The transformative power of supplier diversity was on full display at SCMSDC’s 2018 Supplier of the Year (SOTY) awards celebration, starting with the 24 minority business enterprises (MBEs) nominated for their outstanding work with corporate members.
“Congratulations to all of our MBE nominees for their exceptional achievements and to the corporate members who nominated them,” says SCMSDC President Virginia Gomez, adding “these partnerships have delivered tangible results and economic impacts in the community. We’re also very grateful to American Honda for their SOTY title sponsorship year after year – it’s a testament to their commitment to supplier diversity and inclusion.”
“SCMSDC’s SOTY awards program began in 1984 and six years later, American Honda became the event’s title sponsor,” adds SCMSDC Chair Charles Harmon, senior manager, Administration Division, at American Honda Motor Co. “Twenty-eight years have gone by and we’re as proud of our sponsorship today as we were back then. We’ve seen for ourselves the power of supplier diversity and inclusion.”
Collectively, the 2018 SOTY award nominees have gross annual sales of more than $396 million and employ 1,327, of which about 686 are minorities. Nominated by corporate members, they competed for the award in four categories, based on gross annual sales of less than $1 million (Class I), under $10 million (Class II), under $50 million (Class III) and more than $50 million (Class IV).
SOTY award recipients
The following received 2018 SOTY awards:
- Class I: Lindy Huang Werges, owner, Integritas Resources, Inc., a finance and accounting executive search, recruitment and staffing firm headquartered in Los Angeles. The firm was nominated by Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and is the recipient of a complimentary full conference registration to the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) annual business fair in Austin, Texas in October.
- Class II: Jane Chiera, president, CEO, Athena Engineering, a San Dimas-based construction contractor company. The firm was nominated by The Walt Disney Company and also received a complimentary full registration to the NMSDC conference.
- Class III: Jo Muse, chief creator officer, Muse Communications, a full-service multicultural advertising services firm based in Santa Monica. The company was nominated by American Honda and received a scholarship to the Tuck Executive Education at Dartmouth University’s program for minority business entrepreneurs.
- Class IV: Hal Hays, founder, Hal Hays Construction Inc., a construction firm based in Riverside. The firm, which won the award for the third year in a row, was nominated by Southern California Edison and received a scholarship to Kellogg’s Advanced Management Entrepreneurial Program at Northwestern University.
Past award winners were on-hand to announce the recipients in each class category: Class I (2017) Amanda Ma, Innovate Marketing; Class II (2011) Pat Watts, FCI Management; Class III (2011) Linda Stone, APR Consulting; and Class IV (2012) Rochelle Newman-Carrasco, WaltonIsaacson.
Runners-up in each category received Winners’ Circle awards. They included: (Class I) Genesis Professional Staffing, Inc., a staffing company in Burbank, nominated by American Honda; (Class II) Décor Interior Design, a Los Angeles facility resource company specializing in tenant improvements, design, planning, janitorial and grounds maintenance, nominated by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California; (Class III) Blair, Church & Flynn Consulting Engineers, an engineering and construction management services firm headquartered in Clovis, nominated by Southern California Edison; and (Class IV) BCforward, based in Indianapolis, provides consulting, outsourcing and staff augmentation services in systems administration, project management, software development and strategic IT planning, nominated by Anthem.
Other nominees were:
Class I: Tracy Stanhoff, ADPRO, headquartered in Huntington Beach, provides advertising, graphic design and marketing services.
Class II: Sky Kelley, founder, CEO, Avisare Corp., a Los Angeles-based firm, provides sourcing software for government agencies and the contractors and vendors that support them; Dana Hali, founder, Cetera Marketing, based in North Hollywood, focuses on promotional products, corporate gifts and web stores; Daren Masten, founder, president, Clear Cloud Solutions, headquartered in Pomona, provides security systems integration, design, installation and consulting; Yolanda Robles, founder, president, CulturaLink in Norcross, Georgia, partners with healthcare organizations to improve patient-centered care and create an effective, diverse workforce; Nancy Stasior, CEO, RICOM offers IT hardware, software and telecom equipment from its Irvine headquarters; and Bianca Vobecky, president, Vobecky Enterprises Inc., based in Glendora, offers construction and nationwide trucking services.
