Northern California Minority Supplier Development Council 
NCMSDC Newsletter
Vol. 4, Issue 1
April/May 2009 


DaveWelcome to the 2009 April/May edition of the NCMSDC newsletter.   As most of you know, Scott A. Vowels has joined NCMSDC as President - please take the opportunity to meet him and provide your input regarding the Council.  This newsletter is one of the ways the Council will be getting information to you in a timely manner.  The NCMSDC website also has the latest information on events and opportunities - bookmark and visit it often.
Dave Vergara, NCMSDC Board Chair

A Special Message from the President

Scott A. Vowels
As President of the Northern California Minority Supplier Development Council (NCMSDC), I am constantly faced with finding the best methods for encouraging growth in the minority business sector. It is an important issue for both the 565-plus certified Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) and our many NCMSDC Corporate Partners.

Before going any further, I think it is important to understand today's economic environment, which has led to making the success of minority businesses an important issue for ourselves and others.

The Changing Face of America

According to the latest figures from the Census, Latinos are 13.4 percent of the American population, African Americans 12.7 percent, Asian Americans 4.2 percent, and Native Americans 1.5 percent. Melvin Gravely, author of the best-selling book, When Black and White Make Green: The Next Evolution of Race, says that "a person over the age of 70 has a 20 percent chance of being a person of color. Yet a child under the age of 10 has a 75 percent chance." 

In a recent article, Partnership: The Path to Economic Empowerment, Carl Darden, Sr. Vice President of U.S. Operations for UPS, quoted a study from the Milken Institute that concluded "economic growth can't be sustained without the inclusion of minority businesses and an infusion of capital into those businesses."

This conclusion is based on the premise that entrepreneurs tend to drive innovation, which leads to job growth, and that minority businesses are a key part of that equation. There is no disputing the correlation between the current need for job growth within the minority community and the growth of minority businesses as a source of job creation.

Therefore, resolving the mismatch between minority businesses serving as a major source of job creation and their historic lack of access to capital has been called one of "the greatest economic policy challenges in this country and this century."

The solution lies in the ability of the MBE community to create viable relationships that are both relevant and mutually beneficial to all parties involved. I will be exploring, defining and offering advice concerning this relationship dynamic in future newsletters... it is that important!
NCMSDC in 2009
Major corporations have only three requirements for doing business with them: (1) the right product (2) the right price and (3) on-time delivery. There are several NCMSDC certified MBEs that are either capable right now or, with a little tweaking, will be able to meet Corporate America's needs.

In 2009, you will be hearing the NCMSDC name in conjunction with several other progressive, like-minded organizations throughout the state of California. These relationships will allow NCMSDC to grow, evolve and better serve both our corporate partner customer base and our certified MBE community.

At NCMSDC, our vision is to promote and advance minority supplier development by being the premiere organization in the Northern California/Hawaii region that connects Minority Business Enterprises with corporate members committed to supplier diversity. Rest assured that I, as your new President, am committed to this vision.


Council News 

Council News 
News from D.C.
NCMSDC President Scott A. Vowels, Vice President Melissa N. Buss, and MBEIC Chair Don Stoneham visited Washington, D.C. from April 20th-April 24th with more than thirty presidents from the NMSDC network, each of whom met with their respective representatives. NCMSDC's focus was to make our Congresspeople aware of the new direction of the Council and to begin creating a mutually beneficial relationship between the Council and our Representatives.
Prior to traveling to D.C., President Vowels and Vice President Buss also met with Ricci Graham from Representative Barbara Lee's office.  Both parties are looking forward to working more closely with Representative Lee in future to determine how they can best leverage their resources for mutual benefit.

