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16 Companies Recorded More than $1.5 Billion in Sales in 2008

NEW YORK, Oct. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc.(R) (NMSDC(R)) today announced its 2009 Regional Minority Supplier of the Year winners. The 16 outstanding minority-owned businesses were selected from more than 80 nominees from across the country, and represent a broad range of industries: construction, engineering, facilities management, food sales and staffing/consulting, information technology, medical care, packaging/manufacturing. NMSDC will present awards to each regional winner on Wednesday, October 28, at the 2009 NMSDC Conference and Business Opportunity Fair in New Orleans, Louisiana.

"Small business is the engine that drives the economy and these regional winners are proof of that," said NMSDC President Harriet R. Michel. "Despite the challenging economy, corporations have counted on minority businesses to deliver great products, cost savings, quality service and innovative solutions. This performance will be valuable to corporations as the economy recovers, based on the strength of outstanding small and minority-owned businesses."

The 16 regional winners are divided into four classes based on annual sales, and are nominated by their corporate customers. NMSDC-certified Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American businesses are evaluated on the basis of business growth, development and performance, community service and the ability to overcome challenges brought on by the company owner's heritage or background.

One regional winner from each of the four classes will be named a National Winner at the Awards Banquet held during the NMSDC Conference. The Conference theme is "Minority Businesses and Corporate America: Recipe for Success." More than 7,000 minority business owners and corporate purchasing executives are expected to attend the four-day conference, which begins on Sunday, October 25, and continues through Wednesday, October 28, at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. The 2009 NMSDC Regional Suppliers of the Year are listed below.


APR Consulting, Inc., Diamond Bar, California - Erlinda (Linda) Stone is the chief executive officer and president of APR Consulting, a staffing and IT solutions provider. The Asian Pacific-owned firm had $64 million in sales in 2008. American Honda; City and County of Los Angeles; City of Santa Ana; Clark County, Nevada; Mitsubishi Motors; PepsiCo and Texas Instruments are among the company's major customers. APR is active in the business community and the community at-large. Ms. Stone is one of the founders of the Asian Business Association of Orange County and chair of the Minority Business Enterprise Input Committee of the Southern California Minority Business Development Council. APR contributes to the City of Hope through direct financial support and fundraising. The company also mentors other minority businesses, and partners with CalPoly-Pomona on an internship program for students interested in pursuing careers in technology. www.aprconsulting.com

Artech Information Systems LLC, Cedar Knolls, New Jersey - Artech is an IT staffing and consulting services firm that services various industries. Ranjini Poddar, an Asian-Indian woman, is the president of the company. Artech employs more than 2,500 professionals in the United States, China and India, and recorded nearly $180 million in sales in 2008. Artech - an NMSDC Corporate Plus(R) member - created a network of diverse subcontractors through its Vendors-in-Partnership (VIP) program. Last year, the company spent nearly $7.5 million with other minority business enterprises. AT&T, GlaxoSmithKline, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Pfizer and Verizon are among the company's major clients. Artech serves as a mentor for other minority business owners. In 2007, Ms. Poddar helped fund the construction of the Artech-Dalmia Center for IT in Rajasthan, India, at the women-only Banasthali University - which offers bachelors and master's degrees in the IT field. www.artechinfo.com

Group O, Milan, Illinois - Group O is a family-owned and operated packaging and solutions company founded by Robert Ontiveros in 1974. The Hispanic-owned firm provides products and solutions to optimize marketing services, information analytics, print management, and business process outsourcing. The company had $445 million in gross sales in 2008 - a nearly 60% increase over the previous year. Group O is an NMSDC Corporate Plus(R) member that also offers packaging materials and equipment, kit assembly, supply chain and third party logistics. The company's major clients include AT&T, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Caterpillar, Frito-Lay, Kraft Foods, Microsoft, PepsiCo and Staples. Mr. Ontiveros is active in the community, supporting the United Way of the Quad Cities, the Boys and Girls Club of the Mississippi Valley, Niabi Zoo and Junior Achievement of the Heartland. In 2008, the Group O/Boys and Girls Club Golf Outing raised nearly $100,000. www.groupo.com

ZeroChaos, Orlando, Florida - Harold Mills is the chief executive officer of ZeroChaos, a Black-owned company that provides contingent workforce management, including private label sourcing, professional payroll services, risk management and managed services. The firm had $684 million sales in 2008 - an increase of more than $200 million over 2007. ZeroChaos also spent $107 million with other minority businesses last year. An NMSDC Corporate Plus(R) member, the firm counts AT&T, Bank of America and IBM among its major customers. Mr. Mills and ZeroChaos employees are active in the community. Mr. Mills is a board member of the Negro Spiritual Scholarship Foundation, which teaches Florida's inner-city high school students the fundamentals of classical music; the Florida Minority Supplier Development Council and the African-American Chamber of Commerce in Orlando. He also supports the Jackie Robinson Foundation. ZeroChaos' employees donate thousands of hours annually to Florida communities through mentoring programs, working with the homeless and other activities. www.zerochaos.com


