Tag: President's Message

Keep up-to-date with what’s happening in the supply chain diversity space both nationally, regionally, and locally as well as get the latest NYNJMSDC news.

2023 Women’s History Month

The Council recognizes the significance of the start of March, as it marks the beginning of Women’s History Month. During this month, we take the time to reflect and celebrate the vital role women play in both American history and modern culture, and recognize the lasting impact that many historic women have left through their dedication, work, and passion. 

Countless women have pioneered their way into the world of business, opening doors for generations of females to come after them. In recognition of Women’s History Month, we wanted to highlight a few lesser known—but no less noteworthy—women and explore how they shifted the business paradigm to be more equitable and inclusive for all. 

  • Anna Sutherland Bissel was the first female CEO in the United States. After her husband passed away in 1990, she took over the Bissell Sweeper Company. By 1999 she grew the company to become the largest organization of its kind in the world. Anna Bissell was also the first business owner to provide her employees with pensions and other benefits, and lead the movement to change the way workers are treated. 

  • Thasunda Brown Duckett is the President and Chief Executive Officer of TIAA. While holding a high ranking position, she also serves several boards of well known companies like Nike. Despite her busy work life, she has also founded the Otis and Rosie Brown Foundation to recognize and reward people who empower and uplift their community. She is passionate about helping to close the gaps in wealth creation, educational outcomes, and career success for communities of color.

  • Annie Malone was a daughter of formerly enslaved people. She developed a chemical straightener for coarse hair. She herself was worth millions, but used her wealth to donate land and cover a portion of the building costs for the St. Louis Colored Orphans’ Home, now known as the Annie Malone Children and Family Service Center. 

  • Estée Lauder created the well-known cosmetics company that is still highly prosperous today. In 1998, she was included on the annual list of the 20 most influential business geniuses of the 20th century, notably the only woman listed among this prestigious group. 

  • Christine Poon was the vice chairman of Johnson & Johnson and their former worldwide chairman. During her time there, she built Johnson & Johnson’s medicines to the leader that it is today. In 2004 she was named the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association “Woman of the Year” and in 2008 she was listed in Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women. 

While this is only a small portion of women who made a positive impact in the business field, the leadership of this group—and many others—have encouraged women of all ages to find their place and their voice in today’s working market. The Council recognizes these and all womens’ achievements, honoring the hard work and dedication that it takes to live by your morals and stand out against your peers. 

We encourage you all to get to know our list of Council-certified women-owned businesses and reach out to those listed to create new business relationships. Our goal is to help create more opportunities for minority women-owned businesses to find success, no matter what time of year it is. 


Terrence Clark

Celebrating 50 Years of Advancing Minority Business Enterprises 

The New York and New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council is proud to announce the celebration of our 50-Year “Golden” Anniversary in 2023. As we reflect on the amazing milestone that is 50 years of serving our local business community, we think about all the progress we have made in empowering minority suppliers and connecting them to corporate members in need of their services. Not only is The Council able to help suppliers get recognized and certified as minority-owned, but we also help build and grow these suppliers through development programs and by offering ample opportunities to network and connect with other suppliers or corporate members. 

We have no plans of slowing our efforts this year —or any of the years to come— and are excited to embrace The Council’s 2023 theme: Amplifying Capabilities, Fostering Growth

This year’s theme is both a reflection of the core message The Council has strived to embrace since our inception in 1973 and a poignant reminder of the work still to be done in creating truly diverse, accessible supply chains for all. As we move into the 50th Anniversary year of the NYNJMSDC, we look forward to new ways we can amplify the message of our organization and build a greater connection between MBEs and new business opportunities. We hope that everyone can take time this year to explore new business opportunities, build connections that will enhance your goals, succeed beyond your expectations, and celebrate your successes. 

