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LOS ANGELES, July 18, 2019 – Twenty two exceptional minority business enterprises (MBEs) sharing accounts of their journey to success and an inspiring keynote speaker urging supplier diversity professionals to  “Continue to Rise” were among the highlights of Southern California Minority Supplier Development Council’s (SCMSDC) Supplier of the Year (SOTY) awards celebration.

The event, title-sponsored by American Honda Motor Co. for the 29th consecutive year, celebrated the outstanding performance of MBEs in their contracts with corporate members. SCMSDC Board Chair Charles Harmon also applauded the group and added that to be nominated for a Supplier of the Year award is no small feat considering only 3% of the council’s MBEs receive this recognition.

Collectively, the nominees have gross annual sales of more than $404 million and employ about 3,433 of which approximately 2,041 are minorities. Nominated by corporate members, they competed for the award in four categories, based on gross annual sales of less than $1 million (Class I), between $1 million and $10 million (Class II), between $10 million and $50 million (Class III), and $50 million or greater (Class IV).  Established by NMSDC, corporate members nominate certified MBEs in good standing with the council for a SOTY award. Nominees are judged by an award selection committee comprised of SCMSDC corporate members and evaluated on: demonstrated growth and development; employment and job creation; consistent high quality operations, products/services and business performance; procurement/ purchasing spend with MBEs; mentoring and other forms of assistance to MBEs; regional council involvement, and more. One winner is selected in each class category, with local winners receiving business scholarships and special recognition and competing in the regional and national competition for the NMSDC SOTY award.

2019 SOTY award winners:

  • Class I: Applied Research West, Inc. a marketing research company specializing in competitive analysis and market strategy, the firm was nominated by American Honda Motor Co. 
  • Class II: Vobecky Enterprises, Inc., a business dedicated to providing Construction/Management, Administrative Support/Staffing and Nationwide Trucking Services. Vobecky Enterprises was nominated by SoCal Gas.
  • Class III: PRAVA Construction Services Inc., a construction firm based in Escondido established in 2005 was nominated by Northrop Grumman.
  • Class IV: Walton Isaacson LLC., a full-service advertising agency with offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Dallas . Walton Isaacson LLC was nominated by Toyota.

Runners-up in each category received Winners’ Circle awards. They included (Class II) AmmMm, Inc. a distributor of janitorial supplies, disposable food services and protective supplies nominated by Denny’s; (Class III) and RMI International Inc., a security services firm in Paramount, nominated by American Honda.

Award recipients gave brief remarks and shared moving stories of overcoming challenges to achieve success. They also expressed heartfelt gratitude to the council, corporate nominators and others for providing support during their journey.  Corporate nominators included: American Honda Motor Co., Denny’s, Northrop Grumman Corp., SoCalGas, Southern California Edison, The Walt Disney Company, Toyota and Burns & McDonnell Engineering

About SCMSDC: Southern California Minority Supplier Development Council is the premier organization strengthening economic ties between large, public-, private- and foreign-owned corporations and minority men- and women-owned business enterprises. As the region’s leading minority business advocacy organization, SCMSDC represents the interests of more than 600,000 minority businesses in its 13-county service area in Southern California. The council offers nationally recognized certification to minority-owned businesses, strategic networking between corporate members and certified firms, and education, information, and skills development to help minority businesses enhance their capacity. Headquartered in Los Angeles and one of 23 regional councils in the National Minority Supplier Development Council network, SCMSDC has made a positive impact in the minority business community since its founding in 1973. For more information, visit

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