Stellantis and National Business League Commence Pilot for Nation’s First Black Supplier


DETROIT, Oct. 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ —

  • Pilot to run through first quarter of 2022
  • Thirteen businesses to participate in pilot, representing geographic diversity and a range of disciplines and commodities
  • Post pilot, program will develop more than 2.9 million Black businesses for future contracting and procurement opportunities and success in a post-pandemic economy

Stellantis and the National Business League (NBL) today commenced their pilot of the groundbreaking National Black Supplier Development Program.

The pilot, which will run through the first quarter of 2022, is the initial phase of a larger program to develop Black suppliers for future contracting and procurement opportunities in pursuit of greater racial equity in the marketplace.

“The Stellantis-National Business League Black Supplier Development Program is an idea whose time has come,” said Mark Stewart, COO, Stellantis North America, during a kick-off event at the company’s Conner Event Center in Detroit. “An idea that addresses the need to take direct, decisive and intentional action to bring economic opportunity to communities that have been denied equal access to the marketplace for far too long. To confirm, in a very intentional way, that our ability to realize the full promise of our country is to ensure that its economic systems are open to all, equally.”

The Stellantis-NBL National Black Supplier Development Program will support the development of more than 2.9 million Black businesses around the country and internationally for future opportunities within the federal government, and public and private sectors.

The 13 Black-owned businesses selected for the pilot program represent geographic diversity, and a range of disciplines and commodities.

“Equitable access to both international and domestic opportunities by Black businesses is fundamentally important to the future of our economy and opportunities available to Black people and communities,” said Marvin Washington, Director of Electrical & Electronics Purchasing, Stellantis North America, who will also serve as National Co-Lead for the program. “This historic leadership by Stellantis and the National Business League will become a model for other Fortune 500 companies to embrace.” 

About 95% of Black-owned businesses today are mainly solopreneurs — home-based, one-employee enterprises — or are considered micro-businesses. Of these, fewer than 3% are minority or agency certified, and most do not have the capacity, scope and scale to meet the demands of future contracting and procurement opportunities with Fortune 500 companies and the federal government.

In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected Black businesses nationally, and an estimated 40% of Black-owned businesses closed permanently in 2020, according to CBS News, while the digital divide has created a systemic barrier to entry into the marketplace among Black businesses.

“As national trade associations pivot toward a post-COVID-19 economy, the National Business League is launching this critical program to achieve economic equity and justice for Black communities and millions of Black businesses, fulfilling the organization’s 121-year-old legacy, founded by Booker T. Washington in 1900,” said Dr. Kenneth Harris, president and CEO, NBL. “It is vital that corporate leaders take decisive and measurable steps outside of empty promises and platitudes to bring about commerce-driven activity in Black communities that have been historically denied access to economic opportunities for far too long.”  

The online virtual procurement and contracting marketplace is expected to realize 20-30% of the untapped business potential of Black suppliers. The goal is to create sustainable Black businesses that will impact the local and global economies, creating jobs through entrepreneurship and growing the number of Black businesses of all sizes.

Meet the Companies

ACE Petroleum
Owner and CEO:  Moses J. Shepard
National gasoline provider, Detroit

ACE Petroleum is a leading minority-owned national gasoline provider that serves federal, municipal and privately held businesses. As part of an industry whose primary purpose is to achieve prosperity while maintaining integrity, the company keeps an eye on big U.S. cities and clientele who can help it expand on its already excellent achievements. ACE Petroleum remains a front-runner, thanks to a seasoned logistics team with more than 35 years of expertise, a fleet of 452 available delivery trucks and a passion for entrepreneurship. Adding more companies to ACE Petroleum’s family of successful operations produces exponential results—our success is your success.

Assured Quality Systems
Co-founder and CEO:  Brittany Stovall
Co-founder and COO:  Paulina Sandoval  
Manufacturing support services, Dallas

Assured Quality System provides manufacturing’s premier partners with quality, productivity and technology solutions. Corrective and preventative action on nonconforming parts, inventory control, sequencing/kitting management and engineering staff support are all included in our services.

Coltrane Logistics & Trucking
CEO:  Adam B. Claytor
Logistics and trucking provider, Wixom, Michigan

Coltrane Logistics & Trucking is a North American asset-based and third-party logistics (3PL) company that provides best-in-class services. Full truckloads, less than truckloads and expedited freight are our specialties. We aim to form long-term, high-quality and dependable relationships with all of our customers.

Devon Industrial Group (DIG)
CEO and President: David Burnley
Co-CEO and General Manager: Stephanie Burnley
Construction management, Detroit

Devon Industrial Group (DIG) is a minority-owned construction management firm. Clients all over the world benefit from the company’s unique, forward-thinking construction management. Since 1998, we continue to offer our clients safe, high-quality and cost-effective solutions.

Dunamis Clean Energy Partners, LLC
CEO and Founder:  Natalie King
Clean energy lighting and EV charger manufacturer, Detroit

Dunamis Clean Energy Partners, LLC, a woman-owned MBE certified full-service leader in the commercial and industrial cleaning, lighting and electric car charging industries, was established in 2012. For our customers in the manufacturing, government and healthcare industries, we specialize in reducing energy costs. We believe in ethical business methods, treating our employees with respect, giving back to the community, safeguarding the environment and providing the level of service that our customers expect.

GS3 Global
CEO and Founder: Lisa Lunsford
CNC metal bending and assembling, Livonia, Michigan

GS3 is a Tier 1 metal-former that specializes in CNC metal bending and assembling. GS3 was founded in 2010 by Lisa Lunsford and Robert Gruschow with the goal of bringing manufacturing and design together to create innovative solutions. Mobility is our primary business. Our products and services, on the other hand, are used in a variety of industries, including renewable energy, traditional energy, food and furniture, to mention a few.

ISIAH International and One World Pharma
Chairman and CEO: Isiah Thomas
Sustainable hemp and cannabis solutions, Chicago

Isiah Thomas, Chairman and CEO of ISIAH International and Vice Chairman and CEO of One World Pharma (the Companies), leads these ESG businesses that use sustainable hemp and cannabis solutions to achieve their objectives. The Companies not only operate in accordance with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs), but they also address a majority of the 17 UNSDGs individually.

Multi-Training Systems (MTS)
CEO and Co-founder: Donna Murray Charles
Diversity, equity and inclusion strategies, Southfield, Michigan
Multi-Training Systems (MTS) specializes in helping organizations achieve their goals and drive meaningful change by creating workplaces that are diverse, equitable and inclusive. MTS strategic solutions enable organizations to sustain a workplace and marketplace that actively foster fairness, respect, dignity, equality and caring. Our diversity, equity and inclusion, and leadership training and consulting services address the challenge of sustainability through a best practices combination of strong content, self-awareness, accountability, action tools and measurement. This proven DEI engagement model includes a strategic and collaborative approach that touches all facets and programs within the organization while aligning with…


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