2024 Spirit of Alliance Awards

2024 SPIRIT OF ALLIANCE AWARDS

The 42nd Spirit of Alliance Awards is a time when the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council honors individuals, small businesses, corporate and government entities for their contributions to supplier diversity and minority business development in Georgia.

The 2024 Spirit of Alliance Awards stays true to its celebratory roots in achievement, tribute and recognition. The nominees, winners and the Blue Legend recipient represent the best and brightest minds in the business and ongoing advocates of progressive minority supplier development in Georgia.

Awards Timeline

May 6 – Nominations Open
June 7 – Nominations Close
June 12 – Nominees Announced
June 14 – Applications Sent to Nominees
July 15 – Application Submission Closes
July 26 – Application Review Begins
August 9 – Application Review Closes

AWARD NOMINEES

Corporation of the Year

The Coca-Cola Company
The Clorox Company
Cox
Grady Health System
Invesco
Mercedes Benz
randstad
Signia Hilton Atlanta
Synchrony Financial
Truist Bank
UPS

Local Corporation of the Year

City of Atlanta
The Coca Cola Company
Cox Enterprises
Emory University
Grady Health System
randstad
Truist

Executive of the Year

Brian Downer, Truist
Kevin Gordon, Grady Health System
Lesley Hardy, Fiserv
Audra Jenkins, randstad
Jaideep Majumdar, City of Atlanta
Juan Perez, Salesforce
George Richter, Cox Enterprise
Camilo Sarmiento, UPS
Al Williams, Invesco

George Lottier Rising Star Award

City of Atlanta
Delta Air Lines

Advocate of The Year

Melissa Adams, UPS
Dwan Armstrong, The Clorox Company
Hope Burtner, Cox Communications
Nino Campos, randstad
Tracy Copeland, AT&T
Keya Grant, Constellation Brands Inc
Fernando Hernandez, The Coca-Cola Company
Stephen Hewitt, UPS
Jasmine Jarrett, Grady Health System
Sara Johnson, Magnit
Crystal King, Grady Health System
Lissa Miller, Truist Bank
Adam Moore, Assurant
David Orme, Cox Communications
Beth Tennebar, Tapfin-Manpower Group Solutions
Tracie Vogel, Magnit

Supply Chain Advocate of The Year

Melissa Adams, UPS
Hope Burtner, Cox Communications
Donna Farrow, Grady Health System
Kevin Floyd, City of Atlanta
Blake Kiser, UPS
Nicholas Lanigan, Cox Communications
Marquisha Maiden, Southern Company
Bill Mangen, Cox Enterprises
Cory Sandusky, Cox Enterprises
Camilo Sarmiento, UPS
Cyndi Scallion, Segra
Monica Sowell, Grady Health System
Clovice Vaughn, Grady Health System
Sally Wilson, Truist

MBE Advocate of The Year

Sidd Ahmed, VDart Inc.
Anita (Annie) Aggarwal, Lexicon Resources
Dr. Nazeera Dawood, Vendorship Inc.
Montina Young Fraiser, CIA Media Group
Jeanie Hunter, Synergy Development Partners LLC
Sushumna Roy Jalajam, Softpath System
Kew Ray, KR Elixir Inc

Crystal Award

City of Atlanta
Cox Communications
Emory University
Fifth Third Bank
Truist Financial

Eagle Award

Adam Walker, Summit Packaging Solutions
Sanjeev Tirath, Pyramid Consulting, Inc

Buyer of the Year, Construction & Facilities Management

Art Smalls, City of Atlanta
Brandon Paulk, City of Atlanta
Corey Bauer, Norfolk Southern
Kareem Wine, Grady Health System
Oludolapo Ojutiku, Grady Health System
Warren Brownlee, Cox Enterprises

Buyer of the Year, Information Technology

Brandi Stanley, City of Atlanta
Luis De La Cruz, Norfolk Southern
Denise Lewis-Cirilo, City of Atlanta
Andrew Robinson, UPS
Richard Rubino, UPS
Helene Seiz, Cox Enterprises

Buyer of the Year, Professional Services

Daron Grant, Grady Health System
Nino Campos, randstad
Mary Lewis, UPS
De’Shondrick Poole, City of Atlanta
Richard Rubino, UPS

Buyer of the Year, Staffing Services

Chiquita Barthel, Grady Health System
Hope Burtner, Cox Communications
Nino Campos, randstad
Mara Falkenhage, Mercedes Benz
Lisa Holloman, Norfolk Southern
Andrew Robinson, UPS
Richard Rubino, UPS
Hazel Tiefen, Magnit

Buyer of the Year, Transportation & Logistics

Brandon Aladesuyi, UPS
Greg Holowicki, Cox Enterprises
Derek Kaighin, Cox Enterprises
Ivan Mann, Grady Health System
Thomas Rader, City of Atlanta
Todd Stratton, City of Atlanta

