Metro Detroit native Leon C. Richardson is the founder and president of ChemicoMays, LLC, one of the largest minority-owned chemical management and distribution companies in the United States. For 27 years, Richardson has guided what was originally Chemico Systems, Inc., from a single employee start-up to an internationally recognized player in the chemical and environmental services space. Today, ChemicoMays employs more than 300 people across 22 states and three countries, and in 2015, saw sales of more than $100 million.
ChemicoMays is a highly regarded Tier 1 supplier to automotive original equipment manufacturers and has been recognized as a General Motors “Supplier of the Year” for the past seven consecutive years. The company has received similar recognition from Toyota and Chrysler Capital. Beyond automotive, ChemicoMays has made a name for itself in other industries, including aerospace and biopharmaceuticals.
ChemicoMays’ chemical management services take into account the entire chemical lifecycle from customer receipt of product to the product’s inventory, and its eventual disposal and recycling. The company’s success has been built on its ability to streamline the many, often complex aspects of chemical lifecycle management. ChemicoMays’ distribution services afford customers access to an expansive network of chemical suppliers allowing for a robust and comprehensive chemical supply chain solution.
Richardson is a passionate champion for Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) development. He is a long-time supporter of the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC) and currently serves on the organization’s Board of Directors. He also chairs the group’s Minority Business Input Committee overseeing growth, development and expansion initiatives for Michigan’s more than 1,200 minority-owned businesses. Richardson’s commitment to MBE growth and success is also evidenced in ChemicoMays’ 2015 $4.1 million spend with other MBEs.
For the company’s continued commitment to MBEs, the MMSDC has awarded ChemicoMays its Supplier of the Year Award and has thrice recognized Richardson with its prestigious Diamond Award for minority business owners who exemplify the spirit of minority entrepreneurs conducting business with other MBEs.
Richardson is a devoted mentor working formally and informally with up to 10 students or young professionals at any given time. He is active with former Detroit Mayor Dave Bing’s BINGO mentoring program whereby African American business owners volunteer their time to mentor youth in Detroit Public Schools. Annually, ChemicoMays offers internships to a handful of undergraduate students from Historically Black Colleges around the country, and Richardson personally mentors each student intern.
Prior to starting Chemico Systems, Inc., Richardson worked for Product Sol in a range of roles beginning as a technician and operator where he learned the science behind the business and culminating in sales, where he earned distinction as the company’s top salesperson. Richardson attended Detroit College of Business and received completion certificates from Dartmouth College, Tuck School of Business and University of Michigan, Ross School of Business. Leon is also United States Marine Corps veteran having served his country for eight years as a non-commissioned officer.