The Business Feature
Special Business Feature including sections: Supplier Diversity: Exchanging Business Connectors: The Bridge between Latinos and Success Million Dollar: Club Index
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Small Business is the backbone of our nation’s economy. Two-thirds of all new American jobs are created by small businesses, and Hispanic enterprises are leading this critical growth; starting new ventures at a rate three times the national average.
An estimated 55 million Hispanics live in the U.S., approximately 17% of the country’s population, according to the Census Bureau. Further, there are more than four million Hispanic-owned businesses throughout the U.S., and their collective annual revenues have climbed to more than $668 billion, according to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Furthermore, the number of Hispanic-owned businesses has doubled since 2002. Had these businesses not been created, unemployment rate would have risen to over 10% for the first time in over 30 years, and the recession would have inched closer towards a depression. Hispanic firms helped put a floor on the financial collapse, and helped pave the path toward America’s economic recovery. Hispanics will account for 40% of employment growth over the next five years and more than 75% from 2020 to 2034.
In this issue we want to recognize and celebrate businessmen and women who represent the best of our community. They are critical to our economic recovery and strength, to building America’s future, and to helping the United States compete in today’s global marketplace. Hispanic-owned businesses are fast becoming the bell-weather for future growth.
Their relatively young age cohorts, increasing household incomes, and impact on the financial sector paint a very positive picture for the American economy during the next decade or more. that going forward, Hispanics will have more economic clout, employ a greater proportion of the population and purchase substantially more in goods and services than they do today. The dynamic growth of Hispanic-owned businesses will keep transforming the economic and political landscape in the United States in the years ahead.
Their enterprises are illustrative of the tremendous impact Hispanic businesses have on our nation’s economic prosperity, and a testament to the success of collaborating with corporate
America through supplier diversity programs - a win-win business strategy that is both principled and profitable. We are delighted to publicly acknowledge these business leaders as trailblazers in their respective industries.
Vincent Rossy and CorTech
By: Diane Alter
The way we buy goods and services has dramatically changed over the last decade thanks to the so-called “sharing economy.” This phenomenon has shaken up the employment landscape. Services are now performed on demand by people with the skills, tools and spare time to complete them. More and more people in a growing number of sectors have become part of the “gig economy” in the form of freelancers, contractors and part-timers. Reasons range from supplementing incomes to a more flexible work schedule.
To be sure, we have become a world of part-time workers for a number of reasons. Capitalizing on this growing trend is CorTech.
Founded in 1999 by Vincent Rossy and Gary Nichols, the duo had the foresight to create an innovative business model that combined Rossy’s acumen in IT with Nichols experience as a former owner of a clerical staffing company. The pair recognized a void in the traditional staffing market space and launched CorTech.
The aim has always been to mesh the opportunities employers look for with a skilled workforce that is required to make any businesses succeed. CorTech’s mantra is to “do things the right way.” The company’s corporate culture is based on value, honesty and an unwavering commitment to the delivery of services.
Headquartered in Atlanta, CorTech has been providing temporary staffing solutions in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico to United Parcel Service Inc., also based in Atlanta. CorTech became a key vendor to UPS in 2010 via its relationship with the UPS-managed service provide Manpower-Tapfin.
Without question, CorTech’s partnership with UPS was a major turning point for the company.
“Being a partner to UPS has helped CorTech grow simply by the scale and market share that UPS has and earns,” Rossy told Latino Leaders Magazine. “Having a client like UPS is excellent as they have a world-known brand. Being able to grow our business with a client of their caliber helps to gain additional business and builds a sense of viability in the marketplace for a company like CorTech.”
Indeed, UPS is a global powerhouse in the package delivery and logistics market. Founded in 1907, UPS is one of the most recognized and admired global brands.
The company’s U.S. domestic package segment offers time-definite delivery of letters, documents, small packages and palletized freight through air and ground services in the U.S. The international package segment provides guaranteed day and time-definite international shipping services in Europe, the Asia Pacific, Canada and Latin America, the Indian sub-continent, the Middle East, and Africa. The supply chain and freight segment offers international air and ocean freight forwarding, customs brokerage, truckload freight brokerage, distribution and post-sales services, and mail and consulting services in some 220 countries and territories.
UPS operates a fleet of approximately 110,000 package cars, vans, tractors and motorcycles, and it owns 33,000 containers used to transport cargo in its aircraft. The company employs many retirees who are looking for the next chapter and seek reduced hours with benefits. The primary part-time positions are for package handlers who load, unload or sort within the operations. The company does not discriminate when it comes to age, focusing instead on a person’s ability and desire to do the job. That’s where CorTech comes in.
CorTech understands that to stay ahead, organizations like UPS must run efficiently. And that starts with the best employees. CorTech makes it a priority to understand a client’s business. Allowing CorTech to stand out is its track record for delivering on its promises, and taking every partnership personally and seriously. CorTech’s steadfast dedication to quality, experience, leadership and results are unrivaled in the staffing industry and have earned them the utmost respect from their peers. “We provide staffing services with a sense of respect and integrity,” Rossy said.
CorTech staff will always take responsibility for all actions and will not hesitate to seek advice in pursuit of new opportunities to improve a client’s brand, which in turn improves its own.
April Diez and The Diez Group
By: Diane Alter
Eighty percent of success in business is simply showing up. No one knows that better than the Delaco Steel Corporation, an aluminum and steel manufacturing service center that specializes in blanking (exposed and unexposed), cut to length, laser welding, precision slitting, warehousing and logistics.
Since being founded by Geraldo Diez Sr. in 1973, Delaco has aggressively shown its mettle and muscle by showing how the family-owned business can successfully compete with big players in the space. Today, the Diez Group lead by Geraldo, who works tirelessly with his four children: April (Vice Chair), Sherry (Vice President), Jerry Jr. (President), and Mark (Vice President).
