Georgia Minority Suppliers Name AT&T “Corporation of the Year”
The Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council’s (GMSDC) 34th Annual Spirit of Alliance (SOA) Awards attract top business icons including AT&T, Georgia Power, Johnson Controls, The Home Depot, The Coca-Cola Company and UPS.
This year, AT&T won the Corporation of the Year Award, beating out 11 other finalists. The Home Depot’s Michelle Johnson took the George Lottier Rising Star Award and UPS’s James Mallard was named Executive of the Year. Corporate Buyers from The Home Depot, The Coca-Cola Company and two from Georgia Power won Buyers of the Year. Johnson Control’s Al Richardson was awarded Advocate of the Year, while UPS snagged the Crystal Award.
The Spirit of Alliance is the largest statewide platform for honoring Georgia’s corporate leaders and certified ethnic minority businesses enterprises (MBEs) who have demonstrated unparalleled excellence in supplier diversity and minority business development. Hundreds of companies are nominated by their peers and/or partners and vie for up to 16 awards in varying categories. This year, all four big winners — Accolades!, All (n) 1 Security, Primus Software Corporation and Pyramid Consulting — are companies headquartered in and around Atlanta.
“Spirit of Alliance is one of the most important initiatives of this Council as it marks our moment in time to acknowledge and honor the tireless works of our MBE and Corporate partners,” said Stacey Key, GMSDC president & CEO. “While the recession has certainly affected all aspects of business, the unprecedented number of nominations, attendance and overall excitement, underscores Georgia as a thriving business metropolis. And the nearly $1 billion spent with minority companies during the past year validates supplier diversity as a valuable mainstay and in some cases even an economic recovery tool,” Key added.
For the first time in the event’s 34-year history, GMSDC created a new award — The Blue Legend Award. This award honors pioneers who have taken risks, pushed against adversity and helped level the playing field for minority businesses as well as in other facets of life. The inaugural recipients included Senator Sam Nunn, GMSDC organizer Franklin O’Neal, The Late Honorable Mayor Maynard Jackson and the Late Sara Gonzales of the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.