The Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council is proud to induct Mr. Ronald Hall, Sr. into the Michigan Minority Business Hall of Fame. He is one of our own; in fact, his efforts and forethought significantly shaped who we are today.
Many have remembered Mr. Hall as an automotive industry giant. Today, we recognize him as being so much more. Inclusion Champion. Tireless Advocate. Effective Leader. Trailblazer. These are just a few of the fitting monikers as Mr. Hall was the true embodiment of the “entrepreneurial spirit” – an attitude to actively seek out change, rather than waiting to adapt to change.
Mr. Hall was a man of optimism. He was passionate about what he believed and possessed the gift of remaining committed to his endeavors despite the inherent risks he may have faced along the way. The current MMSDC is the result of that optimism. In 1993, Mr. Hall assumed the Chief Executive role at what was then the Michigan Minority Business Development Council. He negotiated to have over 20 corporations begin or improve contract benchmarks for minority-owned suppliers – again ensuring equal access to economic opportunity. He also worked tirelessly to grow the number of constituents from 400 to more than 1,600 and helped position MMSDC as one of the premier minority business development councils in the nation. Because of his leadership, minority businesses across Michigan now have unprecedented access to opportunities with a diverse array of major corporations, government agencies, and educational institutions.
Mr. Hall was also not deterred by failure. After a foray into the restaurant business in the late 1980s, Mr. Hall joined New Detroit, a nonprofit organization that supports minority-owned businesses, as Vice President. It was during this period that Hall was tapped to lead MMSDC. During his tenure as President of the Council, he met board members from large corporations, including General Motors and Johnson Controls who invited him to form a joint venture, which later became Bridgewater Interiors. As the calculated risk taker he was, he mortgaged his family’s home to come up with his share of the equity. The risk paid off as Mr. Hall grew the minority-owned venture into a $2 billion supplier of automotive seating parts with more than 2,000 employees and plants located in Detroit, Warren, and Lansing, MI as well as Estaboga, AL. Bridgewater customers include Ford, General Motors and Honda. A consummate entrepreneur, Mr. Hall also served as President and CEO of the equipment leasing company Renaissance Capital Alliance and was Chairman and CEO of New Center Stamping. He also owned the travel agency, Departure Travel Management.
Mr. Hall believed it was a privilege to help others, especially in the pursuit of equal economic opportunity for all communities. So, he was not satisfied with his individual success; he truly believed in empowering minority communities. Over the years, Mr. Hall served those communities in many additional ways including the Booker T. Washington Business Association and the former Detroit Renaissance (now Business Leaders for Michigan). Mr. Hall also provided input on Small Business initiatives at the state and national levels and served on the Boards of Fifth Third Bank’s local operations. A generous philanthropist, Mr. Hall supported numerous civic, community, arts, youth, and sports organizations and institutions, including the Southeast Michigan Junior Achievement and the Michigan Boys Basketball Amateur Athletic Union (AAU)’ Boy Scouts of America – Southeast Michigan, and the American Diabetes Association. He was a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternities and served as a Board Trustee of his alma mater, Western Michigan University.
In acknowledgement of the significant contributions that Mr. Ron Hall, Sr. has made to benefit the minority business community throughout the State of Michigan and beyond, and especially his dedication to the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council, it is indeed a privilege to honor him as one of the inductees into the Michigan Minority Business Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony for the 2016 Michigan Minority Business Hall of Fame honorees will be held during the MMSDC ACE Awards on October 6th, 2016 at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center. The event celebrates major corporations, educational institutions, government agencies and minority businesses for their continued success in minority supplier development.