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 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.