In 1973 a committed group of corporate and community leaders with limited resources and a strong will to help shape the economic future of North Texas, issued a policy statement that would define the foundation of the Dallas/Fort Worth Minority Supplier Development Council. These visionary leaders pledged “to actively purchase goods and services from minority owned businesses.”
It was a time of great economic growth for the D/FW Metroplex. These original thinkers understood that to achieve a strong economic fabric for their region, they had to include the talents of all segments of the population. Their concentration on the construction and professional services industries would help define the Metroplex over the next years.
Thus, the Dallas Regional Minority Purchasing Council was formed; led by Lew Zale as the first Chair of the Board of Directors. The first corporate members included Sun Oil, A.W. Cullum and Co., Vought Aeronautics, Sears and Roebuck, Texas Power & Light, Southwestern Bell, Republic National Bank, Texas Instruments, Trailways and Zale Corporation. Under the guidance of these far-sighted companies, the Council began to be recognized as a leader in minority entrepreneurship in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The emphasis matched minority owned suppliers with corporate contract opportunities. In its early existence, the Council was able to identify and help award nearly $1 million in contracts to minority owned businesses. The original advocates championed a message of minority business inclusion – more than “the right thing to do.” Engaging minority owned businesses was just plain good business sense.