Boeing was the name on everyone’s lips at the Northwest MSDC’s last major event of 2013, the Founder’s Dinner Celebration on Oct. 11. The dinner not only commemorated The Boeing Company’s founding of the organization on Oct. 20, 1978, but also Boeing’s support of diverse suppliers through the years.
Representatives from the MSDC’s corporate members and minority business enterprises attended the celebration, held at the scenic Golf Club at Newcastle in Newcastle, Wash.
“The Boeing Company is a pioneer,” said Fernando Martinez, president and CEO of Northwest MSDC. “We’ve got many companies here because Boeing led the pack.” In 1974, Robert L. Ryan, then Boeing’s corporate administrator for small and disadvantaged business programs, had a vision “to create equity and inclusion for minority businesses,” Martinez said.
Boeing provided the funding to start the Puget Sound Council and became its first member. According to Tom Nesby of Nesby & Associates, Inc., “Boeing helped to establish credibility and value to this Council.” Nesby, who has been involved in the MSDC since the early 1980s, added that Boeing has “demonstrated a long-term commitment to serving the Council.”
Nesby gave one of four MBE testimonials at the celebration. Another was given by Earl Overstreet, who said General Microsystems, Inc. has been doing business for 30 years thanks to an ongoing contract with Boeing. “Boeing has been the wings for GMI for almost 30 years, the wings for the Council for 35 years, and the wings for the Puget Sound region for almost 100 years,” he said.