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.


Meet Sharon S. Lucas, Board Chairperson of Northwest Mountain MSDC

Sharon S. Lucas, Program Manager, Integrated Services | Indirect Supply Chain, Supply Chain and Operations, The Boeing Company

“Supplier diversity is a business imperative,” said Sharon S. Lucas, the new Board Chairperson of Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council (MSDC), when asked about the importance of supplier diversity.

Sharon is currently Program Manager, Strategic Work Placement within the Integrated Services | Indirect Supply Chain, Supply Chain & Operations at the Boeing Company. Sharon and her team are responsible for identifying, developing and advocating for a pool of minority suppliers, while partnering and collaborating with procurement for supplier bid list recommendations. In addition, they support organizations such as the Northwest Mountain MSDC in developing suppliers to maximize supplier diversity goals.

Sharon has been affiliated with the Council since 2010 and has served as Board Secretary since 2016. In January, 2018, Sharon was appointed as Interim Board Chairperson when Gary Sheneman (of Microsoft Corporation), former Board Chairperson concluded his term. On March 16, the Board of Directors unanimously voted to confirm Sharon as the Board Chairperson.

In her 28 years with Boeing, Sharon has held a wide variety of Management and cross functional assignments and progressive leadership roles within Indirect Supply Chain, Boeing Commercial Airplanes and Boeing Defense, Space & Security.  Prior to her current role, Sharon served as the Chief of Staff to the Indirect Supply Chain Vice President and in the role as Supplier Relationship Management Program Manager. In her more previous roles, she managed a team of procurement agents supporting organizations on IT Infrastructure and Information Security. Sharon is also a former Major in the United States Army Reserve and obtained her Six Sigma Green Belt certification from The Boeing Company.

Sharon has a long history of being a strong champion and advocate for minority businesses. She is currently serving her second two-year term as the Boeing Leadership Network Executive Board, Community Outreach Chair. In February, 2018, Sharon was honored with the 2018 Modern Day Technology Award presented by CCG Group at the Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) STEM Award Ceremony in Washington, DC. In 2016, Sharon was honored with a Women of Color STEM Technology All-Stars award at the Women of Color STEM Awards Conference.

In March, 2017, Sharon and the Enterprise Supplier Diversity team reached a milestone when The Boeing Company was awarded the 2016 National Corporation of the Year Award at the Northwest Mountain 2017 Annual Awards Dinner & Silent Auction. Just one year later, Sharon returned to the same stage as the Council’s Board Chairperson where she presented awards of recognition to the 2017 Leadership Awards for MBEs/suppliers.

Learn about Supplier Diversity at Boeing.

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.