governance Framework. 

After compiling that complete picture, Blue Wave consultants work with enrollees to author a development plan that will empower their business with the know-how and resources to compete for and land high-volume and high-value partnerships with Fortune 500 companies and other world-class outfits. While many of the businesses selected to take part in Blue Wave’s program are well-established and have been in operation for a decade or longer, length and proven track record aren’t necessarily requirements for candidacy.  

Case in point: JPS Home Builders LLC in Kenner. 

Founded by the husband-wife team of Polo and Julissa Olivares shortly after Hurricane Ida in 2021, JPS quickly developed a quality reputation around south Louisiana for their renovation work on storm-damaged properties. In time, those successful jobs resulted in plenty of word-of-mouth referrals to do fencing and roofing, along with full new construction of homes. 

Even with that welcomed exponential growth, Julissa and Polo were forced to learn the ins and outs of running a construction business on the fly. Polo had a background and experience in construction from the labor side, while Julissa was a kindergarten teacher for close to a decade. 

“We recognized the necessity for the services we could provide right after the hurricane, and the support we’ve received from the community has helped our progress so much,” Julissa said. “But there are aspects of running a company that go beyond what you actually do for your customers, and those were areas where we welcomed real assistance and guidance wherever we could get it.” 

“I have been going to every kind of networking event possible, loving being with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana,” Julissa said. “I get so many emails…and sometimes you’re not sure what’s real and what’s not. So when I got the invitation from Blue Wave, honestly, I thought it was too good to be true.”

Sure enough, it was legit. An HCCL board member assured Julissa that the Blue Wave invite wasn’t spam and that JPS was identified as a small, newly formed Hispanic-owned business that could benefit from the Supplier Development Program. After that, she was fully on board and eager to soak up every morsel of information Blue Wave provided.

“I thought it was the best decision,” Julissa said. “Since we started, I’ve had the mindset that I’m going to treat any learning opportunity like gold. Admittedly, I was a little apprehensive and insecure because we are an infant company with only five employees, but Alma Del Toro broke it down in such a way, held our hand, and let us know we belonged.”

Julissa added that her one-on-one meeting with Del Toro “was an answer to a prayer,” in that she learned the various procedural steps necessary to solicit and land contracts with larger corporations and government agencies – things like creating and presenting documents outlining on-site safety standards and protocols, for instance.  

“This was our blueprint to every single document that I knew I needed but didn’t know how to create or make appear professional, and the blueprint for some documents that I had no idea I needed,” Julissa said. “In the day-to-day demands and hecticness of running a small business, there’s not often time to reflect and learn to accomplish the little things – like accessing and creating forms and procedures – that can lead to big opportunities. This program was our chance to work with experts who truly have our best interests in mind and understand the basic steps and requirements to grow a business.”

Conversely, from the large corporation perspective, the Blue Wave Supplier Development Program expands the pool of potential small businesses suited to fulfill various goods and services needed to compete in a global marketplace. As Blue Wave states on its website, access to a larger base of diverse, qualified, innovative and highly motivated suppliers is a benefit to everybody’s bottom line. 

Business leaders who graduate from the Blue Wave program are given digital badges of merit that can be displayed on their company website and/or social media platforms. The badges contain metadata within them that illustrates the level of performance and achievement within the program of the graduating company.  

“Honestly, right after the first class, I knew this was going to be a worthwhile opportunity,” program participant Daniel Toro said. “To be able to combine what’s been instilled in us through teaching and corporate education through Edward Jones, along with what the Blue Wave program brought to the table, just gives you the confidence and self-assuredness to establish and build partnerships with a wide scope of companies that might be in need of your professional expertise.”

HCCL and Blue Wave continue to work together to identify small businesses to position for growth as a result of completing the program. For more information, check out the Blue Wave website at