Two Council MBEs Awarded Top Honors

Of the 16 Regional Suppliers of the Year named by the National Minority Supplier Development Council, two are from the Northwest Mountain region: ZONES, Inc. and Dynamic Language. Four of the regional suppliers will be named National Supplier of the Year at the NMSDC’s annual conference next week.


Congratulations to the NMSDC 2015 Regional Suppliers of the Year nominees from the Northwest Mountain region!


The honors “are given annually to minority suppliers who have distinguished themselves … by successfully demonstrating growth in sales and employment while overcoming significant obstacles; consistently providing high-quality products, services, and solutions at competitive prices; and significant contributing to the growth and development of their community,” the NMSDC said in a letter to the companies.

ZONES, Inc. is an Auburn, Wash.-based Class IV supplier providing IT services and solutions. Dynamic Language, out of Seattle, is a Class II supplier and offers translation, localization, and interpretation services. Both have received multiple honors from the Northwest Mountain MSDC in the past.

“To be considered for the National Supplier of the Year Award is a testament to our team’s focus on enhancing and differentiating our customers’ experiences with ZONES over the past year,” said ZONES President and CEO Murray Wright in a press release. “We thank the NMSDC for the Regional Supplier of the Year Award and look forward to helping our customers reach even higher levels of success in the future.”

With the award and its 30th  birthday next month, Dynamic Language is going through an exciting time. “We are very proud. We’re competing with many companies that are very capable and some that are larger than us,” said Maria Antezana, president and CEO.

Antezana credits the Northwest Mountain MSDC for playing a role in where Dynamic Language is there today. Council President and CEO Fernando Martinez “has always been our champion,” she said, “and he’s been very proud of us when we’ve made major accomplishments.”

It is very rewarding to see our Council MBEs recognized on a national platform,” Martinez said. “ZONES and Dynamic have been major supporters of the Council, major supporters of our regional MBEs, and deserve recognition. Their recognition has been a long time coming. I am very proud of Maria, Firoz [Lalji, ZONES Chairman of the Board], and their teams that create magic at the last 3 feet for their customers day in and day out.”

National MSDC to Launch New Management Tool

The National MSDC listened to the voice of you, its stakeholder, and is preparing to transition to a modern, user-friendly certification and vendor management tool next month. The move is part of the organization’s Strategic Plan. The platform replaces PRISM, the current minority supplier database. 

NMSDC is implementing an innovative and straightforward portal for online certification and re-certification applications, effective October 1, 2015.  This portal will be one component of the new NMSDC Central Technology Platform.

Users will be able to:

  • Upload documents required for certification
  • Make payments through a secure electronic payment gateway options including electronic checks (paper checks are not accepted for payment)
  • Receive notifications regarding your certification in the new NMSDC Central portal
  • Access the system from your Affiliate Council’s website or from NMSDC’s website

You will need to request a login ID and password to complete your application.

If you have any questions, please contact: Mr. Nguyen Tang, Manager of MBE & Certification Services, and Affiliate Administrator at the Northwest Mountain MSDC,

Council’s Martinez Wins National Leadership Award

Fernando Martinez accepts the Vanguard Award from National MSDC President Joset Wright-Lacy (left) and Casilda Del Valle, vice president for Finance and Administration

Fernando Martinez accepts the Vanguard Award from National MSDC President Joset Wright-Lacy (left) and Casilda Del Valle, vice president for Finance and Administration

The news is out: Fernando Martinez, president & CEO of the Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council, is the recipient of the prestigious Vanguard Award.

The National MSDC made the news public at its annual Leadership Awards gala in New York on May 20. 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 minority business enterprise (MBE) constituents throughout the national network.

“Fernando is the epitome of what we look for in leadership—a dedicated professional who combines passion and performance,” said Joset Wright-Lacy, National MSDC president.

“It is an honor to receive this recognition. However, I must accept this recognition on behalf of the many individuals and organizations that have supported our Council through the years,” said Martinez at the gala, thanking many including “our staff back in Seattle who live our mission day in and day out.”

MSDC presidents Wright-Lacy and Martinez

MSDC presidents Wright-Lacy and Martinez

Martinez has been at the helm of the Northwest Mountain MSDC since 2008, leading the organization’s growth and economic impact on minority businesses in region’s seven states. From 2013-2014, he was Chair of the National MSDC’s President’s Council. He currently serves on several statewide boards and was recently appointed to the King County Economic Opportunity and Empowerment Program Advisory Board. Prior to joining the Council, Martinez led and managed business units within companies such as Xerox Corporation, Starbucks Corporation, Westin Hotels & Resorts, and the former Washington Mutual, Inc.

“This award is really the acknowledgment of all the work we’ve put into the organization and of our Board, the staff, the members, and all the MBEs,” Martinez said. “This organization is highly regarded across the country. It’s everything coming together and culminating into a position of leadership where we’re being recognized nationally.”

Survey Results Place Council Top In Nation

When compared to other Minority Supplier Development Councils across the country, the Northwest Mountain MSDC comes out on top in constituent satisfaction.

That’s according to a report from the National MSDC, based on a survey of regional MSDCs’ stakeholders that it conducted at the end of 2014. Certified MBEs, regional Corporate Members, and national Corporate Members were asked about their experience with their local MSDCs, such as how they were treated by Council staff, if their issues were resolved in a timely manner, and whether they would recommend the organization to others.

The Northwest Mountain MSDC received an average score of 4.4 (on a scale of 1 to 5) on general satisfaction, the highest of all regional MSDCs and higher than the National MSDC. “It is a great Council staffed with excellent people,” one respondent wrote.

Another said, “The Council [is] a strong current running throughout the business community. The staff has been outstanding in its knowledge of and sensitivity to the needs and pressures of the members. This is a haven for businesses to find resources and support.”

“Our Council’s focus is customer satisfaction,” said Council President & CEO Fernando Martinez. “We work hard at making our private and public agency Members, MBEs, potential Members, potential MBEs, and guests feel like customers. We put them first as we develop, provide, and deliver services.”