MarkMaster, Inc., Tampa, Florida - Mark Govin is the president of MarkMaster, a 76-year-old company that develops and manufactures marking and identification products such as banners, hand and mechanical devices, name badges, posters, rubber stamps and signs. The Hispanic-owned company is an NMSDC Corporate Plus(R) member that registered $12.4 million in sales in 2008, and spent nearly $500,000 with other minority business enterprises. AllState, Bank of America, Kaiser Permanente, MetLife, SunTrust Banks and Wachovia are among the company's major customers. In the community, MarkMaster supports a number of organizations, including Clouds of Hope, the Ronald McDonald House, KWVA Wounded Warrior Fund, the National Breast Cancer Foundation and the Special Olympics of Florida. The company also makes annual contributions to a Latino scholarship fund at the University of South Florida and the University of Tampa. www.mmstamp.com

Primera Engineers, Ltd., Chicago, Illinois - Primera Engineers is a Hispanic-owned engineering and design firm dedicated to sustainable design. Michael DeSantiago is the co-founder and president of the company, which offers professional services in architecture, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, structural, civil, commissioning and construction management. The firm had $15 million in sales in 2008, and spent $656,000 with other minority-owned companies. Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Carleton College, the City of Chicago Department of General Services, the Metra commuter railroad and North Park University are major customers of Primera Engineers. The company is an active member of the Chicago Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. In the community, Mr. DeSantiago participates with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago and promotes engineering as a profession to children and young adults from communities that are under-represented in the profession. www.primerachicago.com

River City Furniture, West Chester, Ohio - Carl Satterwhite is the president of River City Furniture, a Black-owned distributor and facility service provider. The company is an NMSDC Corporate Plus(R) member that offers a number of services, including commercial furnishing, design, space planning, delivery and installation, warehousing, move and asset management and landscaping. River City Furniture tallied $39 million in sales in 2008 with major customers such as the Cincinnati Port Authority, Johnson Controls, MetLife, Procter and Gamble, and Toyota. The company spent $820,000 with minority business enterprises in 2008. River City Furniture is active in the community with the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, the First Tee Golf Tournament and Jobs for Cincinnati Graduates. The company also participates with Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Boys Hope/Girls Hope, St. Joseph's Orphanage, and supports the Boy Scouts of America, The Children's Theater, the Cincinnati Museum Center, Fine Arts Fund and the United Way. The company partnered with a local community center and the local office of the Urban League to create a "job match" program for community residents and the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. www.r-c-f.com

Sugar Bowl Bakery, Hayward, California - Andrew Ly is the president and chief executive officer of the Ly Brothers Corporation. Formed by five brothers, the Asian Pacific-owned family business operates Sugar Bowl Bakery -- one of the largest family- and minority-owned bakeries in Northern California. The company had $42 million in sales in 2008, and spent $5 million with other minority-owned businesses. Sugar Bowl Bakery supplies retail and food service products to Costco Wholesale, Hilton Worldwide, Macy's, Safeway and Trader Joe's. The company's community involvement includes contributions to the Costco Scholarship Fund for students of color; the Safeway Foundation; Food Runners, a local non-profit that donates food to homeless shelters in the San Francisco Bay Area; and the Family Business Center at San Francisco State University. Sugar Bowl Bakery also supports Asian Perinatal Advocates, City of Hope, Easter Seals, Doctors without Borders, Oakland Children's Hospital Research Center, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the Susan G. Komen Foundation. www.sugarbowlbakery.com


General Data Kommunications & Networking Corporation, Pembroke Pines, Florida - Vic Narang is the president and chief executive officer of General Data Kommunications & Networking Corporation, a full-service information technology software consulting firm. Established in 1993, the Asian Indian-owned company offers data processing, engineering consulting, information management and staffing services to its clients, which include Duke Power, Motorola and Siemens Energy & Automation. GDKN recorded sales of $7.1 million in 2008, and spent nearly $300,000 with other minority businesses. Mr. Narang is active in the community, sponsoring free meals for the homeless at the Broward Outreach Center and supporting the Special Olympics, the Komen Race for the Cure and the Yoga Research Foundation. www.gdkn.com

