About the Gala

Please join WRMSDC as we celebrate 40 incredible years of working to equalize the treatment of minority business owners and diverse communities in Northern California, Nevada, and Hawai‘i. In tribute to 1977, our founding year, we invite you to travel back in time with us to an age of exploration and groovy getups, of Star Wars, Dancing Queens, space discovery, and Stairways to Heaven. Our 40th Anniversary Gala will be more than just an awards ceremony: at the end of the night, you’ll walk away inspired. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable…Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” For forty years, you—and people like you—have changed lives. On May 12, we celebrate you.

Date & Time

Friday, May 12th, 2017
6:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. PDT

Venue Address

Chabot Space & Science Center
10000 Skyline Blvd
Oakland, CA 94619

Special Guests

  • David Jones
    California Insurance Commissioner
  • Brian Tippens
    Hewlett Packard Enterprise , VP Chief Diversity Officer
  • Jonathan Mayes
    Senior Vice President of External Affairs & Chief Diversity Officer at Albertsons Companies

Suggested Attire

Formal 70’s Attire
is welcomed and encouraged


Executive Inn and Suites
1755 Embarcadero, Oakland, CA 94606



Farmers Market Salad - Best of the Season + House Citrus Vinaigrette
Chicken - Crispy skin on breast of chicken with ancient grains orzo + preserve lemons + artichokes + thyme
Vegetarian Entrees - Porcini mushroom and thyme ravioli
(mushrooms, ricotta, parmesan, thyme)
Bread - Assorted table bread with whipped butter

Directions & Parking

Valet Parking is available
Directions to the Chabot Space & Science Center


Excellence in Supplier Diversity Awards

WRMSDC’s Awards celebrate the best minority suppliers and Corporate Members in Northern California, Nevada, and Hawai‘i. Award applications are due by 5 p.m. PST on March 29, 2017. Want to nominate a company or individual for an award? Click here

Award Categories

  • Corporation of the Year Award
  • Regional Cornerstone Award
  • Ambassador of the Year Award
  • Executive of the Year Award
  • Supplier Diversity Leader of the Year Award
  • Procurement & Purchasing Leader of the Year Award
  • Supplier of the Year Award

Award Applicants


This award recognizes a WRMSDC certified MBE with gross sales <$1M, and that demonstrates excellence in their services and products and show growth in sales and job creation.
Sumnu Marketing LLC, Marketing Consultant (Nevada) – SUMNU Marketing offers small business marketing consultation, strategic outreach, small business and disadvantaged business support, public affairs and political consulting. Simply put, they become the marketing department for small businesses looking to grow their brand, customer base and cash flow.


This award recognizes a WRMSDC certified MBE with gross sales between $1M and $10M, and that demonstrates excellence in their services and products and show growth in sales and job creation.
ICE Safety Solutions Inc., Full service health and safety equipment, training and services (California) – ICE Safety Solutions, headquartered in California, is comprised of Super Heroes who have one mission in life: Ensure no one becomes ill, injured or loses a life at work through their innovative, interactive and simulation based safety services, safety training & lifesaving equipment for corporations in the US and globally.Fun fact: You can find their Super Heroes on nights & weekends coaching or treating injuries at triathlons, track meets, soccer fields, baseball and football games!
KME Architects LLC, Full service architectural firm and interior design (Nevada) – KME Architects is DBE and MBE certified. Their mission is to respond to the needs of their clients by providing eco-friendly ideas and aesthetically pleasing facilities. Their motto “Listening Architecture” involves two-way communication between KME and their clients. They listen, they pay attention, they create and they deliver. Fun fact: They are one of the most diverse companies in Las Vegas. Their employees’ backgrounds are from various countries.


