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Carmen Muñoz

Former automotive supplier and
Founder, FOCUS HOPE

Clearly a 21st century business leader and community advocate, Carmen Muñoz is the 15th child in a family of 16 children born and raised in Detroit’s Hispanic community. Ms. Muñoz’s father, a Mexican immigrant, published La Chispa, the first Spanish language newspaper in Detroit. Early in life, Ms. Muñoz and her siblings helped their father print and distribute the newspaper and were involved in community affairs, introducing the children to the world of work and community leadership.

Ms. Muñoz’s first business was founded on 25 years experience in the precision machine manufacturing industry and the courage to venture out on her own. After buying out her partners, Ms. Muñoz’s company continued to excel by earning numerous prestigious supplier quality awards from Ford Motor Company and General Motors. Through her own business, her many board positions and her current responsibilities at Focus Hope Enterprise, she has opened doors for many minority business owners, particularly women.

Since 1996, she has taken her wealth of business and community leadership experiences and focused her energies on making a difference and opening up more opportunities for the disadvantaged and minority youth. When other women are ready for retirement, Ms. Muñoz’s passion and concern for minority equity has kept her working. Employed for a time with the Michigan Minority Business Development Council, she has helped countless other business owners and co-workers hone their entrepreneurial skills while building solid business practices. She is a lifelong-community advocate and mentor to emerging business leaders; she continues to help others to see the value of their work ethic, education, and training. She is still a proponent of the very values her father taught her as a child.

Ms. Muñoz received Crain’s Detroit Business One, named one of the top 10 businesswomen in Michigan; named Business Woman of the Year, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce - Region IV; awarded The Michigan Minority Business Development Council Minority Advocate of the Year; received the Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation’s Dream Makers Award; and is a four-time winner of General Motors’ Supplier of the Year Award.

Charles Timothy Haffey

Vice President
Corporate Purchasing
Pfizer

Charles Timothy Haffey (d. 2012) demonstrated steadfast commitment to social equality and equalizing the economic playing field throughout his life. Haffey spent the entirety of his professional career at the well-established international research and pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc. His years of dedicated service led to the distinguished position of Vice President of Corporate Purchasing for the corporation. Haffey's sense of dutiful obligations to others was apparent with the impact he made in Pfizer's private-sector supplier practice while in this position, advocating for diversity in the company's supply base.

In 1979, the leadership of the National Minority Business Council (NMBC) noticed Haffey's fortitude. The NMBC, still in its adolescence, had been chartered in 1972 to expand business and educational opportunities for minority entrepreneurs, and its council leaders were seeking a means to transform the corporation into a "full-time" entity. The NMBC approached Haffey for his guidance. Haffey promoted the value of the NMBC to the executives of Pfizer, securing the organization a donated office space within Pfizer to serve as the institution's first real home.

Following Haffey's retirement from Pfizer in 1984 he became an instrumental figure for the NMBC, enlisting his time as the NMBC's Corporate Executive Volunteer to relentlessly promote the growth of the organization and build corporate partnerships. Haffey "represents the type of courage and dedication, and the leadership and foresight for the cause… way before his time," reflects NMBC President and CEO John F. Robinson.

Chicago Purchasing Council

Founders of the Chicago Regional Purchasing Council
Founders/Founding Members:

AT&T (formerly Western Electric)
AMOCO (formerly Standard Oil of Indiana; now part of BP)
Bell & Howell
BorgWarner
Carson Pirie Scott
Chicago Chamber of Commerce
Chicago Urban League
CNA Insurance Companies
Commonwealth Edison
Continental Bank (acquired by Bank of America in 1994)
First Chicago Corporation
Hewlett-Packard Company
Illinois Bell (owned by AT&T)
Inland Steel Company
Jewel Food Stores
Lockheed Corporation
Montgomery Ward
National Can Company
R. Donnelly & Sons
Sears Roebuck Company

Following the Chicago riots in the mid-1960s, several corporations with headquarters and operations throughout the region realized one of the underlying causes for the riots was the lack of investments in the black communities which contributed to the lack of jobs and lack of opportunities to develop, grow and expand business opportunities for businesses in those communities.  Further, there was no platform to dialogue and connect with business owners regardless of the social and political climates.

