Avis Yates Rivers is the President and CEO of Technology Concepts Group International, LLC. (TCGi), a global asset, expense and procurement management firm. She possesses more than 35 years of general management experience in the information technology industry and has been a successful tech entrepreneur for over 30 years.
At a young age, Avis demonstrated the unique ability to envision possibilities and recognize opportunities. She credits growing up with five siblings in New York City as an important period in her life that prepared her well for the challenges that lie ahead. Her mother and father were both blue-collar, hard-working parents that instilled the benefits of learning and caring about their community. Avis remembers how her father always took classes to expand his mind and improving his station in life, encouraging and inspiring Avis to do the same. Every family lesson paid off.
Prior to establishing her first company in 1985, Avis enjoyed an 11-year career at Exxon Corporation and its subsidiaries. She rose to the rank of Account Executive as a result of successfully marketing a line of early technology products from Exxon Office Systems Company in New York City. When Exxon sold the Office Systems Division, Avis decided to branch out on her own, which led to the founding of her first company. She went on to found several firms over the years, culminating with Technology Concepts Group International, LLC (TCGi). With its innovative supply chain solutions, TCGi specializes in reducing the cost of IT Asset Management, IT Procurement Management and Tail Spend Management. Through its Equipment Financing Division, TCGi delivers flexible payment options to its valuable customers. January 2015 marked her 30th anniversary of business ownership.
A strong believer in the late Shirley Chisholm’s ideal that “service is the rent you pay for the privilege of living on this earth,” Avis subscribes to both the principles and the practice of being ‘in service.’ She is a long-time advocate for the increased utilization of minority and women-owned businesses, and has served in many leadership positions in national organizations such as NMSDC and WBENC. She is also a change agent for increasing the meaningful participation of women and people of color in technology as a member of the Board of Directors and ‘Sit With Me’ Spokesperson of the National Center for Women and Information Technology.
As a tech industry veteran, Avis is no stranger to the gross under-representation of Black females in STEM, which led her to create the TCGi Foundation. Its mission is to address the diversity gap in tech by breaking down barriers for young Black women studying and entering the field, shifting the mindset of what is possible. As a 501(c)(3) organization, the TCGi Foundation provides scholarships to support educational goals for high school seniors and college students studying technology, as well as mentoring, up-skilling, coaching and advocacy to ensure that these deserving young women gain equal and equitable access to employment opportunities.
Avis’s many accolades include Entrepreneur of the Year, Woman of Distinction, the Shirley Chisholm Award for Business, Top 10 Women in Technology and Top 25 Leading Women Entrepreneurs & Business Owners, along with her White House Champion of Change in STEM honor awarded by President Barack Obama. She is also the author of Necessary Inclusion: Embracing the Changing Faces of Technology, which emphasizes the importance of bridging the gap between women of color and STEM.