This award recognizes a WRMSDC certified MBE with gross sales between $10M and $50M, and that demonstrates excellence in their services and products and show growth in sales and job creation.
Akraya, Inc., Staffing and consulting firm, concentrating in IT, Marketing and Creative (California) – Akraya’s vision is to empower clients to deliver revolutionary products by providing innovative talent solutions and to inspire individuals to realize their dreams through greater choice of opportunities. Fun fact: Their perk of sending a cleaning service to employee’s homes is ranked amongst the top 10 perks in the country.
Codale Energy Services & Supply LLC, Wholesale electrical and construction supplies (Nevada) – A leading full-line wholesale electrical distributor, CESS is proud to serve the industrial, commercial, residential, institutional, utility, lighting and voice/data/video industries in the Las Vegas, Nevada, area. Formerly a branch of Salt Lake City-based Codale Electric Supply Inc., they recognized a unique opportunity in the Las Vegas area to focus on energy-efficient products to serve the varied marketplace. Fun fact: They were awarded the Supplier of the Year Award, Class 3, in 2013 for NvMSDC.
Hibser Yamauchi Architects, Inc., Full service architectural firm and interior design (California) – Hibser Yamauchi Architects was established in 1977 and specializes in healthcare, education, housing, access compliance and institutional projects. Headquartered in Oakland with offices in Davis and Los Angeles, they provide planning, design and interiors services to clients including Kaiser Permanente, State of California, and over 50 school districts.

Mosaic Global Transportation, Limousine and shuttle service (California) – An award-winning MBE providing international transportation worldwide, they have over 500 vehicles in their network, serving a variety of needs including: Wine Tours - Weddings - Employee & Airport Shuttling - Corporate & Meeting Event Transportation. They’ve transported: Former Presidents - World Leaders - Potentates - 2 Olympic Gold Medalists - Bat Kid from Make-A-Wish!


This award recognizes a WRMSDC certified MBE with gross sales >$50M, and that demonstrates excellence in their services and products and show growth in sales and job creation.
ATR International, Inc., Staffing and consulting, concentrating on engineering and IT professional (California) – ATR International was founded in 1988 by two immigrants chasing the American dream. Maria Novoa and Jerry Brenholz saw a need for a staffing firm that understood technology. Through hard work, ingenuity, and a service obsession, ATR has become a provider with clients ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies. Fun fact: Their owners recently got to play poker with the Golden State Warriors starting lineup to benefit underserved Bay Area youth.
California Automotive Retailing Group Inc., Automotive and sales dealership (California) – California Automotive Retailing Group, Inc. dba Dublin Chevrolet, Dublin Cadillac, Dublin Infiniti, & Dublin Buick GMC are automotive dealerships, parts & service. While taking pride in being environmentally friendly, they provide excellent service to the local communities as well as established companies such as PG&E, Comcast, & the Laborers Union.
Shaw-Lundquist Associates, Inc., Construction (Minnesota & Nevada) – They provide General Contracting, Construction Management and Design Build services to clients who need a partner for their complex construction projects. From concepts to finish, they create budgets, estimates, value engineering and design or design-assistance during pre-construction; the supervision and management of the construction process; and warranty and post-construction services. Fun fact: Their Founder, Feng Hsiao, for the benefit of and by the suggestion of others, became known as Fred Shaw.
THOR Construction, Construction (Nevada & California) – Founded in 1980, THOR Construction has grown to a Nationally recognized organization built on a foundation of hard work and dedication specializing in General Contracting, Construction Management, Design-Build, Consulting and Concrete.


This award recognizes individuals who volunteer their time, expertise, and advocacy in favor of WRMSDC.
Oscar Aliaga, Codale Energy Services & Supply LLC – Oscar is an immigrant from Peru who came to the states at age 4. He aspires to provide his family with the stability that he did not have as a youngster. He also wants to utilize his success to give back to the community that fostered him as a young man.

Madison Gunter III, Cisco Systems – Madison leads Cisco’s corporate wide diversity business practices initiative, which includes groups that support the planning and implementation of transformational change throughout the worldwide sales strategy and operations organization including stakeholders’ change adoption and utilization of programs, services and solutions. As the leader of the company’s global diversity business practices organization, he is responsible for initiating strategic business development and mentoring programs and coordinating the efforts of the DBP team. Additionally, Madison is also responsible for leading Cisco’s public sector strategy through global offset and countertrade activities.

