As the Chief Diversity Relations Officer of ATR, the fall season is always the most exciting time of the year for me because of the annual National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) conference. Last year, ATR International had the honor of receiving the prestigious Supplier of the Year award. As we look forward to returning to this year’s conference in Austin, it’s a natural time to reflect on the NMSDC and its impact on our growth and success.
An Impactful Organization and Event
With over 1,750 corporate members and 12,000 certified minority-owned businesses, the NMSDC is one of our nation’s greatest professional communities. Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) that connect themselves to the NMSDC gain tremendous benefits and resources that can help them grow. It’s something ATR has experienced firsthand while working to become a leading MBE.
While many events take place throughout the year, the annual conference is the biggest one on the calendar for the NMSDC. This year’s four-day conference expects to welcome over 6,000 corporate CEOs, procurement executives, and supplier diversity professionals from top multinational companies. It’s an astounding and humbling number of people to be surrounded by. In addition to the networking that takes place, the conference will cover a variety of topics applicable to MBEs through 20 informative sessions and a Business Opportunity Exchange featuring over 700 exhibit booths.
Decades of Success
ATR has a lot in common with the NMSDC, especially when it comes to growth and support of the MBE community. We both have had decades of success, with the NMSDC beginning in 1972 and ATR recently celebrating our 30th anniversary milestone. As we were founded by immigrants in 1988, we have always had diversity on the forefront of our strategy. Early on, ATR recognized our communities are diverse and that workforces should be as well. It’s why we achieved our MBE certification long ago while striving to serve as an example of what a minority-owned business can become. With a focus on diversity, we’ve put more than 35,000 people to work, totaling over 14 million working hours over the years.
The NMSDC is an organization created with the purpose of giving back, something we find inspiring here at ATR. As we grew into the successful MBE we are today, we’ve made a point to implement a Supplier Diversity Support Policy and Program. Especially after being named last year’s Supplier of the Year, we feel a duty to mentor smaller MBEs and share the wealth of knowledge we’ve built in part through the NMSDC.
Though the NMSDC grants us opportunities to connect with and mentor other MBEs, it has also inspired us to give back to our community as a whole. We’ve instituted a Volunteering Time Off policy designed to encourage our employees to work with local charities and non-profits. Ever since, we’ve had rewarding experiences helping out at food shelters, building homes, delivering toys, and more.
Into the Future
With so many exciting, forward-thinking sessions on tap for this year’s NMSDC conference, it’s clear that the organization is a future-minded one. To that end, the NMSDC recently named a new President, Adrienne Trimble. Once again, this mirrors the mentality and trajectory of ATR. At our core, we deliver next-generation recruiting that enables businesses and communities to thrive. The concept of ‘next-generation’ is a driving force behind our success, proven by our newly named CEO/President Andrea Brenholz.
Andrea embodies ATR’s purpose of making the world a better place, one job at a time. She is a champion of the MBE community and a voice for female professionals everywhere. Through Andrea, ATR is not only achieving success today, but taking the steps to ensure even brighter days tomorrow. Her passion for collaborating with the NMSDC is contagious, exciting every ATR employee about our relationships inside the MBE community.
The 2018 National Minority Supplier Development Council Conference
I cannot emphasize enough how important the NMSDC can be to any MBE. The organization is a true resource for this community, and their annual conference is the most exciting and informative event of the year. For those planning on attending this year’s conference, I look forward to seeing you there and sharing the experience!
We’d love to hear about your experiences with the NMSDC or minority business community. Let’s chat today!