Protect Your Company in Today's Economy
The Council would also like to alert our MBEs about many corporations' alarming responses to the current economy: dissolving supplier diversity programs and limiting MBE spend.  Two of our prominent MBEs from Classes 1 and 2 have experienced this firsthand when corporations slashed their lines of credit and forced them out of deals.
What should you do to protect yourself?  1. Be aware that this is happening to MBEs that you know and could happen to you; 2. Be prepared, proactive, and ready to safeguard your business; 3. Remember that the Council is here as your advocate; and 4. Remember that you belong to a network of over 560 other MBEs who collectively have the buying power of a multi-billion dollar business.
Together, by continuing to support each other and engaging in MBE-to-MBE spend, we will not just survive but thrive.  Also, be sure to thank our corporate members for their unparalleled support during these challenging times!  The Council is proud that our corporate members recognize (and have always recognized) the importance of supplier diversity and acknowledge that diversity is crucial in any economy, as well as a vital element of a healthy supplier landscape.

MBE Demographics

MBE Demographics April 2009 

Meet the MBE Input Committee

MBEICWe would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the NCMSDC Minority Business Enterprise Input Committee (MBEIC). The MBEIC is a Standing Committee of NCMSDC that acts as the voice representing NCMSDC's certified MBEs and functions as an influential and results-driven body... <READ MORE>

Congratulations to our 2008 Excellence in Supplier Diversity Award Winners!

Gala pic Dean and Scott
Click Here to View Our Winners!
Click Here to View Our Gala Thank You Page!
Check back soon to view the awards video and live footage from the gala.

How To Access Our Contracting Opportunities Page

We are constantly striving to provide increased value to our certified minority businesses. As part of that mission we are providing a list of contracting opportunities on our website, available only to our certified MBEs.
Here is how to access this information:
  • Login under MBE Login
  • Click on the Vendor Opportunities link
  • You will see a list of all available contracting opportunities
  • Click on the name of the opportunity to view more information
As we receive contracting information it will be posted and individual opportunity notifications may not be sent,  so check back frequently to prevent missing out on these opportunities.

NCMSDC Corporate Advocate

Denise Coley
Denise Coley
Director, Global Supplier Diversity
Business Development
Cisco Systems, Inc.
For over 10 years, Denise Coley has been an active NCMSDC Board Member, going above and beyond the call of duty to provide the Council with leadership and insight strengthened by her years of experience working within supplier diversity.  Since 2006, Denise and Cisco have won 13 awards, most notably The First Lady of Supplier Diversity and Corporate Advocate of the Year.  Additionally, she has been featured as one of Diversity Plus Magazine's Top 25 Women of Power Impacting Diversity.  Denise's work as Director of Global Supplier Diversity Business Development has enabled her to have a global impact on Cisco's supplier diversity program: since she began Cisco's program nine years ago, it has successfully gone global in Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, China, and South Africa.  The program's mission to increase customer satisfaction and enhance sourcing through global supplier diversification has greatly enhanced Cisco's business reach and further demonstrated its enduring commitment to supplier diversity.

NCMSDC would like to thank Denise for her dedication to the Council and honor her extraordinary work within the field of supplier diversity.  She is an outstanding example of supplier diversity advocacy and we feel extremely fortunate to have her support and leadership.

NCMSDC Corporate Advocate

Mitzi MurakamiMitzi Murakami
Senior Consultant, National Supplier Diversity
Kaiser Permanente

For the past 15 years, Mitzi Murakami has served as an advocate and mentor to many minority businesses and organizations supporting supplier diversity.  As Kaiser Permanente's Senior Consultant for National Supplier Diversity, she is responsible for supplier diversity efforts and outreach in Southern California, the Pacific Northwest, and Colorado.  Additionally, Mitzi is actively engaged with SCMBDC, serving as Chair of their Programs Committee, a member of their Board of Directors, and an Executive Committee Member.  She also currently serves as Chair of the Programs & Training Committee for NCMSDC and as a member of the Business Advisory Council for the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of California.  Her past involvement includes serving on the Business Advisory Council for the ABA and the MBOC for the Mayor of San Francisco's Office of Economic Development, among many other roles.  She has also won numerous awards, such as NCMSDC's 2004 Corporate Coordinator of the Year Award and ABA, Inc.'s 2004 Community Outreach Award.

The Council is grateful for Mitzi's involvement and would like to thank her for her dedication to both NCMSDC and the field of supplier diversity.  Her exceptional work as a champion of minority supplier development and her passionate advocacy on the Council's behalf demonstrate her outstanding leadership in the field of supplier diversity, and the Council deeply appreciates her participation and support.