BKW Transformation Group, Piscataway, New Jersey - Beverly White is president of BKW Transformation Group, a Black-owned consulting firm that specializes in business process management, technology solutions and training. BKW's major customers include ING, Moody's Financial, Prudential Insurance and Verizon Communications. In the community, Ms. White supports the Police Athletic League of New Jersey, the Community Development Center of First Baptist Church and the University of Arkansas Fund Foundation Board. www.thebkwgroup.com

NK David Constructors, Mission Hills, California - David Colon is president of NK David Constructors, a 10-year-old company that provides general contracting services to clients such as Bank of America, Honeywell, Jones Lang LaSalle, Wachovia Bank, the Walt Disney Company and Wells Fargo. The Hispanic-owned firm was recently awarded a contract valued at up to $10.5 million from the Department of Veterans Affairs for its facilities in Orlando, Florida. In 2008, NK David recorded sales of $4 million. Mr. Colon is a longtime supporter of other minority-owned businesses, spending $700,000 with MBEs last year. He also participates in the community by sponsoring events for the United Way, the Boy Scouts of America, Nap Ford Community School and Florida Hospital in Orlando. www.nkdavid.com

Virtelligence Inc., Eden Prairie, Minnesota - Akhtar Chaudhri is president and chief executive officer of Virtelligence, an Asian Indian-owned health care and IT consulting firm. The company, which was founded in 1998, was named one of the fastest growing private companies by the St. Paul Business Journal and ranked among DiversityBusiness.com's 500 top small businesses in America. Virtelligence reported sales of $9.4 million in 2008. The company's major customers include Cargill, Kaiser Permanente and United Healthcare. Mr. Chaudhri spent $1.7 million with other minority-owned businesses last year and has been active in the community through his support of St. David's Center for Child & Family Development and the Autism Speaks Courage Center. www.virtelligence.com


Medsafe (dba Medsafe-Equimed), San Juan, Puerto Rico - Madeline Colon Bermudez is the president of Medsafe Inc., a Hispanic-owned company that specializes in the sale and distribution of safety apparel to the pharmaceutical industry. The company also provides an inventory-management service to avoid excesses and shortages. Medsafe, which was established in 2003, posted revenues of $864,302 in 2008. Merck, Bruckner and IPR are among the firm's major customers. In the community, Medsafe is an active supporter of Big Brothers/Big Sisters. In fact, the company's treasurer was the organization's first president of the board of directors.

PLM Staffing Systems, Royal Oak, Michigan - Pamela Murff-Jackson is the chief executive officer of PLM Staffing Systems, a 16-year-old firm that provides staffing and recruitment services, including executive searches, temporary hires and HR consulting. The Black-owned firm recorded $225,000 in sales in 2008. PLM's major customers include Anderson Cook, Butzel Long, MGM and Thyssen Krupp. Ms. Murff-Jackson, who supports other minority businesses through outsourcing, has been an active member of the Professional Service Sector for more than 10 years. She is also the past president of the Greater Detroit Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners and a member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women. Each year, she participates in the "Midnight Golf Program," which is designed to teach life skills to young people. www.plmstaffing.com

DFW Urgent Care LLC, Hurst, Texas - Dr. Jeffrey Sterling is the president and chief executive officer of DFW Urgent Care LLC, an urgent-care facility established in 2007 that offers health care delivery, occupational medicine and family medical care to the public. The company's major customers include Aetna Healthcare, Amerigroup, Cook Children's Hospital and Harmony Pharmacy. In 2008, DFW Urgent Care reported $900,000 in revenue. The Black-owned company also supports other minority-owned businesses, spending $500,000 with MBEs last year. Dr. Sterling has provided national leadership in health care for more than 15 years as a physician, thought leader, consultant and entrepreneur. He has given more than 1,000 lectures and served as the department chair and medical director for seven emergency departments nationwide. www.dfwurgentcare.com

The Voice of Your Customer, Cincinnati, Ohio - Crystal L. Kendrick is president of The Voice of Your Customer, a Black-owned marketing and consulting firm that assists Fortune 1000 corporations, nonprofits, small businesses and educational institutions in reaching niche populations. In 2008, the company had $271,395 in sales. The State of Ohio, Health Alliance and the City of Cincinnati are among the company's major clients. The Voice of Your Customer has received numerous honors, including the Cincinnati Public Schools Reach and Teach Award and the Martin Luther King Award for creating economic opportunities. The firm was also named an SBA Minority Small Business Champion. Ms. Kendrick is active in the community, working with the Southwest Ohio Workforce Investment Board and the Fine Arts Fund. www.thevoiceofyourcustomer.com

SOURCE National Minority Supplier Development

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