ConnXus Announce Partner of the Year:

Fernando Martinez, President & CEO of Northwest Mountain MSDC

Time and time again, our team has been inspired by hard working clients and stakeholders. We want to recognize them and celebrate their unique accomplishments. Together, we can achieve innovation and make a lasting impact. Starting this year, we’re thrilled to announce ConnXus has created a new award: Partner of the Year

This year’s award goes to Fernando Martinez, President and CEO of Northwest Mountain MSDC.

“Fernando and his team are exemplary role models,” Daryl, COO & General Manager, stated. “They raise the bar in procurement and continue to make a sustainable impact.”

The Northwest Mountain MSDC is a Washington-based nonprofit that began in 1978 to promote the growth of minority-owned businesses in the Northwest Mountain region. Fernando Martinez, a seasoned business executive with over three decades of experience, has been President and CEO since 2008, leading local business growth and economic impact . He engages Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs), working to identify opportunities and integrate minority suppliers strategically into members’ supply chains.

We caught up with him to learn more about the impact his team and his work has on the region.

How do you create value for buyers and suppliers?

“Our initial step is to focus on delivery of excellence in Customer Service.  When we win the confidence of our Customers (Members, MBEs, Community Partners, NMSDC) we communicate with our focus on “Listening.” Through this listening process we truly identify what is relevant to each of our customers. Focused on their relevance we work at delivery of a customized solution that truly supports their efforts in Supplier Development and Growth – Namely, Supplier Diversity.”

How do you create opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses?

“Beyond normal networking and connecting businesses, we consider our Council to be a ‘Business Development Extension’ of our MBEs.  We are consistently hunting for MBE and Member opportunities. An opportunity to include our MBEs in the contracting process is an opportunity to support our Members grow their spend and drive bigger internal and external impacts. Simultaneously, we consider ourselves to be an ‘Efficiency Extension – Collaborator’ for our Members. Through this process we support our Members to identify qualified, capable, and scalable MBES which bring efficiencies and cost savings, i.e., efficient resource use, cost savings, improved Supplier Diversity Spend. Additionally, we foster Meaningful Dialogue between our MBEs and Members. We provide our MBEs as much insight as possible into how our Members operate, what they are looking for, their assessment process, i.e., market intelligence. At the same time we provide our Members as much information as possible of how the MBE has been successful and why we recommend them.  This results in a warm introduction to the start of a new relationship.  Lastly, we build development seminars where MBEs receive advice from Members & they actually get to meet each other improving the likelihood of building a relationship.

What is the value add/differentiating factor Northwest Mountain MSDC provides?

In essence, value is benefit minus cost. Value is the perception of Product/Service Customer receives compared to the competitive landscape. The value-add qualities the Northwest Mountain MSDC brings to our customers is customization of services in accordance with their needs. We bring as many customized solutions as we have Members and MBEs. Our customized solutions range from as simple to introducing an MBE and Member to each other, to market penetration strategy. This customized solution may go as far as College Level Educational Programs for our MBE Executives to Council led workshops. Each one of our Customers has a specific need to which we anticipate or respond accordingly.

What does our partnership mean to you? 

Our partnership with ConnXus means that we have a technology company behind our Council that enables us to where we can offer advanced Supplier Diversity Services, e.g., Supplier Registration Portal, Supplier Scrub and Reporting. This is an outsourced body of work designed to help our Customers better capture, measure, and understand the impact their investment in MBEs make. This value would not be possible without the ConnXus – Northwest Mountain MSDC partnership.

What innovations are you looking to do in the future as you work with ConnXus?

The Northwest Mountain MSDC is consistently looking for significant, inventive ideas to launch. We look forward to our continued partnership with ConnXus as we continue to explore new value added solutions.