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.


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.”

General Microsystems 35th Anniversary!

Bellevue, WA – General Microsystems Inc. (GMI) is proud to announce its thirty-fifth year as a leading information technology solutions provider in the Pacific Northwest. In the highly dynamic technology landscape, GMI has achieved over three decades of innovation and steady growth. The company will commemorate the occasion with a special event on the 18th of September. “This occasion gives us the opportunity to reflect on our journey and thank our customers, suppliers, partners, and community for their support,” said Earl Overstreet, founder and president of GMI.

GMI has played an active role in bringing a wide range of new technologies to local customers. Introducing clients to their first personal computer, word processor, local area network, multi-user computer, or laser printer was a routine for GMI. The company even developed a high capacity laser disk storage solution to support a University of Washington Applied Physics Lab Arctic expedition. GMI’s technology practice areas now include: Cybersecurity, Datacenter Infrastructure, IT Intelligence Software and the Cloud.

GMI helps large commercial enterprises and public sector government customers successfully build, operate, maintain, upgrade and evolve their IT and security resources. The company takes great pride in meeting the unique needs of their customers with flexibility, innovation and commitment to service. Taking a vendor-neutral approach, GMI’s solutions are drawn from their Bellevue team and a broad range of manufacturers, suppliers and partners. GMI has customer relationships that span decades with customers faced with the challenges of complex technology and business environments.

GMI has received various customer, industry and civic recognitions throughout its history. Earlier this year, Overstreet received the John A. Gilmore leadership award from the Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council in recognition of his advocacy on behalf of supplier diversity. GMI was also a proud nominee of the 29th Annual Eastside Business Awards acknowledging outstanding Eastside businesses that uphold a strong commitment to quality, community and innovation.

A 35th year anniversary celebration is planned where Mayor John Chelminiak of the City of Bellevue will present a Letter of Commendation, and the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce will recognize GMI’s long standing Eastside business history with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The celebration will be September 18th at GMI’s headquarters at 3220 118th Avenue S.E., Bellevue, Washington. Customers, partners, family and friends have been invited to enjoy an afternoon of food, drinks, music, and state of the art Virtual Reality and Video gaming entertainment!

About GMI

General Microsystems Inc. (GMI) is a full-service provider of IT infrastructure, security solutions, management tools and professional services. As a trusted advisor for enterprise, public sector and Fortune 500 companies, we have successfully managed customer growth for over 35 years. GMI offers a comprehensive set of datacenter infrastructure, security solutions, professional services and IT management software products to support complex computing environments. GMI partners with its clients to plan, procure, integrate and implement the right technology solution for each company’s unique environment.

AT&T, Boeing and Union Bank among “Top 50 Companies for Diversity”

Congratulations to Northwest Mountain MSDC Corporate Members AT&T, Inc., The Boeing Company and MUFG Union Bank, N.A. for making it into the 2018 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity.

AT&T remained in the top three position for the second year, and top six on the 2018 Top Companies for Supplier Diversity.  The company continues to build on the success of its supplier diversity program, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.  AT&T’s DiversityInc profile made note of approximately $14.4 billion spend with diverse suppliers, representing 25.2% of total procurement spend for 2017. Over the last 50 years, AT&T has spent approximately $158 billion with minority, women and service disabled veteran businesses.

Union Bank emphasized its commitment to diversity in its 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Annual Report, reporting $172 million in diverse spend, representing 13.2% of the bank’s total discretionary spending and surpassing their Community Service Action Plan (CSAP) goal.

“Our supplier diversity initiative has become the standard bearer for our peer banks as well as other major nonfinancial corporations,” said Richard Chacon, Director of Supplier Diversity and Development at Union Bank.

In addition, Union Bank’s Business Diversity Lending program provided over $31.4 million financing to 433 Diverse Business Enterprises (DBEs).

The Boeing Company also made the Top 50 Companies for Diversity list and ranked number two on the Top 10 Companies for Veterans list.  Boeing leads inclusion and diversity through several business resource groups and diversity chapters.  In the Northwest Mountain region, Boeing holds informational sessions, participates in outreach events, and fully engages in opportunity development for diverse businesses.

