In 1975, a small but influential group of progressive Georgia Corporations – AT&T, The Coca Cola Company, Cox Communications, Delta Air Lines and RockTenn (now WestRock) – saw the need for an organization to champion the inclusion of minority suppliers into corporate supply chains. Atlanta had been the epicenter of the American Civil Rights movement of the 50s and 60s, and was the home base of dynamic proponents of equal opportunity like Martin Luther King, Jr and Maynard Jackson. What began as a governmental initiative to engage minority business owners in city contracts evolved into a powerful force that came to be known as supplier diversity. The Atlanta Regional Minority Purchasing Council (ARMPC) created a set of standards for identifying, engaging and utilizing minority suppliers in projects all across the metro Atlanta region. The Council’s influence played a large role in the evolution of supplier diversity, as evidenced by unprecedented levels of minority participation in corporate procurement and major projects, both public and private, throughout the region.
As the membership and influence of the Council continued to grow, the scope of the organization was eventually expanded to encompass the entire state of Georgia. The ARMPC board decided to affiliate with the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) and subsequently changed the name of the organization to the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council, a move that significantly raised the profile of the Council and provided access to resources and relationships nationwide. Over more than 4 decades of service to the business community in Georgia, the GMSDC has facilitated business partnerships that have created tens of thousands of jobs and generated many billions of dollars in revenues. A four-time winner of the NMSDC’s Council of the Year award now serving some 400 corporations and more than 700 Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) firms, the GMSDC is one of the top performing councils in the NMSDC network and among the most influential supplier diversity and small business development organizations in the nation.