Celebrating the life and legacy of former MMSDC President and CEO, Ron Hall, Sr.
Ronald Hall, Sr. was President and CEO of the MMSDC (then known as the MMBDC) from 1993 to 1999. His vision and leadership at the council led to unprecedented growth for the MMSDC and greater opportunities for minority businesses in the state of Michigan.
A Visionary and Trailblazer
Ron Hall, Sr. was instrumental in developing the MMSDC into one of the premier minority business organizations in the country. By bringing a strong corporate perspective to the organization, he improved the way we served our corporate members as he knew and understood what corporations needed from suppliers and created processes that helped corporations build stronger minority suppliers. During his tenure and time here, he added over 20 major corporations as members, helping them create, develop, and support minority supplier development initiatives.
After his time with the council, Ron Hall, Sr. founded and served as CEO for Bridgewater Interiors, a joint venture between Epsilon Technologies LLC and Johnson Controls Inc. He earned his bachelor’s from Western Michigan
University and an MBA from Wayne State University. He is survived by his wife, Ann Durel; four sons, Ron Jr., Kahn, Roman and Erik; and nine grandchildren.
Ron Hall Sr. was an influential figure in the minority business community locally and nationally. We have no doubt that his work at the MMSDC and beyond will continue to make a lasting impact for future minority entrepreneurs. He will be greatly missed.
“Ron led the MMSDC through a period of remarkable growth and advancement; in fact, his impact is evident in who we are and what we do today.
I saw Ron as a gentle giant, always willing to assist. Though he will certainly be missed, his legacy lives and is forever etched into the hearts and businesses of our community. His devoted family is in the thoughts and prayers of our very grateful constituency of corporate leaders and minority business owners.”
-Michelle Sourie Robinson
President & CEO, MMSDC
“It is with deep sadness that I note the passing of Ronald Hall Sr., a great colleague and great friend and an all-around great guy.
By all measures, under Ron’s stellar leadership, the MMSDC evolved from a vastly underperforming Council to the premier Council in the NMSDC National Network. His vision and passion for minority business development combined with his outstanding business skills resulted in exponential growth in contracts for MBE’s and record growth in local corporate membership. The MMSDC became the pacesetter for the entire regional network, demonstrating what was possible.
Ron’s successful career, both with the MMSDC and later in his automotive business, leaves much to be admired and emulated.
We’ve lost a great champion who is gone too soon. My deepest condolences to his loving family.”
– Harriet Michel
Former President & CEO, NMSDC
“Ron Hall, Sr. was a GIANT in the Supplier Diversity community. His abilities and skills led the MMSDC from an era of doubt and confusion to an era of confidence and reliability. Ron Hall, Sr. singularly created an alliance of trust and goodwill with Corporate America and Minority Business Enterprises(MBE) that served as the blueprint for the entire National Minority Supplier Development Council network. As a result, MBEs have sourced billions of dollars of goods and services.
Retired Sr. Executive, FCA
Former MMSDC Board Member
“The MMBDC was truly blessed to have Ron Hall, Sr. at it’s helm for so many years. His leadership took the Council to new heights both locally and nationally in their quest to build, grow and sustain minority owned businesses. It was a sad day when he left the Council but he went on to become a very successful entrepreneur that provided jobs for hundreds of individuals that really needed and appreciated them. Ron was devoted to his Christian values, family and country. He will be sorely missed by all that knew him and had the pleasure of working with him. His memory will live on through his accomplishments and those he left behind to carry on. I will cherish his friendship forever and may he rest in peace.”
Retired Vice President & National Minority Business Development Coordinator
Former MMSDC Board Member
“I was surprised and saddened to learn about Ron Hall, Sr. For more than 20 years, working with Ron was always a pleasure for me. He had a significant influence on me personally and professionally. He demonstrated the enormous impact that minority business development can have on families, neighborhoods, communities and corporations.
I am sure we all will all miss him dearly.”
