Star Jones to Headline 2015 NMSDC Leadership Awards

New York, NY – The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC®) today announced that Star Jones will host its 2015 Leadership Awards gala on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at the New York Hilton in New York City.

A well-respected, sought-after commentator and women’s and diversity advocate, Star is a highly accomplished attorney, former NYC prosecutor, entrepreneur, businesswoman, philanthropist, best-selling author, and President of the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) and Professional Diversity Network. NAPW is the largest, most-recognized networking organization for professional women in the country—with more than 700,000 members spanning virtually every industry and profession and over 200 operating Local Chapters. Professional Diversity Network (PDN) is the leader in business diversity recruiting, networking and professional development for women, minorities, veterans, LGBT and disabled persons nationally.

As president of Professional Diversity Network (PDN), Star is among the youngest of a small group of African-American women to lead a public company in the US. Her guest television commentator appearances provide national exposure and promotion for NAPW / PDN in major broadcast markets and online, positioning both organizations as thought leaders in the diversity and inclusion space. Additionally, as a heart disease survivor and National Volunteer for the American Heart Association, Star uses her international public platform to positively impact the lives of all women by empowering them to take action, stand stronger and join the fight against heart disease.

“Our yearly leadership awards celebrate the best in minority business success and corporate commitment to supplier diversity,” said NMSDC President Joset Wright-Lacy. “Having a leader and lively personality will make this special night for hundreds of entrepreneurs and corporate officers even more exceptional.”

Honorees for the evening include:

Corporate members

John Munson, Jr., Vice President, Supplier Diversity – Purchasing, Macy’s Inc.

Fred Lona, Senior Director, Supplier Diversity and Performance Management, Hilton Worldwide

Benita Fortner, Director of Supplier Diversity, Raytheon Company


Hiten Patel, Founder and Chairman, Collabera, Inc.

Nina Vaca, Chairman and CEO, Pinnacle Group

Albert Chen, Chairman and CEO, Telamon Corporation

CPO (Chief Procurement Officer) of the Year

Shelley Stewart, Jr. C.P.S.M., Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer, DuPont Sourcing & Logistics.

  • 2015 marks the inaugural year for this award, which recognizes an outstanding leader whose vision, passion and integrity have proven impactful within the CPO’s corporation as well as the larger supplier diversity community

The Vanguard Award recognizes an NMSDC affiliate council president who has exhibited leadership in driving the value proposition for minority supplier development among corporate and MBE constituents throughout the NMSDC network. The recipient is announced publicly for the first time at the Leadership Awards ceremony.

The National Minority Supplier Development Council advances business opportunities for certified Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American business enterprises and connects them to its 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 24 affiliate councils across the country. There are 1,750 corporate members throughout the network, including America’s top publicly-owned, privately-owned and foreign-owned companies as well as universities, hospitals and other buying institutions. The affiliate councils certify and match nearly 12,000 minority-owned businesses with member corporations that want to purchase their products, services and solutions.
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