NCMSDC & TSAO Design Group Featured in NMSDC Article 

Click here to read the June 2009 Newsletter of the Regional Council Presidents of NMSDC, "Sustaining Businesses, Creating Jobs."  The newsletter features President Vowels in the article "Working on a New Spend" and Jonathan Tsao, Founder & Principal of TSAO Design Group, a NCMSDC-certified MBE and winner of NCMSDC's 2008 Supplier of the Year Award, Class 2.

DBA Announcement in Oakland Tribune 

NCMSDC's Doing Business As (DBA) Announcement will run in the Oakland Tribune's May 5th, May 12th, and May 19th issues.  The Tribune made the first announcement on April 28th.

Strategic Alliance Partners

Jamie Borromeo
The National Council of Asian-American Business Associations (NCAABA) is a 501(c)-3 organization that serves as the national voice for the Asian American business community.  Because Asians have over 30 ethnicities in one major minority group, it is essential to have a non-profit organization like National CAABA unite Asian business organizations and chambers to create effective positive change...
American Indian Chamber of Commerce of California
The American Indian Chamber of Commerce of California is an organization committed to providing opportunities for networking and support of American Indian business people in California, providing a mentor's environment for those individuals beginning new endeavors, and establishing a vehicle for education, networking and growth opportunities... <READ MORE>

Green Talks: A Q&A Series with Companies Going Green

Maurice Brewster 
Maurice H. Brewster
President, Mosaic Global Transportation NCMSDC-Certified MBE
Industry: Transportation
Why and how did you decide to make your business green-and how has it contributed to your success? 
We wanted to make a statement that the transportation industry, one of the industries that negatively contributes to greenhouse gases in our environment, could make every attempt to make a difference.  With the combination of paying for Carbon Offsets and adding Hybrids to our limousine fleet, we are doing our corporate duty and helping the environment... <CLICK HERE for Tips on Going Green>
If you would like to participate in Green Talks or would like to recommend a green company, please email us.

Success Story: Meet the Buyers

As a direct result of the Chevron Meet the Buyers April 6th matchmaking sessions, Crunchy Foods was offered the opportunity to do business with GuckenheimerVasquez Coffee Company will also be working with Guckenheimer to identify opportunities of mutual benefit.  Congratulations to our MBEs and thank you once again to Chevron for making this event a success!

Success Story: ATR International

ATR International 
ATR International
won CalWORKs' 2008 Employer of the Year Award for their participation in hiring and providing support to CalWORKs clients, as well as their active role in assisting participants to create plans for success and acquire the tools they need to prepare for employment.  ATR International was recognized at the CalWORKs award ceremony in San Jose, California.

Success Story: Cook & Schmid and D.W. MORGAN

Cook & Schmid credits the Northern California Minority Supplier Development Council (NCMSDC) for their six-figure contract with D.W. Morgan.  Both firms are NMSDC-certified and their participation in MBE-to-MBE spend is emblematic of President Vowels's 360 degree spend concept, wherein cash flows from MBE to MBE, MBE to corporation, and corporation to MBE.  While the Cook & Schmid and Morgan cultures turned out to be an excellent match, both firms attest to the important role that NCMSDC played in establishing their business relationship.  "We literally would never have found each other without attending the Council's networking events," said Jon Schmid, Partner of Cook & Schmid.

Success Story: GoAhead Solutions, LLC

GoAhead Solutions, LLC, has experienced dynamic revenue growth from 4.5 million in 2007 to 7.1 million in 2008, which President and CEO Jaime Mendoza attributes to becoming certified with NCMSDC and attending events (he opened up a new line of business with an MBE he met at his first networking event).  Jaime believes that the Council has given his company an edge as a minority vendor that has enabled it to compete with larger companies.  Additionally, its minority status has positioned GoAhead Solutions, LLC to do business with national companies looking to meet their minority spend goals.  Jaime's recommendations for other MBEs struggling to survive in today's economy are ...<READ MORE

Success Story: Jeff Hatchell

Jeff Hatchell
Jeff Hatchell, CEO of Over the Top Coaching, was interviewed by Dr. Brenda Wade on Sunday, March 22nd, on the Black Renaissance Show.  During the interview, Jeff provided career coaching and business tips for companies in today's tough economy.

