Ronald H. Brown Leadership Award - Ronald Davenport, Sr.
Businessman and lawyer Ronald Davenport, Sr. was born in Philadelphia on May 21, 1936. After earning his B.S. degree in economics from Pennsylvania State University in 1958, Davenport went to law school. Earning his LL.B. degree from Temple University in 1962, he then went to Yale Law School for his LL.M. in 1963.
Davenport started his career as a professor of law at Duquesne University in 1963, and he remained there for twenty years. When he took over as dean of the law school in 1970, Davenport became the first Black man to be dean of a predominantly white school. In 1982, Davenport became a partner at Buchanan Ingersoll Professional Corporation and a fellow of the U.S. State Department, reviewing legal systems in South and East Asia. He has also served as a consultant to the Constitutional Convention Preparatory Committee of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention. Not content with simply the law, in 1972, Davenport became chairman of Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation, a group he and his wife formed from the purchase of four radio stations. By 1976, Sheridan Broadcasting owned half of the Mutual Black Network, later completing the buyout. Sheridan Broadcasting is heard through more than 300 radio affiliates across the country. Davenport has also served as the co chairman of the American Urban Radio Networks since 1972.
Beyond his endeavors in the law and broadcasting, Davenport gives his time to a wide variety of other organizations. He serves on the board of Colgate University, is chairman of the Visiting Committee of African American Studies at Harvard, and is on the board of Aramark. He has been awarded numerous honorary degrees, the Man of the Year Award from the Masons, and has participated in several conferences with U.S. presidents.
Davenport and his wife, Judith Marylyn, have three children.
Abe Venable Lifetime Achievement Award - Richard Rizzo, Phoenix, Arizona
Dick Rizzo has been a leader focused on leveling the playing field for minority-owned firms with the global construction industry. Through his leadership, Perini Building Company has emerged as the leader in diversity initiatives. Through national outreach events and a mentor-protégé program, Perini Building Company provided minority-owned firms with 45 percent of contracts on a $9.2 billion dollar project in Las Vegas. Now, Perini Building Company, through a public-private partnership with MBDA, will provide approximately $1 billion dollars in global construction opportunities to minority-owned firms through the MBDA Global Construction Program. This program is a partnership among MBDA, Perini, and the University of Southern California. It’s Rizzo’s leadership that’s the guiding force behind Perini’s diversity initiatives. Rizzo received a BS in Business Administration and a BS in Civil Engineering from Lehigh University. He is also a graduate of the Stanford University Executive Management Program.
Minority Manufacturer of the Year – Nypro Kánaak, Juneau, Alaska
Nypro Kánaak is one of the best solution providers in the plastics industry, specializing in designing, molding and manufacturing plastics products in the government and commercial contracting arenas. Nypro Kánaak has worked with some of the world’s largest companies including Proctor & Gamble and Dell, Inc. Nypro Kánaak assures customers worldwide that it is able to handle the most challenging and innovative projects and guarantee a continuing commitment to technological innovation and speed-to-market integrated solutions for customers around the globe. The company currently has manufacturing facilities in Mexico, Iowa and Alabama. In 2009, Nypro Kánaak employed 450 workers and had revenues of $60 million.
Minority Construction Firm of the Year – Del Valle Group, S.P., Puerto Rico
The Del Valle Group (DVG), formed in 1988, is a recognized leader in road, bridge and building construction as well as pavement rehabilitation, site development, marine structures and facilities. Last year, DVG had 630 employees and total revenues of more than $94 million with projects in both the public and private sector. DVG also has a strong focus on green building and environmental conservation, recycling concrete whenever possible.
Minority Retail Energy Company of the Year – Sacred Power Corporation, Albuquerque, NM
Sacred Power Corporation provides a variety of renewable energy services to federal, state, local and tribal governments. In addition, it provides renewable energy services to industry, commercial and residential customers. The products and services provided by Sacred Power include photo voltaic (PV)/hybrid skid mounted systems that have multiple methods of generating power. These combined systems include PV plus wind turbines, hydrogen powered fuel cells, batteries, inverters, two-axis trackers and water-chilled cooling cabinets. The concept is an industry leader. In 2009, Sacred Power had revenues of $6.2 million.
Minority Global Technology Firm of the Year – CIeNET International, LLC, Oakbrook, IL
CIeNET Technologies is a leading technical service provider in the area of globally sourced consulting, software development, testing and systems integration. CIeNET has positioned itself as a premier global delivery partner with an increasing client base comprised of multi-national Fortune 1000 companies across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America. With global experience and fully connected development facilities, CIeNET’s Global R&D centers manage the full lifecycle of software development following CMMI and ISO certified quality assurance processes. In 2009, CIeNET had approximately $34 million in revenues and employed 1100 workers worldwide.
Minority Global Supplier Distributor of the Year – Flying Food Group (FFG), Chicago, IL
Flying Food Group custom-designs and produces exceptional food for guests of customers in the airline catering, grocery, food service and specialty markets. FFG customers include more than 55 premier airlines – primarily international carriers – and leading food retailers. Dedicated to quality, cost-efficiency and reliable delivery of outstanding products, FFG supports and enhances the brand of its customers around the globe. In 2009, FFG’s revenues exceeded $320 million and the company employed more than 3,200 workers worldwide.
In addition, the following minority business community champions are recognized for their commitment to creating an environment for minority business growth:
Distinguished Supplier Diversity Award – Harold Mills, CEO, Zero Chaos, Orlando, FL
Under the exceptional management and leadership of CEO Harold Mills, Zero Chaos achieved more than $720 million in revenues in 2009, with growth revenues over 200 percent in the last two years. In addition, employment and job creation totals reached 2,370 minority jobs in 2009, according to the company. Doing business specifically with minority firms is a critical business imperative for Zero Chaos, and it projects that $150 million dollars will be spent with minority-owned firms in 2010. With employees across 50 states and 4 countries, Zero Chaos has been able to create a $200 billion global market, totaling an impressive 22,000 employees worldwide.
Advocate of the Year – Nancy Deskins, Director of Supplier Diversity and Corporate Agreements, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Liverpool, NY
Nancy Deskins is a vigorous advocate for a diverse supplier base and ensures small- and minority-owned businesses are a part of the Lockheed Martin procurement solution. Lockheed Martin currently has 86 Corporate Agreements with Small Disadvantaged Businesses (SDBs). In 2009, purchases to SDBs as tier one contractors totaled more than $967 million and subcontractors totaled nearly $2 billion. Through a variety of programs, including its award winning Mentor-Protégé program and Supplier Information Sessions, Lockheed Martin advocates the use of SDBs to the technical/program and procurement communities as well as the aerospace and defense industry.
Access to Capital Award – Tony Hernandez, Bank of the West, Downey, CA
Tony Hernandez has been extremely active in assisting minority-owned firms’ access to capital despite the economic downturn and credit crunch. Specifically, over the last decade, Hernandez has been responsible for lending more than $250 million to minority-owned firms, and in 2009, he was responsible for $60 million in loans to minority-owned firms. Access to capital remains one of the most challenging barriers to the growth of minority-owned businesses, and it is investments from professionals like Hernandez that allow these firms to grow, supporting the local economy and creating new jobs.