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News Release NR-1510

NREL Named Corporation of Year by the Rocky Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council

March 26, 2010

A minority business advocacy group has named the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory as its corporation of the year, citing NREL’s contracts with minority-owned businesses and its outreach to them.

The award was determined by heads of minority-owned businesses who are members of the Rocky Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council (RMMSDC), which conducted its 2010 Growth Through Partnership conference at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver March 25   The RMMSDC has 77 corporate members with over 200 Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs).

Nancy Gardner, Small Business Partnerships Development Manager at NREL, said she was overwhelmed by the award.  “The most meaningful thing is that the minority business enterprises themselves are the ones who vote on the award,” she said.  Gardner is on the board of directors of RMMSDC, and oversees NREL’s Mentor Protégé program.

The RMMSDC said the Laboratory has provided needed opportunities to its members.

“NREL has been a strong supporter,” said Stan Sena, President/CEO of RMMSDC.  “They’ve committed and executed against the need to recognize that a portion of our world out there is minority businesses."

“They’ve been great,” said Andrew “Rusty” Gonzales, CEO of Eastlake, Colo.-based St. Andrews Construction Services Corp.  Gonzales’s company has won several contracts with NREL and now is one of the firms in NREL’s Mentor Protégé program that aims to help minority businesses win contracts with other national labs.

“We’ve worked with a lot of government agencies,” Gonzales added.  “NREL has been very, very fair.  We have a great relationship with them.  They’re absolutely deserving of the award.”

“NREL really does walk their talk, they have a very strong advocacy program,” said Jasmin Espy, chairwoman of the RMMSDC and owner of Summit Staffing of Aurora. “Their protégé program supports the council’s efforts.”

“They actually live and breathe the program – not only in the amount of spending they do with minority-owned businesses, but with their outreach,” added Espy.

RMMSDC was founded in1972 to help minority-owned businesses procure contracts with American corporations.  One of 40 regional councils of the National Minority Suppliers Development Council, its mission is to drive the growth of minority business enterprises through business relations with corporations.

NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy's primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development.  NREL is operated for DOE by The Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.

Visit NREL online at www.nrel.gov

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For further information contact NREL Public Relations at 303-275-4090.
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