Leon C. Richardson
Founder | President | Chief Executive Officer
Leon C. Richardson is the Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of The Chemico Group, one of the largest minority-owned chemical management and distribution companies in the United States. The company celebrated an impressive 30 years in business in 2019. Richardson has guided what was originally Chemico Systems, Inc., from a single employee start-up to an internationally recognized player in the chemical and environmental services space. Today, Chemico Group employs more than 450 people across 30 states and four countries and amasses more than $175 million in sales annually. Black Enterprise has named Chemico to its list of the top 100 Black Businesses nine times.
Chemico Group is a highly regarded Tier 1 supplier to automotive original equipment manufacturers and has been recognized as a General Motors “Supplier of the Year” seven times and with Toyota’s Supplier Quality Excellence Award. Outside of automotive, Chemico Group has made a name for itself in other industries, including aerospace and biopharmaceuticals.
Chemico LLC’s chemical management services take into account the entire chemical lifecycle from customer receipt of the product to the product’s inventory and its eventual disposal and recycling. The company’s success has been built on its ability to streamline the many, often complex aspects of chemical lifecycle management. Chemico Systems’ distribution services afford customers access to an expansive network of chemical suppliers allowing for a robust and comprehensive chemical supply chain solution.
Richardson is a passionate champion for Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) development. As evidence of this, the National Minority Supplier Development Council recognized Chemico with its MBE of the Year Award in 2018. Richardson has served on the Board for the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC) for more than 15 years – half of his business career. He also serves on the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC). For six years, Richardson has chaired MMSDC’s Minority Business Input Committee overseeing growth, development, and expansion initiatives for Michigan’s approximately 1,200 minority-owned businesses. Richardson also co-chaired the General Motors Minority Supplier Council. His commitment to MBE growth and success is further evidenced in the $26 million Chemico Group has spent with other MBEs since 2014 (an average minority spend of 5 percent annually). MMSDC awarded Chemico its Supplier of the Year Class IV Award in 2017.