Celebrating 28 Years Of Developing And Growing Business Opportunities
Celebrating 28 years of success, the MidAmerica Minority, Supplier Development (MAMSDC) formerly the Minority Supplier Council (MSC) is a 501 (C) (3) non-profit organization established in 1983 to enhance the growth and development of minority owned business enterprises (MBEs) through participation in private and public sector procurement programs.
MAMSDC is one of 37 regional affiliates of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC). The NMSDC national office is located in New York City, NY and was established in 1972. With geographic responsibility for Kansas City, Western Missouri and the entire state of Kansas, over 200 certified minority business owners populate the Councils database and they are ready, willing and able to meet the sourcing needs of the corporate members.
MAMSDC’s mission to minority business development has remained consistent over the years, and will continue for years to come. Minority-owned businesses must continue their growth in an ever-changing environment that creates new opportunities. To that end, the mission of the MidAmerica Minority Supplier Development Council is to:
Increase business development opportunities between majority and minority businesses and to strengthen our community.
MAMSDC serves as an advocate for the minority business community. The council’s foremost objective is to facilitate greater corporate purchasing volume with MBE suppliers. MAMSDC continually strives to achieve excellence.
Of the approximately 1.4 million residents living in the Kansas City metropolitan area in the late 1970s and early 1980s, approximately 25 percent were African American and approximately 4 percent were Hispanic. The lack of access to business opportunities for minorities was at the heart of a discussion taking place in the business community. The Kansas City business and civic leadership was challenged to respond in the affirmative to increase access and business opportunities for African Americans and other minorities.
Key community issues that prompted action included:
- The renewal of downtown, which excluded the engagement of minority firms, yet led to the development of the AT&T Pavilion, Vista Hotel and the Frank Morgan
- The launch of the school desegregation lawsuit with Judge Russell Clark, and plaintiff ’s attorney Arthur Benson and Theodore Shaw of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
- Character assassinations of key African American leaders such as Harold “Doc” Holliday Jr., City Councilwoman Carol Coe, and the Reverend Mac Charles Jones and many others.
- The murder of African American saxophonist Steve Harvey in the Liberty Memorial Park.
- The strident confrontations with the business community and construction industry by the Minority Contractors Association under the leadership of Alex Harris.
- Frustration due to the lack of access to business by the Executive Trade Association (ETA), a group of established African American businesspersons.
The Civic Council and the Greater Chamber of Commerce committed themselves to finding solutions to address a city that was becoming a racial powder keg. Creating a purchasing council was one of the many ideas that found support. Executives from the business community provided the foundational leadership for what would become the Kansas City Minority Supplier Development Council (KCMSDC).
From Vision to Action
The initial board worked from the “one member concept” established by the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), which meant only one person from the minority community would serve on the board and represent the views of the minority community. This model required the board to create the Minority Input Committee (MIC). The Purchasing Advisory Committee was the first of its kind in the country to represent the views of 750 local purchasers who agreed to do business with local minority firms. The Minority Buyers Roundtable Committee (MBRC), also the first of its kind, represented minority purchasers.
Through the work and vision of many individuals, the Purchasing Advisory Committee and the Minority Buyers Roundtable were created. These groups worked together to conduct broad research on how to create the new organization. This work included a study on who the minority suppliers were, which ones were qualified to conduct business with majority corporations, what companies were willing to participate in the campaign, how dues would be determined, how to set up the certification process, and many other processes. Training booklets, Establishing a Minority Purchasing Program in Your Work Organization, and On Becoming a Viable Minority Supplier were created during this process.
- An annual luncheon and award ceremony to provide a report to the early investors in the organization
- Monthly Spot Light Luncheons
- Adopt-A-Vendor Programs
- Video Vendor Program
- Semi-Annual Golf Outings
- Bi-Annual Business Investment Expo
- Certification/Site visits/Referrals
- Dues Investment
- Joint Venture Promotion
- Business Counseling/
- “A Dream Deferred” Video
Many of these programs continue today, and are managed by a dedicated and skilled staff . Yet none of this would have been possible without the early vision of some of Kansas City’s most respected business leaders and the CEOs who partnered with the minority business community to provide opportunities to qualified minority suppliers.
Donna Wright – Vice President
In 2006, the MAMSDC opened its first satellite office in Wichita, KS under the direction and leadership of Donna Wright, Vice-President. The combination of strategic organizational expansion and executive experience has provided the Kansas minority business community with a valuable and localized resource for corporate sourcing opportunities. Donna brings an in-depth knowledge of corporate purchasing programs to the council, having had an extensive career as a senior purchasing agent and management of Supplier Diversity initiatives for The Boeing Company Wichita operations, former local business owner and consultant, and active community business supporter. Through Kansas-centric initiatives the Wichita Office has been able to effectively bring real minority business participation to the forefront of commerce through federal, state, county, city, and school district procurement programs and funding, while rapidly expanding the member base of corporate supporters, and certified Minority Business Enterprises. Contact Wichita Office: (316) 303-1703.