UW Students Present “Supplier Diversity Toolkit” at the 2019 Annual Conference

University of Washington students, Lukas Garcia, Jaclyn Hill, Wenqi Huang, Ashlyn Reid and Sy Ruiz of the Supplier Diversity Program conducted research on building a Supplier Diversity Toolkit. With guidance from Michael Verchot, Director of the UW Consulting and Business Development Center and Fernando Martinez, CEO of the Northwest Mountain MSDC, they had the opportunity to share their findings at our 2019 Annual Conference hosted on June 19, 2019.

View Supplier Diversity Toolkit Presentation Here

FB Live Stream Here

Tri-Council Minority Business Mega Summit

The Tri-Council Minority Business Mega Summit, was a one-day business conference hosted in collaboration with the Western Regional Council and the Pacific Southwest Council. Together, council presidents Fernando Martinez, Cecil Plummer and Rainey Alben successfully hosted a full day of development, networking and connecting with MBEs and NMSDC Members from three regions on February 28, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

We hope you enjoy the photos from this event!

See more photos in our event archive.


CONNXUS Announce Partner of the Year

Fernando Martinez, President & CEO of Northwest Mountain MSDC

Time and time again, our team has been inspired by hard working clients and stakeholders. We want to recognize them and celebrate their unique accomplishments. Together, we can achieve innovation and make a lasting impact. Starting this year, we’re thrilled to announce ConnXus has created a new award: Partner of the Year

This year’s award goes to Fernando Martinez, President and CEO of Northwest Mountain MSDC.

“Fernando and his team are exemplary role models,” Daryl, COO & General Manager, stated. “They raise the bar in procurement and continue to make a sustainable impact.”

The Northwest Mountain MSDC is a Washington-based nonprofit that began in 1978 to promote the growth of minority-owned businesses in the Northwest Mountain region. Fernando Martinez, a seasoned business executive with over three decades of experience, has been President and CEO since 2008, leading local business growth and economic impact. He engages Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs), working to identify opportunities and integrate minority suppliers strategically into members’ supply chains.

We caught up with him to learn more about the impact his team and his work has on the region.

How do you create value for buyers and suppliers?

“Our initial step is to focus on delivery of excellence in Customer Service.  When we win the confidence of our Customers (Members, MBEs, Community Partners, NMSDC) we communicate with our focus on “Listening.” Through this listening process we truly identify what is relevant to each of our customers. Focused on their relevance we work at delivery of a customized solution that truly supports their efforts in Supplier Development and Growth – Namely, Supplier Diversity.”

How do you create opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses?

“Beyond normal networking and connecting businesses, we consider our Council to be a ‘Business Development Extension’ of our MBEs. We are consistently hunting for MBE and Member opportunities. An opportunity to include our MBEs in the contracting process is an opportunity to support our Members grow their spend and drive bigger internal and external impacts. Simultaneously, we consider ourselves to be an ‘Efficiency Extension – Collaborator’ for our Members. Through this process we support our Members to identify qualified, capable, and scalable MBES which bring efficiencies and cost savings, i.e., efficient resource use, cost savings, improved Supplier Diversity Spend. Additionally, we foster Meaningful Dialogue between our MBEs and Members. We provide our MBEs as much insight as possible into how our Members operate, what they are looking for, their assessment process, i.e., market intelligence. At the same time we provide our Members as much information as possible of how the MBE has been successful and why we recommend them. This results in a warm introduction to the start of a new relationship. Lastly, we build development seminars where MBEs receive advice from Members & they actually get to meet each other improving the likelihood of building a relationship.

What is the value add/differentiating factor Northwest Mountain MSDC provides?

In essence, value is benefit minus cost. Value is the perception of Product/Service Customer receives compared to the competitive landscape. The value-add qualities the Northwest Mountain MSDC brings to our customers is customization of services in accordance with their needs. We bring as many customized solutions as we have Members and MBEs. Our customized solutions range from as simple to introducing an MBE and Member to each other, to market penetration strategy. This customized solution may go as far as College Level Educational Programs for our MBE Executives to Council led workshops. Each one of our Customers has a specific need to which we anticipate or respond accordingly.

What does our partnership mean to you? 

Our partnership with ConnXus means that we have a technology company behind our Council that enables us to where we can offer advanced Supplier Diversity Services, e.g., Supplier Registration Portal, Supplier Scrub and Reporting. This is an outsourced body of work designed to help our Customers better capture, measure, and understand the impact their investment in MBEs make. This value would not be possible without the ConnXus – Northwest Mountain MSDC partnership.

What innovations are you looking to do in the future as you work with ConnXus?

The Northwest Mountain MSDC is consistently looking for significant, inventive ideas to launch. We look forward to our continued partnership with ConnXus as we continue to explore new value added solutions.