Class III: George L. Pla, founder, president, CEO, Cordoba Corporation in Los Angeles, provides planning, engineering, construction management and program management services; Jason Stone, president, CEO, Enterprise Resource Services Inc., focuses on staffing, payroll, IT and engineering related services from its El Segundo base; Steve Aguilar, president, CEO, Far West Contractors, Inc. headquartered in Santa Ana, is a full-service general contracting firm; Martha Daniel, founder, president, CEO, Information Management Resources, provides cybersecurity support from its Aliso Viejo headquarters; Mike L. Ireland, president, CEO, JKL Technologies, is an IT solutions firm based in Newbury Park; Andrew Orci, president, CEO, Orci, a Santa Monica-based, full-service, multicultural agency that creates traditional, digital and social content in English and Spanish; Henry Perera, Jr., founder, Perera Construction & Design, a construction contractor that specializes in industrial building from its Ontario base; and Memo Kahan, CEO, PromoShop in Los Angeles provides promotional and marketing services.
Class IV: Carl Satterwhite, president, owner, River City Furniture dba RCF, based in Westchester, Ohio, is a workplace solutions provider of commercial furniture and furnishings, architectural interiors and facilities services.
Corporate nominators included: American Honda Motor Co., Anthem, Metropolitan Water District, Northrop Grumman Corp., SoCalGas, Southern California Edison, The Walt Disney Company and Toyota.
This year’s keynote speaker was Debra Langford, who spoke about the transformative power of supplier diversity and the “power of your network.”
Currently assistant dean of Diversity and Inclusion for USC’s Marshall School of Business and business owner (The Langford Company), she has served in executive positions overseeing everything from production and development to inclusion and business diversity for major media companies like Essence, Time Warner and NBCUniversal.
To emphasize the power of networking, she spoke of the time she attended a luncheon and on one side of the table, she was not included in the conversation, so she talked throughout lunch with the gentlemen on the other side. As lunch ended, the gentlemen introduced themselves as William Hanna and Joseph Barbera of Hanna-Barbera Productions fame (the animation studio responsible for The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Scooby Doo and more).
Her story showed the tremendous “value of showing up and using the power of your network.” In keeping with a movie theme, she told the audience, “Your introduction is your trailer – be concise, engaging and interesting. It shows and tells what you plan to deliver. Your customer is your audience. Diverse tastes, changing interests, connected to technology. Be inclusive – local, national and global. You are a producer and always building a crew via your network. Be intentional about building your network. Create long lasting relationships that are more than transactional. Attend industry and local events to increase visibility.”
During lunch, muralist Amy Burkman wowed the crowd as she speed-painted and transformed two large canvas into beautiful paintings in less than 10 minutes. Following her mesmerizing art performance, accompanied by dramatic live music and choreography, there was a silent auction with half of the proceeds going toward MBE scholarships.
The awards process
Established by the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), corporate members nominate certified MBEs in good standing with the council to compete within their class category for an award.
One winner is selected in each class category, with local winners receiving business scholarships and special recognition and competing in the regional and national competition for the National Minority Supplier Diversity Council SOTY award.
Nominees are judged by an award selection committee composed of SCMSDC corporate members and evaluated on their demonstrated growth and development; employment and job creation; consistent high-quality operations, products/services and business performance; procurement/purchasing spend with MBEs; mentoring and other forms of assistance to MBEs; regional council involvement and more.
In addition to Harmon, committee members included: Brian Butts, manager, Office of Inclusion and Diversity, American Honda Motor Co.; Michelle Chieks, PSEP Supplier Diversity, SoCalGas; Michelle Smith-Ballard, vice president of Community and Citizenship, Turner Construction; Mario Munoz, staff vice president, Procurement and Accounts Payable, Anthem; Vicky Harper-Hall, sector manager, Global Supplier Diversity Programs and Government Relations, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, Northrop Grumman; Dennis Thurston, program manager, Supplier Diversity and Development, Southern California Edison; and Ben Tubuo, Supplier Diversity manager, The Walt Disney Company.
Special thanks to our sponsors