No matter where life takes your business this year, remember that you always have the support of the NYNJMSDC. We offer a range of networking opportunities and special events, providing the perfect opportunity for all of The Council’s constituents to create long-lasting connections to propel their businesses forward. This year’s Signature Events will take place on the following dates:

There will be plenty of other development and networking events in the coming months, and we invite you to stay tuned to our regular email newsletters and social media updates to make sure you don’t miss out on some great opportunities for your business. 

As always, we’re looking forward to continuing the advocacy, partnership, and mentorship relationships with our MBE suppliers and corporate members as we work to foster lasting, meaningful connections all year long. We strive to enable everyone involved with the NYNJMSDC to reap the benefits of connection and recognition offered through our past, present, and future efforts. And we look forward to amplifying the capabilities and fostering the growth of our members and community for another 50 years… and many more!


Terrence Clark

2023 Black History Month

The beginning of February marks the start of Black History Month. What started out as a week-long event has expanded into a full month of celebrating the achievements of African Americans whose accomplishments have gone unnoticed for too long in history.

In recognition of African Americans’ fight toward ending historic and ongoing oppression, this year’s theme for Black History Month is “Black Resistance.” For hundreds of years, minorities in this country have had to fight for the same rights as other Americans, breaking through barriers to have their work recognized in the same light as their colleagues. Despite the progress we’ve made as a country, African Americans and other minorities are still met with barriers and setbacks that make it harder to achieve the American dream. 

As we reflect on what the Council can do to help, we continue to promote the importance of creating a diverse supply chain. We recently named the winners of the 2022 Corporate Awards, an initiative that highlights standout members in their field for their commitment to creating a diverse supply chain. Employing people from all walks of life creates new ideas and different perspectives that can serve a business well; it also shows prospective employees and consumers that your organization values and celebrates differences among its people. 

We continue to see businesses grow and prosper as a result of the many events and programs we hold in our ongoing effort to increase the number of minority-owned businesses. We also proudly offer MBE and Corporate Spotlight recognition on our website to showcase different minority businesses and promote them to our members on both sides of the supply chain. And of course, we offer a variety of networking events to help businesses build connections, including Networking for Scholarships, the Partnership Awards Reception, Biz Connect, our Matchmaker events, and many others. We look forward to continuing these events and promoting businesses to find success in their fields. 

While we are continually motivated by the progress that we have seen in ending inequality, there is always room to grow and work to be done. This work can not be done by one person or organization alone — we must all continue to chip away at these inequalities to finally have equal opportunities for all in this country, no matter the color of their skin. 

We want to say thank you to all of our MBEs and Corporate Sponsors for your continued support of The Council and our initiatives. We are excited for what the future will bring and will continue to reflect on progress, assess our challenges, and make strides toward a powerful minority business community that benefits every member of our diverse nation.


Terrence Clark

2023 MLK Day Message from Our President

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

What would have been a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 93rd birthday is now a day of remembrance of his contributions to the advancement of minority communities everywhere. With every year that passes, we become closer to achieving the American dream that Dr. King so passionately and bravely fought for. Despite the progress that still needs to be made, we want to take today to look back on all that has been accomplished so far as a result of Dr. King’s leadership. 

From his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” to his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, Dr. King was, and still remains, a household name when it comes to the Civil Rights Movement. His advocacy for the use of peaceful tactics to bring attention to and spur change regarding inequalities occurring through the United States resonated around the country and world. He became a leader who inspired people of all demographics to stand up against injustice and strive for a better life. 

Today The Council recognizes the sacrifices that Dr. King and many others like him have made for us to have the lives and opportunities that we see today. We aim to show our appreciation for this sacrifice by building and uplifting minority businesses to create more opportunities for otherwise marginalized peoples and communities to prosper and grow. 

It has been a long road to gain the rights and freedoms that we enjoy today, but the fight to end racial injustice is far from over. Take today to reflect on all that you have been able to achieve because of Dr.King’s work and the success of the Civil Rights Movement. Think about the future – how can you help others to see the success that you have achieved? Whenever possible, we should be reaching out and helping those around us so one day everyone will have equal opportunity to achieve the American Dream. Keep in mind that progress will not always be linear, but don’t get discouraged. 

