Letter from the CEO: April 14 — COVID-19 Response

Dear Constituents:

We hope you and your family are healthy and well during these uncertain times.  We respect that all of you — whether corporations or MBEs — are leading during difficult times as you ensure the safety and health of your company, your communities, your employees, and your loved ones.  It is challenging, to say the least, and I want you to know your council remains strong and committed to providing the knowledge, access, and resources to support you.

Please visit, https://minoritysupplier.org/covid19matchmaker or check out our Resources Page on the website for details on sourcing opportunities, loans, grants, webinars, and more.  Our incredible staff updates the available resources daily to provide you the best information.

Our mission is to drive economic development through minority businesses in order to build wealth and impact often underserved communities.  As we have learned through this pandemic, your success is more critical than ever!  The underlying economic disparities in communities of color have been thrust into the spotlight due to the number of minorities succumbing to COVID-19.  In fact, some studies in Michigan pinpoint the disparities among various ethnic groups with as high as a 30-50% greater likelihood of death in minority populations.  So, we must help.  Please complete the brief survey to let us know what you need, OR how you can help. It will take less than 5 minutes to complete. CLICK HERE

A huge thank you to Grace Lee and the Michigan Chinese American Coalition as they are donating the first 5,000 surgical masks for small, essential MBE firms that need them.  We also thank various board members and MBEIC leaders – Christie Wong-Barrett, Leon Richardson, Sylvester Hester, and Rod Rickman.  We appreciate each of them for their willingness to serve fellow MBEs during this challenging crisis.  Any residual supplies we receive will be donated to citizens in Detroit and other underserved communities to ensure the most impacted populations have the necessary supplies.

Finally, you should also know that we have been in contact with Lt. Governor Gilchrist, a friend of the council, and will assist him as he leads the state task force to tackle such health disparities.  On another note, check our website in the coming weeks for updates on our virtual approach to various programming and events as we continue to deliver value to you.

Please stay safe, be well, and do not hesitate if we can assist you.

Michelle Sourie Robinson
President & CEO

COVID-19 Update: MMSDC & MMPC 2020

Message From MMSDC President & CEO Michelle Sourie Robinson (Update 3/16)

Dear Constituent:

As we have shared in prior communications, we are actively monitoring the
Coronavirus pandemic as the health and safety of our staff, constituents and partners is paramount. This is an unprecedented time for everyone; we appreciate your patience and support.

Our MMSDC/MBDA staff is now working remotely until further notice. Neither our Detroit nor our Grand Rapids physical offices will be open to the public. We, however remain available via phone and email to serve you.

Some MBEs have reached out to us seeking best practices as you and your teams grapple with the best approaches for business continuity in light of COVID-19. You may find guidance for businesses here, including recent legislation, CDC recommendations, SBA assistance, and other helpful articles.

As for our signature events, MMPC will not be cancelled, but postponed until September 1-3, 2020 at TCF Center in Detroit. Please save the new date, and stay tuned to our website and weekly newsletter for additional information on MMPC, other programs as well as signature events in the coming weeks.

We will continue to work with national risk management professionals, national event planning associations, as well as TCF Center to monitor guidance from various public health organizations, including CDC. We pray each of you, your families and your companies will remain safe throughout this pandemic.


Michelle Sourie Robinson
CEO, Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council, and
Operator, Minority Business Development Agency

Carmen Muñoz (1936 – 2020)

The MMSDC is saddened by the news of Carmen Munoz’s passing earlier this year. Carmen was a trailblazer in the minority business community and her contributions paved the way for hundreds of other minority entrepreneurs. The MMSDC inducted Carmen Munoz into the Michigan Minority Business Hall of Fame in 2018.

From the Family of Carmen Munoz

July 17, 1936 – January 28, 2020

Carmen Munoz, loving mother, grandmother and Hispanic community trailblazer, passed away peacefully in her home Tuesday, January 28, 2020.

A celebration of Carmen’s life will be on Tuesday, February 25th, 10 a.m. at Ste. Anne de Detroit Church, 1000 Ste. Anne St., Detroit, Michigan 48216.

