Tag: Women's History Month

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.

MBE Spotlight: Leticia Murphy

Having co-founded the original company, New Jersey Sorting Company in 1984, Leticia Murphy now resides as Chairperson, leading The Millennium Group (TMG) into a nationally recognized full-service office and facilities management company. Coming from a production mail background, Leticia maintains a steadfast vision of the founding principles on which TMG was built; client loyalty, commitment to employees, and rewarding success have been the staple of Leticia’s leadership in her 40 years with the organization. 

Through the late 1980s and early 1990s, she was a formidable driver behind the commitment to begin TMG’s national expansion. Having a deep focus on production mail operations, Leticia knew that her experience would lend value to channeling TMG’s success throughout North America. She began to drive processes with an eye on expense management and cost reductions for clients. She has been and continues to be an instrumental leader with major strategic investing, market expansion, and diversification of service offerings.

Today, Leticia leads TMG, encompassing an Associate population of 3,500 professionals globally. She continues to drive the business by challenging her TMG leaders to evolve and create market relevance. Leticia’s participative leadership style remains her biggest asset as TMG continues year-of-year growth.

About The Millennium Group

The Millennium Group is a dually certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and Woman Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) providing client-based, document management, and workplace services globally. This includes management of mail, print, document imaging, hospitality, and office support services for many of the world’s most renowned organizations, including various Fortune 500 companies worldwide.   

Now in their 40th year and with a mission to deliver ‘Where Service Matters,’ TMG supports over 250 contracted facilities management clients in over 650 facilities globally.  They support these clients with 125,000 square feet of digital print, mail processing, materials fulfillment, and records storage in New Jersey. Their National Processing Center is Hi-Trust certified and HIPAA compliant with an on-premise USPS. annex. TMG’s facility provides Xerox and Konica Minolta-powered on-demand digital printing, automated mail manufacturing, and inbound mail digitalization, and outputs over 200 million mail pieces annually. 

Their ‘Where Service Matters’ teams have the in-depth industry knowledge and expertise to deliver accurate, efficient, and excellent levels of customer service to their clients. Their dynamic management team, industry expertise, and supporting infrastructure focused on helping our clients achieve their goals, results in the highest client retention rates and year-over-year satisfaction in the industry! Additionally, TMG’s SafeMail, Mail, and Parcel Screening centers in New York, Washington DC, and San Francisco protect client facilities from chemical, biological, and explosive agents in their delivered mail and packages. They have the best-in-class mail and parcel security solution.

What does being a minority business, or supporting minority businesses, mean to you?

As a certified MBE and WBE, we are committed to championing diversity, equality, and innovation in every aspect of our business operations. We believe that when diverse businesses flourish, it leads to a stronger, more dynamic, and equitable marketplace for everyone.  

Being a minority business is about bringing diverse perspectives and innovative solutions to the table. We represent a broader spectrum of ideas, cultures, and experiences, which are crucial for fostering creativity and driving business growth.   

Supporting other minority businesses is equally significant. We aim to create an inclusive economic ecosystem where diverse businesses have the opportunity to thrive. By engaging with and supporting other MBEs, we foster a culture of inclusivity and contribute to the economic empowerment of underrepresented communities. Our supplier diversity program exemplifies this commitment. By partnering with other minority-owned businesses, we empower these businesses and also enrich our own. These partnerships lead to mutual growth, shared success, and a stronger, more resilient business community.

How has being certified with the NMSDC helped your business?

Being a certified MBE with the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) has been a meaningful step in our journey towards growth and inclusivity. 

Our association with the NMSDC has fostered a sense of solidarity and community among fellow minority-owned businesses. The opportunities for mentorship, networking, and collaborative learning have been invaluable, allowing us to share experiences, challenges, and successes with peers who understand the unique aspects of operating as a minority business. These connections often lead to potential business opportunities, and collaborations, which are vital for our continuous development and expansion.

The NMSDC’s emphasis on promoting minority-owned businesses has also given us a platform to showcase our services and expertise to businesses that actively seek to diversify their suppliers. This certification has not only heightened our visibility within a network of businesses committed to diversity but has also enriched our understanding and approach to fulfilling the diverse needs of our clients. 

The NMSDC certification is instrumental in guiding our path forward and in strengthening the core values that define our commitment to diversity and excellence.

What is one thing you wish you had known when you were starting out in your career?