-Reginald K. Layton
Vice President, Supplier Diversity & Supply Chain Sustainability
“Ron Hall was quite a man. He was the epitome of a good man. Ron was a person of honesty, integrity, and class personified. When I was trying to make the decision to become an MBE, Ron was the first person to be supportive and share information and contacts freely. He did what he did for MBEs from the heart – no other reason. He was a man of his word and I truly valued him as a friend and mentor. I will be forever grateful for his wisdom and passion to support me and all Small Business entrepreneurs. He will be greatly missed and there is no replacement. Ron Hall was a Giant. RIP friend and mentor.”
Grand Rapids, MI
“I first met Ron through his work at the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council when he was President and CEO. Ron knew the requirements needed to be a successful supplier to auto manufacturers, auto suppliers, and other major Michigan companies.
With this knowledge, Ron built the Michigan Council into the largest such Council in the country. Billions of dollars of sourcing business were directed to well-deserving qualified minority companies during his tenure. Ron’s leadership helped provide thousands of good-paying jobs to minority workers, improving their lives as well as those in the communities in which they lived. Ron then put all of his knowledge of business and the auto industry to work in a more personal way with the founding Bridgewater Interiors. I was proud to be at the ribbon-cutting ceremony on that very important day for him, and a very important day for all in the auto industry.
Entrepreneurial success is never guaranteed, but his hard work, dedication, integrity and ability to work well with people proved to be the combination needed for success. Ron was a valued partner for all of us in the auto industry because of these qualities. His word and his handshake were better than any contract that he and I could have signed.
I would like to end with this quote from George Washington which says it best: “Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation” I am glad I that I the opportunity to “associate” with Ron Hall, Sr. He was certainly a man of good quality.
-Thomas W. Sidlik
Retired, Executive Vice-President, Procurement and Supply, Chrysler Corporation
Retired, Board of Management Member, Global Procurement, DaimlerChrysler AG
Former MMSDC Board Chairman
Ronald E. Hall Sr. was one of the most successful and one of the most important entrepreneurs in the history of Detroit — indeed, in the history of African American
business. Ron built Bridgewater Interiors LLC from an idea to one of the nation’s most prominent corporate suppliers. His wise leadership of Bridgewater built confidence in America’s minority supplier base at a time when corporate partnerships first began to increase to significant levels. I was proud to be an investor in Bridgewater Interiors, and my former firm, Vitec LLC, was proud to join Bridgewater as one of the leading job producers in Detroit’s Empowerment Zone. Bridgewater Interiors ranked third on Black Enterprise magazine’s 2015 list of the 100 largest black-owned industrial and service companies in the U.S., employing 1,900 workers and reporting 2014 revenue of $2.17 billion.
Ron was not only a trusted business colleague. He was one of my closest friends throughout most of my adult life. We were fraternity brothers, having joined the Epsilon chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity as students at Western Michigan University. Little wonder that we later named our business partnership Epsilon Technologies LLC. I could call on Ron for advice, counsel and camaraderie at any time of the night or day — and he knew that he could do the same.
Ron’s legacy extends far beyond the success of Bridgewater Interiors, which is now ably led by his son, Ronald Hall Jr., a great staff and an outstanding Board of Directors. His years of labor in leadership roles at New Detroit Inc. and at the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council provided mentorship and invaluable support for hundreds of businesses owned by women and people of color. Their current and future success is largely due to the partnerships and financial investment that Ron facilitated — as well as the timely encouragement and hope that he provided.
The memory of Ron Hall’s vibrant and productive life, and its lasting impact will continue to inspire and bless all of us for years to come.
Dr. William Pickard
Chairman and CEO
Global Automotive Alliance LLC
The Celebration of Life Service for Mr. Hall has been scheduled as follows:
Date: Saturday, June 11, 2016
Time: 11:00 am
Location: Plymouth United Church of Christ
Address: 600 East Warren Avenue
Detroit, MI 48201
Please continue to keep the Hall family in your thoughts and prayers. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made to two organizations that Mr. Hall and his wife, Ann were very committed and active in – MI AAU Boys Basketball or Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts.
Donations to MI AAU Boys Basketball can be made payable to Michigan AAU Boys Basketball and mailed to Michigan District of the AAU, 18516 Snow, Fraser, MI 48026.
Donations to Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts may be made at http://www.musichall.org/ (Click on Donate to Music Hall at the top of the page on the left)