Annual Business to Business
Exchange, Madame C. J.
Walker Award Honoree
- Lynda Ireland, President/CEO, New York & New Jersey
Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc.
Ireland joined the New York & New Jersey Minority
Supplier Development Council, Inc. ("THE COUNCIL")
as Executive Director in February 1996. In her first two years,
Lynda orchestrated a dynamic turn around for the organization,
which is an affiliate of the National Minority Supplier
Development Council (NMSDC). Lynda's strong organizational
skills and entrepreneurial spirit infused new energy into
The Council that generated a significant increase in corporate
member activity and supplier involvement. Currently, The Council
has over 200 Fortune 500 Corporate members and over 1200 minority
business enterprises ("MBEs). The level of partnering
between corporate members and Council-certified MBEs has increased
under Ms. Ireland's administration because of the enhanced
outreach and program expansion. Under her leadership, The
Council, a multi-million dollar organization, achieved the
highest honor in the NMSDC network – Council of the
joining The Council, Ms. Ireland was the business owner of
Panache, Inc., and served as the "Affirmative Action
Officer" for the Village of Hempstead for their construction
activities. The company’s main responsibilities included
outreach to minority business for contracting opportunities,
identifying MBEs, pre-qualification and serving as a spokesperson
for the Incorporated Village of Hempstead. Additionally, her
company served as the community liaison to ensure positive
press and relationships on all projects. Two of the major
projects that fell under her contract were the bus terminal,
a $20 million project being developed in the village and a
senior care nursing home, a $100 million project. Her
firm's impressive clientele included The Incorporated Village
of Hempstead, Turner Construction, The Port Authority of New
York and New Jersey, Lehrer McGovern Bovis, The National Association
of Minority Contractors, and The New York City Housing Authority.
Ms. Ireland maintained a successful business for over ten
operating a minority owned business, Panache, Ms. Ireland
also served as President of the Association of Minority
Enterprises of New York, Inc. (AMENY) for a span of seven
years. There, Ms. Ireland conducted outreach seminars, training
workshops, and publicity for Turner Construction Company,
a major construction organization. Working closely with the
Department of Affirmative Action, she impacted on a national
level. Ms. Ireland was selected as its first female president.
Under her direction, AMENY grew from a local based
small organization to over 300 members, with representation
from the corporate sector and city, state and federal agencies.
Ms. Ireland became acknowledged as one of the foremost authorities
on minority business development in the state of New York
and received national recognition for her accomplishments.
dedication to the task of developing opportunities for MBEs
led to her appointment to various government advisory boards.
Ms. Ireland was appointed to the N.Y.S Governor's Advisory
Board on Small Business in 1987; she was not only the first
minority on the board, but the first female, and was re-appointed
for five additional terms.
was a member of the New York City Minority Business Advisory
Board, the New York City Small Business Advisory Board, The
Entrepreneurial Centers of Hofstra University, the State University
of New York at Old Westbury, The City of New York Procurement
Policy Board Advisory Council, The York College Advisory Board
and many others. She is also a member of the Diversity Committee
for ASAE & The Center For Association Leadership.
Ireland was elected by her peers to represent New York State
at the White House Conference on Small Business in 1986, and
emerged as a leader of the New York State Minority Concerns
Group. She was again elected in 1995. Ms. Ireland has
been a guest lecturer at Hofstra University and SUNY,
has appeared on numerous television news shows including NBC
news, CNBC, Fox-5 and ABC, was honored as one
of the top 25 Black women in America, has been interviewed
on countless radio talk shows and profiled in newspapers and
magazines across the nation.
numerous awards include citations from city and state governments,
The U.S. Dept. of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency’s
Advocacy Award for two years; the BCHACC for exceptional support
of the Hispanic community; the U.S. Small Business Administration’s
advocacy award, and among a myriad of others, her personal
favorite – Morningside Community "Mothers Who
Work" for serving as a role model and inspiration
for working mothers.