Boeing, Seattle Public Utilities and diverse suppliers win Annual Awards for supplier diversity

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From the Northwest Mountain MSDC:

Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council 2017 Annual Awards Dinner and Silent Auction

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, (MARCH 13, 2017) – The Boeing Company won the National Corporation of the Year Award and Seattle Public Utilities won the Public Agency of the Year Award at the Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council’s 2017 Annual Awards Dinner and Silent Auction on Thursday. The recognition led the Council’s most prestigious Leadership Awards for corporations and public agencies that exemplified leadership and commitment to excellence in supplier diversity, development and advocacy.

The Boeing Company operations in Seattle, Washington, 2017 National Corporation of the Year, was the birthplace of the Council way back in 1978.  Former Boeing employee, Robert L. Ryan founded the Council under the procurement department which evolved into a nonprofit that is the leading supplier diversity organization in the Northwest Mountain region today. The company continues to work with the Council, the U.S. Small Business Administration, WBENC and other certifying and minority support organizations to source diverse-supplied products and services.  Boeing belongs to the National MSDC’s Billion Dollar Circle, a group of companies that spend a minimum of a billion dollars each year on minority-owned businesses.

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), 2017 Public Agency of the Year, is one the largest purchasers of goods and services for the City of Seattle and the customers.  The office handles purchases of goods and services, consultant contracts and construction contracts.  SPU has had a long standing relationship with the Council and collaborates with Council members and minority business enterprises (MBEs) to develop and include minority suppliers into the city’s supply chain.

For minority business enterprises, Leadership Awards were presented for excellent performance in all aspects of business, commitment to their communities and supplier diversity success.  The winners were Trio Group, Supplier of the Year – Class II; Ryan’s Hood River Juice Company, Supplier of the Year – Class III and World Wide Technology, Inc., Supplier of the Year – Class IV.

Trio Group, 2017 Supplier of the Year – Class II (with annual revenue between $1 million to $10 million), is a full-service marketing communications agency based in Seattle, Washington. It is a certified Native American owned business known as a small agency with big project experience.  With clients from the Seattle Mariners to a variety of government agencies and from consumer goods to construction, they supply digital and physical products to support marketing and advertising campaigns.

Ryan’s Hood River Juice Company, 2017 Supplier of the Year – Class III (with annual revenue between $10 million to $50 million), is a leading wholesale supplier of fresh fruit juices and artisan quality apple cider.  Established in 1979, they work with top brands to provide the best juice on the planet. It is a certified Hispanic-owned business located on the Columbia River in Hood River, Oregon.

World Wide Technology, Inc., 2017 Supplier of the Year – Class IV (with annual revenue over $50 million), is a certified Black or African American-owned business providing technology solutions to large public and private organizations around the globe.  WWT ranks number 28 on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list and number 51 on Forbes’ Largest Private Companies List.  Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, they have offices in over 40 cities around the world.

Advocacy Awards were presented to individuals who excelled as supplier diversity advocates.  Every year, three awards are given to business owners, executives or employees of companies or organizations who exemplified the commitment and dedication to creating business opportunities and advancing the development of minority business success through the Council.  The Robert L. Ryan Award, named after the Council founder and presented to a corporate executive or employee, was given to Megan Rast for her contributions as Supplier Diversity Manager for T-Mobile U.S.A., Inc.

The John A. Gilmore Award, presented to a Council certified minority business owner or employee who exemplified the spirit of activism and business expansion by strongly advocating for fellow MBEs of the Council was given to James Christiansen of Kalani Packaging.

The Champion Award, presented to an individual employed by a government agency or higher learning institution who exemplified the commitment and dedication to creating business opportunities and advancing the development of minority business success through the Council and the community, was given to Michael Verchot of the University of Washington Foster School of Business Consulting and Business Development Center.

Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney, Washington State politician and strong proponent of minority education and equal opportunity, was the Guest of Honor and Inaugural Recipient.  Beginning in 2018, the Champion Award will be renamed the Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney Award to recognize outstanding public agency employees or representatives for their achievements and contributions to supplier diversity and development.

The final award for the evening, The President’s Award, was presented to Gary Sheneman for outstanding contributions to the Council as Board Chairperson, Courage in addressing difficult challenges, and Leadership Advocacy for MBEs.

