By M.V. Greene
When the Dallas Fort Worth Minority Supplier Development Council (DFW MSDC) commemorates its 50th anniversary in 2023 as an affiliate of the National Minority Supplier Development Council Inc. (NMSDC), many proud faces will accompany its golden jubilee celebrations.
Certainly, no one will be prouder than DFW MSDC President and CEO Margo J. Posey, whose tenure as the council’s leader — beginning in 1992 — has encompassed many of those years.
Consistently ranked among the top five councils annually within the NMSDC Affiliate Network, DFW MSDC is a two-time winner — in 2011 and 2015 — of NMSDC’s Council of the Year Award. The award is based on an affiliate’s operations, fiscal responsibility and constituent metrics. The NMSDC Affiliate Network includes 23 regional councils across the country that serve more than 15,000 certified minority business enterprises (MBEs) and 1,500 corporate members.
Posey speaks glowingly about the work of the NMSDC affiliate councils and the strength they bring to the national organization. She was elected by NMSDC peer presidents as chair of the NMSDC affiliate organization from 2015-2017, representing the councils on the NMSDC Executive Committee and board of directors.
“Every council has distinct unique, attributes, in addition to providing standardized certification, development, advocacy and connections — pillars executed by all affiliate councils,” Posey said. “The affiliates are the boots on the ground, the true service delivery arm of NMSDC. Premier global corporations still think, act and do business locally. Affiliate councils assist in specific markets and are subject matter experts in their respective business communities.”
Speak with Posey and she talks with reverence about the work and milestones of DFW MSDC, which serves the major hubs of Dallas, Fort Worth and all North Texas and houses many of the nation’s most recognizable brands and corporations, including American Airlines, AT&T, BNSF, CBRE Group, Comerica Bank, Ericsson, Frito Lay, JC Penney, Nokia, Southwest Airlines, Texas Instruments, Toyota Motor North America and Vistra.
Over the years, the accomplishments of DFW MSDC have been notable, including the establishment and initial administrator of the Women’s Business Council – Southwest, ensuring a protected board seat for each of the ethnic groups served by DFW MSDC; creating the Buy Those That Buy UsTM initiative, replicated as intentional and support programs by other advocacy organizations; currently serving a roster of more than 1,200 certified MBEs; and initiating the 1% Plus challenge to all DFW MSDC stakeholders, Buying Entities and MBEs. (Learn more about the 1% Plus challenge here: https://mbnusa.biz/detail/dfw-msdc-drives-economic-equity-with-1-plus-plan).
Posey is honored that DFW MSDC is one of five NMSDC affiliates to compete nationally and win the right to operate a MBDA Business Center, funded in part by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). DFW MSDC gained this distinction in 2011.
For Posey, operating the Dallas Fort Worth MBDA Business Center, a separate business of DFW MSDC with a separate budget, staffing and metrics, is a boon to the Council’s mission.
Posey explained that the work of an affiliate council is conducted to serve many MBEs — largely through programming, networking, and facilitation of meetings between certified MBEs and buyers. With a large roster of MBEs, it is difficult to provide targeted assistance on an individual basis. MBDA Business Centers provides individual assistance to MBEs based on services requested. In the most recent five-year grant final performance report, the MBDA Business Center DFW assisted MBEs in achieving $1,839,482,433 in procurement contract awards and $167,107,476 in capital within the grant period.
DFW MSDC was able to assist MBEs during the pandemic through Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES Act) funding and touched more than 6,500 businesses through virtual workshops, webinars and other programming on how to keep their businesses afloat during the difficult times, also providing Paycheck Protection Program and COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) assistance. The CARES Act success positioned DFW MSDC to receive a Department of Commerce, Coronavirus Response & Relief Award 2021-2022. The award allowed the recipient to explain its method and plan to assist MBEs. Posey took the opportunity and proposed direct assistance to MBEs emerging from the pandemic.
Posey said she is elated that with the financial support from the Department of Commerce, the Council assisted 101 minority-owned businesses by paying for hardware, software and digital marketing tools, at a cost of $426,331.
Recently, she was inducted into the inaugural class of the MBN USA’s 2022 Global Supply Chain Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Hall of Fame, celebrating legendary and long-time champions of supplier diversity and minority business development. (Read Posey’s Hall of Fame feature story here: https://mbnusa.biz/detail/margo-j-posey-2022-global-supply-chain-diversity-equity-and-inclusion-hall-of-fame).
Show me the money … sooner
With her track record secure, Posey is not one for mincing words when discussing what both corporations and MBEs can do to boost the practice of supplier diversity. She can lean heavily on her 30 years leading DFW MSDC — along with operating a small business herself in the past — to form her views.
“MBEs have to drive excellence, continue to work harder/smarter than their business counterparts and be deliberate in all related actions of the business,” Posey said. “Second chances are seldom granted to businesses/people of color. There are still myths aligned with MBE utilization including pricing, execution, delivery, service and ability — all which can be addressed and eradicated by actually using an MBE. Having open and candid customer/ client dialog, addressing issues when they arise, documenting agreed upon actions. and when possible, resolve issues immediately.”
As for the buyers, corporations and entities that engage MBEs within their supply chains, Posey has one overriding and earnest request: Pay your minority suppliers sooner, so they can stay in business.
“With politics, inflation and everything else going on, these are increasingly difficult times. But there are certain things that can be done to assist minority businesses,” she said. “One of them is paying people on time. Not 156 days or 100 days but paying them in 10 to 45 days.”
1% — just 1%
Like many others in advocating for enhanced supplier diversity initiatives, Posey said that while progress has been achieved over the years, the pace of change is wanting. She urges the supplier diversity universe to be more “deliberate” about creating opportunities for MBEs.
Posey pointed to a recent study commissioned by one of her council’s counterparts in the NMSDC Affiliate Network — Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council — the study noted that from 2014 to 2018, MBEs created 14.2% of all new jobs in the United States. Despite that statistic, MBEs do not realize equitable economic benefits of their contribution, costing communities where MBEs operate some $8 trillion in gross domestic product, according to the study.
At such a pace, the report showed it will take more than 333 years for MBEs to achieve revenue parity with white-owned businesses.
Posey said if corporate buyers will commit to increasing their spend with MBEs by 1% a year over the next 15 years, and MBE-to-MBE spend also increases at the same rate or higher that gap would close significantly.
“What I tell people is 1% is the minimum. There is no ceiling. If we can achieve more than 1%, we achieve our ultimate goal sooner,” she said. “Everyone has a role. If you buy anything — whether for your business professional or personal — and your actions are deliberate, you will help make a difference.”
Being deliberate about supplier diversity guides her work at DFW MSDC, Posey said.
“I do what I do because I hope that in some small way, I can help make a difference. Maybe that’s just with one company,” she said. “Sometimes that’s just listening to someone share what they are going through and offering support. It’s not always having the solution. Every success may not be huge, but even the small successes are impactful tor continuous growth.”
To learn more about DFW MSDC, visit dfwmsdc.com.
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DFW MSDC Dallas Fort Worth Minority Supplier Development Council DFW Dallas Fort Worth MSDC Minority Supplier Development Council MBDA Posey Margo Margo J. Posey Dallas Fort Worth MBDA Business Center MBEs NMSDC U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency Minority Business Development Agency North Texas National Minority Supplier Development Council Inc.