Phyllis Simon, Next Level Law Group, LLP – Phyllis Simon is a partner at Next Level Law Group, LLP, which provides legal services to corporations and general counsel services to diverse business owners. She has served on the WRMSDC Board, on the Finance Committee, and as the secretary of the Minority Business Enterprise Input Committee (MBEIC). As a member of the MBEIC, Phyllis co-chaired the General Assembly Committee and was a member of the 2016 Fundraiser Committee. To increase MBE participation in the Council, Phyllis personally contacts MBEs to encourage attendance at upcoming events, and she solicits feedback or suggestions from MBEs about existing programs or new initiatives.
Mario Stadtlander, Eagle Promotions – Mario started his entrepreneurial journey by printing local sports t-shirts in the back of his father’s motorcycle shop. With hard work, he built Eagle Promotions from scratch before teaming up with Sean Ono. With over 20 years in business, Mario continues to lead the company to great success worldwide.
Scott A. Vowels, Apple – Scott A. Vowels, PhD, is recognized as a leading expert in the field of Supplier Diversity and is a frequent speaker and panelist on industry issues. Dr. Vowels currently manages the Supplier Diversity Program for Apple and is widely known within the supplier diversity network for successfully leading both the Northern California and Alabama Minority Supplier Development Councils to national prominence as President & CEO. His latest book, Don’t Be Afraid to Call the Baby Ugly, reached #1 on Amazon in both ‘Supplier Diversity’ and ‘Minority Business’ categories.


This award recognizes individuals working within Procurement and Purchasing who advocate for Supplier Diversity, MBEs, and WRMSDC within their company and community but who don’t work directly within Supplier Diversity.
Shalita Butler, MGM Resorts International – Shalita Butler is a Professional Services Strategic Sourcing Manager. She has a Bachelors in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Substance Abuse, and a Masters in Administration of Justice and Security. She is involved in the MGM Resorts International Working Mothers Networking Group and is innovative, always seeking opportunities for continuous improvement and opportunities to ensure that her company is including MBEs for the benefit of her organization.
Richard Ho, Pacific Gas and Electric Company – Richard Ho is an experienced Sourcing and Fleet professional who works to identify innovative technology and service-driven companies with diverse backgrounds for the advancement of the industry.
Joanna Juarez, Robert Half – IT Sourcing Specialist providing service to business partners with projects such as Endpoint Security, Salesforce integration Software, IT Consulting and Professional Services.


This award recognizes a Regional Corporate Member, Certified Class 3 or 4 MBE, or partner that has demonstrated company-wide support of WRMSDC and whose Supplier Diversity initiatives are moving the needle toward a more inclusive and diverse landscape.
Eagle Promotions – Eagle Promotions specializes in custom promotional branded products, custom retail merchandise and fashion and trend forecasting for their global clientele. With clients including Fortune 100 companies, theme parks, hotels, casinos, professional sports teams, airport retailers, celebrities, and some of the most iconic branded products in the world, Eagle Promotions has been recognized as an industry leader. Eagle Promotions offers partnerships with the world’s most recognized and sought-after brands while delivering the best quality and cost with their operational expertise.


