Press Release: Minority Business Hall of Fame and Museum Inductees for 2016




For additional information contact
Carol Daugherty Foster

Minority Business Hall of Fame and Museum and the University of Washington Foster School of Business to Induct Six Minority Business Advocates and Pioneers

DALLAS April 26, 2016 – The Minority Business Hall of Fame and Museum Inc. in collaboration with the University of Washington Foster School of Business will induct six minority business pioneers and advocates at an awards dinner on May 10 at BNY Mellon in New York City.

“The MBHF&M is honored to have the opportunity to return to New York City after 10 years and hold this induction ceremony at BNY Mellon,” said John F. Robinson, president & CEO of the MBHF&M. “This is an ideal venue to honor pioneers and trailblazers as we induct a new generation of minority business entrepreneurs and advocates.”

This year’s inductees are The Billion Dollar Roundtable, Claire P. Scanlon, vice president of supplier diversity for BNY Mellon in New York City; Lou Switzer, founder, chairman and CEO of The Switzer Group in New York City; Rosa Santana, CEO of Integrated Human Capital International, LLC of El Paso; Tracey Pinson Dennis (posthumously), former director of Small/Diverse Business and Strategic Alliances for Boeing Defense, Space and Security; and Nina Vaca, chairman and CEO of Pinnacle Group in Dallas.

PepsiCo the founding corporate sponsor of MBHF&M and is joined this year by IBM, Northrop Grumman, and Toyota Motor North America.

About the Inductees:

The Billion Dollar Roundtable Inc. (BDR) is a not-for-profit organization providing thought leadership and solution-driven exploration of key issues and best practices in supplier diversity.  The BDR member companies, among the world’s largest and most important business firms, each spend $1 billion or more annually for a broad range of goods and services from certified Tier 1 companies whose owners are minorities and women.  The BDR was founded in 2001 by Don McKneely, chairman and chief executive officer, TexCorp Communications Inc.; Sharon Patterson, president and chief executive officer, Billion Dollar Roundtable Inc., and Shirley Harrison (retired). Rick Hughes, a retired chief procurement officer with Procter & Gamble Co., serves as the current BDR chairman.

Claire P. Scanlon leads the supplier diversity program as vice president of BNY Mellon in New York City. She was instrumental in creating and developing the company’s program, which was established in 1994 to promote the use of small and diverse-owned businesses minority-, women, veteran-, LGBT owned and other certain qualifying small business enterprises throughout the bank. In her role, Scanlon has led BNY Mellon to become a strong partner and supporter of many supplier diversity organizations.

Lou Switzer established The Switzer Group in 1975 in New York City. Under Switzer’s leadership as chairman and CEO, the firm has garnered prestigious U.S. and international assignments from Fortune 500 corporations.  Today, the firm ranks as the nation’s largest black-owned interior architectural design firm and is among the Top 100 American design firms. The dedicated staff is committed to preserving diversity within the firm and in the firm’s choice of suppliers and consultants.

 Rosa Santana is a staffing industry entrepreneur who began to make her mark as a staffing industry executive over 35 years ago. Currently, she is CEO of Human Capital International, LLC based in El Paso. Santana has a keen interest in minority business development and has dedicated countless hours mentoring other MBEs and WBEs. Santana cites her selection as the first female Hispanic Direct Tier 1 supplier in Toyota’s history as one of her proudest accomplishments. Her newest company, Forma Automotive, assembles truck beds for the Toyota Tacoma.

Tracey L. Pinson Dennis (posthumously recognized) served in various appointments in the public and private sector to advocate for disadvantaged and small businesses. In 1995, the Secretary of Defense appointed her director, Office of Small Business Programs, Office of the Secretary of the Army.  Under her leadership, the Army awarded over $300 billion in contracts to small businesses.  Pinson Dennis managed the Army Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Serving Institutions (MIs) Program. Under her leadership, more than $100 billion was awarded to HBCUs/MIs.  In 2014, Pinson Dennis joined The Boeing Company as director of Small/Diverse Business and Strategic Alliances for Boeing Defense, Space and Security.  Pinson Dennis passed away on December 14, 2014.

Nina Vaca is Pinnacle Group’s chairman and chief executive officer. Vaca’s leadership transformed the Dallas-based company from a niche IT services firm to a workforce solutions powerhouse, with a suite of business lines that address the range of human capital challenges companies face today. In addition to her varied business pursuits, Vaca is a committed civic leader and philanthropist. She is a passionate advocate for women and entrepreneurs, especially within the Hispanic and minority communities. In 2014, the White House appointed Vaca as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship.


The University of Washington’s Michael G. Foster School of Business ( was founded in 1917 and is ranked among the nation’s Top 10 public business schools. For 20 years the school’s Consulting and Business Development Center ( has been a national leader in engaging students and faculty in growing minority-owned businesses through consulting and business education programs.


The MBHF&M was founded in April of 2004 by the National Minority Business Council, Inc., based in New York City and the Minority Business News USA publication, a Dallas based minority business publication. John F. Robinson, Don McKneely, and Carol Foster are the charter founders of the MBHF&M. Since 2004, the MBHF&M has inducted over 60 pioneers and trailblazers of minority business development in the United States.

For more information about the MBHF&M please visit our website at or contact us at 347-289-7620 or 214-334-9538 For information about the exhibit honoring MBHF&M inductees at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business contact Michael Verchot at 206-543-9327.



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