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NEW YORK, NY – June 03, 2008/ DiversityBusiness.com -- Harriet R. Michel, president of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), today announced that she will retire after 20 years of service effective January 31, 2009. Ms. Michel was named president of NMSDC in September 1988.

“I’m very proud of what the NMSDC has accomplished in my 20 years with the organization,” said Ms. Michel. “We have created programs to assist our corporate members in improving their minority supplier development processes, offered valuable training for supplier development professionals and provided thousands of minority business owners with the opportunity to compete for corporate contracts. While it saddens me to leave NMSDC, I have the comfort of knowing that the organization is as strong as it’s ever been, and will certainly remain an invaluable asset to corporate America and minority business owners.”

During her tenure, NMSDC’s corporate membership nearly quadrupled, and corporate member purchases from minority-owned businesses increased from $10.5 billion to more than $100 billion. The organization’s staff increased from 8 to 22, and its annual budget grew from $2 million plus to $16 million, which has strengthened the affiliate network, too.

Since Ms. Michel became president, nine chairmen from major corporations served as chairman of the NMSDC board, including David E. Miller (JCPenney Stores and Catalog, 1986-88); Joseph E. Antonini (Kmart Corporation, 1988-1991); Robert C. Stempel (General Motors Corporation, 1991-93); Arthur C. Martinez (Sears, Roebuck and Co., 1994-1997); George A. David (United Technologies Corporation, 1998-2000); Daniel P. Burnham (Raytheon Company, 2001-03); John M. Barth (Johnson Controls, Inc., 2004-05); and Steven S. Reinemund (PepsiCo, Inc., 2006-07). Terry J. Lundgren, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Macy’s, Inc., is the current chairman.

Under Ms. Michel’s leadership, the NMSDC experienced tremendous financial growth and implemented all of the core national programs available to its corporate members and MBEs today.

The NMSDC's Minority Business Information Center was created in 1994. It is the only national centralized source of information about minority business development and trends. The Center's resources include access to online databases; a vast collection of magazines, newspapers and journals with articles pertinent to minority business development; statistical data from the U.S. Bureau of the Census; books containing corporate facts and figures; information on legislation affecting minority business development; links to relevant sites for the government, media, and other organizations; publications, order forms, audio and video cassettes; NMSDC Council referrals for certification; and the organization’s e-Newsletter and archives.

The NMSDC established the Corporate Plus® program in 1995 as a national membership category for MBEs to recognize their national capabilities, bring them to the attention of more national corporate members, and expand their participation in the NMSDC network. The program currently has 87 members.

The following year, NMSDC partnered with the J.L. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University to offer the Advanced Management Education Program (AMEP). The program is designed to provide certified, established, expansion-oriented

MBEs with the tools and skills needed to achieve and sustain accelerated growth. AMEP combines NMSDC's knowledge of minority supplier development with Kellogg's ability to develop and deliver leading-edge executive education during the four-day program. It helps high potential MBEs achieve the next level of business success. To date, more than 400 MBEs have completed the program.

As business became more global, the NMSDC responded by replicating its business model outside the U.S. In 2001, the organization established its International Program to take the NMSDC mission abroad by establishing NMSDC counterpart organizations. Another activity has been business opportunity missions sponsored by NMSDC corporate members with a strong business presence in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, South Africa and the United Kingdom. U.S. minority business owners participate in the missions to learn about global business opportunities and meet foreign-based business owners who could be potential business partners.

In 2005, the NMSDC created the Centers of Excellence program, regional business modules designed to enhance successful business relationships between corporations and MBEs by strengthening corporate minority supplier development processes. This is done through knowledge-sharing and excellence in implementing NMSDC best practices. Beginning in 2006, the program launched modules in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York/New Jersey and San Antonio. Each module consists of eight to 10 locally-based corporations working with 16-20 MBEs.

The organization introduced an online training course for corporate minority supplier development professionals, as well as national and regional seminars to address challenges and trends in supplier development and supply chain transformation.

Under Ms. Michel’s guidance, the organization expanded the size of its annual conference from 700 attendees in 1998 to more than 7,000. A one-day business opportunity fair was added to the conference, which is considered the nation’s benchmark forum for minority supplier development.

In 1990, the NMSDC created the annual Minority Business Leadership Awards Dinner-Dance to recognize MBEs and corporations for their long-standing achievements in minority supplier development. Today, more than 1,700 guests attend the event.

Ms. Michel will remain in her position through the end of January 2009. An NMSDC search committee will work with a national executive search firm that specializes in non-profit leadership recruitment to fill the position.

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 39 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 www.nmsdc.org.
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