This award recognizes a Supplier Diversity professional (Executive, Director, Manager, Coordinator, Specialist working within *WRMSDC may break this award into tiers, depending on the applicant pool Supplier Diversity) who has made significant contributions to WRMSDC with their time, support, and advocacy, and who has championed Supplier Diversity and MBEs within their own company.
Alex Alvarez Jr., Apple – Alex Alvarez executes global supplier diversity efforts at Apple. He has nearly 20 years of experience in supply chain, procurement and supplier diversity in both the public and private area. Alex was formerly President and CEO of SRMSDC, Inc. and executive director of the Alabama MBOC. Alex is Co-Chair of Technology Industry Group (TIG) and led to best in class. Alex has also worked for General Motors, CoreLogic and Direct Energy. At CoreLogic and Direct Energy he built and led supplier diversity efforts. Alex has been recognized on the 100 of America’s most influential leaders in minority economic development by MBNUSA.
Kenyatta Lewis, MGM Resorts International – A passionate servant leader who leverages her creativity and influence to open corporate doors of opportunity to the global diverse business community.
Tanya Nixon, Kaiser Permanente – Everyone has a story, a history, that they bring to every role they play, every job they have ever had. Tanya’s story is one of resilience, determination, of knowing that someone gave her a chance. Supplier Diversity, especially at Kaiser Permanente, gives her a chance to pay it forward. As a 15-year veteran of supplier diversity, a Project Manager/Consultant at Kaiser and Vice Chair for the Western Regional Minority Supplier Development Council (WRMSDC), Tanya gets to work with and advocate for those suppliers who hang in there and fight, who suffer defeat and keep getting up.
Edna Zapata-Fuller, State Compensation Insurance Fund – Edna is a dynamic, accountable and hands-on professional who can run a successful program with limited resources, capitalizing on her people skills and great attitude towards work. As a Supplier Diversity Manager, she pursues opportunities that allow her to use, challenge and expand her knowledge and experience in implementing and supporting SD needs of the business.


This award recognizes an executive not working directly within Supplier Diversity who ensures that their company allocates resources (financial and otherwise) to WRMSDC and Supplier Diversity in the region.
Valerie Bell, Pacific Gas and Electric Company – As the Vice President of IT Operations for Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Valerie is responsible for the delivery of technical and operational aspects of IT strategy, implementation and management of IT infrastructure and operations initiatives. She is known as an information technology leader consistently exhibiting a strong talent for improving service delivery, building and inspiring high performance teams and efficiently executing both strategic and tactical objectives. Valerie has a solid track record of fostering collaborative relationships and helping teams see (and act on) the "big picture."
Ken Gitlin, Robert Half – Responsible for multiple departments and corporate functions providing operational support to Robert Half.
Kathy Lancaster, Kaiser Permanente – As the CFO of Kaiser Permanente—an organization started by a surgeon running a tiny hospital near Desert Center, Calif., to serve construction workers—Kathy wakes up every day thankful for the privilege of working for an organization whose mission is to provide high quality, affordable health care to their members and communities. They want to leave the world a better place by keeping people healthy, treating them when they are sick, and using all their assets, including their billions of dollars in purchasing power, to make lives better.
Michelle Mader, R&R Partners – Michelle has spent her career in advertising agencies, and is now dedicated to growing, nurturing and supporting a community of minority-owned and operated businesses, especially in creative and digital industries.
Stacey Taylor, MGM Resorts International – Stacey Taylor joined MGM Resorts International in October 2015 as SVP & Chief Procurement Officer. She provides leadership and strategic vision to Global Procurement and is implementing a Companywide procurement program inclusive of sourcing, purchasing, program management and supplier management to optimize financial savings impact and improve associated processes to drive efficiency.


This award recognizes a National Corporate Member that has demonstrated company-wide support of WRMSDC and whose Supplier Diversity initiatives are moving the needle toward a more inclusive and diverse landscape.
Apple – The most innovative company must also be the most diverse. Apple takes a holistic view of diversity that looks beyond the usual measurements. This is a view that includes the varied perspectives of their employees as well as app developers, suppliers and anyone who aspires to a future in tech. Because they know new ideas come from diverse ways of seeing things.
Caesars Entertainment – Caesars Entertainment Corporation is the world’s most geographically diversified casino-entertainment company. Since their beginning in Reno, Nevada, more than 77 years ago, Caesars has grown through development of new resorts, expansions and acquisitions, and now operates casinos on three continents. The company’s resorts operate primarily under the Harrah’s®, Caesars® and Horseshoe® brand names. Caesars also owns the London Clubs International family of casinos.
Cisco Systems – Cisco designs and sells broad lines of products, provides services, and delivers integrated solutions to develop and connect networks around the world. For over 30 years, Cisco has helped their customers build networks and automate, orchestrate, integrate, and digitize IT-based products and services. In an increasingly connected world, Cisco is helping to transform businesses, governments, and cities worldwide. (Source: FY16 annual report).
Kaiser Permanente – Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. They are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans, serving more than 11.3 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists, and team of caregivers.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company – Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. The company has been committed to supporting a diverse supply chain for more than 36 years while developing one of California's leading supplier diversity programs. For more information, visit www.pge.com/supplychainresponsibility.

