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NMSDC 2021 – Message from the President

NMSDC 2021 – Message from the President

Hello and Happy New Year!

NMSDC is excited and ready to embark on a successful 2021 journey. We have strategically outlined our OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) to focus on the NMSDC four pillars: Certify. Develop. Connect. Advocate.

We are working diligently to transform our technology, process improvements and operational excellence. Our corporate members and MBEs remain our top priority – as we deliver content to help them rebuild their businesses during the pandemic.

NMSDC is excited about our 2021 Schedule of Events. We continue to work with our 23 affiliate councils to form strategic partnerships, deliver valuable content, workshops, virtual/hybrid events, and town halls.

We welcome our newly appointed Board Chair, Jose Turkienicz, of UPS, our new Secretary, Gabriel Castro, of TXU, and other new board members that are eager to work with NMSDC as we focus on our mission, to advance business opportunities for certified minority business enterprises and connect them to corporate members.

Looking forward to a great year, filled with possibilities and opportunities!

Tony Abate

Tony AbateAnthony (Tony) Abate
Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer


Tony Abate is a nationally known and respected procurement executive in the Insurance and Financial Services industry with a track record of leading large organizational transformations to radically reduce the cost of operations across Fortune 100 companies. He has been able to combine his deep financial background and experience with his career in the Procurement discipline to create business partnerships that drive value across very complex enterprises.

Tony currently serves as the Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer of Cigna, a global health services company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. Since joining Cigna in 2010, Tony has lead Supply Chain Management’s journey to becoming a world-class procurement and supplier relationship management organization by building three key functions:

· Strategic Sourcing, responsible for category management and contract negotiations

· External Entity Management, responsible for managing Cigna’s strategic supplier relationships

· Global Center of Excellence, responsible for developing and maintaining supplier best practices, including risk management and analytics, as well as procurement technologies for Cigna’s global supply chain

Under Tony’s leadership, Supply Chain Management manages Cigna’s approximately 6,000 suppliers and $3 billion in annual spend across 31 countries.

Tony began his career at General Electric (GE), graduating from their Financial Management Program, and went on to hold various finance and procurement leadership roles within the services industry.

As a Vice President at Fidelity Investments, Tony drove cost out of the supply chain and managed supplier performance by implementing electronic sourcing processes and a playbook of supplier management best practices which contributed to reducing Fidelity’s key supplier risk in the 401K business by 90% over a 12-month period. As the Corporate Director of Global Sourcing at American International Group (AIG), Tony implemented global planning and budgeting processes and reduced operational costs by $36 million in one year.

Before that, Tony held the positions of Controller, Director and Vice President at Travelers, United Health Group and The Hartford, where he was responsible for managing various finance operations and IT procurement functions.

Tony maintains affiliations with procurement industry associations including Procurement Leaders.
The Covid-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the supply chain and has caused particular devastation within the minority business community. This session takes a deep dive into how minority businesses have been impacted and explore what leaders can do to help stabilize operations for diverse suppliers.

Sidd Ahmed

Sidd Ahmed, Founder and CEO VDart GroupSidd Ahmed is the Founder and CEO of VDart Group, one of the leading digital talent management, solution and product companies found in the industry globally. VDart was born months after the recession during a time when companies were closing, and its success was the result of sheer effort and motivation from its captain, Sidd. He claims that it’s because the mindset has always been to “create opportunities for the success of others,” the company is standing where it is today.

Sidd’s vision has always been to build a leading enterprise that would “touch the lives of people, to create success, wealth and quality of life.” He was able to orchestrate this goal successfully by navigating a workforce of more than 2550+ people located in 7 different countries, and at the same time increasing those figures year on year. His vision is also the force that drives VDart’s CSR program which helped change the lives of children in need, the disabled, and the hundreds of people were victims of natural disasters.

It is a remarkable feat considering that prior to VDart’s success, Sidd had never worked in any large organization nor had he come from a corporate background. However, despite lacking those experiences Sidd has maintained exponential growth in the IT talent management industry and is now embarking on the digital frontier of technology, Industry 4.0.

Today among many other accolades VDart holds wins such as Inc. 5000 – 8 times fastest-growing firms in the US, NMSDC National MBE of the Year 2019, Supplier of the Year Class IV by NMSDC, MBE Advocate of the Year by GMSDC to name just a few. Along with those victories, Sidd also received Government’s Small Business Administration for Entrepreneurial Success 2018, Small Business Person of the Year – 2017 and the coveted Entrepreneur of the Year Regional Award for 2017 and Eagle Award for 2017 & 2018.

Sidd has participated in several different leadership mentoring programs from outstanding corporations such as Accenture and Delta Airlines because he believes that being a leader should not be viewed as a license to increase the volume of rhetoric, but instead a leader is a prime opportunity to realize the value of everything that can be gleaned from the minds of others.

Along with VDart, Sidd is also the CEO of VDart Digital, Vouch, and VDart BPM. While VDart has oces in the USA, Canada, UK & India and is ranked Inc 500 with revenue over $180 million. His leadership in the world of digital transformation has now expanded VDart into new countries such as Japan, Australia, and Belgium. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Georgia Education Foundation which supports GMSDC Academy an active alumni advocate of the Georgia Mentor Protégé Connection, Vice-Chair to the Stang Industry Group in MBEIC (Minority Business Enterprise Input Committee), Alumni Advocate at the Georgia Mentor Protégé Alumni Association. Sidd contributes to the foundation’s goal of scaling new heights of excellence


In 2019, Wells Fargo and the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) will collaborate in three “Minority Business Leadership Academies,” to train minority suppliers on how to expand their capabilities. These Minority Business Leadership Academies will be hosted in Washington, D.C. by the Capitol Region MSDC, Los Angeles by the Southern California MSDC, and Houston by the Houston MSDC.

