On Saturday evening, Marilyn Robinson hosted some of the area’s most prominent businessmen and women. At the top of the Service Source building, in the Nashville City Club, the Nashville Minority Business Center (NMBC) held its annual Minority Business Achievement Awards reception in recognition of the accomplishments made by minority-owned enterprises in the Nashville-Metropolitan area.
The event was emceed by Harriet Wallace, news reporter and first African American to host an original talk show for Fox 17. Wallace made reference to the significant progress Marilyn Robinson at the NMBC and her partners have made in helping to increase minority participation in government procurement.
“We are with family, we know each other,” she said. “We support each other, and do not let it get by you that it’s because of you all in this room that we are able to create change and do something that has never been done in this city before: make sure that minorities get a better chance to do business.”
Awards were given out for Minority Business Advocate, Minority Business Award, Commitment Award, and Corporate Partner Award. Awardees were companies and minority individuals who have made significant economic contributions in their industry and the community.
Belmont University received the Corporate Partner of the Year award. Accepting the award on behalf of the university was Jason Rogers and Joyce Searcy.
“We’ve been working had over these last several years to do better at Belmont,” said Rogers, who is Vice President for Administration and University Counsel.
Joyce Searcy, Director of Community Relations for the university added, “You know that old saying: ‘we ain’t what we gonna’ be, but thank God we ain’t what we was’. So we’re going to keep working and we’re going to use this reward to remind us that we need to be more reflective of the Nashville community, and we’re going to keep working on supplier diversity at Belmont.”
Other award recipients were Dr. A Dexter Samuels, chair of Airport Authority’s Board of Directors, receiving the Minority Business Advocate of the Year Award; Deborah H. Luter, Director of TDOT Civil Rights Division receiving the Commitment Award; Elaine Reynolds founder of CorBrook, LLC., receiving the Minority Business of the Year (female), and Robert Sherrill, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Imperial Cleaning Systems, Inc., receiving the Minority Business of the Year (Male).
The event was part of a weeklong celebration on Minority Enterprise Development week (MED Week), that concluded Sunday with Business Recognition Sunday at First Baptist Church Capitol Hill.
The presenting sponsor for MED Week was Regions Bank, and HCA TriStar Health was the corporate sponsor. Other sponsors include: First Tennessee Bank, South-eastern Constructors, and Pinnacle Financial Partners.