The 2018 Noteworthy list, whom DiversityInc described as “having the potential to make Top 50,” included Northwest Mountain MSDC Corporate Members Amazon and Intel Corporation.

The criteria for judging the Top 50 list are analyzed using sophisticated SAS software in 4 areas: Talent Pipeline (workforce breakdown, recruitment, diameter of existing talent), Talent Development (employee resource groups, mentoring, philanthropy, movement, fairness), Leadership Accountability (responsible for results, communications, visibility), and Supplier Diversity (Percent of Tier I and Tier II spend with minority, women, LGBT, disabled and veteran-owned businesses).

For the 2018 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity and other 2018 lists, visit

The 2018 Diversity Inc Top 50 Companies for Diversity,
AT&T Profile from DiversityInc,
MUFG Union Bank CSR Annual Report,
Boeing Profile from DiversityInc,
Images from

The above information is intended solely for personal non-commercial use.  Any information taken from this page is the full responsibility of the user. While we have taken every precaution to insure that the content is both current and accurate, errors can occur. The information provided is general in nature and should not be considered to be legal, tax, accounting, consulting or any other professional advice or service. Please read our legal disclaimer.


Winning with MBE to MBE Business

Carmen Nazario, Owner and President of ELYON International, Inc.

An Interview with Carmen Nazario, MWVBE Owner, and President of ELYON International, Inc.

The Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council (MSDC) values Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) business engagement. To highlight the benefits of MBE to MBE partnerships and collaboration, we interviewed Carmen Nazario, Minority, Woman and Veteran-Owner and President of ELYON International, Inc., and MBE to MBE advocate.

How active is your company with MBE to MBE business engagement?
We are quite active with the MBE community and have been steadily working with MBEs for over twelve years on various types of business engagements.  In some cases we were the prime contractor (prime) and they were the sub-contractor (sub).  In other cases we were the sub and they were the prime.  The earliest MBE partnership I can recall was around 2005.  The longest—and largest in terms of revenue—was a five year contract with a federal agency, which ended in 2017.  In that particular instance, ELYON International was the prime.

Which MBEs are you currently doing business with and what is the nature of your business with them?
We are currently working with three MBEs from the Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council (the Council): Magellan Architects for architectural services, RLA Engineering, LLC for product development and Jedisof, Inc., for whom we provided software development services. We are working with three other MBEs from Portland Metro and SW Washington areas by way of purchasing their products and services, Norell Design Graphic & Web for marketing services, Zen Focus Tech for network/infrastructure support and Cascade Centers Incorporated for employee assistance products/services.

Can you tell us about MBEs you’ve worked with in the past, and to what capacity?
We have worked with numerous MBEs certified through the Council, as well as MBEs from other regions, among them, General Microsystems Inc. (GMI), for sub-contracted resources. We also worked with Brook and Associates Inc., for professional resources, and TripleNet Technologies on IT staffing. These are just some of the companies we have partnered with.

How did your business engagements (or partnerships) with MBEs begin?
We met GMI, Magellan Architects, RLA Engineering and TripleNet Technologies, through the Council. In addition, we are engaged with MBEs by way of minority organizations such as Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Tacoma Business Center, Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs (OAME), and the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber which both serve the Portland Metro and SW Washington areas, where we are headquartered.

Overall, how did working with MBEs (past and present) impact your business?
Working with MBEs enabled us to increase our capabilities and capacity, and leverage our expertise. As an example, we recently partnered with a small business to do a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) project for a state agency. We provided the GIS Project Management services, while our MBE partner provided the Lidar technology expertise. We were the prime on the contract and the outcome was successful project deliverables to the state agency.

Do you have best practices to share about MBE to MBE business?
First and foremost, qualifying the company you want to work with. The process of qualifying a company varies, depending on the scope of work, industry and type of product or service. There are two business scenarios: one, where we are purchasing products and services; and two, where we are partnering with an MBE to deliver a product or service to a customer.