The awards were presented by Awards Committee Chairperson Angela Battle of University of Washington, and Board Chairperson Gary Sheneman of Microsoft Corporation.  Nominations for Leadership Awards for corporate and public agency members were submitted by MBEs and nominations for Leadership Awards for MBEs were submitted by corporate and public agency members.  Nominations for Advocacy Awards were submitted by corporate and public agency members and Council-certified MBEs.  Winners were selected by the Awards Committee through an unbiased, stringent scoring system.  The Awards Committee consists of representatives from corporate and public agency members and Council-certified MBEs.

The Awards Program was hosted by Master of Ceremonies Fernando Martinez, President and CEO of Northwest Mountain MSDC. During the Awards Dinner, Martinez delivered an eye-opening presentation on the value and economic impact of supplier diversity.  It was held at the DoubleTree Southcenter Grand Ballroom in Tukwila, Washington.

About the Council

Founded in 1978, the Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council is a nonprofit organization linking MBEs with major corporations and public agencies.  The Council is affiliated with the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) and provides certification, membership and subscription services to companies in the Pacific Northwest and Mountain region, including Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Trio Group receives 2015 President’s Award at Northwest Mountain MSDC Annual Awards Gala

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Jeff Quint, Trio Group Executive Vice President; Ricardo Ibarra, Trio Group Creative Director;  Fernando Martinez,  Northwest Mountain MSDC President and CEO; Dennis Brooks, Trio Group PresidentJeff Quint, Trio Group Executive Vice President; Ricardo Ibarra, Trio Group Creative Director;  Fernando Martinez,  Northwest Mountain MSDC President and CEO; Dennis Brooks, Trio Group President

Jeff Quint, Trio Group Executive Vice President; Ricardo Ibarra, Trio Group Creative Director; Fernando Martinez, Northwest Mountain MSDC President and CEO; Dennis Brooks, Trio Group President

The Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council (MSDC) held its Annual Awards Gala & Silent Auction on Friday March 11 at the Doubletree Suites by Hilton in Southcenter, WA. The event is a celebration of the work of minority business enterprises (MBEs) and the corporations and public agencies who contract with them.

As a nationally-certified MBE of the Northwest Mountain MSDC, we’ve long held that supporting minority business owners and the communities they serve is the best way to increase economic opportunity for all. We are proud to have supported the Northwest Mountain MSDC as a platinum sponsor for the past five years. Some of our sponsorship activities have included updating and re-launching the organization’s website as well as developing marketing and outreach strategies to foster growth.

In addition to our sponsorship, we’ve been honored to be included among the nominees for the Supplier of the Year award four consecutive years. Little did we know, Trio Group was to receive a different award at the 2015 gala.

As the awards ceremony concluded, Northwest Mountain MSDC President and CEO Fernando Martinez remarked that the next award was “…reserved for individuals and groups who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in service of the Council.” Martinez went on to say that although not awarded every year, the 2015 President’s Award recognized the Northwest Mountain MSDC’s gratitude to a company who had served the organization at a high capacity for many years, and that company was Trio Group.

“I was completely shocked,” noted Trio Group President Dennis Brooks, “I wouldn’t have guessed that the [Northwest Mountain MSDC] Council would give us the President’s Award. I’m incredibly grateful for the recognition, and I look forward to continuing to support the Council’s work.”

Trio Group Executive Vice President Jeff Quint had this to say: “Receiving the President’s Award was really the icing on the cake of the past six years being certified as an MBE. We’ve worked hard to build our business and serve not only the Northwest Mountain MSDC, but to also serve our fellow minority entrepreneurs and the corporate and public agency members.”

We look forward to continuing our work with the Northwest Mountain MSDC as a strategic partner, a certified MBE and a platinum sponsor. Our focus in 2016 will be supporting the organization’s new marketing director and providing support for outbound communications and content creation.

If you’d like to learn more about how Trio Group can help your business grow or reach new audiences, contact us via email or call us directly: (206) 728–8181 

Pictures of Processed Crow Skull


So I finished processing the crow skull I found, and I thought I’d share some pictures of it. I originally found the skull in an apartment complex about 1 1/2 months ago, and I soaked the skull for a week in hydrogen peroxide to bleach and sanitize it. The end result looks great; the skull is a lot cleaner looking. You can even see some remnants of blood vessels coming out of the ear canal on the second picture (At first I thought it was moss that had grown on the skull so I pulled some of it off, but later realized they were blood vessels after I saw they had faded in color after soaking in the hydrogen peroxide).


Found a bird skull!