“Wells Fargo is committed to supplier diversity and developing diverse suppliers across the country. In 2018, Wells Fargo spent $1.36 billion with diverse suppliers. We’ve invested in nine capacity building programs across the country, which will help more than 500 diverse suppliers in the upcoming year,” said Regina Heyward, head of Supplier Diversity for Wells Fargo.

“NMSDC is able to extend its support of minority supplier development through innovative partnerships with our corporate members,” said NMSDC President and CEO Adrienne Trimble. “Minority-owned businesses nationwide employ 6.3 million people and generate annual revenue of more than $1.6 trillion. Wells Fargo consistently demonstrates its strong commitment to our supplier diversity programs that serve NMSDC-certified minority-owned businesses.”

The goals of the Minority Business Leadership Academy are to build the value proposition for each minority business owner; to enhance best practices in business development, organizational capabilities and scalability; to foster greater readiness to meet industry needs; and to increase competitiveness when seeking contracts and opportunities in the global marketplace.

Beginning in the first quarter of 2019, Wells Fargo Supplier Diversity will sponsor three Minority Business Leadership Academies in collaboration with NMSDC. Through a grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation, NMSDC will administer the Minority Business Leadership Academy program and be responsible for selecting three grantees from its regional Minority Supplier Development Councils to run each year-long academy. NMSDC will ensure this program is fully vetted with developed plans of action for each of the funded Minority Business Leadership Academies.

In 2016, Wells Fargo in collaboration with NMSDC’s regional Supplier Diversity Development Councils, piloted the Minority Business Leadership Academy project to help grow certified MBEs. In 2017, more than 80 minority business CEOs graduated from five Minority Business Leadership Academies.

The Minority Business Leadership Academy is a one-year commitment, in one of three regional classes, comprised of 15-20 qualifying applicants. At the end of the 12-month training process, each participant will deliver an end-of-year report that tracks growth and success of the program.

In the Minority Business Leadership Academy’s business development training, attendees will have:

  • Quarterly sessions (half-day in-person training sessions)
  • Bi-monthly group sessions
  • Corporate mentoring
  • 1:1 executive coaching
  • Peer-to-peer mentoring
  • A suite of program action items and timelines (i.e., documented milestones and accomplishments)
  • Tools and resources
  • The opportunity to obtain NMSDC certification

To qualify for consideration, MBEs must represent a mid- to large-size business (with at least $3 million in annual revenues). They must have a track record of high performance, offering quality products and services at market-competitive pricing. Each applicant’s business plan will be considered, to confirm financial solvency and positioning for growth. Preference will be given to current Wells Fargo suppliers and NMSDC-certified MBEs.



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

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through 7,800 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet ( and mobile banking, and has offices in 37 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 262,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 26 on Fortune’s 2018 rankings of America’s largest corporations. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

Adrienne Trimble FAQ

  1. Tell us more about our new president. With a proven HR background, she is equipped to build and lead our efforts with a strong and effective national staff. As a former corporate Supplier Diversity leader, she understands the corporate drivers for our organization and will bring invaluable insight to help MBEs grow.
  2. When will she assume office? August 1, 2018.
  3. What is Toyota’s role? We appreciate Toyota’s support of NMSDC. Other than their regular work as an NMSDC corporate member, Toyota will not be involved in council business.
  4. Will our new president be based in our New York office? Yes.
  5. Who was involved in the selection process? The Executive Committee and a Search Committee that worked with a certified WBE search firm.
  6. Will the new President be allowed to make decisions (e.g., hiring, programming, etc.)? The new president will assume all roles and responsibilities of president.  She is not in an interim capacity.  She will drive all aspects of the organization, including but not limited to, revamping processes, designing new programming, overseeing all operational functions, selecting and leading a strong national staff, and working with the board and affiliates to create and implement strategy.
  7. What is the board doing to foster an inclusive culture? Our board is committed to NMSDC’s success; as such, we are revamping our governance process to ensure we are representative of various constituents, and actively encouraging new, diverse perspectives to fulfill our mission.
  8. Why wasn’t our interim president selected as a permanent one? Louis Green is an MBE who assumed this role on an interim basis. We are grateful to Louis, his family and employees for their flexibility and help in adding stability to the organization during this time.
  9. Is there a transition period with Louis Green? Louis remains on board to assist Adrienne through October.
  10. Is there a strategy at NMSDC? We continue to strategically approach our goals of serving our corporate members, developing and driving growth for MBEs and effectively communicating our brand and value, while expanding our overall reach and impact. Adrienne will work with our Strategic Planning Committee to finalize the strategy that has been created by a cross-functional group of network leaders.
  11. How can corporate members and MBEs contribute to the success of the organization? First, thank you for your support of this great organization. We ask that you continue to work with our affiliate and national staffs to share your input and drive programming that creates more opportunities to grow and develop MBEs.


If you are asked questions that are not listed, we ask that you email Vice-Chair Sid Johnson at who can assist in providing a response.

History of Supplier Diversity for Minority Business Development

Empowering Minority Entrepreneurs: NMSDC Survey

Empowering Minority Entrepreneurs: NMSDC Survey

  • NMSDC is conducting this survey of our certified MBEs in collaboration with researchers at Columbia Business School.  We want to learn more about your perspectives as a minority entrepreneur. Share your experience about the barriers and challenges you experience on this short survey. Your feedback matters!
  • The Empowering Minority Entrepreneurs: NMSDC Survey is anonymous and should take about 15 minutes to complete.
  • This survey is to be completed in one sitting – you will not be able to save your responses or start again where you left off on a different device.
  • Please note that you may also complete the survey on your smart phone, tablet device, or computer. Thank you for your contributions.
  • Please click the link below to complete the survey: