Minority Business Development Agency Honors 2022 MED Week Award Winners | National


WASHINGTON, DC, Sept. 18, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The US Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is proud to announce the recipients of the 2022 Minority Enterprise Development Week (MED Week) Awards. The MED Week Awards is the highest national recognition a US minority-owned company can receive from the Department of Commerce. These prestigious awards honor the outstanding achievements of minority entrepreneurs and individuals and organizations that have demonstrated their commitment to advancing minority entrepreneurs.

The 2022 National Minority Business Award recipients are:


Robert J. Brown wins HJ Russell & Company Minority Business of the Year award. HJ Russell & Company was founded in 1952 as a general contractor. Headquartered in Atlanta, GA, HJ Russell has since grown into one of the largest black-owned construction services companies in the United States and has expanded into other service areas such as program management, real estate development and property administration.

Minority Construction Firm of Year is awarded to Onyx Enterprises, Inc., a certified women’s and minority small business headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, that provides engineering consulting, project management and construction management services to local, state, federal and technical consulting firms and contractors. Tarolyn Buckles is President and CEO. Onyx Enterprises has over 34 years of project management and construction management experience.

Tecma is awarded Minority Export Firm of Year. The organization was founded over three decades ago by the company’s current President and CEO, K. Allan Russell, along with three sponsoring business partners. Tecma has developed a business model, the Mexico Shelter Manufacturing Partnership (MSMP), that has helped its customers streamline business operations in Mexico. The Company’s MSMP now includes locations across Mexico with more than 70 facilities including Torreon, Rosarita and Silao.

LilliiRNB is awarded “Minority Technology Firm of the Year”. Lillii RNB, Inc is an enterprise solutions company specializing in enterprise software as a service (SaaS) solutions with a focus on retail technology for point-of-sale systems and returns/refund management. Barbara Jones, Founder and CEO, specializes in point-of-sale systems, ACI and EMV hardware upgrades, and omnichannel and e-commerce technologies.

Piping Technology & Products, Inc. is named Minority Manufacturing Firm of the Year. Piping Technology & Products Inc. is now known as a one stop shop for pipe supports, expansion joints, shock absorbing devices and more. Piping Technology & Products and its wholly owned subsidiaries specialize in a wide range of manufacturing techniques including metal forming, bellows forming, machining and welding.

The Carter Malone Group is named Minority Marketing & Communications Firm of the Year. Founded in 2003 by President and CEO Deidre Carter Malone, The Carter Malone Group is one of the largest minority and women’s public relations agencies in the Mid-South region. CMG opened its doors with one client and has grown to a current roster of over 30 active client accounts, including some of the largest organizations in the country.

Curacubby wins Minority E-Commerce Company of the Year award. Curacubby is a complete online school administration system that handles enrollment, billing and payment processing, account management, reporting and revenue growth – without the complexity of other solutions. After founder Steven Khuong’s son was diagnosed with autism, a group of passionate parents and educators launched a preschool program that offered a holistic approach to educating children with special needs. Curracubby aims to bridge the gap between quality education and mobile commerce.

Minority Veterans Owned Company of the Year is awarded to GC Green Construction Company. A Veteran-Powered certified woman, Native American and veteran-owned disabled business, GC Green Consulting Services focuses on engagements with water/blue-tech, energy efficiency, renewable energy and resilience solutions. GCG works to combat climate change and climate resilience.


The Access to Capital Award is presented to Tom Espinoza of the Raza Development Fund and Erica Y. Miles of Wells Fargo. Erica Miles is a dedicated Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) director with a track record of driving D&I goals at large financial institutions through the development of data-driven strategies and policy recommendations. She was Director for Diversity and Inclusion for the US House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services and led work for the first-ever Congressional Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion. During her time on Capitol Hill, Erica helped draft and pass legislation to improve access to capital, markets, and technical support for minority businesses, among other things. Ms. Miles currently serves as Senior Consultant, SVP for Wells Fargo Bank, building national relationships with diverse businesses and communities and advising on the bank’s corporate-wide diversity, equity and inclusion.

Tom Espinoza is President, CEO and Co-Founder of the Raza Development Fund (RDF), the largest US Latino Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) of the past twenty years with half a billion dollars in assets under management. Under Mr. Espinoza’s leadership, RDF has provided capital to Latin American organizations across the country, and organizations have received technical assistance and loans that raised over $5 billion in private capital for education, affordable housing, and health projects for low-income families and individuals mobilized income.

The Distinguished Supplier Diversity Award is presented to Ralph Sagaille of The Walt Disney Company. Through inclusive sourcing practices, The Walt Disney Company’s supplier diversity team builds relationships with an ever-growing diverse range of suppliers, as well as certification bodies and corporate organizations. In 2021, Disney spent approximately $450 million on certified diversity-owned vendors. Building on its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, Disney has committed to increasing its spend on diverse suppliers to at least $1 billion annually by 2024. Ralph Sagaile serves as Director of Supplier Diversity and Sustainability.


Inspired by the late US Secretary of Commerce, the Ronald H. Brown Leadership Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated exceptional leadership and achieved significant success in supporting diversity in the public or private sector. This year’s honoree is John F. Robinson of the National Minority Business Council, Inc. John F. Robinson is one of the twelve charter members of the National Minority Business Council, Inc. (NMBC). For 50 years, under his leadership, NMBC has increased the success and profitability of the small business community by providing quality services, programs, advocacy and networking support.

The Advocate of the Year Award is presented to Jason Trimiew of Meta Platforms, Inc. For two decades, Jason has worked at the intersection of market and social impact in the areas of international microfinance, community and economic development, and venture philanthropy. Jason joined Meta (formerly Facebook) in 2016 to start and lead the company’s supplier diversity program, creating more opportunities for diversely owned companies to do business with Meta and the people and communities that Meta connects.

The Abe Venable Legacy Award for Lifetime Achievement is presented to an individual who has played a significant role in the creative, technical or professional advancement of minority business development throughout their lifetime. This year’s honoree is Robert F. Smith, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners. As Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, he leads the firm’s investment strategy, governance and investor relations. Smith has been recognized for his business achievements and philanthropic endeavors, including being named one of Forbes’ 100 Greatest Business Minds Alive and a recipient of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy. He is an advocate of what he calls the “2% solution,” urging companies to invest 2% of their net profits over the next decade to bring equity and mobility to America’s underserved communities. Smith is also a founding leader of the Southern Communities Initiative, a catalytic racial justice program in six southern communities representing approximately 50% of the black population in the US to create entire ecosystems that empower communities through targeted investment.

Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) MBDAPu[email protected]v


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