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MLGW honors local businesses, employees at 25th annual Flame and Spark Awards

Memphis Light, Gas and Water (MLGW) held its 25th annual Flame and Spark Awards on Nov. 3 at Downtown’s Halloran Center for Education and Performing Arts.

The event kicked off with a red carpet and reception for attendees to meet and greet before the awards ceremony.

Tamara Pate, MLGW supplier diversity coordinator and MLGW board member Leon Dickson served as co-hosts for the awards ceremony.

“This year, the Awards ceremony returned in person and acknowledged deserving MLGW staff along with certified minority, women and locally owned small businesses,” Pate said.

She continued, “The small business owners provided new insights regarding our projects, high quality products and services at competitive prices and are now ready to meet the challenges of other organizations.”

2022 Flame and Spark Business Recipients. (Photo: LCTCity Productions)

The award recipients included minority-owned businesses Pete Mitchell & Associates, W&T Contracting Corporation, Onyx Technology, and Tate Computer Systems.

Local owned business CTD Staffing, and woman-owned businesses Automotive Tool Group & Mason’s Professional Services.

The Lifetime Achievement award was presented to Jozelle Booker, president and CEO of the Mid-South Minority Business Council Continuum and a former MLGW diversity supplier officer, who began her career at MLGW in 1998.

“Receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award for Supplier Diversity from MLGW was a very humbling experience. When I entered the supplier diversity space over 25 years ago, I was accepting a position that I never imagined would become my life’s work and passion.

“I am not a native-born Memphian, but I am deeply rooted in this community and committed to its growth and economic prosperity for all its citizens, my neighbors,” said Booker.

One of the minority-owned business recipients was Pete Mitchell & Associates, Inc. – a local insurance agency.

George Hilliard, president of Pete Mitchell & Associates, Inc., said, “MLGW has given my company the opportunity over the years to provide insurance coverages and risk management services for multiple policies as a prime and subcontractor.”

Several MLGW employees also were recognized for their service and hard work.

Igniters award recipients were Randy Orsby, manager of procurement and contracts; Dr. Von Goodloe, vice-president of shared services, and Dana Jeanes, senior vice-president, chief financial officers and chief administrative officer (secretary-treasurer).

Pictured (l-r): Tiffany Byrd, supplier diversity administrative assistant; Alonzo Weaver, senior vice president, chief operating officer and chief utility officer; Jozelle Booker, MMBC Continuum president & CEO, Tamara Pate, supplier diversity coordinator; Renise Holliday, former supplier Diversity Coordinator; Randy Orsby, Procurement & Contracts Department Manager. (Photo: LCTCity Productions)

Lawyer Carlee McCullough, former MLGW board commissioner, and Renise Holiday, former supplier diversity coordinator received the Pioneer awards.

“MLGW continues to ensure that minority-owned, women-owned, and locally owned small businesses have maximum, practicable opportunity to participate in the procurement of goods and services with the division. Currently, supplier diversity participation is 42 percent of MLGW’s total procurement spend, said Pate.

(Paula Anderson is a freelance business journalist. She can be reached at writingbydesign7@gmail.com.)


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