Supplier of the Year, Class I

CIA Media Group LLC
CloudQ
Hawque Protection Group
KBH Solutions
KDI Group Inc
Transformation Lead LLC

Supplier of the Year, Class II

Avacend
Digital Yalo
Next Generation

Supplier of the Year, Class III

Aventure Aviation
IBEX IT Business Experts, LLC
Innover, Inc.
KR Elixir Inc.
Primus Software Corp
Stellar Consulting Solutions, LLC

Supplier of the Year, Class IV

Metasys Technologies
Next Level Business Services, Inc.
SDI Presence LLC
Summit Packaging Solutions
World Wide Technologies

AWARDS NOMINATION CRITERIA

CORPORATION OF THE YEAR

This award recognizes the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council corporate or government member-partner that demonstrates commitment to Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council, minority business development, and to equal economic access through its minority procurement or supply chain program. The Corporation of the Year serves as a sponsor of minority firms and programs, as well as, endorsed the guiding principles of Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council.

The winner of this award shall not participate in Corporation of the Year competition for a two-year period following the year of the award. The recipient of this award is eligible for the next year submission to the NMSDC national awards.

A Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council Corporate Member-partner or certified Minority Business Enterprise may submit a nomination for this award.

LOCAL CORPORATION OF THE YEAR

This award recognizes the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council local corporate or government member-partner that demonstrates commitment to Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council, minority business development, and to equal economic access through its minority procurement or supply chain program. The Local Corporation of the Year serves as a sponsor of minority firms and programs, as well as, endorsed the guiding principles of Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council.

The winner of this award shall not participate in Pinnacle Award competition for a two year period following the year of the award. The recipient of this award is NOT eligible for the next year submission to the NMSDC national awards.

EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR

The Executive of the Year Award recognizes the Chief Executive Officer, President, or Senior Vice-President of a Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council corporate or government member-partner that consistently demonstrates support for minority business development, corporate spend, financial support of Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council programs, and initiatives. Additionally, the Executive of the Year operates as an integral force in their organization’s Minority Supplier Diversity efforts. A Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council Corporate Member-partner or certified Minority Business Enterprise may submit a nomination for this award.

GEORGE LOTTIER RISING STAR AWARD

The Rising Star Award recognizes the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council Corporate Member whose supplier diversity program is active for less than 3 years and has significantly impacted the growth of supplier diversity within their organization. A Rising Star corporation has effectively taken proactive measures to advance and expand the presence and capacity of Minority Business Enterprise within their organization. A Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council Corporate Member-partner or certified Minority Business Enterprise may submit a nomination for this award.

ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR

The Advocate of the Year Award recognizes the individual (i.e. supplier diversity coordinator, manager or director) whose contributions to minority business development have long-term, positive effects. This individual is an active participant with Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council and a catalyst that openly demonstrates specific efforts to advance minority business development. A Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council Corporate Member or certified Minority Business Enterprise may submit the nomination.

SUPPLY CHAIN ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR

The Supply Chain Advocate of the Year recognizes the supply chain leader (Director/Manager Level) that has purchasing responsibility and supply chain personnel direct reports.  The Supply Chain Advocate of the Year can be a manager, director or such title of a Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council corporate or government member-partner that consistently demonstrates support for minority business development, corporate spend, financial support of Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council programs, and initiatives. Additionally, the Supply Chain Advocate of the Year operates as an integral force in their organization’s Minority Supplier Diversity efforts. Corporate Buyers are NOT eligible for this award.  A Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council Corporate Member-partner or certified Minority Business Enterprise may submit a nomination for this award.

MBE ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR

The MBE Advocate of the Year Award recognizes the certified ethnic minority business whose contributions to minority business development have long-term, positive effects. This company is an active participant with Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council and a catalyst that openly demonstrates specific efforts to advance minority business development.

Awardees are individuals who advocate for Minority Business and positively impact the MBE community by working to educate decision makers, the public and the media and/or affecting policy through effective advocacy at the local, state and/or national levels. Awardees are effective influencers and have a sustained commitment to collaboration, innovation, engagement and demonstrated leadership of the MBE community.  The activities of the nominee must have taken place within the previous 12 to 18 months. A Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council Corporate Member or certified Minority Business Enterprise may submit the nomination.

CRYSTAL AWARD

The Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council Minority Business Enterprise Input Committee made up of Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council’s certified minority business owners presents the Crystal Award. This award goes to the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council’s Corporate or government member-partner that publicly demonstrates commitments to minority business development through their programs, corporate spend, and aggressive procurement opportunities.

A Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council Corporate member-partner or Minority Business Enterprise shall submit nomination for this award. The recipient of this award is selected exclusively by certified Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council Minority Business Enterprise suppliers.

