Garland Guice

Garland Guice
Garland Guice

President and CEO
Chicago Economic Development Corporation (CEDCO)

Garland Colvin Guice was born on February 15, 1933 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He moved to Chicago as a child and later earned a bachelor of science in business administration and a master of arts in public administration from Roosevelt University. Mr. Guice served in the U. S. Air Force and was honorably discharged.

From the late 1960s throughthe 1970s, Chicago was recognized as the Black Business Mecca. A key factor in this was the Chicago Economic Development Corporation (CEDCO), a private, not-for-profit corporation established in 1965 to help small, black and other minority businessmen develop and manage viable businesses and improve economic conditions, particularly in the inner city of Chicago. Initially serving as its executive director, Mr. Guice was one of the early voices that challenged corporate America to do business with black companies.
He established the collaboration between CEDCO and Western Electric in 1968 to host the first ever Minority Business Opportunity Fair. CEDCO also planted the seeds for development of the Chicago Regional Purchasing Council, which became the Chicago chapter of the National Minority Supplier Development Council. It is estimated CEDCO secured over $72 million in financing for more than 1,000 minority enterprises, procured more than $10 million in contracts, and created or saved over 5,000 jobs, worth $37 million to the Chicago economy. Often sought out as a speaker on issues regarding the state of black and minority business, Mr. Guice was considered a national leading voice for the creation of wealth building opportunities for minorities.

Mr. Guice became CEDCO’s president and CEO in 1975. In 1976, he become president of Inner City Foods, a group of 16 Burger King Restaurants that for several years was listed as one of the nation’s 100 largest black-owned businesses. President Jimmy Carterappointed him a member of his Advisory Council for Minority Business Enterprise. The late Mayor Harold Washington nominated him for a seat on the Illinois International Port Authority, however his untimely death in 1985 at age 52 preceded his confirmation. Garland was a director, Independence Bank in Chicago, one of the nation’s largest black-owned banks and trustee of Evanston-based, National College of Education.

Garland and his wife, Doris had four daughters: DeNalda Guice Gay, DeRonda Guice Williams, DeKarla Guice Armstrong, and Deirdre Guice Minor.