Business — 20 October 2011
TMSDC Explores Ghana, West Africa and South Africa Global Markets

Nashville, TN  – The Tennessee Minority Supplier Development Council (TMSDC) announced that Richard Manson, president and CEO of SourceMark LLC traveled to Ghana, West Africa and South Africa to explore global economic business opportunities last month. TMSDC is a regional affiliate of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), whose primary mission is to provide a direct link between corporate America and minority owned businesses. Manson states, “The growth opportunities for our businesses in the future will be directly related to the relationships that we begin to establish now.”  Manson has been affiliated with TMSDC for 30 years, serving as legal counsel and as a member of the board of directors.

When asked about the need for international expansion, Keith Eakins, Supplier Diversity Manager at Volkswagen of America and board chairman of TMSDC states, “The climate is right for us to take our goods and expertise to other parts of the world. It is a global village out there, with extended marketplace outside of American borders that need our goods and services at competitive cost savings. We can no longer limit our footprint only in domestic markets. TMSDC is committed to use its influence to open doors for other through partnerships between our corporate and minority business.”

Cheri Henderson, president of TMSDC, in expressing her support of this initiative says, “One of the major tenants of our organization is to grow and to develop diverse companies in Tennessee that can have an impact on the world market. We need to explore how to become global players by following the blueprint of corporations.  TMSDC currently has over 230 certified minority business affiliates that has generated over $12 million in minority spend activity. Since its inception, TMSDC is responsible for helping minority businesses in Tennessee and other states employ over 40,853, and generate in excess of $8.6 billion in contracts.

In her address at the recent 31st Annual TMSDC Marketplace of Opportunities Luncheon, Joset B. Wright, president of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), pointed out corporations engaged in global business need suppliers that are capable of satisfying global requirements. NMSDC is comprised of 38 regional affiliated councils across the country and 3,500 corporate members throughout the network, including most of American’s largest publicly-owned and privately-owned and foreign-owned companies. According to 2009 data, corporate purchases from minority businesses exceeded $101.1 billion. This was accomplished by sourcing qualified minority firms and giving them business on a competitive basis. Wright says, “Helping minority suppliers prepare their companies to succeed is the principal part of NMSDC’s charge.  Ms. Wright led the delegation in South Africa.

Manson states that Cheri Henderson has been ahead of the curve in understanding the critical need for raising the bar with diverse certified suppliers for global capacity. The drive of globalization is accelerating supplier diversity, says Henderson. More than ever the value of minority businesses is a competitive advantage, and corporations need to know that the suppliers that they are working with domestically and globally bring true value of quality, price, service and innovation of ideas. “Manson notes that often her work in growing businesses goes unnoticed. However, Manson credits Henderson with contributing to the viable growth of his business in addition to countless others.

The international initiative explored global business opportunities for some of the TMSDC certified minority businesses, who collectively represent over $3 billion in annual sales. TMSDC, through the liaison of Richard Manson, initiated contacts in the various product and service areas in Africa, and  coordinated a follow-up meeting of activities since Manson’s return with certified minority businesses of TMSDC.

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