Board of Directors

The Denver MBDA Business Center works in partnership with minority business enterprises (MBEs) across the US to grow their businesses and realize new opportunities.
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Robert González

Chair

United Parcel Service

Project Engineering Manager

Robert Gonzalez is a Project Engineering Manager at United Parcel Service, responsible for managing the construction of new facilities, expansion of existing facilities and implementation of new technology including automation of sorting operations. Robert is currently managing the construction of two new Hub Automation facilities in Portland Oregon. His areas of responsibilities include Project and Construction Management of General Contractors and Conveyor Systems Integrators. Robert works closely with various contractors ranging from site development to engineering technology development, including systems testing and integration processing. He is currently overseeing $150 Million in new construction projects. Robert maintains strategic partnerships with small and large businesses across the country.

Robert Kunze

Vice Chair

Xcel Energy

Robert Kunze is a senior supply chain leader with broad experience in multiple industries and rapidly changing environments. He is an expert in strategic sourcing and category management transformations and a driver of continuous improvement culture and alignment with top level organizational goals.

 

Jared Casy

Treasurer

Faison Office Products

What better way to transition to a new millennium than to realize your dream of business ownership.  That is just what Jared D. Casey, Jr. accomplished after retiring from a successful career in purchasing management.  In February of 2000, Jared D. Casey Jr. launched the next phase of his professional career with the purchase of Faison Office Products Company, a small minority business with a proven track record and even greater future potential.  Under Jared Casey’s astute leadership role as President/CEO of Faison Office Products, Inc., this small certified MBE Corporation has grown to be the parent company of Piedmont Office Suppliers in Greensboro, NC; Southwest Business Machines in Dickinson, ND and Gaffaney’s Total Office Source in Williston, ND.

Faison has furthered their reach for opportunities through becoming a member of the NMSDC Corporate Plus Program.  Faison Office Products, Inc. is a single source solution for office products, furniture, computer supplies/peripherals, IT infrastructure; copier equipment/service; janitorial products and many specialty items to a prestigious list of customers nationally and internationally.  Jared Casey’s goal for Faison Office Products, Inc. is to expand their global presence through growth and acquisition.

Thalia Cherry

MBEIC Chair

Cherry Dzynes Sportsgear, LLC

In 2012, Thalia Cherry founded Cherry, which designs and produces licensed sporting goods and apparel for schools, retailers, corporations and professional athletes. Cherry purchases apparel from a broad range of manufacturers, and then those football jerseys, basketball uniforms and oxford shirts are imprinted or sublimated with innovative designs and logos.

In four years, she’s built a client list that includes big names like Assurant, Target, the University of Missouri, Kansas City Power & Light, the University of Kansas and a number of athletic teams.

Murugan Palani

Board Member

Denver Public Schools

Murugan Palani is a native of Denver, Colorado proudly graduating from George Washington H.S. in 1995 and from the University of Colorado with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Computer Information Systems. He completed his M.B.A. at Webster University in 2011 and earned a Masters in Human Resource Management in 2012.

Murugan served in the Colorado National Guard his last two years in college and served 6 years as an Officer in the Army upon obtaining his Business degree.

Upon completing his service to the United States Army, Murugan accepted a position with Xcel Energy as its Manager of Supplier Diversity in April of 2009. Murugan is a strong proponent of small business and believes that helping small businesses grow and succeed is the key to growing our economy and our community. His passion for small businesses is evident with his involvement in and leadership roles in several of the local Chambers of Commerce and other business organizations.

Jim O’Rourke

Board Member

ConAgra Foods

Warren Elbeck

Board Member

Raytheon

Warren Elbeck is a Certified Supplier Diversity Professional with over twenty years of Supply Chain Management experience. Including Auditing, Material Estimating, Negotiations and Subcontracts Administration. Vast knowledge and experience with FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulations), CASB (Cost Accounting Standards), DCAA (Defense Contract Audit Agency) and Interpreting Laws and Regulatory requirements. He has experience in the development of Supplier Diversity programs, coaching of diversified small business and the growth of small business advocates within Supply Chain Management. He also has vast knowledge of financial analysis, material estimating, subcontracts cost analysis, and development/implementation of SCM policy and procedures.

Clayton E. Judge III

Board Member

MolsonCoors

Clayton is responsible for developing, managing and maintaining Molson Coors Supplier Diversity program, which includes supplier development, outreach, training, goal setting, and monitoring with the goal of increasing expenditures with minority and women owned business enterprises, building customer interest, and enhancing Molson Coors reputation.

Clayton also owns and manages the Procurement Sustainability program with the primary focus around driving development and sustainability initiatives that help Molson Coors achieve its water, energy, emissions, waste reduction, and other sustainability goals. He leads training and development, competency building, and the design and execution of the Procurement Sustainability strategy.

Prior to Molson Coors, Clayton spent thirteen years in professional sports with both Major League Baseball and the National Football League. He served as Director, Strategic Alliances & Diversity for MLB, and Manager, Special Events Business Development for the NFL.

Clayton holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from the University at Albany, a Master of Arts in Legal Studies from the University of Illinois, and a Juris Doctorate from City University of New York.

Nancy Grasse

Board Member

UMB Financial Corporation

Stan Sena

Board Member

Mountain Plains MSDC

Stan Sena is President & CEO of the Mountain Plains Minority Supplier Development Council, a 501c(3) corporate member organization that certifies Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs), provides access to certified MBEs to its corporate members, and provides contracting opportunities to its certified MBEs from its corporate members within Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Western Missouri.

 Mr. Sena was previously Executive Vice President and COO of Americold Corporation, the leading third-party supplier of supply chain solutions in the consumer packaged goods industry.  Americold, with 117 locations in North America, enjoyed sales of over $800 million and an employee base of over 6500. In his capacity with Americold, Mr. Sena was responsible for the growth of the organization-an LBO from Beatrice Companies-starting with 30 locations nationally and $65 million in sales to an international organization with over 100 locations and $800 million in sales.

Melissa Heimbaugh

Board Member

Charter Communications

 

Wes Hutcherson

Board Member

Charter Communications

Wes Hutcherson is the Senior Director of Strategic Sourcing in Union Pacific’s Supply Chain Department where he is responsible for leading supply chain and sourcing management activities for mechanical (locomotive and freight car), IT, and vehicle fleet.  In addition, he is responsible for the design and oversight of category sourcing waves designed to drive process improvements and achieve savings.  He’s responsible for a portfolio of ~$2 billion of spend annually

Prior to his current role, he led the strategic sourcing team for engineering and contract services where he was responsible for an annual portfolio spend of ~$4 billion.  He also led UP’s Benefits group in HR where he was responsible for the design, implementation and ongoing evaluation of a national benefits plan for approximately 12,000 non-union employees and retirees.  In addition, he was responsible for thrift and life insurance benefits for approximately 40,000 union employees.  Further, he oversaw the design of other benefit plans including short and long term disability, day care center operations, employee relocation, long-term care insurance, and human resources compliance.

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