NMSDC (National Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc.), headquartered in New York City, is an organization comprised of a network of 24 affiliate regional councils across the country (including SCMSDC), all of whom provide minority business certification and business development opportunities.
NMSDC is the global leader in advancing business opportunities for its certified Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American business enterprises and connecting them to member corporations. The NMSDC Conference and Business Opportunity Exchange coming to Detroit, MI, October 22-25, 2017 is the nation’s premier forum on minority supplier development. For four days, more than 6,000 corporate CEOs, procurement executives and supplier diversity professionals from the top multinational companies, as well as leading Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American business owners and international organizations will convene at Cobo Center to re-energize their collective efforts to Certify > Develop > Connect > and Advocate for solid minority firms in the global corporate supply chain.
Below are some of who share what they have done since becoming NMSDC certified!
Lisa Lunsford is the CEO and cofounder of Global Strategic Supply Solutions (GS3 Global) and the vice president of sales and marketing for the Livonia, Michigan-based Deshler Group, which includes GS3 Global.
Lunsford founded GS3 Global in 2010, and under her leadership, the manufacturing and engineering company has grown to more than 100 employees and generated more than $36 million in revenue in 2015.
GS3 Global won the 2014 Supplier of the Year Award from the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC) and the 2015 Regional Supplier of the Year Award from the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC). Most recently, GS3 Global was named to Black Enterprise Magazine’s 2017 Top 100s list, recognizing the nation’s largest African-American businesses.
Stephen L. Hightower
Stephen L. Hightower, President and CEO of Hightowers Petroleum Co. (HPC), leads a $300 million business enterprise consisting of five national and international businesses, all providing energy solutions. A self-made entrepreneur since 1979, Mr. Hightower grew his Ohio-based wholesale fuel supply company into an International energy solutions enterprise covering the entire energy value chain, from petroleum supply to power production.
Mr. Hightower has extensive skills in developing and operating business enterprises, forming joint ventures, and managing governmental and regulatory approvals.
Hightower was recognized as NMSDC Supplier of the Year in 2010.
Leamon R. Sowell, Esq.
Leamon Sowell practices business law and is Managing Partner of Sowell Law Partners, a certified MBE law firm based in Detroit, Michigan. He serves as special counsel to Fortune 1000 companies to develop strategic procurement relations with certified MWBEs. He is a national thought leader on corporate supplier diversity strategies and has expertise in corporate transactions, including organizing certifiable minority joint ventures, strategic alliances, and coordinating acquisitions. In 2016, the firm was awarded NMSDC’s National Supplier of the Year Class I and Central Region Class I Supplier of the Year Awards. In 2015, the firm was awarded Michigan MSDC’s 2015 Class I Minority Supplier of the Year ACE Award.
President, Castle Business Solutions
BEOEJ: How long have you been in business?
King: 7 years now.
How did you know to get certified?
I worked for my father’s company, which he was already a member and certified with the local council. We were not utilizing our membership as best as we could to benefit the company. So that was my role as the Account Executive, was to leverage that certification and relationship and rewards that come along with it.
There are other MWBEs that have not been as successful as you are. What do you attribute your success to? How have you utilized your certification to make yourself a success?
Networking. Making sure you are always in their faces. Always attending events that are sponsored by the local council and attending he National Conference as well. Attending the quarterly luncheons as well as the specific industry-focused luncheons. Always making sure that Castle Business Solutions is always represented at each event.
Do you feel that NMSDC Certification has assisted you in your success? How have you used it?
Absolutely. I don’t know what I would do without it. I used it to gather business. In other words, we were rewarded a large account by a local county hospital in Dallas. The reason we won, is not just because we are a very successful company that provides the great service they were looking for, but also because we are certified member of the Dallas Fort Worth Minority Supplier Development Council. When they see that the company they are reaching out to is a certified member, then it is a win-win.
Do you have advice for the newcomers on the horizon? Any do’s and don’ts?
Do would be: Be passionate about what you do, have good integrity, and know what you do. In other words, know what your core is, and do not try to fill every basket, just know what you do, and you will win. The don’ts are: Do not give up, and do not listen to naysayers—and that comes in a whole lot of different ways—and when you start to make money and be successful, more people will reach out to you and say ‘let me consult you’ or ‘you can use my services’ and do not listen to that. Keep going the way you have and become successful without paying out a ton of money to a contractor.
What’s your goal?
My goal is that at our 10-year mark in 3 years we will be making 5 million dollars a year.
Do you live by a motto?
This too shall pass.
To find out more about NMSDC Certification and the upcoming NMSDC Conference and Business Opportunity Exchange coming to Detroit, MI, October 22-25 visit, nmsdc.org