To continue Carmen’s legacy and commitment to the Hispanic community the Carmen Munoz Scholarship has been established through MANA de Metro Detroit, a 501(c)3 organization. MANA de Metro Detroit is the local chapter of MANA National and has been mentoring young Latina women and providing scholarships to them since 1996. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to MANA de Metro Detroit, 4138 W. Vernor, Detroit, MI 48209.
Any questions, please feel free to contact Mary Carmen Munoz, [email protected], or (313)554-2025.


Carmen Munoz Biography

A 1955 graduate of Detroit’s Holy Redeemer High School, Muñoz went to work as a bookkeeper for a Detroit manufacturer that made precision machine parts for the automotive industry. She spent 27 years absorbing as much as she could about purchasing, production control, estimating, and labor negotiations. “I learned the jobs that my boss didn’t like to do himself, those he found too tedious,” she said.

Ms. Muñoz founded her first business with 25 years of experience in the precision machine manufacturing industry. After buying out her partners, Ms. Muñoz’s company continued to excel by earning numerous prestigious supplier quality awards from Ford Motor Company and General Motors.  Muñoz Machine Products, along with three other Hispanic companies, formed the Hispanic Manufacturing Center (HMC) in an old GM building in Southwest Detroit.

She has taken her wealth of business and community leadership experiences and focused her energies on making a difference and opening up more opportunities for the disadvantaged and minority youth.

For Ms. Muñoz’s work as an entrepreneur, non-profit leadership, community advocacy also with the positive impact she has made in the Hispanic community, the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council is proud to have inducted Carmen Muñoz into the Michigan Minority Business Hall of Fame.

MMSDC President responds to Gov. Whitmer’s EO for disadvantaged businesses

MMSDC President responds to Gov. Whitmer’s EO for disadvantaged businesses

January 7, 2019, Detroit, MI—  With just three days in office, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has sent a strong message that Michigan’s disadvantaged businesses are a priority.

Just over a year ago, MMSDC created a bipartisan Meet the Candidate campaign inviting candidates from all parties in state and national elections to meet our constituents and share their platforms.  One of the first candidates to respond and seriously engage our constituents was then-Candidate Whitmer.  

She not only listened to our minority business owners and the corporations that support them to create and sustain nearly 200,000 jobs annually, but she has affirmatively responded.

This is not a handout or baseless preferential treatment, as the private sector has realized proven cost savings, greater innovation, and enhanced value by becoming more inclusive. Her EO will simply help to ensure that everyone has a chance to compete.

On behalf of MMSDC, we are extremely proud to work alongside her and Lt. Governor Garland Gilchrist to define the best practice processes that will ensure all businesses have an opportunity to compete for state contracts for the betterment of our state and communities therein.” 

Joe Anderson, Jethro Joseph, and Carmen Muñoz are our 2018 Inductees into the Michigan Minority Business Hall of Fame

For Immediate Release                                                                 Contact: Daniel Jackson
(313) 873-2124
[email protected]

September 10, 2018, Detroit, MI— The Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC) has announced Joe Anderson, Jethro Joseph, and Carmen Muñoz as their 2018 inductees for the Michigan Minority Business Hall of Fame.  This prestigious honor recognizes those with a positive transformational impact on Michigan’s minority businesses, including government and community leaders as well as iconic MBEs and corporate leaders. The induction will take place at the MMSDC’s 2018 ACE Awards program on Tuesday, October 9, 2018, at Novi Suburban Collection Showplace.

“It gives me great pleasure to induct a dynamic group of minority business icons into the Michigan Minority Business Hall of Fame,” said Michelle Sourie Robinson, MMSDC President/CEO.  “We celebrate the many hidden figures driving economic development in Michigan and beyond.  In their own way, each of this year’s honorees has made a significant economic impact on Michigan and beyond. Carmen Muñoz provided leadership in the Hispanic community at a time when women entrepreneurs were rare in her industry. Joe Anderson has built a legacy of mentorship by empowering minority entrepreneurs through professional and financial support. Lastly, Jethro Joseph assisted numerous minority business owners by helping them get their start through his work at FCA. I have tremendous respect for all of our honorees and can’t wait to join the chorus to thank them for the indelible imprint they’ve made.”