A one-day business fair was established to provide black business owners the opportunity to meet corporate personnel responsible for sourcing products and services locally and regionally. The outcome of this fair resulted in several corporations and non-profit organizations deciding that meeting with these business owners once a year was beneficial. However, one-day a year was not sufficient to establish on-going, productive business relationships.

Thereafter, created the Chicago Regional Purchasing Council in 1968, the first minority purchasing council in the United States.  The work, vision, leadership and financial support these companies and entities provided to this council led to the creation of the first office of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) located in Chicago, and the establishment of a network of minority supplier development councils throughout the country that remains in existence today.

These companies and non-profit entities were the pioneers and trailblazers that laid the foundation for the inclusion of minority businesses in private sector and public sector economies, commerce and industries.

Chief Philip Martin

Tribal Chief
Mississippi Band of Choctaw Nation

Chief Philip Martin has a more than 45-year record of service and leadership in the Choctaw Nation tribal government, including serving from 1979 to 2007 as Tribal Chief of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, a federally-recognized American Indian tribe of 9,100 enrolled members living on or near 35,000 acres of reservation land in east central Mississippi. Miko Beasley Denson was sworn in July 10 as the third Chief of the Tribe since adoption of its modern Constitution to succeed Martin.

During his 28-year tenure as Chief, Martin made economic development a Choctaw Nation priority, leading a once impoverished constituency with an unemployment rate as high as 75 percent unemployment into a base for prosperous business activity that included auto-parts manufacturing, a casino and printing plant. Before Martin, the majority of Choctaw housing was designated as substandard, children largely stopped going to school at the 6th grade and life expectancy barely topped 50 years old.

The reservation became a key source of employment for Choctaws. More than 9,000 full-time jobs were created on the reservation under Martin - placing the Tribe in the unique position as the largest employer in east central Mississippi and among the three largest employers in the State. Martin advocated the reservation as an enterprise zone, drawing in financial resources and business incentives.

Under his watch, Martin created enterprises that produced goods for industry titans as diverse as General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and McDonnell-Douglas and AT&T, Xerox, Westinghouse and Navistar. One of the reservation's major auto plants opened in 1979 and assembled automotive wire harnesses for General Motors.

Martin also saw to it that the reservation would focus on self-sufficiency. It manages its own reservation government and operates elementary, middle and high school, as well as a hospital and community clinics and water, sewer and waste-disposal systems.

Claire Scanlon

Vice President
Global Procurement
Supplier Diversity
BNY Mellon

Claire is a vice president in global procurement heading up the supplier development program. Ms. Scanlon was instrumental in creating and developing the program for the company, which was established in 1994 to promote the financial viability of minority, women, veteran and GLBT owned companies and other certain qualifying small business enterprises. Ms. Scanlon works to identify BNY Mellon needs for products and services and then identifies minority, women, veteran and GLBT owned companies as well as small businesses that can potentially meet those needs.

She coordinates and host events at BNY Mellon’s facilities for small and diverse businesses events, expo, workshops and training. Ms. Scanlon has been a major supporter of the Women’s Business Committee, which was established in 2002 under the National Minority Business Council and, through the aegis of the company, has hosted its annual conference for the last 11 years. Through Ms. Scanlon’s efforts, BNY Mellon hosts NYC SBS’s Annual Conference and Expo.

Her work includes various levels of committee memberships and officer roles in the organizations including the NY/NJ Council, The Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council, the National Minority Business Council, the National Associate of Veteran Business Owners, Women’s President’s Educational Organization and the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Scanlon serves as chair of the Advisory Committee for the National Minority Business Council; on the board of the NYC Women’s Chamber of Commerce, co-chair of the Marketing Committee of Financial Services Roundtable-Supplier Diversity, and is a member of the NYNJ Council’s Appeals Committee.