EAGLE AWARD

This award is given to the Minority Business Enterprise constituent who has demonstrated a commitment to transacting business with other certified Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council Minority Business Enterprises through promoting and creating business opportunities for the economic development, job creation and the advancement of minority business development in the State of Georgia. The recipient is a certified Minority Business Enterprise in good standing with the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council and during the previous two (2) calendar years utilized the products and services of other Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council Minority Business Enterprises and:

  1. Conducted business with Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council Minority Business Enterprise by forming alliances and/or partnerships to provide products and/or services to Corporate or government organizations.
  2. Participated in and supported Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council’s events and activities.
  3. Demonstrates a consistent track record in Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council’s Minority Business Enterprise — to — Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council Minority Business Enterprise (MBE 2 MBE) spend.
  4. A Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council Corporate member-partner or Minority Business Enterprise shall submit nomination for this award. A Minority Business Enterprise may self-nominate.

BUYER OF THE YEAR

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY BUYER OF THE YEAR

This award is for a corporate member-partner (i.e. Buyer or Procurement Professional) responsible for providing active contracts to Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council’s certified or Reciprocal Services Minority Business Enterprise in the Information Technology field during the preceding calendar year.

The contracts shall be for 1st Tier expenditures. If 2nd Tier dollars are substantial and the award is for a certified or Reciprocal Services Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council Minority Business Enterprise entity, then consideration shall be given to 2nd Tier expenditures.

The category excludes the Staffing sector of Information Technology. A Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council Corporate Member-partner or certified Minority Business Enterprise may submit a nomination for this award.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES BUYER OF THE YEAR

This award is for a corporate member-partner providing active contracts to a Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council’s certified or Reciprocal Service Minority Business Enterprises in the Professional Services field during the preceding calendar year.

The contract is for 1st Tier. However, 2nd Tier is considered, if the 2nd Tier dollars are substantial, and the award is for a certified or Reciprocal Services Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council Minority Business Enterprise entity. A Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council Corporate Member-partner or certified Minority Business Enterprise may submit a nomination for this award.

STAFFING SERVICES BUYER OF THE YEAR

This award is given to a corporate member (i.e. Buyer or Procurement Professional) responsible for providing active contracts to Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council’s certified or Reciprocal Service Minority Business Enterprise businesses in the Staffing Services field during the preceding calendar year.

The contract is for 1st Tier. However, 2nd Tier is considered, if the 2nd Tier dollars are substantial and the award is for a certified or Reciprocal Services Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council Minority Business Enterprise entity. A Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council Corporate Member-partner or certified Minority Business Enterprise may submit a nomination for this award.

TRANSPORTATION & LOGISTICS BUYER OF THE YEAR

This award is given to a corporate member responsible for providing active contracts to Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council’s certified or Reciprocal Service Minority Business Enterprise businesses in the Transportation & Logistic Services field during the preceding calendar year.

The contract is for 1st Tier. However, 2nd Tier is considered, if the 2nd Tier dollars are substantial and the award is for a certified or Reciprocal Services Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council Minority Business Enterprise entity. A Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council Corporate Member-partner or certified Minority Business Enterprise may submit a nomination for this award.

CONSTRUCTION AND FACILITIES MANAGEMENT BUYER OF THE YEAR

This award is given to a corporate member (i.e. Buyer or Procurement Professional) responsible for providing active contracts to Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council certified or Reciprocal Services Minority Business Enterprise businesses in the Construction and Facilities Management field during the preceding calendar year.

The contract is for 1st Tier. However, 2nd Tier is considered, if the 2nd Tier dollars are substantial, and the award is for a certified or Reciprocal Services Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council Minority Business Enterprise entity. A Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council Corporate Member-partner or certified Minority Business Enterprise may submit a nomination for this award.

SUPPLIER OF THE YEAR AWARDS

SUPPLIER OF THE YEAR, LESS THAN $1 MILLION

The Supplier of the Year Class I award recognizes the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council Certified Minority Business Enterprises with annual sales less than $1 million.

CLASS II SUPPLIER OF THE YEAR, $1 to $10 MILLION

The Supplier of the Year Class II award recognizes the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council certified Minority Business Enterprises with annual sales between $1 to $10 million who consistently provide quality products and exceptional service to their customers.

CLASS III SUPPLIER OF THE YEAR, $10 to $40 MILLION

The Supplier of the Year Class III award recognizes the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council Certified Minority Business Enterprises with annual sales between $10 to 40 million who consistently provide quality products and exceptional service to their customers.

CLASS IV SUPPLIER OF THE YEAR, GREATER THAN $40 MILLION

The Supplier of the Year Class IV award recognizes the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council Certified Minority Business Enterprises with annual sales of over $40 million who consistently provide quality products and exceptional service to their customers.

These minority businesses consistently provide quality products and exceptional service to their customers. These outstanding companies exemplify strength, power, and promote the viability of minority businesses.

The winner of this award shall not participate in this category for a two-year period following the year of the award. A Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council Corporate member partner shall submit nominations for this award. Suppliers cannot self-nominate for this category.

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