Success Story: Marie De La Parra

Marie De La Parra
Marie Roberts De La Parra
was featured in the book Blacks Living Green: Small Smart Steps, which was written by Sharon T. Freeman, Ph.D., and published in February.  The book spotlights environmental heroes from the African American community who champion sustainable living and advocate for better, greener workplaces and communities... <READ MORE>

Success Story: PG&E Awards

At PG&E's 3rd Annual Supplier Conference, held in San Francisco and hosted by PG&E's Sourcing organization, PG&E recognized S&S Supplies and Solutions as its Supplier of the Year and World Wide Technology, Inc. (NMSDC Corporate Plus) as its Diverse Supplier of the Year.  Additionally, one of NCMSDC's corporate members, CORESTAFF Services, won the 2008 Supplier Diversity Sub-Contracting Award.

Success Story: Sonu Ratra

Sonu RatraSonu Ratra, Co-Founder and President of Akraya, Inc. has been selected as one of the winners of the 2009 Enterprising Women of the Year Award, which recognizes women who lead fast-growth businesses, support other women engaged in entrepreneurship, and distinguish themselves as leaders in their communities. In addition, Sonu was also recently chosen by The Silicon Valley Business Journal for the 2009 40 Under 40 Top Executives List... <READ MORE>

Success Story: Sugar Bowl Bakery

Andrew Ly
Sugar Bowl Bakery was featured in the February 2009 issue of The Costco Connection.  The Ly family owners were photographed for the cover.  The article "The Family that Bakes Together" by T. Foster Jones chronicles the Ly family's story as they immigrated to the United States from Vietnam in 1979... <READ MORE>

Upcoming Events

Holiday Luncheon photoCongratulations, You're Certified: Now What?
(for NCMSDC-certified MBEs only)
Dates listed below
12:00pm - 1:00pm, NCMSDC Office

Join Director of Certification James Cardenas and experienced MBE guest speakers as they give you inside tips & tricks about leveraging your certification.
Corporate Members Committee Meeting
(for corporate members only)
Dates listed below
12:30pm-2:30pm, NCMSDC Office
Our Corporate Members Committee meetings provide corporations with the opportunity to network with likeminded peers and increase their knowledge of issues relevant to corporations navigating today's business world.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
NMSDC's Advancing Minority Supplier Development in a Challenging Global Economy (for corporate members)
June 8th-9th
Professional Development Seminar in San Francisco, CA
This seminar is designed to provide owners of new supplier diversity initiatives with the key tools and strategies required to implement a robust process in their organization.  Register Now!

2009 Minority Business Opportunity Expo
NEW DATE: August 6th
New Venue: San Jose Convention Center

NCMSDC's Minority Business Opportunity Expo is an annual event that directly connects MBEs with corporate members and helps position them for success.  Click Here for More Information!
To view a list of our events, please click here.
Promoting Minority Supplier Development for Over 30 Years
In This Issue
Council News
MBE Demographics
Meet the MBEIC
2008 Award Winners
Access Our Contracting Opportunities Page
Corporate Advocate: Denise Coley
Corporate Advocate: Mitzi Murakami
NCMSDC & TSAO Design Group Featured in NMSDC Article
DBA Announcement
Strategic Alliance Partners
Green Talks
Success Stories
Upcoming Events
Service Points Advocate
Hawaii Report
Bollywood Ball Gala
Top 5 Tips to Surviving Today's Economy
Top 3 Certification Tips
Board of Directors
Meet the Buyers
About Us
Community Giveback
Name Our Newsletter: Grand Prize 1 Expo Ticket
Photograph Credits
Sign-up for our Newsletter 
Annual Sponsors
Union Bank
 Chevron Corporation
Hewlett-Packard Company
Kaiser Permanente
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Lockheed Martin Corporation
Apple Inc.
Robert Half International
Visit Our Sponsor Page
If you currently give service points to NCMSDC, we will feature you in our newsletter.  Please email us a blurb about your company and supplier diversity efforts, along with a relevant photo.
Word limit: 200

Hawaii Report

On March 27th at the Small Business Resource Center in Hawaii, Johnson Controls Inc. hosted "Straight Talk," a follow-up session to the March 26th Latin Business Hawaii event that provided a corporate member's perspective of the importance of certification and explained the procurement process between buyers and MBEs.  The Council is grateful to JCI and Lorenzo Bell, Manager, Diversity Business Development, for hosting "Straight Talk"...