The MMSDC ACE Awards is one of the most significant minority business events that take place annually in Michigan where the top leaders, executives, and visionaries in the region come together to celebrate individuals and companies who are championing minority supplier development.

As a key driver of minority business development for over 40 years in Michigan, MMSDC is the home of the Michigan Minority Business Hall of Fame. This award honors men and women who have made significant contributions to minority supplier development in the state of Michigan.

To purchase tickets or sponsorship opportunities, please visit http://awards.minoritysupplier.org/.  For more information on the event, please contact Soo Karber at [email protected].

New Summer Hours


Effective July 5, 2017 to September 8, 2017 the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC) and the Michigan Minority Business Development Agency’s (MBDA) summer business hours will be as follows:

8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

As always, we are committed to providing exceptional service to our membership. If you have any questions regarding this change, please contact our office at 313-873-2000


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                     Contact: Sharon Crockett                       313-481-4789


Free Scholarships for HS Students


May 28, 2017, Detroit, MI– -Seventy-five high school students will be selected to participate in the Careers in Construction Youth Day on June 6 from 8:30 AM-4:00 PM at the Rickman Enterprise Group, located at 15533 Woodrow Wilson, Detroit, MI.  The event is sponsored by the Detroit Minority Development Agency (MDA) Center and Rickman Enterprise Group.


This is a day of information and tactile experiences for youth – sophomores to seniors to learn about careers in the construction industry from Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) members who are committed to sharing their experience and providing exposure for young people to careers in construction. “Exposure to career opportunities is integral to students making viable career choices,” said Sharon Crockett, business consultant for the Detroit MBDA Center. “Our MBE’s are committed to sharing their expertise and insight with our youth.”

In addition to first-hand access and engagement with skilled-trades representatives and top construction company representatives, Careers in Construction Youth Day will also include a pass to the career day exhibition site, tote bag, hard hat, lunch, and a Construction Career Manual.  Students will be able to ask questions, and make connections to careers in a real-life manner with professionals from various construction professions.

Interested students must register by May 12, 2017, and can do so by contacting the Detroit MBDA Center at 313-481-4789.  For more information, call  Sharon Crockett or visit www.minoritysupplier.org




Rate the MMSDC: Participate in the nationwide survey January 9 – 27

Please participate in the NMSDC Survey January 9 – 27

Our national organization distributes annual satisfaction surveys to constituents to review the performance of every Regional Affiliate Council in the network. The 2016 Constituent Satisfaction Survey will be sent to all NMSDC constituents e.g. national members, local members and certified MBEs on January 9th.

This survey is critical – the results not only significantly impact our annual KPIs, but determine our ranking as a council AND the level of bonus allocation we receive from national dues to support our programming.  It is vital that ALL constituents participate in this critical survey. We use the feedback to measure our performance and adjust our service(s) to our constituents.

Where is it?

An email from [email protected] should have arrived in the inbox of your company’s designated MMSDC primary contact on Monday, January 9.

If you do not see the email from the National Minority Supplier Development Council, the email may

-Be in your spam folder.

-Have been sent to somebody else (the primary contact) at your company.

Why should I participate?

This survey affects not only the council, but also our constituents here in Michigan. Our satisfaction scores for both MBEs and Corporate members determines the council’s percentage of shared revenue that is allocated to Michigan. That means, a portion of the money we use to help develop MBEs and support corporations in their minority supplier development efforts, is generated based on the responses we receive from the survey.

I’m still confused

If you have any other questions about the NMSDC survey, how to find it, or its impact please feel free to call the MMSDC office or your MMSDC Touchpoint representative today and we all will be happy to assist you.

2016 ACE Awards: MMSDC celebrates Ambassadors Championing Excellence at annual awards event.

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October 6, 2016, Detroit, MI— Michigan’s top corporations and MBEs gathered this week at the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council’s 33rdAnnual Awards celebration, the ACE (Ambassadors Championing Excellence) Awards and the Hall of Fame at the Detroit Marriot at the Renaissance Center to honor those who champion excellence in business.