Reposted with Permission:
Ying Liang, “ConnXus Announce Partner of the Year: Fernando Martinez, Northwest Mountain MSDC,” ConnXus Company News, December 5, 2018, https://connxus.com/connxus-announce-partner-of-the-year-fernando-martinez-northwest-mountain-msdc/

Northwest Mountain MSDC Hits Four Decades of MBE Supply-Chain Inclusion

Volume II 2018
By Genny Hom-Franzen

Fernando Martinez believes corporations that have not embraced supplier diversity are missing the mark. “They are not creating value for their stakeholders / shareholders by continuing to take the easy way out and remaining status quo,” he said. “They are alienating the consumer market. The market always reaches equilibrium. The prudent consumers align themselves to organizations that share their values. Failure to be inclusive in a meaningful way — as the market becomes more diverse — is a sure way to lose market share, customers and revenue.”

Martinez should know. For almost 10 years, he has served as president and CEO of the Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. “Being able to serve our region for 40 years is our biggest success. Our council’s longevity has established us as an institution within a region where MBEs [minority business enterprises] are truly the minority,” he said, referring to the Northwest Mountain region where ethnic minorities make up less than 25 percent of the population.

“The founding model of our organization — MBE inclusion within the supply chain, launched by The Boeing Co. — continues to exist today, but not without challenges,” Martinez said. “In the state of Washington, for example, legislations such as Initiative 200 are being misquoted to the detriment of minority-owned businesses. Given today’s economic environment, it is crucial that we innovate and build on the MBE inclusion model.

“While inclusion is our core focus, developing and growing MBEs remains as relevant as it was 40 years ago,” he continued. “At the end of the day, it’s about helping our members and MBE companies grow their businesses year over year, drive wealth into our communities, economically impact our region, create generational wealth and make our region a better place to live.”

While supplier diversity has helped minority-owned businesses grow and develop over the last 40 to 50 years, Martinez believes that currently, supplier diversity is being deprioritized. He said funding is dwindling, supplier diversity staffs are shrinking, supplier diversity practices are being absorbed into other departments as an adjunct role and — in some cases — supplier diversity is being completely shut down.


“We must stave off this trend,” he said. “We must factually articulate the value a strong supplier diversity process delivers to the organization and its customers. Our advocacy/education must link supply-chain value to the customer-value chain.” To that end and to resolve these biases, Martinez is making education a top priority initiative at the council. He and his staff have provided MBE and member development training, including minority executive education, supplier diversity training for leadership and procurement teams, programs for innovators and industry experts and programs to connect business leaders who share the same values.

“Education and validation can silence some of the biases,” he said.
“Our goal is to support diversifying the workforce. By bringing parity to the supply chain and having an inclusive and diverse workforce, our council will have a much bigger impact on our communities,” Martinez said. “Parity will drive better community wages, better health care, better education, an increased tax base and, thus, empowered and vibrant communities. Once established, parity will gain momentum, self-perpetuate, build diverse companies and protect our communities of color from gentrification.”

Ultimately, via all its educational and development programs, initiatives and events, he said the council’s goal is to bring parity between the supply chains they support and the community demographic makeup.

In addition to the council’s ongoing educational programs, it will be celebrating with a 40th anniversary breakfast. Corporate and public agency members, MBEs, other partner organizations and friends will be gathering Oct. 10, 2018, at the Hilton Bellevue in Bellevue, Washington. The event will pay tribute and thanks to the council’s founding organization, Boeing. The council will present Legacy Awards to honor corporations, public agencies and MBEs that have been with the council for 10 years or more.

With 40 years of success to stand on, Martinez and his staff are poised for the future. “Thank you to all the corporate/public agency members and MBEs who have come before us,” he said. “We stand on your shoulders and dedicate ourselves to the continuous growth of our members, MBEs and community. We are committed to supporting the growth of our corporate/public agency members and MBEs — it is the path to keeping our diverse communities alive, growing and sustainable.”

For full article visit: Minority Business News USA

Introducing Adrienne Trimble!

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON (AUGUST 2, 2018) – The Northwest Mountain MSDC welcomes Adrienne Trimble as new President and CEO of the National Minority Supplier Development Council Inc ® (NMSDC®).  The official announcement was made August 1, 2018 by Joe Hinrichs, NMSDC Chairman of the Board of Directors and President, Global Operations of Ford Motor Company.

“With impressive HR and Supplier Diversity background, Adrienne brings the necessary expertise to build a strong and sustainable team around our strategic goals,” said Hinrichs.  “In her new role, Adrienne will drive all aspects of the organization’s work, including revamping processes, designing new programming, providing operational oversight, selecting and leading a strong national staff, and working with the Board and affiliates to implement strategy. I look forward to working alongside Adrienne to achieve our mission.”

NMSDC® is one the leading corporate membership organizations in the US serving minority-owned organizations and US-based corporations engaged in supplier diversity.  By matching more than 12,000 certified minority-owned businesses to a vast network of corporate members, NMSDC® helps solve the growing need for supplier diversity.

The NMSDC® network includes:

  • A national office in New York City
  • 1,750 corporate members and growing
  • More than 12,000 certified minority-owned businesses
  • 23 affiliate regional councils nationwide

The Northwest Mountain MSDC is one of 23 regional councils, serving the states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.