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

News & Press

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 Receives OMWBE Certification

News & Press

We are pleased to announce that Trio Group is now certified as a minority-owned business through the Washington State Office of Minority & Women’s Business Enterprises. We believe this certification, in addition to our MBE certification through the Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council, is another way for our company to provide value to our customers large and small. 

Trio Nominated for Supplier of the Year

News & Press

As our business has grown, we’ve continued to support the Northwest Mountain MSDC (NW MTN MSDC) and its efforts to increase supplier diversity for minority-owned businesses in the Puget Sound and beyond. We are very happy to have been nominated for NW MTN MSDC Supplier of the Year, Class II, for the past four years.


Supplier of the Year Nominations

Year Nominated By
2014 Union Bank
2015 Union Bank
2016 Northwest Mountain MSDC
2017 Seattle Public Utilities (Winner)


It’s been a pleasure to support our fellow MBEs and the NW MTN MSDC, and we greatly look forward to assisting the council with its marketing, branding, and website needs.

2016 Year in Gratitude

News & Press

As 2017 begins, we’re grateful for the incredible opportunities, success, and growth we enjoyed in the past year. Here are some of our favorite highlights:

Supporting minority businesses

Trio recognized with Northwest Mountain MSDC President’s Award in March 2016

This delightful surprise was the perfect way to begin the year. Northwest Mountain MSDC President and CEO Fernando Martinez revived the President’s Award to recognize Trio Group for our commitment to supplier diversity, and championing the cause of our fellow minority business enterprises (MBEs).

We’re grateful for the invaluable support we receive from Fernando and the rest of the Council, its staff, and members.

Platinum sponsorship of the Northwest Mountain MSDC

“The Council provides such an important role in our community; so many corporations, and more importantly, minority business enterprises, need a venue to help them raise their game, to make them more effective in communicating the value of what they do, and how they can be a benefit to the corporate members,” states Trio EVP Jeff Quint. 

We’re grateful for the opportunity to demonstrate our support of MBEs large and small, and we’re even more grateful the Council is using our sponsorship to make an incredible economic impact in the region.


In 2016, Trio Group’s $6,500.00 platinum sponsorship resulted in a $56,877 Marketing Value ROI

— Fernando Martinez, NW MTN MSDC President & CEO


Dennis Brooks completes Minority Business Executive Program

Taking a week off from managing Trio Group, President Dennis Brooks completed the intensive Minority Business Executive Program at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College

Dennis said of the course, “It was grueling, but a major growth opportunity. You could tell when someone had an ‘A-ha’ moment because their face would light up. We worked long and hard, and at the end of it every single one of my fellow executives had made a huge leap forward, myself included.”

We’re grateful that Dennis’ tuition was sponsored in part by the Council, and we’re excited to see how his training will help Trio grow into the new year.

Giving back to our communities

Jeff Quint joins Board of Directors of Tacoma South Sound Sports Commission

Following his nearly decade-long tenure on the Board of Directors of the Greater Metro Parks Foundation, Trio EVP Jeff Quint was invited to join the TSSSC board. 

“As a South Sound resident myself, I’ve always believed that the best community development starts from the ground up. I’m excited to bring my experience in marketing public attractions such as Point Definance Zoo & Aquarium and Experience Music Project to the Tacoma South Sound Sports Commission. Their work in developing sports tourism in the Tacoma area will greatly accelerate the area’s economic growth,” he remarked.

Jeff has already made his mark on the Commission’s board by creating and serving as chairman of the marketing committee.

Ricardo Ibarra elected President of FIUTS Board of Trustees

FIUTS creates a more diverse and inclusive Puget Sound through their work on the University of Washington campus in support of UW international students and their visiting scholar programs through the U.S. Department of State.

Trio Creative Director Ricardo Ibarra is now in his fifth year on the board of trustees, and serves as co-chair of the partnerships/outreach and fundraising committees.

“International students and scholars from all over the world come to Seattle to learn and grow. I’ve seen firsthand the transformation that FIUTS affects in their lives, and I’m thrilled to lead my fellow trustees as president,” he said.

We’re grateful that our team can donate their time, talent, and treasure for their communities.