ACE Award winners were:

Minority Supplier of the Year – Class I: Jim Roberts Enterprises LLC
Minority Supplier of the Year – Class II:Mac Arthur Corporation

Minority Supplier of the Year – Class III,V2Soft, Inc;

Minority Supplier of the Year – Class IV, Dakkota Integrated Systems, LLC

MBE Luminary Award: Frank Venegas – Ideal Group

Corporate Buyer of the Year: Francis T Lebryk – Johnson Controls

Jethro Joseph Advocate of the Year Award: Kevin Bell – Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles

President’s Award: Leon Richardson — Chemico

Corporation of the Year Automotive OEM: Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (Tie)

Corporation of the Year Automotive OEM: General Motors Company (Tie)

Corporation of the Year Commercial Products: Herman Miller Inc.

Corporation of the Year Consumer Products Petrochemical, and Energy: DTE Energy Company

Corporation of the Year Financial & Insurance Services: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Corporation of the Year Manufacturing/Automotive: Lear Corporation

Corporation of the Year Professional Services & Staffing: Kelly Services, Inc

Volunteer of the Year: Teresa LeFevre – Comerica

Executive of the Year: David Drouillard – General Motors Company

Hall of Fame Inductee: Hank Aguirre – Mexican Industries

Hall of Fame Inductee: Ron Hall, Sr. — Bridgewater Interiors

“We recognized corporations, minority businesses, and individuals who excelled in engaging, mentoring and advocating diverse suppliers this past year,” said Michelle Sourie Robinson, President & CEO of MMSDC. “Our Ambassadors are true champions of excellence in minority supplier development.”

Boasting an attendance of 850, the ACE Awards is one of the most prestigious business events that takes place annually in our state where the top leaders, executives, and visionaries in the region gather to celebrate the people who are making significant contributions to minority supplier development. At this event, minority business enterprises (MBEs) are honored for their excellent service in the past year as well as corporate members for their commitment to supplier diversity and supporting minority-owned businesses through purchasing contracts.

Procurement News: Hau Thai Tang lays out his plans as chairman of the board of MMSDC

As the newly elected chairman of the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC) and first contributing author of Procurement News, I’d like to take this opportunity to outline my vision for the Council and share a bit about Ford’s commitment to supplier diversity.

Before I get started, I’d like to acknowledge the contributions of outgoing chairman, Steve Keifer and give thanks to the extended General Motors team. Their time and contributions to the MMSDC have been commendable. I’d also like to thank Michelle Sourie Robinson, the MMSDC staff, and the Board of Directors for the role they continue to play in certifying and providing minority businesses with development opportunities.

fordAs a founding member of the MMSDC, Ford Motor Company understands that diversity makes us a better and stronger company, by bringing in fresh ideas, perspectives, and experiences. Ford’s journey to ensure a diverse supply chain network began in 1978 and is built on a strong foundation of commitment, perseverance, and integrity. Our aim to source at least 10 percent of Ford’s $55 billion U.S. purchasing budget, with diverse production and non-production suppliers annually, is something we are extremely proud of. As chairman, I plan to work with the MMSDC to serve both corporate members and minority business enterprises while using Ford’s strong history in this area as a benchmark.

MMSDC is a leader in advancing business opportunities for its certified Asian, Black, Hispanic, and Native American business enterprises and connecting them to member corporations. In 2016, I plan to continue aligning our organization with the National Minority Supplier Development Council and work to support the four strategic priorities:

  • Certify minority businesses and promote the value of certification, focusing on targeting MBEs of scale that can best serve our corporate members
  • Develop stakeholders and build capacity and capability, targeting innovationHau-thai-tangand technology to provide MBEs with sustainable competitive advantage
  • Connect certified minority businesses with corporate members, developing innovative methods to connect MBEs and corporate members. Our efforts will include broadening the reach of MMSDC beyond Southeast Michigan.
  • Advocate for minority businesses and promote the value proposition of minority supplier development, continuing to expand MBEs and corporate membership beyond automotive. In addition, we will plan for a Conference in Detroit in 2017.

Each of these priorities will guide the MMSDC over the coming months, but in order to truly succeed, we must focus on our relationships – with each other and the community. Relationships are a key driver of our success, and I look forward to working together to deliver sustained, quantifiable results.  Thank you very much for the honor of leading this fantastic organization – let’s work together to demonstrate the tremendous value that MBEs provide to the community on both a corporate and business-to-business level.