Over the years, Ms. Scanlon has received numerous awards and recognitions for her commitment to supplier diversity include the NYC Neighborhood Achievement Award as the MWBE Advocate in 2011 from Mayor Bloomberg and most recently, the LI Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 2014 Minority Advocate of the Year. This year, Ms. Scanlon was named as a Champion of Diversity by Diversity Plus Magazine, received the Arthur Pearlroth Trailblazer Award from the Regional Alliance for Small Contractors, and was named the NYNJ Council Advocate of the Year. In 2016, she received the Special Achievement Award from the National Minority Business Council.

Before joining BNY Mellon, Ms. Scanlon was the compliance officer for the Sequor Group, a second tier holding company subsidiary of Security Pacific National Bank and was a bank examiner for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Ms. Scanlon holds a bachelor of science and a master’s of science in banking.

Daniel Gill

Owner, Dayvon Services Inc.
Director
Department of Defense
Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization

Daniel R. Gill (Dan) owned and operated Dayvon Services Inc. a company that specialized in small business and federal acquisition consulting, coaching and training. Previously, he served as the Bowie State University acting vice president for Institutional Advancement and founder and director of the Institute for Development and Entrepreneurship Advancement (IDEA).

Mr. Gill retired from federal civil service in 1996, as the highest ranked black career professional in the Federal Senior Executive Service (SES-06) in the Department of Defense (DOD), Acquisition Workforce. He served as the DOD director, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization. He developed acquisition and small business policy and provided oversight for appropriated expenditures to ensure DOD compliance with national policies and executive orders to maximize the department’s expenditures to small and disadvantaged businesses (SDBs) and minority institutions (MIs).

From 1987 to 1994, Mr. Gill served in a similar capacity with the Department of the Army, Office of the Secretary of the Army. He served on the Army Contract Adjustment Board, the Executive Board of the Army Acquisition Corp, and the executive boards for two Centers of Excellence at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs)

His professional career includes positions in contracting and procurement management and policy within the DOD. He was designated a Certified Professional Contract Manager by the National Contract Management Association from 1975 to 1981.

Mr. Gill designed the Department of Defense set-aside policy and regulations to implement PL 99-661, which mandated goals for DOD contract awards and subcontracts to SDBs, HBCUs, and other MIs.

He earned a bachelor of science degree in business from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1971, and a master’s degree in contracts and procurement management from the Florida Institute of Technology in 1975.

Mr. Gill is a graduate of the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government, Senior Managers Program and the author of two books: How the Federal Government Disenfranchises Small Businesses and Acquisition Smart Guide.

Don Jackson

Founder
Central City Marketing, Inc

After graduating from Northwestern University, where he received a bachelor's degree in radio, TV and film in 1965, Mr. Jackson worked in the media and broadcast industries in sales at WBEE and WVON radio. He became the youngest and the first African American sales manager at WVON, the top radio station in the Chicago market at the time.

In 1970, Mr. Jackson founded Central City Marketing, Inc., a national television production, sales, and syndication company based in Chicago, IL. For over four decades the company has specialized in marketing, promotion, sales, and the production of media and television programs for African Americans.

Today, Central City Productions, Inc., is the full-service company that produces, syndicates, and manages advertising sales for all of the company's local and national television programs. Central City Productions' mission is to develop, produce, and market television programming which is designed to communicate positive, uplifting images of Black people all over the world.

Under his guidance and vision, CCP has launched many new and unique television programs to Black Americans nationwide. Many of these programs have more than 30 years of consecutive airing over local and national television.

Mr. Jackson is a former chairman of the board of the DuSable Museum of African American History. He has also previously served on the boards of Northwestern University, Junior Achievement of Chicago, Columbia College, Gateway Foundation and Chicago Transit Authority Board.

In addition, Mr. Jackson is the founder and a member of A.B.L.E. (Alliance of Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs), which is the first business organization bringing Black Leaders together in the business community to network, address business issues and provide a legacy for future African American entrepreneurs. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his business accomplishments and community involvement.

Mr. Jackson is married to Rosemary Jackson. The couple has two adult children and two grandsons, Donovan and Dain. Their daughter Rhonda is a graduate of Syracuse University, and their son Baba Dainja graduated from the University of Minnesota.

