Hispanic Lifestyle spoke with Virginia Gomez, President Southern California Minority Supplier Development Council (SCMSDC). According to their website they are the largest nonprofit minority business advocacy organization in the region, representing the interests of more than 600,000 Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs), serving nearly 1,700 SCMSDC-Certified MBEs and 300 corporate members throughout a 13-county service area. SCMSDC is one of 36 regional councils in the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) network.

Ms. Gomez was appointed to the position president in February 2012. As president, Gomez is responsible for leading council activities to strengthen its position as the the premiere organization strengthening economic ties between large, public-, private- and foreign-owned corporations and minority men- and women-owned business enterprises. This includes directing such activities as nationally recognized certification to minority-owned businesses, strategic networking between corporate members and certified firms, and education, information, and skills development to help minority businesses enhance their capacity.

Southern California Minority Supplier Development Council

Southern California Minority Supplier Development Council

She previously served as SCMSDC vice president, where she assisted the council president in the organization’s day-to-day operations, including information technology, certification, and annual major events functions and supported council board committees.

Gomez joined the council in January 2001 as deputy executive director. In this role, she developed strategic initiatives that offered new services and programs for minority businesses and council corporate members. Gomez also served as interim executive director from March 2002 until August 2002.

Prior to joining the council in 2001, she held several management positions at the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP), the nation’s largest municipally owned utility. Her experience at the utility included directing and overseeing contracting policies, budgetary, human resources, systems development/automation, and other administrative functions. As DWP contract compliance officer, she successfully led the development and implementation of the first supply chain management e-procurement system implemented among Los Angeles’ municipal agencies.

A member of the city of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Small Business Administration team during the city’s formative stages of its MBE/WBE program, she developed the direction, goals and deliverables of an internal DWP advocacy group to carry out supplier diversity initiatives, which became the basis of supplier diversity and supplier development at DWP.  

Gomez served on the boards of Southern California Regional Purchasing Council (SCMSDC’s former name), Latin Business Association and Asian Business Association, among others, and participated as an expert panelist on supplier diversity issues in the public and private sectors.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of La Verne, obtained 21st Century Leadership and Management certificates from USC and UCLA, is on the Board of the Los Angeles County Business Federation (BizFed), and is a member of the Institute of Supply Management.