The Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council (MSDC) congratulates the winners and nominees of the 2016 Awards. . Starbucks won National Corporation of the Year for outstanding Supplier Diversity leadership in the Northwest Mountain region. The other nominees in the category were The Boeing Company, Nordstrom Corporation, T-Mobile USA, Inc. and Wieden + Kennedy, Inc. The award was accepted by James Hing, Global Category Manager Supplier Diversity for Starbucks Coffee Corporation who also won the Robert L. Ryan Advocacy Award, in honor of the Council’s founder Robert L. Ryan, for his exceptional contribution to the practice and advocacy of Supplier Diversity.
Wells Fargo and Company won Regional Corporation of the Year, besting Howard S. Wright; Intel Corporation; MUFG Union Bank; Northwest Natural Gas; Puget Sound Energy; Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI); Vulcan, Inc. and Wyndham Worldwide Corporation. The award was accepted by Kashi Yoshikawa on behalf of Peter Lee, Vice President Supplier Diversity for Wells Fargo and Company.
Public Agency of the Year, presented to Martin Luther King County of Washington State, was accepted by Sandy Hanks, MPA, Business Development and Contract Compliance for King County. The nominees from this category were City of Portland, City of Seattle, Multnomah County, Oregon Department of Transportation and Oregon State University.
Two other Advocacy Awards were presented during the evening: the John A. Gilmore Advocacy Award to Darryl L. Russel of The Russell Group, a Council-certified MBE that best embodied his spirit of business engagement on behalf of minority entrepreneurs, and the Champion Advocacy Award to Tiffany Hamilton of Oregon Department of Transportation for her outstanding dedication to minority business development within the public sector.
For MBEs who have excelled in all aspects of business while demonstrating commitment to their communities and Supplier Diversity success, Supplier of the Year awards were presented to Jacqueline Alexander of Morale Orchards DBA KnowYourFruit.com; Frank and Penny Fukui of Woodburn Company; Billy Kumangai of Kalani Packaging, Inc. and David Groomes of U.S. Facilities, Inc.
The Awards were presented by Gary Sheneman of Microsoft, Board Chairperson for the Council; Dawncelie Johnson-White, Mistress-of-Ceremonies and Fernando Martinez at the DoubleTree Suites in Tukwila, Washington on March 11, 2016. The winners were selected from a roster of eighty five nominees submitted by corporations, public agencies and suppliers engaged in the practice of Supplier Diversity during the past year. Since the inception of the MSDC Awards, this year’s Awards Committee saw the most number of nominations ever received, indicating a remarkable improvement for minority business activity in the Northwest Mountain region which includes Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. However, there remains a need for more involvement and better programming from corporations and public agencies.
The importance of enforcing Supplier Diversity and Minority Supplier Development was reinforced by Keynote Speaker, Daniel C. Fleming, Vice President and Partner of Wong Fleming, Attorneys-at-Law, a WMBE-certified national law firm representing Fortune 100 corporations. Fleming provided historical and current perspectives on diversity and how it plays a major role in decisions made by leaders in both public and private organizations. He cited flawed human judgement as an obstacle in the progression of diversity and that it limits minorities from employment and business opportunities. “The prevailing challenge to supplier diversity is not the lack of qualified minority suppliers but the lack of access to equal opportunity,” he said.
The final award of the evening, the President’s Award, was presented by Council President and CEO, Fernando Martinez to Trio Group, a nationally-certified MBE with a full range of marketing communications capabilities.