Andrew Young and Rosemary Jones to Receive the Blue Legend Award from the GMSDC

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Supplier Diversity Trailblazers Headline the 2015 Spirit of Alliance Awards

The Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council will honor Ambassador Andrew Young, the Chair of the Andrew J. Young Foundation, and the late Rosemary Jones of Turner Broadcasting System with the prestigious Blue Legend Award on Saturday, October 3rd at 200 Peachtree in Atlanta. The Spirit of Alliance Awards gala celebrates the best and brightest in supplier diversity each year, recognizing the achievements of the State of Georgia’s top corporations, small business owners and procurement professionals. The GMSDC, commemorating its 40th Anniversary this year, has been celebrating excellence in supplier diversity with the Spirit of Alliance Awards for 33 years. Ambassador Young and Ms. Jones will join an elite circle of distinguished recipients of the Blue Legend Award in the past, including Herman Russell, Mayor Maynard Jackson, Senator Sam Nunn and Congressman John Lewis.

One of the highlights of the Spirit of Alliance gala each year, the Blue Legend Award is presented to visionaries who have demonstrated extraordinary courage in the face of challenging obstacles, and whose lifelong contributions have created opportunities and helped level the playing field for minority business owners in Georgia. The Blue Legend is different from the other awards presented at the Spirit of Alliance, in that they recognize outstanding accomplishment for the previous year, while the Blue Legend celebrates a lifetime of dedicated service to the minority small business community, both in Georgia and other parts of the world.

Ambassador Young, a pastor, civil rights pioneer, two-term Mayor of Atlanta and former Ambassador to the United Nations, has been a catalyst of business opportunity for some 50 years. After laboring in the Civil Rights movement with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others, he was elected to the US Congress, appointed as Ambassador to the United Nations by President Carter, and later elected Mayor of Atlanta. During his tenure as Mayor, he is credited with bringing billions of dollars in investment and countless jobs to the city during a recession, while playing a key role in bringing the 1996 Summer Olympic Games to the area. His trade missions to Africa and other parts of the world laid a foundation for international business that is still producing results even today. His global influence continues through his work as Chair of the Andrew J. Young Foundation.

Rosemary Jones, the longtime Director of Supplier Diversity at the Turner Broadcasting System who passed away earlier this year, was a champion of equal access and supplier diversity throughout her exemplary career. The former IBM executive helped Georgia Governor Roy Barnes launch the first state-sponsored small business mentoring effort in the nation – the Governor’s Mentor Protégé Program – in 2001. That program, now known as the Mentor Protégé Connection, continues to provide invaluable resources to Georgia’s small businesses, through a one-year mentoring relationship with a Georgia corporation. Rosemary served on the Board of Directors of the GMSDC and numerous other small business organizations, remaining a powerful voice for inclusive procurement throughout her life.

The 2015 Spirit of Alliance Awards will take place at 6:00 pm on Saturday, October 3rd at the 200 Peachtree event venue. Tickets are available at

About the Spirit of Alliance Awards
The Spirit of Alliance Awards gala began in 1982, to recognize groundbreaking achievement by the Minority Business Enterprise firms, corporations and individuals that comprise the supplier diversity community in Georgia. For more information, visit

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Vivian Rodriguez
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