For application forms, requirements, and deadlines, click here.
Questions? Email awards@wrmsdc.org.


WRMSDC was founded 40 years ago to support the growth and welfare of minority communities by championing the use of minority-owned businesses in Northern California, Nevada, and Hawai‘i. Our 40th Anniversary Gala will celebrate our incredible journey, the lives we’ve changed, and the people who helped us along the way.

40th Anniversary Luminary Sponsor

Event Supporters


Brian Tippens, HP   ·   Jonathan Mayes, Safeway  ·  Greg Tennyson, VSP

Premier Members

MBE Platinum Partners


MBEs & Corporate Members, email us for your discount code!




NEW FRONTIERS   |  05.12.17

6:00 pm Cocktail Reception and Networking
Photo Booth, Step and Repeat Photo Opportunities, Entertainment, Stargazing and Telescope Viewing
7:30 pm Dinner, Networking and SOVOSO A Cappella Group
9:00 pm Excellence in Supplier Diversity Awards Program
10:15 pm Karaoke, Dancing, Planetarium Laser Show, Stargazing and Telescope Viewing, Networking, Photo Booth


Award Winners Revealed, Photo booth, Planetarium Laser Show, Karaoke, Telescope StarGazing

Silent Auction prizes

Auction Item 1 (x2) - Donated By: Union Bank

Apple IPad
The manufacturer’s number: MP2H2LL/A
Fifth Generation—128 GBs
Space Gray is the color
Retails value: $430.

Auction Item 2 (x2) - Donated By: Akraya

A week getaway at a home in Tahoe Donner, Truckee, California
15 min. from downtown Truckee & 35 mins. from Reno
3 beds and 3 full baths
Comfortably sleeps 9 guests
Value: $2,500/week

Auction Item 3 - Donated By: Caesars Entertainment

Two night stay at The LINQ Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas
One of the most central locations on the Strip
Retail value: $750

Auction Item 4 - Donated By: MGM Resorts International

Luncheon with Stacey Taylor
Stacey Taylor is Senior VP & Chief Procurement Officer for MGM Resorts International.

Auction Item 5 - Donated By: Caesars Entertainment

Luncheon with Mike Fath
Mike Fath is VP & Chief Procurement Officer at Caesars Entertainment, Inc.

Auction Item 6 - Donated By: CLEAResult

Signed Klay Thompson Jersey
Value: $400-$900

Auction Item 7 - Donated By: Anonomyous

Baseball signed by Willie Mays
Value: $800-$5,000

Auction Item 8

Sports Illustrated Cover signed by Stephen Curry
Value: $650
Stephen Curry signed jersey

Value: $1,300

Auction Item 9 - Donated By: Mosaic Global Transportation

6 hour limo ride
Value: $1,077

Raffle - Donated By: Bodkin Wines

A 24 bottle case of 187mL Cuvée Agincourt



WRMSDC supports the growth and welfare of minority communities by championing the use of minority-owned businesses in Northern California, Nevada, and Hawai‘i. Our parent organization, the National Minority Supplier Development Council, helps over 12,000 minority businesses connect with major Fortune 500 corporations and their buyers every year. Please visit us online at www.wrmsdc.org.
For questions regarding awards, please contact our Awards Team.

WRMSDC Headquarters
80 Swan Way
Oakland, CA 94621
Events@wrmsdc.org For questions regarding event registration, program ads, sponsorships, and more, please contact our Events Team.
Contact Us
(510) 686-2555