ChicagoMSDC’s Williams earns spot on Crain’s diversity, equity and inclusion list

J. Vincent Williams, president and CEO of the Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council, was recently named one of Crain's Chicago Business 2021 Notable Executives in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

According to Crain’s Chicago Business, the honorees – 39 in all – demonstrated that they made an impact in advancing DEI at their organizations and in the workplace over the past 18 months.

Williams, who joined ChicagoMSDC in July 2020, was recognized for the strides he has made in his short tenure at the helm of the Council.

Crain’s included the following write-up on Williams:  

“As president of ChicagoMSDC, J. Vincent Williams facilitates connections between diverse minority suppliers and corporate buyers. During the COVID-19 shutdown, ChicagoMSDC provided outreach, assessments, technical assistance and CARES Act relief resources to those businesses most negatively affected by the pandemic.

The ChicagoMSDC partnership includes more than 250 private and public-sector buying organizations — reporting more than $3 billion in annual purchases from minority firms — and nearly 1,100 MBEs, which employ some 20,000 workers.  Prior to joining ChicagoMSDC, Williams was vice president of economic empowerment at the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, director of business and entrepreneurship at the Illinois Small Business Development Center and director of membership at the Executives Club of Chicago. He serves with YearUp Chicago and YWCA Metropolitan Chicago.”

Williams told MBN USA it was “an incredible honor to be included amongst these phenomenal executives in Chicago for our leadership in diversity, equity and inclusion. This work is just getting started, and this generation of executives is here to continue to move the needle and have voices seen and heard.”

Indeed, Williams has charted a path forward for the Council. He launched the #BuyDiverse podcast, a first for an MSDC, and hosted two Business Opportunity Fairs in virtual settings to continue to engage minority businesses and corporate partners in the work of expanding supplier diversity.

In fact, the Council recently wrapped up its 54th annual business opportunity fair, which featured more than sponsors and 50 exhibitors.

To learn more about Crain's Chicago Business 2021 Notable Executives in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, visit

To learn more about ChicagoMSDC, visit

(Methodology: The honorees did not pay to be included. Their profiles were drawn from submitted nomination materials submitted. This list is not comprehensive. It includes only executives for whom nominations were submitted and accepted after an editorial review).


J. Vincent Williams Crain's Chicago Business 2021 Notable Executives in Diversity Equity and Inclusion ChicagoMSDC Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council

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