Az Business Magazine March/April 2014
THE BATTLE CONTINUES IN BOARDROOM
Life has blessed me with amazing experiences. I attended Nelson Mandela’s Congressional Gold Medal ceremony in 1998. I sat next to Rep. John Lewis, the only living “Big Six” leader of the American Civil Rights Movement, as we retraced Martin Luther King’s 1965 march to Montgomery, Ala., where be hoped to register black voters.
I have shaken hands with men and women who put their lives on the line for civil rights. Despite their efforts, we still have work to do. A 2012 Minority Business Enterprise Report showed a significant portion of minority-owned businesses in Arizona still have problems earning the trust of their customers, suppliers, peers and lenders.
Marvin Perry, another great advocate for equal rights, felt the need to found the Black Board of Directors Project, which was created to help fill the void of minorities on corporate, charitable and policy-making boards at the local, state and national levels. In 28 years, BBODP has placed more than 2,000 blacks and other minorities on
boards and commissions.
In this issue of Az Business magazine, Perry and other diversity leaders helped us select a dynamic group of men and women who are among the 25 Most Influential Minority Business
Leaders in Arizona.
As I edited the section, I came to a quick conclusion. The color of their skin doesn’t matter. We could easily call the section the “25 Most Influential Business Leaders in Arizona” and no one would blink. That’s a step toward progress, but there are more steps to take.
Michael Gossie, Managing Editor