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Minority Council names PepsiCo "Corporation of the Year"


NEW ORLEANS, - The National Minority Supplier
Development Council (NMSDC) honored PepsiCo with its prestigious "Corporation
of the Year" Award at the Awards Banquet capping its annual
conference.  The company was among 73 nominees vying for the award that
recognizes a corporate member's exemplary achievements in minority business

NMSDC's Corporation of the Year award is regarded as the most significant
honor to a major corporation for the utilization of Asian, Black, Hispanic and
Native American suppliers. In winning the award, PepsiCo demonstrated
exceptional strength in areas critical to continuously improving a minority
supplier development process. 

Supplier diversity objectives are part of PepsiCo senior management's
performance goals. The company has a cross-functional Supplier Diversity
Executive Council to ensure sustained growth and development in the supplier
diversity arena. In 2008, PepsiCo spent $614 million with nearly 400
NMSDC-certified minority businesses. Its first-tier spend increased 10 percent
over 2007, despite the downturn in the economy. The company's combined first-
and second-tier spend totaled more than $900 million. 

"PepsiCo has long embraced forward-thinking procurement principles so that
excellent minority-owned businesses have more opportunities to participate in
its supply chain," said NMSDC President Harriet R. Michel. "In a year of
belt-tightening for many corporations, PepsiCo maintained its solid commitment
and continued to rely on the value strong minority businesses bring to the

PepsiCo established an endowment with NMSDC that continues to fund annual
scholarships for minority business owners to attend the organization's
Advanced Management Education Program at Northwestern University's Kellogg
School of Management.  Additionally, PepsiCo participates in the NMSDC Centers
of Excellence, a capacity-building initiative featuring a network of local
corporations and minority firms working together to enhance the minority
supplier development process by implementing NMSDC best practices. PepsiCo is
also a sponsor of NMSDC's Corporate Plus® Program, a designation for minority
businesses that have demonstrated success in handling national contracts.  

The corporation is active with a number of NMSDC Regional Councils, the
Business Consortium Fund - NMSDC's financing arm - and NMSDC's International
Program. PepsiCo was a founding member corporation of the Canadian Aboriginal
and Minority Supplier Council (CAMSC) - a Canadian organization modeled after
NMSDC. PepsiCo is also active in Minority Supplier Development United Kingdom
(MSDUK), the NMSDC counterpart organization in the United Kingdom. 

NMSDC also presented awards for individual leadership in minority supplier
development, Suppliers of the Year and Regional Council of the Year. 

Benita Fortner, director of supplier diversity at Raytheon Company, received
the Minority Supplier Development Leader of the Year award in recognition of
innovative minority supplier development activities and exceptional leadership
across industry groups and around the country. 

Four top minority businesses were recognized as National Suppliers of the Year
for excellence in business acumen and community service.  They are: The Voice
of Your Customer, a marketing and consulting firm in Cincinnati, Ohio, in the
category for businesses with sales less than $1 million; information
technology software consulting company General Data Kommunications and
Networking of Pembroke Pines, Florida, among firms with $1 million to $10
million in sales; MarkMaster, a Tampa, Florida-based stamping and sign company
in the category for businesses with sales between $10 million and $50 million;
and Artech Information Systems, an IT staffing and consulting firm based in
Cedar Knolls, New Jersey, for firms with sales greater than $50 million.

Twelve minority businesses were honored as Regional "Suppliers of the Year." 
They are APR Consulting, Diamond Bar, California; BKW Transformation Group,
Piscataway, New Jersey; DFW Urgent Care, Hurst, Texas; Group O, Milan,
Illinois; MedSafe, Inc. (dba Medsafe-Equimed), San Juan, Puerto Rico; NK David
Constructors, Mission Hills, California; PLM Staffing Systems, Royal Oak,
Michigan; Primera Engineers, Chicago, Illinois; River City Furniture, West
Chester, Ohio; Sugar Bowl Bakery, Hayward, California; Virtelligence, Eden
Prairie, Minnesota; and ZeroChaos, Orlando, Florida. 

The Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council earned Council of the Year
honors for providing stellar services to hundreds of corporations and minority
businesses in Georgia. 

Benita Fortner and James Lowry, an authority on minority business development,
received Special Appreciation Awards for their long-standing accomplishments
in minority supplier development and volunteer leadership with NMSDC.

Providing a direct link between corporate America and minority-owned
businesses is the primary objective of the National Minority Supplier
Development Council, one of the country's leading business membership
organizations.  It was chartered in 1972 to provide increased procurement and
business opportunities for minority businesses of all sizes.   

The NMSDC Network includes a national office in New York and 38 Regional
Councils across the country.  There are 3,500 corporate members throughout the
network, including America's top publicly-owned, privately-owned and
foreign-owned companies as well as universities, hospitals and other buying
institutions.  The Regional Councils certify and match more than 15,000
minority-owned businesses with member corporations that want to purchase their
goods and services. 

For more information about NMSDC, call (212) 944-2430 or visit the Web site at

SOURCE  National Minority Supplier Development Council

Kim Brown, +1-212-944-2430,


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