2009 Bollywood Ball Gala

Gala Pic of Vaughn and Scott 
On March 20, 2009 at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, CA, the Northern California Minority Supplier Development Council hosted its 31st Annual Excellence in Supplier Diversity Awards Gala, Bollywood Ball.  Over 360 Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs), corporate members, and affiliates attended the event and joined the Council in a night of networking, dancing, and celebration that lasted well past midnight... <READ MORE>
Top 5 Tips to Surviving
in Today's Economy
Top 5 Tips

Consider opening a backup line of credit

Streamline your business

Use referral marketing (it's free!) 

Ask your employees for input

Form Alliances with other MBEs
<Read More>
 Top 3 Certification Tips of the Month
Office Group

When recertifying or updating your profile, all updated info MUST be inputted directly on our website.

Remember your certification expiration date.

Update your profile often.
Board of Directors
Click here to meet our Board
NCMSDC would like to thank Sherril Gressel (Union Bank) and Tita Gray, Treasurer (PG&E) for their outstanding service on the Board of Directors.  During their tenure on the Board, both Sherril and Tita devoted their time and energy to providing exemplary leadership to the Council.

NCMSDC would also like to welcome its two new Board of Directors corporate representatives, Richard Chacon (Union Bank) and Tanya Nixon (PG&E).  The Council is looking forward to benefiting from their experience, guidance, and insight.

Chevron Meet the Buyers

Chevron Buyers 
NCMSDC would like to thank Chevron for hosting our first 2009 Meet the Buyers event at Chevron Headquarters in San Ramon on April 6, 2009.  More than one-hundred MBEs from a variety of industries were in attendance at this event, which offered presentations by Chevron executives and MBE Input Committee members and provided attendees with access to twenty buyers and prime suppliers during the matchmaking sessions.  Thank you to Chevron and Vaughn Mootoo, Business Analyst/ Coordinator, Supplier Diversity/Small Business Program, for making this event a huge success!
About Us
Vice President
James A. Cardenas
Director of Certification
Christine Liwai Garcia
Communications Manager
Valerie Hill
Website Services & Office Manager
Mario A. Reynoso
Manager IT & Creative Services
Our mission is to provide Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) in Northern California and Hawaii with nationally-recognized certification and to connect corporate members with NCMSDC-certified minority suppliers.
Name Change
We are excited to announce that as of April 1, 2009, NCSDC officially changed its name to Northern California Minority Supplier Development Council (NCMSDC). 

Contact Info

P. 510.686.2555
F. 510.686.2552

Community Giveback

As part of its community giveback, the Council is pleased to announce that it is employing socio-economically challenged students who have graduated from McClymonds High School and other schools within the NCMSDC footprint.  Despite the challenges that they face, the students with whom we work are committed to their education and will be continuing on to college.  In their capacity as our Administrative Assistants, these talented and capable students will be performing much-needed tasks for the Council, such as answering phones, ordering and organizing supplies, welcoming guests, and inputting data.  So, if you call the Council and hear an unfamiliar voice, please feel free to introduce yourself!
Name Our Newsletter
The Council would like to invite you to name our newsletter!
Grand Prize: 1 free ticket to our Minority Business Opportunity Expo on August 6th.
Email us your title suggestions by COB on Wednesday, June 3rd, along with your name and company.  We will then hold a vote open to all MBEs and corporate members to pick the winner.
Quick Links
Staff Photo by Robert Hsiang Photo
Gala Photos by Kingmond Young Photography
Hawaii Report Photo by Phoenix Photography