Nashville, TN (TN Tribune) – The TriState Minority Supplier Development Council (TSMSDC) held its first-ever virtual Impact Awards Gala on Thursday, August 26, 2021. The event opened with welcome remarks by Cheri Henderson, president & CEO, who reminded viewers that the special occasion was a celebration of the remarkable achievements of corporate members and certified minority businesses across the council’s 3-state region, which includes Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia. The Council serves as the connecting link to profitable and successful business relationships among its stakeholders, locally, regionally and nationally.

The Council presented its “Corporation of the Year Award” to Toyota. The prestigious award was given on the basis of Toyota’s deep commitment to minority business development, and its effort to help improve, and grow minority businesses, particularly suppliers within the TriState Council.

Other awards recipients included Paul Buerkle, Jr., Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) for Corporate Representative of the Year. Minority Suppliers of the Year were awarded in four categories:

Winfrey Foods, LLC – Class I – Nashville, TN

Cornerstone Engineering, Inc. – Class II – Louisville, KY

Action Facilities Management, Inc. – Class III – Morgantown, WV

Guy Brown – Class IV – Brentwood, TN

The coveted Impact of the Year Award was presented to Nicole Dunigan, senior vice president and financial advisor, Pinnacle Financial Partners.

The occasion also recognized fifteen (15) graduating high school seniors who were awarded scholarships, totaling $114,000 made possible by donations from corporations, minority businesses, and individual donors. The TMSDC Education Foundation is a separate 501© 3 organization whose mission is to provide financial support to at risk high school seniors. In addition to the scholarships, each student will receive an Amazon Fire HD 8 – 10th Generation Tablet Fire OS 7, generously donated by Pinnacle Financial Partners. Including this year’s awards, the foundation has awarded $2.1M to 377 high school students who have enrolled in more than 41 colleges and universities throughout the country.


The TriState Minority Supplier Development Council (TSMSDC), is one of 23 regional affiliate councils of the National Minority Supplier Development Council, with a regional office located in Louisville, KY. The Council ensures the development of mutually beneficial relationships between ethnic minority businesses and major corporations, by promoting and expanding business and procurement opportunities as they strive to be the product and service of choice.