Factors to consider when partnering with other MBEs are: a well-defined agreement – one that covers rules of engagement, expected outcomes, a clear definition of who will do what, and how the engagement will be managed. An important aspect, one that often gets overlooked, is synergy with a potential MBE partner (e.g., sharing similar values, customer service standards and employment practices). We ask for mutual cooperation in establishing financial stability of both parties. Both partners need to have the confidence in knowing they are financially solid and will not put the project or the customer at risk.

Lastly, to make a partnership work, it is important to establish a communication plan. Regular and frequent communication in every form is crucial. This brings about transparency, which helps reinforce trust.

In Summary
There are many qualified MBEs providing quality services and products.  If one doesn’t know where to look, a good place to start is with the regional minority council where one can obtain a list of these companies who have been certified by the Council.


About ELYON International, Inc.

ELYON International, Inc. provides technology solutions to Fortune 500 companies and government agencies. As a solutions provider, ELYON works in close collaboration with its customers to achieve project goals in a quality-assured and timely manner.  Services include: Program and Project Management, Information Technology Services, Geographic Information Services (GIS) Cyber Security and Cloud Managed Services, and Professional and IT Support Staffing Services. Founded in 1997 by Army Veteran, Carmen Nazario, ELYON International, Inc. has emerged as a trusted name for government and commercial sector customers.

The above information is intended solely for the personal non-commercial use of the user who accepts full responsibility for its use. While we have taken every precaution to insure that the content is both current and accurate, errors can occur. The information provided is general in nature and should not be considered to be legal, tax, accounting, consulting or any other professional advice or service. Please read our legal disclaimer.

NWMMSDC Value Proposition

The Council developed six value propositions focusing on its stakeholders’ needs. Led by President and CEO, Fernando Martinez, the team prioritizes the needs of all stakeholders of the NWMMSDC.

Watch Fernando discuss the Council’s value at the Leadership and Advocacy Awards Luncheon.


NMSDC Value Propositions:

The NMSDC believes our Corporate Members will bolster and execute their business strategy in a cost effective, innovative, creative, efficient, and, therefore profitable manner through active participation and integration of qualified, capable, and scalable MBEs (Minority Business Enterprises) into their supply chain resulting in a higher probability of MBE development and growth, thereby driving economic value to our various communities.

Corporate Member Value Proposition:

The NMSDC believes our Member organizations will be able to more cost effectively drive creativity, innovation and efficiency by integrating Council Certified Minority Business Enterprises into their supply chain, thereby delivering best-in-class service to their customer base while simultaneously improving the communities within which they operate, achieving improved community wealth, health, and education.   

MBE Value Proposition:

The Northwest Mountain MSDC (Council) provides business opportunities to Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) looking to expand their professional network. The Council hosts connects and coaches MBEs to a standard required to work with large private corporations and public agencies. With active participation, MBEs can take advantage of the Council’s support and with time, develop into businesses capable of national contracts.

Regional Council Value Proposition:

The Northwest Mountain MSDC commits to share resources, opportunities, and processes to support affiliate councils in order to increase the NMSDC network’s overall ability to better serve its regional/national members, Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) and communities. Engaging in this process will increase the possibility of delivering a consistent level of output across the NMSDC.

Community Value Proposition:

The Northwest Mountain MSDC leads engagement between Minority Business Enterprises and corporate/public agency members enabling active community involvement towards economic growth, job creation, tax base increase and community vibrancy.

Employee Value Proposition:

The Northwest Mountain MSDC (Council) welcomes every employee into its small, unique, and efficient team, where everyone is involved in the working process. Every staff member is encouraged to open his or her potential, contributing to a healthy work environment that is constantly evolving. The Council gives employees opportunities for professional growth and personal development by conducting consistent employment market research, providing competitive rates, evaluating standards and expectations for its employees.

View PDF – Council Value Proposition

NWMMSDC Demonstrates Value

Fernando Martinez, President and CEO of the Northwest Mountain MSDC, presented at the 2017 Annual Awards Dinner and Silent Auction on the Council’s Value and Supplier Diversity, a strategy for the long run.


Council Value Presentation