So as you’ve probably noticed, I haven’t been very active on this blog due to being quite busy over the holiday season but I will try and update more often! I’ve also started going back to school again for digital design so I might be posting some of my projects in the future! For one of my classes I had to create an imaginary client to make designs for, so naturally I created a business called “Rainier Birding Supply” with the slogan “Bringing You Closer to Birds, on the Mountain or in Your Backyard.” So far I’ve made a typographic poster, an infographic, a video slideshow in Premiere Pro, and an animated logo in Flash for this imaginary client.

In other news, a few weeks ago I found a bird skull outside in an apartment complex. I think it is an American Crow skull because the apartment complex I found it in has a lot of crows that hang around the dumpsters (and the skull was sitting next to the dumpster). I also noticed that the skull is quite thin and fragile, I’m not sure if that is normal or if it is a result of decomposition, or some other reason.

I’m in the process of preserving it. I found a really neat blog called “Jake’s Bones” that has a handy chart explaining how to preserve skulls based on what state of decay it is in. When I found the skull it was picked clean but I stored it in the freezer until I was able to preserve it. I’m using hydrogen peroxide to sanitize and bleach it.


Well, until next time! Thanks for reading!

I’m Back!


Long time no see… sorry it’s been so long! Glad I’m back though. I’m finally uploading some more pictures onto my Flickr gallery (taken anytime between February and now in various locations – Tolmie State Park, Mima Mounds, etc.). Some pictures are edited, most are not. The edited photos are reference photos for action poses. I’ll get around to changing the titles and descriptions of the pictures later. I’ve also been uploading old sketches onto my DeviantArt gallery. You can find the links to both websites on the header above.

– Megan

Tolmie State Park



On February 12 I decided to check out Tolmie State Park off exit 111 – if you keep driving straight past Cabela’s you’ll eventually reach it. I had been wondering what the park was like, but wasn’t able to visit because I did not own a Discover Pass until now. I spent most of my time at the beach since the tide was so low, and then walked along the 4 Cedars trail for a little while. Several families were there with their young children digging for crabs and such (they released them later).

I did a small landscape sketch and tromped around the tide. I overheard the children exclaiming that there were sand dollars everywhere, so after they left I decided to investigate. There were hundreds and hundreds of live sand dollars buried right underneath the sand. I was walking all over them without realizing what they were! I’ve only seen dead exoskeletons until now, so it was surprising to me that the sand dollars were covered in a velvety fur-like substance, almost like the surface of a tongue.

Then I left the beach and walked partway along the 4 Cedars trail. I didn’t know how long of a hike it would be so I turned around after a little while. I will return later to hike it fully.

I wasn’t sure how safe it would be carrying around my expensive Canon so opted to use my point-and-shoot Fuji XP this time to take pictures. Check them out here:

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge Excursion


Hey – I added some new photos to my Flickr account! I would have uploaded these sooner, but I’ve been just getting over a Bronchitis infection that I’ve had since Halloween.

I walked around Nisqually Wildlife Refuge on October 29th, and observed a lot of different birds all interacting with each other. First I walked around the estuary bordering the edge of the riparian forest- it was filled with a moderate amount of water, enough for migrating ducks to feed and birds of prey to try and snatch them up! Every time a bird of prey would soar overhead, the ducks took off in large flocks, all cackling in protest.

I then walked up to the boardwalk and saw a Northern Shrike zooming from one bush to the next. I kept being bombarded by a giant cloud of tiny insects out on the walkway (they didn’t seem to be mosquitoes, so I’m not sure what they were).

Then I turned around and headed back toward the forest path and found some songbirds and a Pacific Tree Frog hiding in the bushes.

Here’s a link to look at them:

Until next time!

– Megan

Day hike at Mt. Rainier (with Pictures!)


Exactly a month ago today I visited Mt. Rainier with my boyfriend – about a 2 hour drive up through backcountry roads. When we arrived Paradise was shrouded in fog, and I was worried that we wouldn’t be able to glimpse the mountain. As we began our trek up the Glacier vista trail from Paradise, we ascended above the cloud line and the scenery was spectacular. I studied the mountain extensively in college, and it had been about 3 1/2 years since the last time I’d visited. Seeing the mountain up close again was like meeting up with an old friend.

Of course, I brought my camera with me and snapped some photos of the trip and I just uploaded them into my “Nature Excursions” album on Flickr. You can click this link to take a peek: 9/27/14 Mt. Rainier photos.