The National Association of Minority Contractors Upper Midwest (Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa) this week recognized the contributions of MPHA’s Ben Jackson for his work in developing capacity for Minority and Section 3 Contractors. Ben’s work—most recently as MPHA’s Buyer/Section 3 Coordinator—has enabled Minority and Section 3 Contractors to navigate HUD’s procurement requirements and take advantage of the economic opportunities offered through MPHA’s contacting. Ben was honored by Duane Etheridge, owner of New Image Construction and Remodeling and President of the NAMCUM.

Carlo Lachmasingh of Lachmasingh Electrical Sales & Supply, a past president of the NAMCUM, testified to Ben’s activities on behalf of NAMC and his commitment to diversity in contracting. He noted that Ben had invited three guests to share in his recognition (from left in photo above): Representative Joe Mullery –  (DFL) District: 59A – Minneapolis; MPHA Executive Director/CEO Cora McCorvey; and Bob Boyd, MPHA Director of Policy and Special Initiatives (Ben is at right).

Ms. McCorvey noted that Ben has announced his retirement, effective October 15, 2016. She wanted NAMC members to know that her purpose for attending the meeting was to celebrate the role Ben has played in creating pathways for participation by minority and Section 3 contractors in MPHA’s economic activities. “MPHA has almost $1 billion in assets and over a $100 million annual budget. This type of economic activity is good for our city but it has been challenging for minority and other small and underutilized firms to participate in securing contracts and business due to complicated procurement processes.  Ben has worked tirelessly to open the door for participation by working with his colleagues to create the ‘Supplier Diversity Program.’ And he helped implement and later oversee MPHA’s Section 3 Employment and Contracting efforts.”

Ben Jackson’s efforts have also brought distinction to the MPHA, which has been the recipient of the NAMC “Affiliate of the Year” award multiple times over the past several years.