Reflecting on my career journey, I have experienced the value of relationships with mentors, peers, team members, other businesses, and even competitors, which is immeasurable. These connections can open doors, provide new perspectives, offer support during challenges, and create opportunities for collaboration. Understanding and appreciating the human element in business is something we prioritize and encourage within The Millennium Group. It’s a perspective that enriches our work environment and contributes significantly to our collective success.

For more information on The Millennium Group, please visit: tmgofficeservices.com or follow their social media: Facebook, X, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Breaking Barriers: The Diverse Women Who Shaped History and Inspired Change

Each year during Women’s History Month, The Council takes time to recognize the many contributions of women and highlights some lesser-known figures who made a big impact on history. This year resonates even more with The Council, as the official theme for this month is “Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.” 

Our daily work at The Council is to ensure that regardless of ethnicity or sex, you are offered the same opportunities as others to succeed. We urge you to take time this month to reflect on influential women that have been in your life–and to learn a little bit more about the women we’ve highlighted here. 

Nanye-hi, known in American as Nancy Ward, was born into a powerful Cherokee Wolf clan in the territory that is now Tennessee. While her childhood was filled with violence from battles with Europeans and other tribes, she believed all people should live together in peace. After picking up her husband’s rifle after he was killed in battle she was given the name Ghighau, or Beloved Woman, by the Cherokee. Nanye-hi went on to become a powerful member of her tribe and in 1781 had an influential role in the peace talks with an American delegation, where she expressed dismay that the Americans had no female negotiators, stating: “you know that women are always looked upon as nothing; but we are your mothers; you are our sons. Our cry is all for peace; let it continue. This peace must last forever. Let your women’s sons be ours; our sons be yours. Let your women hear our words.”

Shirley Chisholm broke through political barriers during the tumultuous times around the Civil Rights movement to become the first black woman elected to Congress. Then, in 1972, Chisholm became the first woman to run for president of the United States, ultimately garnering nearly 10% of the delegate votes despite a lack of support from the predominantly male Congressional Black Caucus.  Her motto “Unbought and Unbossed” perfectly summarizes her outspoken advocacy for women and minorities during her seven terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. She said she wanted to be remembered as “a woman who dared to be the catalyst of change.”

Dorothy Height, nicknamed the “godmother of the women’s rights movement” by President Barack Obama, used her background in education and social work to relentlessly advance the rights of women and minorities. For more than 40 years Height served as the President of the National Council of Negro Women and was a prominent leader at the Young Women’s Christain Association (YWCA). In 1994, she was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom for her many contributions to the advancement of women and minorities. 

Bessie Coleman, a woman of African American and Indigenous heritage, etched her name in history as the first woman to obtain a pilot’s license in the United States. Reverently dubbed “Brave Bessie” for her daring aerial maneuvers, she not only soared through the skies but also fearlessly confronted the prevailing societal norms of segregation. Her unwavering commitment to justice was evident as she steadfastly declined engagements at venues that endorsed discrimination or segregation against African Americans. Coleman’s legacy extends beyond her remarkable aviation achievements, embodying resilience and advocacy for equality in the face of adversity.

These are only a few of the inspiring women who have worked to break through barriers of oppression for minorities. We recognize and applaud their bravery and dedication to improving the world for those who come after them. 

At The Council, our goal is to help foster more opportunities for minority women-owned businesses to find success, regardless of the time of year. We invite you to check out our list of Council-certified women-owned businesses and reach out to those listed to create new business relationships. 

If you are looking for more information on upcoming events to help network your business, visit our News & Events page for more. 

Rounded T. Clark Headshot


Terrence Clark

MBE Spotlight: Diana Domenech

Diana Domenech is Owner and Visionary of Accelerate Consulting Experts (ACE) and a proven professional in leading organizations, influencing groups, and developing people and businesses. Here, she assists and advises larger companies on how to strategize and execute global diversity & sustainability programs. For smaller or disadvantaged businesses, she works to develop and execute plans that will result in growth and development in the federal and private sectors. Recently, Diana has had success working with global organizations in the financial services and non-profit sectors, Native American tribes, and African-American owned businesses.

Diana has more than 20 years of experience in the private sector, having worked up the ranks in the banking and insurance industries. She most recently served as Head of Sourcing Process, Technology, Governance and Risk at AIG. In that role she led special sourcing programs such as Supplier Diversity and Sustainability. She previously held roles at AIG in supplier relationship management and transformation.

