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NMSDC Honors Three for Long-Term Achievements

NEW YORK, NY (March 22, 2004) -- Janice Bryant Howroyd, chairman and chief executive officer of Act 1 Group; Robert Ontiveros, chairman of Group O Companies and Steven S Reinemund, chairman and chief executive officer of PepsiCo, will be honored for significant long-term achievements in minority business development at the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) Leadership Awards Dinner-Dance on Tuesday, May 18th, at the Hilton New York and Towers in New York. 

More than 1,400 people are expected to attend, including CEOs and executives of Fortune 500 corporations and minority business owners from across the nation. 

Harriet R. Michel, president of NMSDC said, "High achievement and decades of commitment to the power of solid alliances between minority businesses and their corporate partners are what distinguish this year's honorees.  As individuals they are recognized as leaders in America's business community.  Collectively they represent strength, perseverance, vision, forthrightness and commitment to our mutual goal that all Americans deserve a chance to take full part in our nation's economic progress."

Janice Bryant Howroyd founded ACT 1 Personnel Services in 1978 with a single office in Beverly Hills, focused on the entertainment industry.  It has since expanded to serve large corporate clients with temporary workers in technical, clerical, engineering, accounting and managed services.  Today, ACT 1 has grown into a network of over 70 strategically positioned offices across the United States, and employs more than 65,000 temporary employees and over 300 direct hire employees nationwide.  The company had sales of over $518 million in 2003.  Last year, Black Enterprise magazine named the company the third largest African-American owned business in the United States. 

Robert Ontiveros is the chairman of Group O Companies in Milan, Illinois.  In 1974, after working for a family-owned packaging supply company, Robert Ontiveros decided to become an entrepreneur.  He and his wife took a station wagon and began selling packaging material and equipment almost door to door.  The couple's first major customer was John Deere.  Today, Mr. Ontiveros is chairman of an organization with 400 employees, three business segments and a holding corporation.  The three businesses are Bi-State Packaging, R&O Specialties and Group O Direct.  And the customers include a wide range of industries: telecommunications, heavy equipment, automotive, food and beverage, pharmaceutical and packaged goods.  Group O has over $167 million in sales and more than 600 employees, with facilities in Illinois and Indiana. 

Steven S Reinemund is the chairman and chief executive officer of PepsiCo, Inc., a world leader in convenient snacks, foods and beverages, with $27 billion in sales and 142,000 employees.  The company's subsidiaries include Frito-Lay, Quaker and Tropicana.  They have had a structured M/WBE program since 1982.  In 2003, PepsiCo spent $335 million with first tier minority suppliers.  They require their prime suppliers to report dollars spent with MBEs, for an additional $220 million.  The overall goal is to grow MBE purchases 12% annually; goals are established for each division and each category of procurement.  Each PepsiCo Division President has an aggressive supplier diversity target. 

John M. Barth, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Johnson Controls, Inc., serves as Honorary Chairman for this gala event.

The NMSDC Network, which includes 39 affiliated regional councils, matches more than 15,000 certified minority businesses (Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American) with its more than 3,500 corporate members, that want to purchase their goods and services.  In 2002, member corporations' purchases from minority businesses exceeded $72.1 billion.       

Additional information about the National Minority Supplier Development Council can be found on the NMSDC Web site at or by calling (212) 944-2430.

Press Contact:
Chuck Pearson
ACT•1 Group
Director of Marketing
(310) 750-3400


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