NEW ORLEANS – The National Minority Supplier Development Council honored PepsiCo with its prestigious Corporation of the Year Award Oct. 28, at the awards banquet capping its annual conference. The company was among 73 nominees vying for the award that recognizes a corporate member’s exemplary achievements in minority business development.
NMSDC’s Corporation of the Year award is regarded as the most significant honor to a major corporation for the utilization of Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American suppliers. In winning the award, PepsiCo demonstrated exceptional strength in areas critical to continuously improving a minority supplier development process.
Supplier diversity objectives are part of PepsiCo senior management’s performance goals. The company has a cross-functional Supplier Diversity Executive Council to ensure sustained growth and development in the supplier diversity arena. In 2008, PepsiCo spent $614 million with nearly 400 NMSDC-certified minority businesses. Its first-tier spending increased 10 percent over 2007, despite the downturn in the economy. The company’s combined first- and second-tier spending totaled more than $900 million.
“PepsiCo has long embraced forward-thinking procurement principles so that excellent minority-owned businesses have more opportunities to participate in its supply chain,” said NMSDC President Harriet R. Michel. “In a year of belt-tightening for many corporations, PepsiCo maintained its solid commitment and continued to rely on the value strong minority businesses bring to the corporation.”
PepsiCo established an endowment with NMSDC that continues to fund annual scholarships for minority business owners to attend the organization’s Advanced Management Education Program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Additionally, PepsiCo participates in the NMSDC Centers of Excellence, a capacity-building initiative featuring a network of local corporations and minority firms working together to enhance the minority supplier development process by implementing NMSDC best practices. PepsiCo is also a sponsor of NMSDC’s Corporate Plus Program, a designation for minority businesses that have demonstrated success in handling national contracts.
The corporation is active with a number of NMSDC Regional Councils, the Business Consortium Fund – NMSDC’s financing arm – and NMSDC’s International Program. PepsiCo was a founding member corporation of the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council – a Canadian organization modeled after NMSDC. PepsiCo is also active in Minority Supplier Development United Kingdom, the NMSDC counterpart organization in the United Kingdom.
NMSDC also presented awards for individual leadership in minority supplier development, Suppliers of the Year and Regional Council of the Year.
Benita Fortner, director of supplier diversity at Raytheon Company, received the Minority Supplier Development Leader of the Year award in recognition of innovative minority supplier development activities and exceptional leadership across industry groups and around the country.
Four top minority businesses were recognized as National Suppliers of the Year for excellence in business acumen and community service. They are: The Voice of Your Customer, a marketing and consulting firm in Cincinnati, Ohio, in the category for businesses with sales less than $1 million; information technology software consulting company General Data Kommunications and Networking of Pembroke Pines, Fla., among firms with $1 million to $10 million in sales; MarkMaster, a Tampa, Fla.-based stamping and sign company in the category for businesses with sales between $10 million and $50 million; and Artech Information Systems, an IT staffing and consulting firm based in Cedar Knolls, N.J., for firms with sales greater than $50 million.
Twelve minority businesses were honored as Regional Suppliers of the Year. They included APR Consulting, Diamond Bar, Calif.; BKW Transformation Group, Piscataway, N.J.; DFW Urgent Care, Hurst, Texas; Group O, Milan, Ill.; MedSafe, Inc. (dba Medsafe-Equimed), San Juan, Puerto Rico; NK David Constructors, Mission Hills, Calif.; PLM Staffing Systems, Royal Oak, Mich.; Primera Engineers, Chicago, Ill.; River City Furniture, West Chester, Ohio; Sugar Bowl Bakery, Hayward, Calif.; Virtelligence, Eden Prairie, Minn.; and ZeroChaos, Orlando, Fla.
The Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council earned Council of the Year honors for providing stellar services to hundreds of corporations and minority businesses in Georgia.
Benita Fortner and James Lowry, an authority on minority business development, received Special Appreciation Awards for their long-standing accomplishments in minority supplier development and volunteer leadership with NMSDC.