JANUARY 04, 2022
The Chemico Group, the nation’s largest minority-owned and veteran-owned chemical management supplier, was named the 2021 Supplier of the Year Class IV during the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council’s (MMSDC) 44th Annual Ambassadors Championing Excellence (ACE) Awards and Chairman’s Scholarship Gala in December. The ACE Awards honors minority business enterprises (MBEs) and individuals that are role models for their commitment to supplier diversity, excellence in service, value and quality.
Chemico CEO Leon C. Richardson has been named a 2021 Automotive News Notable Champion of Diversity and is featured in a special section of the publication’s December 27th Yearbook Edition issue. The Notable Champions of Diversity program recognizes leaders who have demonstrated their commitment to improving diversity, equity and inclusion in various corners of the automotive industry and whose personal experiences fuels their passionate approach. The 2021 class was chosen by a panel of Automotive News editors and reporters from scores of nominees.
“We celebrate and honor those who have been strong champions of supplier diversity and supportive of MMSDC’s mission. You all are leaders and champions of supplier diversity, are creating opportunities, diverse spend growth and value through(out) the supply chain. Your work is having a positive impact on our march to parity,” said MMSDC vice-chairman and GVP, Toyota NA Purchasing Supplier Development Robert Young.
For some years, The Chemico Group has maintained an average of 75 percent employees of color. 60 percent of the Group’s leadership team are women and multicultural. Since 2014, Chemico has increased its spend with minority-owned companies to nearly $36 million, growing from 4 percent of sales to six percent. The company seeks to double this spend over the next several years.
“We are incredibly proud that the MMSDC has recognized our performance and our persistence in advancing diversity,” said Leon C. Richardson, president and CEO, Chemico. “We have remained true to our mission for more than 32 years — to add value to our customers’ supply chain, add value to the lives of our employees and to add value to the communities in which we operate. Diversity and inclusion are the cornerstones that shape how we run our business and are critical for driving innovation and growth.”
In addition to his diversity efforts at Chemico, Richardson served as an MMSDC Board Member for 15 years and chaired its Minority Business Enterprise Input Committee (MBEIC), helping to grow more than 1,200 MBEs in the state. In December 2020, MMSDC named Richardson MBE Luminary of the Year.
Richardson added: “A more successful organization is a diverse organization. I’ve worked half of my career on my passion — to develop and nurture other MBEs and mentor future leaders and entrepreneurs. It’s absolutely imperative that we strengthen our communities, set up businesses in communities that look like us, hire people that look like us, put people who look like us on our management team, grow those individuals — wash, rinse and repeat.”
In 2021, Chemico was named a General Motors Supplier of the Year for an eighth year. The supplier earned the Excellent Performance Award for Distributors from Toyota Motor North America, its fourth award from the automaker. For the first time, Chemico received the 2021 Honda Indirect Supplier Award for Challenging Spirit, going “above-and-beyond” expectations to ensure fulfillment of a service, product or project. Chemico was named MBE of the Year by the National Minority Supplier Development Council in 2018.
About Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council
The Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC) is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization committed to driving economic growth within minority communities. The MMSDC advances this mission by facilitating over $36 billion annually in economic output between corporations and certified minority business enterprises (MBEs). Founded in 1977, the MMSDC certifies minority businesses, develops their capacity and facilitates inclusive procurement opportunities. The MMSDC is one of 23 affiliates of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), a nonprofit corporate membership organization that advances business opportunities for its certified Asian, Black, Hispanic, and Native American business enterprises and connects them to its corporate members. One of the country’s leading corporate membership organizations, NMSDC was founded in 1972 to provide increased procurement and business opportunities for minority business enterprises.
About Automotive News
Since 1925, Automotive News has been the primary source for news happening among automotive retailers, suppliers and manufacturers. Distinct from other publications in the field, Automotive News remains a fully subscriber-paid publication, a testament to the value it delivers to the reader. The award-winning weekly print edition, robust website, email newsletters and video broadcasts are backed by a global team of more than 55 editors and reporters.
Founded in 1989, the Chemico Group is the largest veteran-owned, minority-owned chemical management firms in the nation. The Group is comprised of two distinct business entities — Chemico LLC (chemical management) and Chemico Systems (chemical products and distribution). Chemico LLC specializes in integrated solutions for the entire chemical lifecycle — from procurement to on-site inventory management to environmentally conscious disposal. A leader in specialty products and distribution, Chemico Systems’ vast network of suppliers provide customers a wide variety of chemical solutions. The company’s portfolio is used in customer facilities across the automotive, aerospace, electronics and healthcare industries as well as the defense sector. With over 50 locations and more than 450 employees across the U.S. and Mexico, the company is poised for significant growth.