As Dr. King said, we must, at all costs, “Keep moving forward.”


Terrence Clark

Looking Back on 2022…

As another year comes to a close, we are eagerly looking forward to what 2023 has in store for The Council! Next year marks our 50th anniversary year and we’re excited to announce that we will be able to provide some new and exciting opportunities to our constituents in the new year. However, this is the time of year for us to look back on all the connections we made and the growth that happened in 2022 — because there was a lot of it! 

In March 2022, we had the pleasure of launching a new, easy-to-use website with the help of our friends at Accelerate Media. We look forward to growing this site in the next year to make it a tool that all our MBE’s can use to get the latest updates and information. 

We also restructured our own communication strategy to help us deliver news and need-to-know information to our members by launching three new email newsletters. The Wire relays information to all audiences who are interested in what’s happening at The Council. The MBE Insider delivers information to our certified MBE’s that will help expand and grow their business connections – whether that be through promoting MBE-only events or by giving information on new grants or financing opportunities, this exclusive newsletter is sent every week on Thursdays. And finally, we launched the Corporate Connections newsletter, which is sent once a month to give updates and keep our corporate members in-the-loop on what’s happening.  

Don’t miss any news on our 50th Anniversary year! Sign up for The Wire today.

In 2022, we were also able to expand many of our MBE opportunities. For example, the MatchMaking Sessions that were held this year began as sessions in our Business Opportunity Exchange. But due to their success, and several requests from our members for more events like this, we remade them into their own event—successfully launching a new event series that connected many of our certified-MBE members and corporate partners. We are eager to continue this quarterly event series in 2023 with new matches and opportunities.  

Speaking of the Business Opportunity Exchange, we were able to host this event virtually in April of this year, where we watched as our members worked to expand their businesses and network with other professionals. We listened to inspiring talks and gained insights from leading diversity officers and minority suppliers that enhanced our understanding of what diversity in business looks like in 2022. 

In September, we kicked off our Networking for Scholarships Golf Tournament at the Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg, NJ. This world-class golf destination provided the backdrop for a memorable day full of fun in which our members made valuable, long-lasting connections with top corporate professionals, minority business owners, and other key influencers in supplier diversity. Through this event, we were able to generate financial support for the Council’s Scholarship Program that benefits qualifying MBE’s. 

In October, we celebrated our corporate partnerships with the Partnership Awards Reception at Pride Global. This event allowed us to recognize and honor the achievements of minority-owned firms and corporate members that stood out this year. Congratulations to all of our 2022 Award Recipients!  

Throughout the fall, we were able to amplify our programming efforts and bring valuable networking opportunities to our certified MBE’s. In fact, we were able to host our first in-person symposium, the Healthcare Symposium, at Mt. Sinai Health System’s  corporate headquarters. It was great to be able to spend the day learning how diverse suppliers can do business with the healthcare industry—in person! 

After all the good things that happened in 2022, we’re excited to jump into the new year and provide even more development and collaboration opportunities to our constituents in 2023. Because something tells us our 50th Anniversary year is going to be the best yet! 

We look forward to meeting more of our constituents and creating lasting connections that will create a better future for you, and for The Council. We wish you all a happy Holiday season and a prosperous New Year!


Terrence Clark

2022 Veterans Day Message

When November 11th was officially named Veterans Day in 1952, United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower called upon all citizens to join together in “solemnly remember[ing] the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom.” As our troops continue to serve with dedication and honor, so too do we take this time to recognize the commitment and sacrifices of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and all other military service members. 

And, more importantly, we use this day as a chance to say a heartfelt thank you to the brave men and women who have served our country. The United States was built on hard-won freedoms, and we wouldn’t be where we are today without heroes like our World War 2, Korean War, Vietnam War, Desert Storm, and Afghanistan Veterans. Their sacrifice ushered in an era of unprecedented growth and prosperity in our country, and one day alone each year will never be enough to express the deep gratitude of our thanks. 

