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NATIONAL MINORITY SUPPLIER DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL PRESENTS ANNUAL ACCOLADES AT GALA IN AUSTIN NMSDC CORPORATE MEMBERS, CERTIFIED MINORITY BUSINESS ENTERPRISES AND GEORGIA COUNCIL ARE RECOGNIZED FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS
Austin, TX – On Wednesday evening, October 17, the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC.org) hosted a black-tie banquet to honor its corporate members, certified minority business enterprises (MBEs), and network leaders for exceptional accomplishments in promoting minority supplier development.
The Gala, sponsored by Northrop Grumman, marked the culmination of NMSDC’s annual Conference and Business Opportunity Exchange, held this year at the Austin Convention Center in Texas. The Conference’s Corporate Co-Chairs were Dell, Toyota and Wells Fargo; the first-ever Corporate Plus® Co-Chair was ACRO Service Corporation; the MBE Co-Chair was Ongweoweh; and the Platinum Sponsor was Vista Equity Partners.
At the start of the Gala, the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council, one of 23 regional councils of the NMSDC, was honored as Regional Council of the Year. The Harriet R. Michel Chairman’s Awards, recognizing outstanding contributions to the work and progress of NMSDC in the past year, went to Casilda Del Valle, NMSDC’s Vice President for Finance and Administration, who has worked at NMSDC for 40 years; and to Louis Green, outgoing Interim President of NMSDC.
Supplier of the Year awards were presented in four classes. In Class I, for businesses with up to $1 million annual revenue, Stellar Consulting Solutions was recognized. Supplier of the Year for Class II, with $1 million to $5 million in annual revenue, was Athena Engineering. Recognized in Class III ($5 million to $10 million annual revenue) was Premiere Building Maintenance Corporation. And the honoree for Class IV ($10 million and above in annual revenue) was Hal Hays Construction.
Corporations of the Year honors were also presented, in five classes. The Class I honoree ($1 billion to $10 billion in revenue) was EQT. In Class II ($11 billion to $50 billion revenue), Merck was recognized, and the Class III award ($50 billion to $100 billion revenue) went to Comcast NBCUniversal. There was no award in Class IV this year, but for Class V ($151 billion and above in revenue) the Corporation of the Year honor was presented to AT&T.
Corporations honored as Top Category Performers were: Bank of America (Financial); Walmart and FCA (Tier II); Toyota (Development); and CVS Health and The Coca-Cola Company (Innovation).
NMSDC Annual Awards Gala
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At the end of the presentations, Master of Ceremonies Chuck Nice introduced the final speaker of the evening, NMSDC President and CEO Adrienne Trimble, who reflected on the nearly 50 years of achievement by the NMSDC, transforming the relationship between minority suppliers and corporate America. She revealed that for next year, the NMSDC’s annual Conference and Business Opportunity Exchange would be held in Atlanta, with newly-announced Corporate Co-Chairs AT&T, Coca-Cola and UPS. In wrapping up, Ms. Trimble acknowledged the efforts of the NMSDC national staff, and thanked NMSDC Chair Joe Hinrichs and the Board members for entrusting to her the leadership of NMSDC.
Conference highlights included:
The NMSDC advances business opportunities for certified minority business enterprises (MBEs) and connects them to corporate members. One of the country’s leading corporate membership organizations, NMSDC was chartered in 1972 to provide increased procurement and business opportunities for minority businesses of all sizes. The NMSDC network includes a National Office in New York and 23 affiliate regional councils across the country. The network also includes five international partner organizations located in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, China and South Africa.
To meet the growing need for supplier diversity, NMSDC matches its more than 12,000 certified minority-owned businesses to our network of more than 1,750 corporate members who wish to purchase their products, services and solutions. NMSDC, a unique and specialized player in the field of minority business enterprise, is proud of its unwavering commitment to advance Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American suppliers in a globalized corporate supply chain. For more information, visit www.NMSDC.org.
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The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) is a national corporate membership organization focused on helping minority-owned businesses through networking, conferences and other services. This organization’s network includes 23 affiliate regional councils in the country and currently 1,750 corporate members.
This NMSDC is holding its annual Conference and Business Opportunity Exchange at the Austin Convention Center. During this four-day period, more than 6,000 CEOs, executives and other minority professionals gather to advocate for increased participation by minority-owned firms in global corporate supply chains.
The first day of this exchange features many guest speakers, including former Dallas Cowboys running back and Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith. He spoke about his past desire to do something different once he realized his sports career was coming to a close.
“Knowing that I was going to retire at the age of 35,” Smith said. “Knowing that there’s only so many rounds of golf that I want to play. There’s only so many vacations I want to take. I wanted to continue to stimulate my mind and go after something much greater than I’ve been able to accomplish on the football field.”
For Smith, the answer to this desire ended up becoming the free enterprise market, especially with his experience playing for Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys.
“I’ve always asked the question, ‘If this man is able to pay us this kind of money, how much money is he really making?'” Smith said.
Smith eventually worked his way into the real estate business after starting to invest in the 1990s. He bought his first condo and then a Walgreens, both in Florida. He eventually brought his investments and new career to Texas.
“If someone else learned it, you can learn it as well,” Smith said, in terms of getting into real estate.
Through his time on stage, Smith made many correlations tying together football with business. One he emphasized was his diversity to do many things in the backfield and the need to be “sticky” and work in many different fields connected to one industry to be successful.
“Being a developer, being in the broker services business, having a construction company and also having a financing investment company put into America’s infrastructure, that’s the platform that we have created under E Smith Legacy Holdings,” Smith said.
E Smith Legacy Holdings is the former Cowboys running back’s commercial real estate holding company.
“We are just trying to get our niche and help companies who are definitely focused on minority companies that have the bandwidth, but also the scalability to take on larger projects,” Smith said.
Smith said he had difficulties early on convincing people that he was more than an athlete with physical tools. Still to this day, he said there are unsubstantiated opinions that it’s more risky to get in business with minority companies than the alternative.
“The person that’s in charge of making a decision is trying to make the right decision for the company,” Smith said. “They’re trying to find the least risky company they can invest in to get the job done because their job is on the line. When you’re looking at a minority company, sometimes the rich profile may be too high from a perception standpoint versus the reality.”
Smith said the reason why he came to Austin Monday, and continues to advocate for minority companies, is in hope of motivating companies in Texas and the entire country to adjust how and where they look for people to go into business with. He hopes this potential change can give minority companies the chance to prove themselves, which would allow them to earn the right to do more business and be successful.
“For me, I’m trying to break through that cluster of, ‘We can’t find qualified individuals to do certain things,'” Smith said. “My question is, ‘Are you really looking in the right places?'”
Smith said Austin is a vibrant and active place for many of these entrepreneurs to take advantage.
“Technology is starting to take off here and Austin has embraced a lot of the differences in minority companies as well,” Smith said. “Austin has become a hub for business. The state of Texas has become a significant hub for entrepreneurship and new business. This is a good place to be.”