Kansas City Mayor, Aisha Bowe Join Burns & McDonnell to Name Four Diverse Businesses as 2022 Partners of the Year
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Kansas City Mayor, Aisha Bowe Join Burns & McDonnell to Name Four Diverse Businesses as 2022 Partners of the Year
01/16/2023 3 minute read

KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Burns & McDonnell, a 100% employee-owned engineering, architecture and construction firm, hosted its annual Empowering Diverse Partnerships Awards, recognizing small and diverse businesses with 2022 Partner of the Year Awards for outstanding project performance and client service.

“The most innovative solutions come from diverse teams, which is why we’re committed to building both a dynamic workforce and partnerships with small and diverse businesses across our market sectors,” said Renita Mollman, chief administrative officer and senior vice president, Burns & McDonnell. “We’re honored to recognize Bayen Group, Bonton Associates, Foley Power Solutions and TQ Constructors for their creativity, technical excellence and dedication to community-shaping projects for our clients.”

In addition to receiving a Partner of the Year award, each business was also presented with a scholarship to Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business to provide training on business growth strategies. The scholarships and awards ceremony are components of the Burns & McDonnell business diversity program designed to provide rigorous business assistance, coaching and direct access to project managers who are committed to growing diverse partnerships.

“Business diversity at Burns & McDonnell means more than meeting diverse spend goals to meet project requirements. It’s about building long-term partnerships that will position both firms for new or expanding opportunities,” said Tammy Martin, business diversity program manager, Burns & McDonnell. “We want to fully integrate our partners into multiple levels of our projects, and help our partners learn how to navigate large business processes to better compete for contract opportunities.”

The 2022 Partners of the Year, listed with their city and business certification:

  • Bayen Group (Torrence, California): DBE/HUBZone providing cybersecurity and business systems integration.
  • Bonton Associates (Baton Rouge, Louisiana): MBE providing water and transportation solutions.
  • Foley Power Solutions (Park City, Kansas): WBE providing industrial equipment and power systems.
  • TQ Constructors (Dayton, Kentucky): SBE providing mechanical engineering services.

Over the last five years, Burns & McDonnell had had a total business diversity spend of $2.2 billion and has worked with more than 2,700 small and diverse businesses in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, plus Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and India. Providing diversity-certified businesses with resources and mentorship drives economic growth for local communities beyond the project itself.

“A healthy and diverse business community contributes to innovation and positive economic performance,” said Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas. “I am proud to see Burns & McDonnell invest in small and locally owned businesses to create unified teams delivering vital infrastructure projects for Kansas City and communities across the country.”

The awards celebration at Burns & McDonnell world headquarters on Jan. 12 concluded with a special presentation led by Aisha Bowe, former NASA Rocket scientist and founder and CEO of STEMBoard and LINGO. STEMBoard is an award-winning technical powerhouse specializing in professional advisory services for elite organizations in the U.S Government recognized by Inc. 5000 as one of the fastest growing companies in America. Bowe also founded LINGO, a self-paced coding kit used to introduce minorities to coding and electronics skills at home. Aisha is also the first Black woman confirmed to travel on a commercial spaceflight with Blue Origin, the private spaceflight company founded by Jeff Bezos. Mayor Lucas led the audience in a Q&A discussion with Aisha on her journey as a diverse business leader and how the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. opened doors for minority entrepreneurs.

“Supplier diversity is more relevant — and necessary — than ever before. My company grew exponentially landing multiyear contracts as a direct result of mentorship and guidance from larger organizations,” Bowe said. “Small business owners can find long-term success in taking advantage of these powerful connections to accelerate their business growth and forge relationships that create more opportunities to win work.”

Ron Coker, senior vice president of the Water Group, said that all employers have a responsibility to help build and strengthen the communities they serve and call home.

“We believe it is important to think beyond project scope and ask how each project can create further economic development for the people we’re serving,” Coker said. “The real key to lasting impact within a community is helping build capacity within all segments of the community. We must continue to encourage students to pursue STEM careers, to provide workforce training, to hire diverse talent for our organization, and to hire more diverse local firms on our projects.”

About Burns & McDonnell

Burns & McDonnell is a family of companies bringing together an unmatched team of 10,000 engineers, construction and craft professionals, architects, and more to design and build our critical infrastructure. With an integrated construction and design mindset, we offer full-service capabilities. Founded in 1898 and working from more than 60 offices globally, Burns & McDonnell is 100% employee-owned. Learn how we are designed to build.

About STEMBoard

STEMBoard is an award-winning technical powerhouse specializing in professional advisory services for elite organizations in the U.S Government. A graduate of the prestigious Department of Defense Mentor-Protégé Program, STEMBoard is recognized by Inc. 5000 as one of the fastest growing companies in America and holds several industry-leading certifications demonstrating its commitment to excellence in the areas of quality management, information technology management and information security. Founded in 2013 by Aisha Bowe, STEMBoard is an SBA 8(a) Certified Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB) headquartered in Arlington, VA. For more information on solutions or contract vehicles, visit www.stemboard.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram.

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