nmsdc_awardI recently co-presented a workshop sponsored by the Western Region Minority Supplier Development Council and wanted to share a little about it since I think there were some great takeaways from this exclusive session that provides a good example of how certifications with councils can be very helpful for your business.

It is the time of year for the Supplier of the Year (SOTY) Awards process. This is where MBE’s are nominated by corporate members for awards in four revenue categories; the local winners of each council will then compete for the regional award and regional winners compete for the national awards in the fall.

Our home council offers an annual workshop that highlights the benefits of participating and has previous winners provide tips on the process. As the Class 4 Regional SOTY winner for 2014 we at ATR International, along with the Class 1 National SOTY MBE Magazine, were featured guest presenters and shared our experience.

The webinar provided:

  1. An overview of the application template and checklist and advice on how to present your story and statistics in a compelling fashion that keeps the reader interested.

  2. How to get good letters of recommendation from your clients, an important section in the application.

  3. What should be done throughout the year to ensure you have a strong package?

  4. Guidance on presenting your information in the most visually exciting manner.

This was the third time attending this annual workshop, and obviously the first as a presenter! It’s amazing to look back to three years ago when I could hardly have imagined that I would be representing my company such a short time later. And I can attest that one of the reasons this happened is because I attended the workshop. It was incredibly helpful to learn about the process, understand the effort that went into preparing a submission package, and hear from past winners. I was so happy to be able to share our perspective and tips with this year’s attendees.

My advice to any MBE with any NMSDC affiliate council is that simply participating in the process, whether you win or not, is a great opportunity to get your company in front of many local and national corporate members and showcase your success! Having more people recognize your name and know what your company does is a benefit and will help you to develop relationships that lead to more business.

It’s also a great exercise to take stock of where you are as a company and completing the application requires you to compile information about your company’s beginning, growth, community participation and MBE spend, among other things. It was fun and nostalgic to revisit the story of our founding, and a real learning experience for an employee like me who wasn’t around then! Seeing the statistics and information that we assembled also underscored the hard work and efforts of so many that brought ATR to this point in our history. I think you’ll find it a similarly good experience

If your local council doesn’t offer this remember the benefits of the Subscription Service; this is a perfect example of a situation where an MBE would take advantage of it. Each council is in tune with the distinctions that different regions have when it comes to business climate, industry focus, and other local nuances. Not every council offers the same thing which means you can expand your potential knowledge base if you consider what other councils are offering.

If you are participating in the process this year, or plan to at some time in the future, and have any questions, please contact me with your information and we can connect and I’ll share the details of ATR’s experience.

Angelique Solorio
Corporate Outreach Manager

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