As a supporter of minority-owned businesses and a stark advocate for supply chain diversity, we owe the crux of our work to the military servicemen and women who’ve defended our freedoms, allowing for everyone’s freedoms of speech and expression and the freedom to secure a future free from want. It’s these fundamental rights, among others, that have created an economy of acceptance and abundance, offering those from all walks of life a seat at the entrepreneurial table. The Council sees this as the embodiment of civil liberties for all, and for that, we will always owe our gratitude to our enlisted military. 

We hope to never forget to not only give thanks, but live thanks. In the words of the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, “Veterans know better than anyone else the price of freedom, for they’ve suffered the scars of war. We can offer them no better tribute than to protect what they have won for us.”

This Veterans day, be sure to appreciate your freedoms and thank all of those who have won them for you. 


Terrence Clark

2022 Native American Heritage Month

The Council joyfully recognizes Native American Heritage Month this November, using this time to explore and celebrate the heritage, culture, and experiences of Indigenous peoples both historically and in American life today. Though we proudly advocate for Native American business owners and entrepreneurs throughout the year, we believe it is equally important to pay tribute to the sacrifices and achievements they continue to make toward our mission of diversity and inclusion. 

The more than five billion Native Americans in the United States belong to 574 federally recognized tribes across our country. Celebrating Native American Heritage does not mean celebrating one culture, but rather recognizing and honoring the many diverse native nations and each of their unique defining histories. It is a time to celebrate the traditions, languages, and stories of Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and Island communities and ensure their rich histories and contributions continue to thrive with each passing generation. And, in order to guarantee that every community has the future they deserve, November serves as a time for us as a nation to reassess our commitment to upholding the significant alliances we have with tribal nations and renew our dedication to these ties.

Further, we would be remiss to overlook the significant contributions of Native Americans to our nation and economy. According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics, Native American-owned businesses contribute more than $33 billion to the U.S. economy every year and employ more than 200,000 people. Native American entrepreneurs founded international restaurant chains, profitable casinos, successful financing companies, and indigenous art stores across the country. Additionally, there are tens of thousands of Native American solopreneurs who significantly impact our nation’s financial health and move our economy forward. Native American businesses had an estimated buying power of $140 billion in 2020, a number that is set to continue to grow.

This month, we ask you to take a conscious effort in supporting Native American entrepreneurs and to think deeply about the pivotal role they play in the American economy. If you haven’t yet, this is the perfect time to diversify your supply chains and connect with our Council-certified Native American MBEs. We invite you all to support, celebrate, and honor the Native American teachers, leaders, scientists, activists, and public figures this November.  


Terrence Clark

2022 Hispanic Heritage Month

This Hispanic Heritage Month, The Council proudly recognizes the millions of Hispanic Americans who enrich our nation. We celebrate the prosperity of our nation’s Latinx/Hispanic businesses and business owners and applaud communities in New York and New Jersey — and around the nation — that fully commit to their growth and development. 

The National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Managers (NCHEPM), announced the 2022 Hispanic Heritage Month Observance Theme to be: “Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation.” We believe this theme encourages people across the country to ensure that all voices are represented and welcomed to help build stronger communities — a core concept reflected in all work carried out by the NYNJMSDC.

This year is the 34th year we will recognize the contributions and importance of Hispanics and Latinos to the United States and those American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. From September 15 to October 15, we celebrate the extraordinary leadership shown by the Hispanic American community, including the achievements of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic-American appointed to the Supreme Court, and Lin-Manuel Miranda, a composer, actor, writer, and activist shaping modern pop culture through the re-imaging of America’s story told through the lens of people of color.  

We also take the time to remember past visionaries like Cesar Chavez, a leading advocate for Latinx and workers’ rights; Roberto Clemente, who overcame racial bias as the first Hispanic American to play major league baseball; and Selena, the pop superstar who brought Mexican Tejano music to the masses. These and many other leaders have made significant contributions to American society, transforming perceptions of Hispanic Americans and serving as shining examples of diversity’s role in modern American culture. 