Serving our customers

Seattle launches first-in-the-nation Democracy Voucher Program

Democracy Vouchers Arrived in 500,000 Seattle mailboxes -

Democracy Vouchers Arrived in 500,000 Seattle mailboxes

The City of Seattle’s Democracy Voucher Program had the privilege and the challenge of being the first of its kind in the nation. Created by a citizen-led initiative, the program faced a steep deadline of designing and mailing the program materials to over 500,000 eligible Seattle voters. Additionally, the initiative specified that program materials be made available in 14 other languages. We designed, printed, and mailed the outbound pieces with time to spare.

King County Elections during Presidential Election cycle

After a decade of working together, we are still extremely proud to support King County Elections, especially during a presidential election year. The challenge letter program, of which there are eight different types of letters, requires our production facilities to accept a data file, validate the data, proof the printed piece, and submit it to the Postal Service in 24 hours. 

Washington Centers of Excellence



Our work with the Washington Centers of Excellence (WA COE) continued in 2016 with a wide array of projects including:

Nisqually Tribal Health Department

The Nisqually Tribe’s health department had grown tremendously in the past few years, resulting in fragmented communications that lacked a clear identity. We helped the department unify its customer-facing materials into a beautiful brand that captured the essence of the tribe.

Supporting Supplier Diversity and the Northwest Mountain MSDC

News & Press

Trio Group received the President’s Award at the 2016 Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council’s (MSDC) annual Awards Gala & Silent Auction. In this video, Trio principals Dennis Brooks and Jeff Quint and Northwest Mountain MSDC President and CEO Fernando Martinez speak to what the President’s Award signifies, as well as Trio’s contributions to supporting supplier diversity and minority business enterprises.

…Trio Group has been so good to the community. They’re good with the corporate members, they’re good with the public agencies, they’re good to other MBEs. They’re always trying to help the MBEs improve their position.

— Fernando Martinez





/* Style Definitions */
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
font-family:”Times New Roman”;}Dennis Brooks: We as Trio have been involved with the [Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development] Council for the last six years. They represent everything we stand for as a certified minority business enterprise. We have tremendous relationships with the local Council, Fernando Martinez is a terrific leader and he’s someone that we really have a lot of respect for.

Jeff Quint: One of the things that I think I enjoy working with the Council on is helping them determine effectively what their message is, helping to craft that, and then to get it into the hands of the right people. It provides such an important role in our community that so many corporations, and more importantly, minority business enterprises, need a venue to help them raise their game, to make them more effective in communicating the value of what they do, and how they can be a benefit to the corporate members.

Fernando Martinez: The President’s Award is an award that we started about five years ago and the reason we started that award here at the Council, in addition to the Advocacy Awards, the Leadership Awards, the Supplier of the Year Awards. We wanted to do something for someone that provided what I consider contributions to the MBE community, to the corporate member community, the community at large, the Council above and beyond what people normally do.

Dennis Brooks: This year we were surprised and elated to get the President’s Award, which was something that we were shocked but certainly blessed to get. This is an award given to minority enterprises that are giving back to the community regarding inclusion and trying to give back as an organization, which we have been doing for the last six years.

Jeff Quint: As you might imagine, we at Trio Group, were stunned by the award, the President’s Award. We think it’s a testament not only to our support, but perhaps more importantly the work that we do for, not just the Council, but the corporate members and many of the MBEs. We work hard at making certain we carry the message of diversity and its importance in the community at large.

Fernando Martinez: This year I awarded it to the Trio Group and again, that’s simply because for some reason… The Trio Group has been so good to the community. They’re good with the corporate members, they’re good with the public agencies, they’re good to other MBEs. They’re always trying to help the MBEs improve their position. They’re always trying to help the Council improve the Council’s position and be better positioned to help MBEs, and help our corporate members, and our public agency members. They do things for the Council that some things we don’t even ask for and it’s that anticipatory needs assessment that Trio is really, really good at. Many times they anticipate things that we at the Council need that we don’t even know we need. When I look at those types of contributions consistently, I just couldn’t think of anybody better than the Trio Group to award the President’s Award to this year.


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

News & Press

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