Don McKneely

Founder
Business News Group

Don McKneely was engaged in the community newspaper business when he recognized a glaring need for a one-stop media source covering the entrepreneurial development occurring within all ethnic and underserved communities in America. Determined to be the editorial voice for these minority communities, McKneely launched the magazine Minority Business News USA (MBN USA) in 1988. At its founding, MBN USA was a solo venture with McKneely attending all of the minority business-related events, researching and composing stories, shooting photos, selling advertising, and distributing the magazine to vendors.

From the start, McKneely has stressed the mission of MBN USA to "always focus on relationships" and "articulate the value of minority business and diverse markets." This strategy opened up partnerships with business communities and corporations alike. A quarter of a century later, MBN USA is now "America's #1 magazine about minority business and supplier diversity," and has spawned the sister publications Women's Enterprise, Asian Business News and American Indian Business News.

McKneely's passionate belief in the power of leveraging astute partnerships to infuse diversity in suppliers for small, medium and large-scale businesses alike led him to co-found the non-profit Billion Dollar Roundtable (BDR). BDR unites large corporations who spend a minimum of a billion dollars per year with minority suppliers, and aspires to inform on the best strategies to create sustainable partnerships between minority-owned businesses and the rest of corporate America.

Dorothy B. Brothers

Former Senior Vice President
Bank of America

Dorothy B. Brothers, a former senior vice president of Bank of America, was a pioneer in fostering and promoting higher education and diversity within communities and the corporate sector. Ms. Brothers was a 30-year employee with Bank of America and the national director for the supplier diversity and development group from 1993 until her death in 2002. The group works with minority- and women-owned businesses to ensure they are afforded maximum opportunity to participate in Bank of America’s competitive contracting and procurement processes.

Under Ms. Brothers's leadership, spending with minority- and women-owned businesses increased from $11 million in 1990 to over $400 million in 1999. In addition, during her leadership Bank of America received 60 regional and 10 national awards for its efforts in raising the bar in minority business development. In 1994 and 2000, Bank of America received the National Minority Development Enterprise Week Distinguished Corporate Award—the first financial institution to be recognized. The National Minority Supplier Development honored the bank as the Corporation of the Year for two consecutive years (1996-1997).

Ms. Brothers was also the recipient of the coveted Chairman’s Crystal Hand Granade in 1995, the NMSDC’s 1997 MBE Coordinator of the Year Award, and the 1996 Outstanding Service in Business Award form the Hampton Roads Black Media Professionals. She was also the recipient of the NationsBank Lend Award, the Women of Distinction Award from the Girl Scout Council of Colonial Coast, and recognized as one of the Women Who Mean Business by Minority News USA. She served on the faculty of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking and was on the board of the National Supplier Development Council, the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, and Minority Business News USA at the time of her death.

Ms. Brothers was an inspiration to all who knew her with a fighting spirit and unwavering commitment to development and success of diverse businesses.

Dr. Renaldo M. Jensen

Director, Supplier Diversity Development
Ford Motor Company

Renaldo M. Jensen, director of Ford Supplier Diversity Development (SDD), has held this position since 1987. SDD works to enrich and expand Ford's business relationships with its minority suppliers.

Previously, Jensen was supervisor of Advanced Concepts, Advanced Engineering Design Staff. He joined Ford in 1978, working in the Design Center as a principal design engineer in aerodynamics.

A former Air Force officer, Jensen has a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Howard University in Washington, D.C. He has a master's degree in aerospace engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology in Dayton, Ohio. He was awarded a doctorate in aerospace-mechanical engineering from Purdue University in 1970.

During his 20 years with the Air Force, Jensen held several command and staff positions at the Pentagon. Additionally, he was an assistant professor of aerospace-mechanical engineering at the Air Force Institute of Technology and held an adjunct professorship of mechanical engineering at Howard University. Jensen attained the rank of lieutenant colonel when he left the service to join Ford.

He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and The Combustion Institute.