joset-wright_web.jpgATLANTA — The National Minority Supplier Development Council recently presented Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America Inc. (TEMA) with its Corporation of the Year award at a black-tie awards banquet capping a four-day conference and business opportunity fair in Atlanta.

The award goes to a major corporation deemed to be dedicated to improving the overall participation of Asian, black, Hispanic and Native American suppliers in the global corporate supply chain.

A council statement said Toyota was tapped for the award because the company demonstrated a strong commitment to building capacity and capability of minority businesses.

Toyota was cited for participating in the council’s Centers of Excellence program, a network of regional business modules comprised of corporate supplier diversity/purchasing executives and minority business enterprise owners.

The program uses the council’s “best practices” for minority supplier development to enhance corporate supplier diversity processes and build capacity for minority business enterprises. To date, seven such enterprises were awarded business directly with Toyota, the council said.

Toyota also sponsored two companies in the council’s Corporate Plus program, a special classification for minority businesses with proven success in executing national contracts and the capacity to handle more.

The council statement said Toyota spent $1.5 billion with minority business enterprises 2010, a 36 percent increase over 2009. Also, the company helped create four new minority joint ventures that will provide more than $250M in new minority business enterprises annually.

“This recognition is reserved for corporations that fully embrace the value that minority suppliers bring to the corporate supply chain,” said council President Joset Wright. “Toyota’s commitment to supplier diversity and minority supplier development is firmly embedded in the corporate culture. Its comprehensive, world-class supplier diversity process is worthy of replication.”

Also at its banquet, the council recognized Marianne Strobel, assistant vice president of global supplier diversity at AT&T.

Four minority businesses were recognized as National Suppliers of the Year in recognition of their business acumen and excellence in community service.

Those businesses are Circle One Inc., of Atlanta, in the category of businesses with sales less than $1 million; Way To Be Designs LLC of Hayward, Calif., among firms with $1 million to $10 million in sales; Homestead Packaging Solutions Inc. of Roswell, Ga., in the

category for businesses with sales between $10 million and $50 million; and Group O Inc. in Milan, Ill.,for firms with sales greater than $50 million.

Twelve minority businesses were honored as Regional Suppliers of the Year. They include República LLC of Miami. The others are BridgeWork Partners of Lewisville, Texas; C.D. Moody Construction Company Inc. of Lithonia, Ga.; D.W. Morgan Company of Pleasanton, Calif.; Gonzalez Saggio & Harlan LLP, Multicultural Entrepreneurial Institute Inc. and Red Brown Klé Inc., all of Milwaukee, Wisc.

Also, SHI International Corp. of Somerset, N.J.; SearchPros Staffing LLC of Citrus Heights, Calif.; Superior Maintenance Company of Elizabethtown, Ky; TKT & Associates Inc. of Louisville, Ky; and Translation Plus Inc. Hackensack, N.J.

The Dallas/Fort Worth Minority Supplier Development Council was tapped for the Regional Council of the Year award.


Photo: Joset Wright