The company has evolved into a conglomerate of eight thriving companies that span approximately 2 million square feet within 10 facilities across a half dozen states. Each operation is strategically located to optimally service its key customers.
Delaco’s chief and long-time customer is Ford Motor Co. Delaco started its storied business partnership with Ford in the late 1970s. Soon after, Delaco developed a string of major contracts with Ford involving steels sales, processing and storage. Their partnership has grown significantly over the years thanks to Delaco’s business prowess, attention to detail and commitment to the iconic American automaker.
“We were instrumental in launching Ford’s Raw Material Supply Program in the early 1990s,” April Diez told Latino Leaders Magazine. “Delaco Steel strives to maintain world-class quality and on-time delivery.
In 1997, the company received the distinction of becoming the first minority steel service center to be awarded Q1 by the Ford Motor Co. We concentrate on making both ourselves and our customers more cost effective.”
In 2010, Delaco spearheaded a scallop blanking initiative, which proved to be a major material and cost savings to Ford.
“We continue to work with Ford to further develop scallop blanks and other cost-saving strategies,” April continued. “Our relationship with Ford has been very successful due to the fact that Ford has clear objectives for growing the business as a minority-owned business (MBE).”
To qualify as a MBE under an Environmental Protection Agency program, an entity must establish that it is at least 51 percent owned and/or controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals who are of good character and are citizens of the United States.
“Ford presents opportunity for diversification and encourages the MBE to realize its potential,” April added. “Ford continues to assist our partnership by rolling out the ONE Ford program. By consolidating suppliers and outsourcing some of the operations, our volumes and opportunities increased.”
In addition, Ford encourage Tier 1 suppliers to meet their minority objectives. That, in turn, provides Delaco with additional business opportunity with the Tier 1s.
Without question, Ford has been tremendously instrumental in the growth and development of the Diez Group.
“We were humbled to receive their prestigious World Excellence Award for Diverse Supplier of the Year in 2015,” April said. “In fact, we have received numerous awards from large original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) such as Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, and Johnson Controls. We have been recognized by the United Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as a Hispanic Business Enterprise (HBE) Elite in 2014 and 2016, as well as the National Minority Supplier Development Council as a Supplier of the Year and for Business Leadership.”
Delco is proudly the largest Hispanic company within the automotive manufacturing supply chain. Its business connection with Ford is a true partnership.
“The Diez Group values the relationship we have built and maintained with Ford,” April said. “we appreciate all the opportunities, and we gratefully thank them for their continued support.”
Dolores Rodriguez And Milagro Packaging
By: Diane Alter
How does a small Dundee, Michigan, packaging company form a prosperous partnership with auto goliath Toyota Motors Corp.? The answer: with some strategic partnerships and steadfast grit.
Milagro Packaging LLC, which provides packaging services and material such as plastic, foam, corrugated, metal and wood, has enjoyed a thriving partnership with Toyota since 2001, when it formed a joint venture with Concept Packaging. The collaboration allowed Milagro Packaging to offer a minority option to Toyota, which enabled the small-cap company to offer more products and services to the auto giant.
Key to Milagro Packaging’s successful performance as a Toyota supplier has been establishing a close working relationship with the automaker and its associates at all levels of manufacturing and distribution, Milagro Packaging founder Dolores Rodriguez told Latino Leaders Magazine.
“Working across all of the business units of Toyota, suppliers, NAMCs, TMS and TEMA have been an important part of our relationship,” Rodriguez said.
Toyota has been instrumental in helping Milagro Packaging become a better company and supplier by providing guidance and assistance throughout their 16-year relationship, Rodriguez explained.
“Toyota helped us implement the Toyota Production System process throughout our manufacturing and distribution facilities,” Rodriguez said. “National Action Plan of Climate Change (NAPCC) provided hands on assistance when we started our support facility in Ontario.”
Despite all of the company’s successes, Ms. Rodriguez explained that she constantly faces an increasing number of challenges as a small business owner.
“The number of companies that have moved a significant amount of manufacturing off-shore has reduced the opportunity to grow,” she said. “The number of regulations placed on small business by the government create significant additional costs. We are constantly looking to diversify into new products and markets. Selling more services that do not involve a product has helped grow our revenue.”
Without question, Toyota has been a major player in Milagro Packaging’s growth. Also playing a big role in the company’s growth is the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
USHCC is America’s largest Hispanic business organization, representing over 4.2 million Hispanic-owned businesses across the United States that together contribute more than $668 billion to the American economy annually.
The organization also serves as the umbrella organization for more than 200 local Hispanic chambers and business associations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. For more than three decades, USHCC has been the leading voice for Hispanic business owners in America. From its inception, USHCC’s mission has been to foster economic growth that creates and sustains prosperity for the benefit of the American people.
“UHSCC has been very helpful in introducing me to other companies so that I can expand our customer base,” Ms. Rodriguez added.
As a pioneering entrepreneur and successful business owner, Ms. Rodriguez is always and aggressively looking for news opportunities and new ways to grow the company’s revenue stream. To be sure, scale and scope are important in today’s hyper-competitive market place.
Helping Milagro Packaging thrive are supplier diversity programs. A supplier diversity program is a proactive business program which encourages the use of minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned, LGBT-owned, service disabled veteran-owned, historically underutilized business, and Small Business Administration (SBA)-defined small business concerns as suppliers.
As for what advice this blossoming businesswoman has for other business owner seeking opportunities, Rodriguez stresses the importance of joining a regional supplier diversity council.
“They are instrumental in keeping you informed, and getting your company to new prospective
customers,” Rodriguez added. “Make sure and keep your profiles, products and services up to date to ensure that they can provide accurate information to others.”