Ceremony held ushering in five distinguished Inductees

Press Release

Five Extraordinary People and a Trailblazing Institution Inducted into the Minority Business Hall of Fame & Museum in Partnership with the Foster Consulting and Business Development enter 12th annual induction ceremony applauds achievements and looks to the future

New York, NY – On Tuesday, May 10, the Minority Business Hall of Fame & Museum (MBHF&M) in partnership with the Foster Consulting and Business Development Center of the University of Washington held its 12th annual induction ceremony, ushering in six distinguished inductees, five individuals and one institution.

Joseph Frederick Canady, outgoing chairman of the MBHF&M, noted that over 60 individuals and institutions “whose influence has paved the way for minority businesses” have been inducted since the event’s inception in 2005.

John F. Robinson, president and co-founder of the MBHF&M and president and CEO of the National Minority Business Council, echoed Canady’s sentiments as he praised the “pioneers and trailblazers who’ve made minority business development what it is today” and spoke of a shared dedication to “help grow the next crop of minority business entrepreneurs.”

Michael Verchot, director of the Consulting and Business Development Center of the University of Washington Foster School of Business, a MBHF&M partner, told the audience thatthe role of the academic business school is to “educate and inspire the next generation of minority entrepreneurs.” He called the inductees “role models for our students and business students nationwide.”

John M. Roy, executive vice president and chief operating officer of BNY Mellon, the official host on behalf of the bank, congratulated the inductees and noted the bank’s early and ongoing commitment to minority business development. Don McKneely, co-founder of the MBHF&M and the Billion Dollar Roundtable and chairman and founder of MBNUSA, thanked the sponsors and applauded the inductees.

Carol Daugherty Foster, co-founder of the MBHF&M, president of Carol and Company, and the master of ceremonies for the induction ceremony, said, “I remain excited by the incredible talent and experience of the inductees past and present who have helped shape minority business development.”

Michael K. Robinson, a member of the MBHF&M Board of Directors, program director for global supplier diversity at IBM, credited the event for recognizing “pioneers and organizations who have had a significant impact on the diversity movement.”

The first inductee, The Billion Dollar Roundtable (BDR), is a nonprofit organization noted Robinson, “brings together corporations to make meaningful contributions to supplier diversity growth.”

BDR President and CEO Sharon Patterson said, “When you’re first you lead the way. We try to find emerging themes and share them with all of you.”

The family of inductee Tracey L. Pinson, who served with the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Army, Boeing Defense, Space and Security, accepted the posthumous honor. Husband Darryl Dennis said that Pinson’s “zest and zeal for small business” had “carved a pathway” and helped many African Americans rise to senior levels. He praised daughter Maya for having “picked up the mantle” of her mother through her work at HP.

Chuck Hendrix, senior manager of supplier diversity at Toyota, introduced inductee Rosa Santana, CEO of Integrated Human Capital and the first Hispanic tier 1 supplier for Toyota. Santana thanked the MBHF&M for “making it your mission to see us succeed” and the companies “who are our champions.”

John F. Robinson praised inductee Claire Scanlon, vice president global procurement of supplier diversity at BNY Mellon, for making BNY Mellon’s supplier diversity initiative “accountable to all ethnicities and award-winning.”

Carol Foster introduced inductee Lou Switzer, chairman and CEO of The Switzer Group, an interior architectural design firm. Switzer spoke of the extraordinary group who “have pushed boundaries and broken down barriers.” He encouraged “young people to set their sights on a goal and pour themselves into it.”

Jessica Narvaez, chief diversity officer at Pinnacle Group, accepted on behalf of inductee Nina Vaca, Chairman and CEO of Pinnacle Group, a IT workforce solutions provider. Vaca, who was unable to attend, sent her thanks, cheered the “impressive” inductees and commended the commitment “to preserving pioneers in the development of minority businesses.”

In his closing remarks Ricardo Barrientos, the new chair of the MBHF&M and director of supplier diversity with PepsiCo, said he was proud to “perpetuate the legacy” of PepsiCo’s support and long held belief that “diversity helps build businesses.” He asked all to “honor the past, help shape the future” and to “help us keep growing.”