One look at Ying McGuire’s curriculum vitae, and it’s easy to see why National Minority Supplier Development Council Inc.’s board of directors tapped her as its new CEO and president. Her experience is broad and deep — including stints in corporate procurement, private-sector minority business and government policy — but always with a goal to achieve economic equity and inclusion for minorities and small businesses.
“I believe strongly in advancing all minority groups,” she said.
“For the past 20 years, I’ve been in tech by day,” McGuire told MBN USA. “By night, I help startups, mentor young women, serve on several nonprofit boards and as a policy adviser for the United States and United Nations government agencies.”
NMSDC Chair Jose Turkienicz explained why McGuire fits the bill to take the organization to the next level.
“NMSDC aspires to be the best partner for [minority business enterprises] to achieve their full potential,” he said. “Ying’s track record of success in supporting MBE growth from different seats – as an executive at a large corporation, board member at more than one of our affiliates and directly with one of our certified MBEs, gives Ying a distinctive perspective.
“That, combined with her passion in driving diversity, equity and inclusion and her mindset for excellence, made Ying the right leader for NMSDC at this time,” added Turkienicz, chief procurement, real estate and global business services officer at UPS Inc. “We are excited to welcome her.”
Overcoming mountains of obstacles
McGuire immigrated from China during a tumultuous period in that country’s history.
“In the wake of the Tiananmen Square incident [in 1989], I packed my life into one suitcase with $1,000 and came to the United States to pursue my American dream,” she recalled. “Being a new immigrant with little English, no money and no support system, I overcame mountains of obstacles, learned to get things done with limited resources and built up my resilience.”
Doing magical things
McGuire earned an MBA in international business from Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University in Phoenix, Arizona, and started her career at Dell Technologies Inc. in Austin, Texas, as a marketing manager.
“I am forever hungry for knowledge. Dell was the best training ground,” she said.
She rotated from marketing to direct procurement to the Worldwide Operations Council, where she helped drive companywide initiatives and delivered cost savings of $7 billion during a three-year period.
“When I was with Dell’s Worldwide Operations Council, one of Dell’s vice presidents of worldwide procurement sent me a note and said that he had an offer I could not refuse,” McGuire recalled. “He told me Dell needed to elevate its supplier diversity effort, and he thought I could help achieve that.”
That opportunity led to her first experience with NMSDC.
“At the time, I knew very little about supplier diversity,” McGuire said. “I was sent to NMSDC’s annual conference in San Diego, California. There, I met the dynamic Harriet Michel [NMSDC CEO and president 1988-2010] and her team. I met devoted regional council presidents and their teams. I met passionate corporate members, MBEs and thousands of other people. The experience energized me and instilled a lifelong passion in me for minority business inclusion and development. I saw then how clearly NMSDC was empowering minorities like myself to do magical things.”
In late 2006, she joined the Southwest Minority Supplier Development Council in Austin and served as a board member and chair until 2011, when she left Dell for Technology Integration Group, an MBE and NMSDC Corporate Plus® member. Within three years, she led the Dell team to grow diverse spend from $640 million to $3 billion. She then joined the Southern California Minority Supplier Development Council, serving on its board as well. Her expertise helped TIG expand globally.
McGuire has also been tapped to advise several government agencies, including the United States Investment Advisory Council, which advises the U.S. Secretary of Commerce on attracting and retaining foreign direct investment. In addition, she lends her expertise to the International Trade Centre, a United Nations and World Trade Organization joint agency on programs that drive small and medium-sized businesses’ supply-chain competitiveness in developing and less developed countries.
Her global expertise and passion for MBEs are ideal for NMSDC’s next phase or “NMSDC 2.0,” as she calls it.
“NMSDC 2.0 will be technology-enabled, inclusive of all minority groups, value-based and results-driven,” McGuire said. “We will be building upon the legacy of Harriet Michel and many other presidents, and designing an operating model for the next 50 years.”
She co-founded the Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce and is the first Asian American Pacific Islander to hold the CEO and president position at NMSDC. She finds this position especially meaningful at a time when AAPI communities have experienced increasing racial rhetoric and hate crimes.
“AAPI are dramatically underrepresented in elected office, private sector and nonprofit leadership positions,” McGuire said. “I applaud the NMSDC board’s commitment to make NMSDC the most inclusive organization in the nation, and I hope to inspire more AAPI youth to break the stereotype, get involved and seek out leadership roles.”
In the wake of a devastating global pandemic and racial and social unrest, she believes NMSDC has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to maximize the inclusion of certified minority-owned businesses in the global economy.
“We have an unparalleled, unprecedented opportunity to make an impact,” McGuire said. “It’s not just a job; it’s a mission.”
ABOUT YING MCGUIRE
- Hometown: Jiangyin, a city near Shanghai, China
- First job: China International Travel Service Ltd. to promote tourism to the North American market
- Hobbies: Yoga, travel, cooking, interior design
- Last business books read: “Zone to Win: Organizing to Compete in an Age of Disruption” by Geoffrey A. Moore; and “Beyond the Valley: How Innovators Around the World Are Overcoming Inequality and Creating the Technologies of Tomorrow” by Ramesh Srinivasan
- Favorite leadership quote: “Do not just lead by words; lead by example.” — My father
To learn more about NMSDC, visit nmsdc.org.