Jennings-Johnson long-time supplier diversity leader at BP


The board of directors of the Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council (Chicago MSDC) recently announced the appointment of Debra Jennings-Johnson as interim president and CEO. 


Chicago MSDC is one of 23 affiliates of the National Minority Supplier Development Council Inc. (NMSDC), a nonprofit corporate membership organization that advances business opportunities for its certified Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American business enterprises and connects them to its corporate members. 


Jennings-Johnson, who recently retired after 25 years at energy producer BP America Inc., where she served as senior director for supplier diversity, is widely recognized nationally for building teams that implement strategies to create equity for diverse businesses within corporate supply chains. 


Board Chair Rona Fourté said the Chicago MSDC board selected Jennings-Johnson based on her broad experience to lead the organization as it retools its mission at a critical juncture entering the next phase of its unique legacy in supplier diversity. The Chicago MSDC is the founding organization that gave birth to NMSDC in 1972. 


“Debra is greatly admired and respected for her leadership and advocacy. She is the right person for us at the right time. As the longest-standing council in the entire NMDSC network, we know that Debra will help us build on our legacy and the caliber of excellence that we have gained by being the first NMSDC affiliate,” Fourté said.


Jennings-Johnson is no stranger to Chicago MSDC, having served the organization for more than 25 years, including twice as Board Chair and as a long-time Board member. 


“I welcome the opportunity to offer my leadership and experience to the important work of Chicago MSDC. Supplier diversity is ever changing and the need to certify and develop scalable minority businesses is more important than ever. I look forward to connecting our suppliers to corporate buyers and advocating for them,” Jennings-Johnson said. 


The Chicago MSDC Board will welcome Jennings-Johnson formally in her new role on May 10 to the Chicago business community during the organization’s 55th Annual Chicago Business Opportunity Fair (CBOF55). 




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Chicago MSDC Debra Jennings-Johnson National Minority Supplier Development Council NMSDC bp America Inc. Rona Fourté CEO leadership business Chicago 55th Annual Chicago Business Opportunity Fair CBOF55


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