Supplier of the Year Awards honor outstanding entrepreneurs
The Southern California Minority Supplier Development Council’s (SCMSDC) Gateway Conference was the place to be for minority entrepreneurs interested in taking their business to the next level, as well as corporations and other organizations committed to partnering with diverse suppliers to enhance their competitive position.
Held March 14 and 15 at the Pacific Palms Resort in the City of Industry, the event was the council’s biggest networking event of the year, attracting corporate representatives and minority business enterprises (MBEs) over two days. The conference combined, for the first time, two major council events—the Minority Business Opportunity Day (MBOD) expo and Supplier of the Year (SOTY) awards—into one action-packed affair.
“The Gateway Conference expanded networking opportunities for all attendees and brought together our two most exciting events into one convenient venue,” said SCMSDC President Virginia Gomez. “By all accounts, it delivered on its promise to open doors for minority entrepreneurs.”
The first day of the conference focused on supplier development to increase MBEs’ business acumen, followed by an evening reception for additional networking opportunities. Day 2 featured the MBOD expo; industry forums, which provided an in-depth look at what it takes to do business with certain industries; and a celebratory SOTY awards reception and dinner.
Recognizing exceptional performance of minority entrepreneurs
An experiential and events marketing firm, a turnkey commercial interior design company and two construction services suppliers were the top winners at the awards dinner.
The March 15 event—title sponsored by American Honda Motor Co. for the 27th straight year—recognized top-performing suppliers for their outstanding partnerships with corporate members and marked the exciting finale to the Gateway Conference.
SCMSDC-certified minority business enterprises (MBEs) representing a wide array of products, services and industries were nominated for SOTY awards by corporate nominators. While only one winner is selected in four categories based on gross annual revenues, “our SOTY award winners and nominees have proven themselves to be of high value to their corporate partners. Quite simply, they exemplify entrepreneurs at their best,” said Virginia Gomez.
This year’s award recipients were:
• Class I: Innovate Marketing Group
• Class II: Décor Interior Design
• Class III: Blair, Church & Flynn Consulting Engineers
• Class IV: Hal Hays Construction
SCMSDC also recognized two individuals for their ongoing support and contributions—Phil Ramos of Philatron Wire & Cable, a member of the council’s Minority Business Enterprise Input Committee; and Bob Carlson, SCMSDC’s longtime attorney who was responsible for incorporating the council in the 1970s and moving it from a public- to private-funded entity. Carlson received the council’s prestigious Spirit of Supplier Diversity Award. Supplier of the Year Awards honor outstanding entrepreneurs
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Corporate nominators included American Honda Motor Co., Inc.; Anthem; Comcast NBCUniversal; Metropolitan Water District of Southern California; Northrop Grumman Corp.; Southern California Edison; Southern California Gas Co.; and Toyota.