Partnership Awards Gala 2017 Press Release

NEW YORK, NY – More than 500 Council members, certified minority owned businesses, and guests gathered at The Sheraton New York Times Square on Thursday, November 9th, 2017 for the 44th Annual Partnership Awards Gala. This highly-anticipated event celebrates the service excellence of Asian, African American, Hispanic, and Native American-owned businesses. Awards were given to both MBEs and Corporate Members for outstanding achievements in the field of supplier diversity.

This year’s Gala Corporate Chair was MetLife’s Arnold Sowa, Senior Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer of Global Procurement. The MBE Chair was Ann Ramakumaran, CEO of Ampcus, Inc. Both titles are crucial in bringing the Gala to life, and we extend our deepest gratitude to MetLife and Ampcus for their contributions. We would also like to thank our Platinum Sponsors – Consolidated Edison Co. of New York, Ongweoweh and Time Warner Inc. – our Gold Sponsors – Colgate-Palmolive Company and Comcast NBCUniversal – and our Silver Sponsors – Major League Baseball,  New York Life Insurance Company, and  Public Service Enterprise Group.

The Supplier of the Year Awards were given to four exceptional Council-certified Minority-Owned Businesses who demonstrated services that went above and beyond their call of duty. The Council classifies its certified minority owned businesses by size based on annual revenue. Class 1 has revenues of up to $1 million; Class 2 ($1 million to $10 million); Class 3 ($10 million to $50 million) and Class 4 (Over $50 million). The Class 1 Award winner was Barbara Stubbs, President of Business Promotion Ideas. The Class 2 Award was presented to Liliana Gil Valletta, CEO and Co-Founder of Cien+. The Class 3 Award was presented to Rohit Mahajan, President of Saviance Technologies, and the Class 4 Award was presented to Michael Mendiburu, President of HighPoint Solutions.

On the Corporate side, The Council’s Minority Business Enterprise Input Committee selected three winners for their respective awards. The Local Corporation of the Year Award went to Guggenheim Partners, National Corporation of the Year was awarded to Major League Baseball, and Advocate of the Year went to Kate Kleyman of Guggenheim Partners.

Four additional, prestigious awards were presented at the awards ceremony. The first, the Chairperson’s Award, went to Classic Labels, an MBE who has been a part of The Council for over 30 years. Next came a new award, the Minority Business Development Champion Award, which was given to Rutgers University. In honor of a corporate member who had shown extensive involvement in major Council events, Time Warner’s Melanie Gunn received the Corporate Sponsor of the Year Award. And last but certainly not least, this year’s President’s Award was presented to Jeannie Maddox, recently retired Head of Supplier Diversity at Colgate-Palmolive and former Board Chair of The Council. The night concluded with a duet in tribute to Maddox’s contributions to the supplier diversity community letting her know her contribution to this community is “Unforgettable”.

“The evening was a rousing success at which we honored corporate members and MBEs that have done outstanding work in furthering the mission of supplier diversity and growing their businesses,” said Terrance Clark, Council President. “We look forward to your continued support and participation in our Council in 2018.”



The New York & New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc. identifies and certifies minority business enterprises, and facilitates procurement opportunities between Corporate America and Council-certified minority suppliers. The supplier groups include Asian, Black, Hispanic, and Native-American businesses located throughout The State of New York and Northern and Central New Jersey including Trenton. The Council’s corporate membership consists of Fortune 500 corporations, government agencies and educational institutions. The Council is one of the 23 regional affiliates of the National Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc.


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