Diana spent 14 years at JPMorgan Chase, where she was Vice President of the Corporate Supplier Diversity Program. Here she was responsible for leading the firm wide global supplier diversity initiative. Under her leadership, the Supplier Diversity Program increased spend with Tier 1 and Tier 2 diverse businesses to over $1.3 billion annually.

Diana has an MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University and a BS from Cornell University. She currently serves as Chair Emeritus and the Nominating Committee Chair for the Financial Services Roundtable for Supplier Diversity, Class Parent for the 5th grade, and Cookie Mom for her daughter’s Girl Scout troop, and just completed her 9th triathlon.

About ACE

ACE is a management consulting company that started because of the need for global diversity and sustainability expertise. With a desire to transform the world to become a better place, ACE serves regional and global corporations, and small businesses by strategically leveraging diversity as a means to learn and implement new and more effective ways to generate more revenue, reduce costs, improve employee satisfaction, and exceed shareholders expectations. Clients trust us to advise on and build global Vendor Diversity and DE&I Programs, enhance existing programs, develop diversity specific strategies and solutions, train and coach executive leadership, and take action to deliver meaningful and impactful results.

What does being a minority business, or supporting minority businesses, mean to you?

Supporting minority businesses means breaking down external factors that prevent or impede these businesses from entering into a market.  It’s promoting community development and economic growth by working with and supporting diverse-owned business enterprises so we can all succeed.

Equally as important for me as a leader is to be a role model for other minority businesses and demonstrate to them that it is possible to succeed in the corporate world. I believe that supporting minority businesses is good for business and provides them with the opportunity to participate, compete, and thrive not only in America, but globally.

How has being certified with the NMSDC helped your business?

Being certified with the NMSDC has provided the opportunity to meet Fortune 500 companies and other MBEs to explore new business. This membership has boosted my company’s visibility, created connections and credibility with major organizations and possible future partners.

What is one thing you wish you had known when you were starting out in your career?

I wish I knew that it’s ok to make mistakes. No one expects you to know everything, especially when you are new to a role or company. As long as people know that you are trying, and most importantly, learning from your mistakes, you will be a success.

For more information on Diana Domenech and ACE, please visit: accelerateconsulting-llc.com or contact Diana Domenech at dianad@accelerateconsulting-llc.com to set up a free consultation.

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

Women’s History Spotlight: Azra Khalfan-Kermali

Azra Khalfan-Kermali, is the founder and CEO of Away in a BOX, a division of Plaques by Azra and Signs and Lucite Products. Plaques by Azra is a trusted supplier for awards and signs and recently expanded to offer a Cultural Intelligence Training Program for employee engagement and leadership development.

Azra was born and raised in Queens, New York but has lived in Tanzania, UAE and has traveled the world extensively. She brings over two decades of entrepreneurial spirit, life experiences, education and passion into her new company— aimed at increasing diversity, equity and inclusion and helping with unconscious biases towards marginalized communities. Away in a BOX brings the world to you, one nation at a time through an experiential sensory BOX and educational culture training. 

Azra has been actively building her businesses through educational programs with organizations like the Dartmouth-Tuck School of Business – Minority Business Program and the Goldman Sachs 10K Small Business Program through the Tory Burch Foundation

Azra now lives in New York and Dubai with her husband Kazim and her parents. She has been actively involved with community fundraising and awareness towards assisting orphans, widows, empowerment through education and the building of wells in Africa, South Asia and the Middle East.  

With her passion for advocacy, Azra sits on the NYNJ Council’s MBE Input Committee, the Queen’s District Attorney South Asian Advisory Committee and a co-chair for the Manufacturing Committee at the Queens Chamber of Commerce. She has also served on the Board of TPNY, a non-profit organization advocating for victims of Domestic Violence. In 2016, Azra was awarded the MBE Catalyst Award by the NMSDC. In 2019, Azra received the ACCION Award for Integrity.

She has been featured in four books including a New York Times bestseller: Tory Burch: In Color.  She is also a contributing writer for an industry specific online platform GraphicsPro and was featured on The Story Exchange, an online media outlet showcasing women entrepreneurs. In 2011, Azra and her mother were featured as the cover story for Azizah Magazine, which highlights the achievements of Muslim women around the world. 

In what little spare time she has, Azra enjoys hiking, kayaking and traveling. She is particularly intrigued by Middle Eastern architecture and enjoys learning about different cultures and visiting churches, temples and mosques.