This September and October, we ask you to uplift and celebrate the Hispanic American entrepreneurs, scientists, artists, teachers, athletes, and other professionals who are unabashedly sharing their heritage and culture to create a long-lasting, positive impact on our society and in our communities. 


Terrence Clark

2022 National Caribbean-American Heritage Month

In a month jam-packed with diversity celebrations, the New York & New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council would also like to take a moment and recognize the contributions of Caribbean-Americans to our nation—and our economy. We hope that by commemorating National Caribbean-American Heritage Month, we will remind all Americans that this country’s strength is rooted in its diversity, helping to highlight the pivotal role Caribbean immigrants play in shaping the American dream through their cultures, traditions, languages, and values. 

Historically, the Caribbean American population in the United States grows more than 50% every ten years, though the pace of growth has nearly doubled in the last 20 years. According to U.S. Census data, there are around 4.4 million people of Caribbean descent working in and contributing to the U.S. economy and culture. From their distinct cuisine to influential music and dance styles, Caribbean traditions have had a profound impact on U.S. popular culture. 

The celebration of Caribbean-American Heritage month began in June 2005 when the House of Representatives unanimously adopted H. Con. Res. 71, which recognized the significance of Caribbean people and their descendants in the history and culture of the United States. In February 2006, the resolution passed the senate, with the Proclamation being ultimately issued by President George W. Bush on June 6, 2006.

This year marks the fourteenth celebration of June as National Caribbean-American Heritage Month. We take this time to celebrate the extraordinary leadership shown by the Caribbean American community, including the achievements of Vice President Kamala Harris, the first Black American of Jamaican heritage to hold this high office, and Karine Jean-Pierre, the first White House press secretary of Haitian descent. 

We also take the time to remember past visionaries like Alexander Hamilton, one of this nation’s founding fathers, and the late General Colin Powell, the son of Jamaican immigrants and the first Black Secretary of State. These and many other leaders have made significant contributions to American society and forged new paths in service to the American people.

This June, we ask you to uplift and celebrate the Caribbean-American entrepreneurs, teachers, scientists, artists, medical professionals, police officers, athletes, and others who are boldly sharing their heritage and culture to create a lasting positive impact on our society.


Terrence Clark

A Juneteenth Message from Our President

Juneteenth, celebrated the 19th of June, is a holiday that observes the end of slavery in the U.S. and marks the day in 1865 when news of emancipation reached people in the deepest parts of the former Confederacy. Though only officially declared our nation’s newest federal holiday in 2021, Juneteenth has been celebrated for decades through family gatherings and other local celebration events, such as memorials, parades, or public readings of the Emancipation Proclamation. 

It has been troubling to know that the holiday has only received national attention in recent years due to an onslaught of transgressions against the African American community — in particular after the global protests sparked in 2020 by the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Rayshard Brooks. This Juneteenth, I want to remind you that allyship for the black community isn’t confined to a day, month, or social movement; rather, it’s an ethical and moral compass that can and should be used to guide day-to-day interactions. 

For many, celebrating Juneteenth provides the opportunity to honor Black culture and the Black experience, recognizing the depth and complexity of African American history and its implications for us all. To The Council, we believe that in celebrating Juneteenth, we are reaffirming our constant and unwavering commitment to amplifying the voices and experiences of minority communities across the globe. After all, our central mission is to help educate, develop, and uplift minority communities in business, creating systemic change in how leading corporations engage with them now and in the future. 

This year, I implore you to look within yourself and your organization, seeking out places and opportunities where you can amplify diverse thoughts and perspectives—and speak up for those otherwise silenced or overlooked. It is only together that we can work to dismantle systemic structures of oppression that have plagued African Americans and other minority communities for generations, thereby allowing them the same freedoms and opportunities enjoyed by white Americans for decades. 

Let this continue to be a movement and not just a moment.


Terrence Clark

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