Congratulations to the Winners and Nominees of the 2016 Awards

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.  

Visit the Council's website for a complete list of awardees and nominees

‘Real Engagements’ Characterized Conference, Fair & Dinner

MBEIC Input Committee Chair Shahzad Qadri, Class III Supplier of the Year winner Dynamic Language's Sandy Dupleich, Board Chair Diane Lin, and Awards Committee Chair James Hing

MBEIC Input Committee Chair Shahzad Qadri, Class III Supplier of the Year winner Dynamic Language's Sandy Dupleich, Board Chair Diane Lin, and Awards Committee Chair James Hing

Calling the series of events “as close to as perfect as we expected,” the Council celebrated an outstanding 2015 Business Conference & Opportunity Fair and Awards Dinner & Silent Auction on March 12 and 13.

“There were some real engagements taking place,” said Fernando Martinez, Council president and CEO. All the attendees were comfortable talking to each other and the agenda allowed plenty of time for attendees to have deep discussions. “The event itself was well done—it was well planned and everybody worked hard.”

According to Council Board Chair Diane Lin, the events were more intimate than the ones in years past. The events of March 12, for example, allowed time for everybody to go to each of the booths at the Opportunity Fair. The roundtables held during the Business Conference “were just a great opportunity for corporations to address suppliers all at once in a casual way. Corporations might have some presumptions around what suppliers are going through and vice versa, and the roundtables helped clarify that,” she said.

A group picture of the luncheon crowd at the Business Conference & Opportunity Fair

A group picture of the luncheon crowd at the Business Conference & Opportunity Fair

And the Awards Dinner “is always one of my favorite events—just the recognition of all the hard work of each of the Council’s stakeholder groups. I love hearing the stories about the suppliers that moved up in class. At Starbucks, we do business with many of the suppliers that are nominated. We are so proud of being associated with those suppliers,” Lin said.

MBEs El Mundo Communications, Inc., ELYON International, Inc., Dynamic Language, and Zones, Inc. as well as Council Members University of Washington, AT&T, and Microsoft won awards at the March 13 dinner (for a complete list of the awards they received, click here). Frank Lemos, Alexis Oliver, and Lin herself won advocacy awards on March 12.

“There are a lot of people who are very deserving of that [Robert L. Ryan] Award,” Lin said. “It was great to be recognized. Advocating for and working with diverse suppliers is a labor of love and I don’t feel like this is work. It’s something that I enjoy and that I get great personal satisfaction from.”

Along with the Awards Dinner, a Silent Auction was held on the evening of March 13. The auction raised $7,700, which benefits the Council’s Scholarship Fund, supporting educational opportunities for MBEs.

Martinez said it was clear to him throughout the two days that the Council is “in a position where we can create change.”

“The corporations find value in what we do and we are in a position to really make change for the better,” he said.

To view the photos taken by MBE Flyright Productions, visit the BCOF gallery here and the Awards Dinner gallery here.