Press Room

Arizona Million Dollar Circle of Excellence

September 23, 2014

Media Contact:
James E. Garcia
(602) 460-1374


Nominations sought for companies spending $1 million or more with AZ minority- and women-owned firms

(PHOENIX) The Arizona Million Dollar Circle of Excellence (AZ MDCE) is seeking nominations for the induction of its Third Annual slate of companies in the state that spend at least $1 million annually contracting with Minority and Woman-owned Business Enterprises.

The Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce launched the AZ Million Dollar Circle of Excellence (AZ MDCE) during its 2012 Minority Business Enterprise Summit. (Note: the event’s name has been changed to Business Diversity Summit.)

The AZ MDCE recognizes companies leading the way in supplier diversity by spending more than $1 million annually (Tier 1) with Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE's) in Arizona. This initiative is modeled after the globally-renowned Billion Dollar Roundtable.

Companies that qualify for recognition by the AZ MDCE will be honored at a special breakfast ceremony on November 14, 2014 at the Arizona Biltmore. The AZ MDCE induction ceremony will be part the Annual Business Diversity Summit.

Don Brandt, Chairman and CEO of Arizona Public Service, serves as the chair of the AZ MDCE committee. Twelve companies submitted their spend report (verified by Ernst and Young) and were inducted into the Circle of Excellence in 2013. The Summit drew about 500 attendees and culminated in the release of the AZ Best Practices in Supplier Diversity publication.
The AZHCC created the AZ MDCE in collaboration with several distinguished community partners: Greater Phoenix Black Chamber of Commerce, The American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Arizona, Associated Minority Contractors of America, Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Arizona, Pacific Southwest Minority Supplier Diversity Council, Asian Chamber of Commerce, Women's Business Enterprise Council-West, and the Phoenix MBDA Business Center.

This year, in addition to celebrating companies who qualify under the million-dollar-spend category, the Business Diversity Summit will feature a component to recognize best practices in hiring a diverse workforce. The “Best Practices in Arizona ERGs”  white paper is a local addendum to the published report by the Hispanic Association for Corporate Responsibility and will feature interviews with executives in human resource management regarding the best ways to develop, track, and gain results from a diverse workforce strategy.

The Summit is organized by the Phoenix MBDA Business Center ( – funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce – and the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce ( Ernst & Young will audit and rank the amount of annual business of each nominee to the AZ Million Dollar Circle of Excellence. The deadline for qualifying companies to submit your application is by 5 p.m., October 17, 2014.

Like the internationally-recognized Billion Dollar Roundtable, the AZ Million Dollar Circle of Excellence is designed to promote and shares best practices in supply-chain diversity through the production of regular reports. Members of the AZ MDCE will review common issues, opportunities and strategies. The AZ MDCE also is meant to encourage corporate entities to continue growing their supplier diversity programs by increasing commitment and spending levels each year.

The Business Diversity Summit spotlights the growing contributions of minority-owned businesses in Arizona. Major components include the release of the best practices white paper highlighting achievements of workforce diversity programs in Arizona; the inductions into the Third Annual AZ Million Dollar Circle of Excellence; and the presentation of the annual Phoenix Minority Business Enterprise Awards.

To qualify, MDCE candidates:

1. Must be a viable company or Government Entity, or Educational Institution which sources at least $1 Million on a first tier basis to minority and women enterprises.
2. Must have an interest in developing a supplier diversity program.
3. Dollars sourced to minority and women suppliers must be auditable and verifiable.
4. Must be a member of NMSDC, WBENC, DBE, 8A or other comparable certifying entity. [Subject to nominating council approval.]

The 2014 nomination form is attached for your convenience and are available at: To be recertified [2013 inductees] for the AZ MDCE visit


Please send completed forms by 5 p.m., October 17, 2014 to:

The Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
ATTN: Terri Morgan
255 East Osborn Road Suite #201
Phoenix, AZ 85012
Fax: [602] 279.8900
Or via email to

If you currently are unable to track your Tier 1 diverse spend in the state of Arizona, please contact Terri Morgan at for additional nomination options.

To learn more about sponsoring the 2014 Arizona Business Diversity Summit , please contact Natalia Ronceria Ceballos  at 602-294-6085 or

Founded in 1948, the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is the premier advocate for the state's more than 67,000 Hispanic-owned small businesses and more than 2 million Hispanic consumers.
Led by CEO and President Gonzalo A. de la Melena, Jr., the non-profit organization provides products and services in the area of market intelligence, capacity building, advocacy and education for the benefit and success of its members, corporate partners and to actively promote the economic growth and vitality of Arizona. The Arizona Hispanic Chamber's annual signature events include the Black & White Ball and Business Awards; the release of DATOS: State of Arizona's Hispanic Market; the Business Diversity Summit; Power of the Purse; and the Bud Shootout Golf Tournament-and more than 60 workshops, seminars, public forums and business networking activities.
The Chamber also operates the federally funded Phoenix Minority Business Development Business Center, which provides access to contracts and capital for mid-sized companies among the state's 100,000+ Minority Business Enterprises in search of growth and investment opportunities.
The Arizona Hispanic Chamber is dedicated to promoting the economic health and prosperity of the state and nation by serving as a vital link to the growing power and influence of Hispanic business owners and consumers in our increasingly diverse global marketplace.
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