Minority Council Honors Two Residents

February 3, 2004
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FLINT — Two West Michigan people are to be honored tomorrow when the Michigan Minority Business Development Council presents its 2004 regional business service awards.

Receiving the awards from the council’s West Michigan Regional Rountable are:

  • Ester Burns, the senior buyer in purchasing services at Grand Valley State University.

  • Irmgard Cooper, president of IMC Products, Inc. of Muskegon.
  • IMC, located in Muskegon’s Port City Industrial Park, undertakes small parts assembly, injection molding, warehousing, distribution and contract administration.

Cooper founded the company in 1990.

Burns is a long-time member of the council’s West Michigan Roundtable and is chairing that group’s fund-raising golf outing for the third year.

Burns, who has been with GVSU 26 years, also is a director of the Regional Alliance for Diversity in Public Purchasing, an association of public sector purchasing officers.

The alliance exists to help minority businesses stay in the loop when government entities advertise for bids for goods or services. The alliance is establishing a data base that would keep minority firms up to date on impending public sector purchases and related activities.

The council confers regional business service awards annually to recognize one minority business enterprise and one corporate honoree from each of seven regions in Michigan. It grants the awards for what it terms outstanding commitment and service to the council and region.

The regional roundtables are local advisory committees comprised of council corporate members and minority firms organized to help the council develop business networks, corporate recruitment and supplier diversity.

The council, which claims to be the country’s biggest and most successful minority business development group, is a privately funded not-for-profit corporation.

It has more than 800 corporate members and 2,000 minority owned firms in all industrial sectors.

The council’s regional offices are in Flint, Detroit and here at 143 Bostwick NE. 

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