When my wife Maria and I started ATR International 25 years ago, we had no idea of the crazy, wonderful journey we were embarking on. I think few entrepreneurs really do, and I often joke that if they did, they might not actually start a business at all! Most of the time your focus as an owner is on the business – making sure that clients are satisfied, employees are happy, keeping the day to day operations running while also planning strategically for the future and continued growth. It is hard work but we’ve never minded that. You plan well, work hard and hope for the best. One way you know your business is doing well is if you are making money – that’s obvious, but other times you receive external validation for your efforts.
ATR was recently recognized by two different organizations – DiversityBusiness.com and the Western Region Minority Supplier Development Council. We were named one of the Top 500 Diversity Owned Businesses in the U.S by DiversityBusiness.com. The companies listed range in revenue size from $20 million to over $1 billion, represent the nation’s top companies, and challenge the notion that diverse-owned businesses are small or insignificant. We were also one of the Top 500 Hispanic American and Top 100 Diversity Owned Businesses in California. This is the third year in a row that we have been honored to be included on their lists.
On April 26th, the Western Region Minority Supplier Development Council held its 36th Annual Excellence in Supplier Diversity Awards Gala. The Council recognized MBE suppliers in four revenue tiers as well as corporate diversity professionals and programs. We were thrilled to win the WRMSDC’s MBE Supplier of the Year award in our tier. We must thank the Council for planning a wonderful and fun event, and congratulate all the nominees and winners. It was a great time and a nice opportunity to relax with friends and colleagues from the diversity business community.
First and foremost, recognition of these kinds are a validation of the hard work of the entire ATR International team – so THANK YOU everyone! Maria and I have always been fortunate to have an unbelievable team of talented, dedicated, hardworking people. It is what has made ATR a success for the past 25 years and why we will continue to be so. All of the credit goes to our dynamic and innovative staff!
Truthfully, it is also very nice to be told that you are doing something right. Who doesn’t like a little praise, some confirmation that you are making good business decisions? Both of these organizations work to help educate minority business owners and assist them in growing their businesses successfully. They work to promote relationships between corporate buyers and minority suppliers, providing greater opportunities to work together. It is especially gratifying to be recognized with the WRMSDC award since it acknowledges participation in the diversity community, not just financial success. Maria and I, and ATR, have always benefitted from our long association with both the regional and national Councils and it is our privilege to work with them and across the community to share our experience and continue to learn from others.
Finally, it is really important not to rest on your laurels, as the saying goes. It is nice to be told things are going well but this also should remind us that whatever success we achieve, there is always room for improvement. Don’t get me wrong, I take time to enjoy the moment but I’m also pretty soon after thinking of what we can do differently; what should we do next. How can we be even more efficient? What can we change about our process or what technology can we employ that will allow us to deliver even higher quality service? How can we increase our involvement in the business community and continue to share our knowledge and assist others?
We are very proud to have been acknowledged by these organizations and are pleased to see the efforts of everyone at ATR recognized in this way. Thank you to both organizations! We also know that gives us our next starting point, our new baseline for measuring where and how we can improve. We’ll continue to do business with an eye on continuous improvement – regardless of whether there are any awards involved.
CEO and President
ATR International, Inc.