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University of Missouri Honors Top Contractors in Minority and Women-Owned Business Development

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John Fougere

Chief Communications Officer

University Relations

Aug 07, 2007

Contact: Jennifer Hollingshead

Office: (573) 882-0601

E-mail: hollingsheadj@umsystem.edu

The University of Missouri has presented its 2007 Showcase Awards recognizing exceptional achievement by companies participating in the University's minority business initiatives. The companies were saluted during a luncheon on Thursday, August 2, at the Reynolds Alumni Center on the campus of the University of Missouri-Columbia.

"We are recognizing exemplary achievement in support of the University of Missouri's supplier diversity initiatives," said Dr. Gordon H. Lamb, Interim President of the University of Missouri. "These awards not only recognize outstanding companies and organizational efforts, they provide an important reminder about one of our University's strategic goals: vibrant engagement in our communities."

The University first began formally recognizing these outstanding businesses in 2004. Those companies and organizations recognized with 2007 Showcase Awards were:

  • Supplier Award: Facilitec Inc. of St. Louis
  • Engineer Award: SK Design Group, Inc. of Kansas City
  • Architect Award: International Architects Atelier of Kansas City
  • University Departmental Award: Information Technology Services, University of Missouri-St. Louis
  • Prime Consultant-Architect Award: Mackey Mitchell Architects of St. Louis
  • Prime Contractor Awards: K&S Associates, Inc., and Williams Concrete Contractors, Inc., both of St. Louis

Criteria for the honors included the quality of services, products or work; the company's commitment to being customer oriented and responsive to customer feedback; its history of successful repeat work contracts with the University; and its track record in consistently meeting the University's participation goals for minority- and women-owned businesses.

The University of Missouri's Minority Business Development Program encompasses the UM system, its campuses at Columbia, Kansas City, Rolla and St. Louis, and University of Missouri Health Care.

The program's director at the system level, Dr. Jacqueline Hall Kelly, works closely with procurement, design and construction officials at each campus to ensure that minority- and women-owned business enterprises are included in the pool of suppliers, contractors and consultants eligible to do business with the University, and whose products and services are used by the University.

(Editors: Additional information about the 2007 honorees is below, for your information and reference. For more information about the UM Minority Business Development Program, visit http://www.umsystem.edu/ums/departments/fa/management/minbusdev/ )

Supplier Award: Facilitec Inc., is a full-service office furniture distributor in St. Louis. It has been awarded bids for the Columbia, Rolla and St. Louis campuses. One of its customers commented that the firm scheduled installations at a University diabetes clinic in Columbia before opening hours so that clinic operations were not interrupted. Facilitec's crews also traveled to Columbia during the early morning hours and were able to keep labor costs well under the "time and a half" normal charge. Other customers commented that the firm's delivery staff was always timely, with courteous service.

Engineer Award: SK Design Group, Inc., is an engineering firm based in Kansas City. They have had repeat contracts with the Columbia and Kansas City campuses as both a prime consultant and a sub-consultant. Customers remarked that SK consistently shows a high level of responsiveness with thorough quality checks yielding excellent work. SK has also consistently met or exceeded schedules for projects, including those with quick timetables. An example was SK's initiative in working out issues with grading for a University parking structure and adjacent roadways.

Architect Award: International Architects Atelier is a Kansas City firm that has worked on a variety of projects for the Columbia and Kansas City campuses. It has worked as a prime consultant as well as a sub-consultant. The company was praised for its versatility in providing unique concepts and sound technical details. International Architects Atelier has consistently provided designs that customers said enhanced the favorable appearances and structures of University buildings.

Prime Consultant (Architect) Award: Mackey Mitchell Architects is a St. Louis firm that has had repeat contracts with the University. The company was saluted for consistently meeting and often exceeding participation goals for women- and minority-owned businesses. It has also put together many successful collaborative teams to work on University projects. Mackey Mitchell has also worked to introduce to the University new women- and minority-owned businesses.

Prime Contractor Award (two recipients with different scopes of work): K&S Associates and Williams Concrete Contractors, Inc. Both are St. Louis firms. K&S Associates has been very effective in providing opportunities for minority- and women-own firms, particularly in central Missouri. For example, three projects on the Columbia campus for which K&S Associates served as prime contractor resulted in near $3 million on participation for minority-owned companies and almost $2.8 million in participation for women-owned businesses. Williams Concrete Contractors, Inc., was praised as a hands-on, "model" contractor utilizing minority-owned business support. One a recent project, the firm's advance coordination with University officials allowed phases of work that allowed continuous access to facilities while the job was completed on scheduled, within budget and with no change orders.

University Departmental Award: Information Technology Services, University of Missouri-St. Louis. This was the first year that a University department was recognized for outstanding performance in including minority- and women-owned businesses as it buys goods and services. Information Technology Services at UMSL had the highest total amount of direct spending among departments with minority- and women-owned firms.