SCMSDC names 2021 Supplier of the Year award winners

The Southern California Minority Supplier Development Council recently held its 37th Supplier of the Year Awards. The awards are considered the most prestigious award majority corporations can bestow upon their MBE partners.


The National Minority Supplier Development Council Inc. award criteria include:
• Demonstrated competitive business growth and development
• Employment and job creation
• Consistent high-quality operations and business performance, products/services
• Procurement/purchasing spend to MBEs, mentoring and other forms of assistance to MBEs
• Regional council involvement


One Supplier of the Year winner is selected in four categories: Classes I (less than $1 million), Class II ($1 million to $10 million), Class III ($10 million to $20 million) and Class IV ($50 million or greater).


Local winners compete in the regional competition and, if selected as winners at that level, move on to the national competition. Regional and national winners will be recognized at the NMSDC Annual Conference + Business Opportunity Exchange virtual event Oct. 25 - 28, 2021.

CLASS IV ($50 million or greater)
APR Consulting Inc.: Erlinda Stone
Nominator: American Honda Motor Co. Inc.

Stone is the CEO of APR Consulting, an organization that provides recruitment and payroll services to large corporations and public agencies nationwide. In 1980, APR Consulting started as an information technology consulting company, developing in-house software applications catering primarily to aerospace and utility companies in Southern California. In 2000, when the demand for IT Consulting slowed down, APR expanded and added to its business new service offerings, namely: staffing (recruitment) and payroll services. This expansion helped APR in growing its business nationwide.


In 2020, as a result of the pandemic, Stone led APR in pivoting some of its recruited staffing offerings, adding labor categories and services to help support needs within the health care industry. APR began providing COVID-19 services, such as testing sites throughout California and vaccination events. APR staffed and deployed hundreds of workers and filled over 300 roles for these events alone. These efforts and successful transitioning of services further demonstrated to APR’s clients, its ability to be flexible, adaptable and accountable as well as a strategic and supportive partner, bringing solutions and strategies for the betterment of its clients and the communities it serves.

Class III ($10 million to $20 million)
Area51 Electronics: Daniel Nguyen
Nominator: Northrop Grumman Corp.

Nguyen, CEO of Area51 Electronics, inspires others to be the best they can be. It’s his intrinsic belief in others that has propelled his company’s crew to soar to new heights – breaking its own sales records during the pandemic. Area51 Electronics is a global distributor of electronic, electrical and electromechanical components, hardware and assemblies. Nguyen’s philosophy puts people first. He believes that mindset sparks connectivity, collaboration, innovation and an environment where uniqueness is celebrated and embraced.


A 17-year veteran in the semiconductor and electronic components industry, Nguyen plans to continue leading Area51 Electronics to its next phase of growth and success.

CLASS II ($1 million to $10 million)
O2EPCM, Inc.: Omoné O. Livingston
Nominator: California Water Association

Livingston is the founder, president and CEO of O2EPCM Inc. dba O2 Engineering, Projects & Construction Management. She is a civil and environmental engineer with 29 years of experience in the engineering, planning, design and construction industries. Livingston has a Master of Science degree in Civil and environmental engineering from the University of California Los Angeles and a Bachelor of Science degree in civil and structural engineering from California State University, Northridge. Livingston is a certified construction manager and certified envision sustainability professional, a licensed engineer-in-training. She is currently working on getting her license as a professional engineer.


O2EPCM is an experienced and certified WBE, DBE, SBE, MBE, WOSB, LBE, LSBE, CBE, and SAM 0Registered firm. O2EPCM provides professional, technical, consulting, management and support services in the planning, design, engineering and construction industry to local, state, federal government agencies, utilities and private clients that also include general contractors.

CLASS I (less than $1 million):
Diversity Professional: Melissa Simmons
Nominator: American Honda Motor Co. Inc.

Simmons is president, CEO and publisher of Diversity Professional, the interactive international magazine she founded in 2016 after a 29-year career indirect sales, marketing and visual communications. Her entrepreneurial pursuits began with selling Avon products during high school. After completing photography training at Chaffey College, she worked as a professional photographer for 11 years. In 1995, Simmons returned to direct sales, this time with Mary Kay Inc., where she ranked among the top 2% of its national sales force.


But the Great Recession occurred, claiming her business as one of its casualties. In 2008, Simmons pivoted to magazine ad sales at several diversity publications, earning industry recognition for a magazine’s rebranding and creating its awards programs. After eight years of fulfilling someone else’s vision, she set out to pursue her own with Diversity Professional. A California native, Simmons was raised in Compton and resides in the Inland Empire.


Southern California Minority Supplier Development Council National Minority Supplier Development Council Inc. NMSDC APR Consulting Inc.: Erlinda Stone Area51 Electronics: Daniel Nguyen O2EPCM Inc.: Omoné O. Livingston Diversity Professional: Melissa Simm

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