Minority Advocate (tie) Featured

6:53am EDT April 29, 2004
The Pittsburgh Regional Minority Purchasing Council has been assisting minority business enterprises in Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia achieve success in the marketplace.

Alexander Nichols has been president of the council since April 2001, and since then, the council has grown tremendously in areas including membership, financial stability and relationships with the minority business community.

"A significant portion of our services and events are geared toward fostering mutually beneficial relationships between corporations and minority business owners, as well as encouraging cooperation within the minority business community," says Nichols.

In 2003, more than 700 people attended the Annual Minority Opportunity Fair; 30 percent of the attending corporations reported spending a total of $200 million with minority-owned firms, up from $55 million in 2002. Also during Nichols' tenure, the council has seen a 65 percent increase in membership.

Under Nichols' leadership, the council regularly sponsors minority-owned businesses to attend programs at the Tuck School of Business and the Kellogg School of Business.

Says Nichols: "Advocacy groups add value and increase efficiency by connecting small businesses with customers and ensuring these customers that they are dealing with quality business organizations."