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Memphis Light, Gas and Water recognizes the power of diversity and the vast resource a diverse pool of suppliers provides businesses. As the number of minority, women and local small business owners grows in Memphis, we want to ensure that our suppliers reflect this increasing diversity.

The Supplier Diversity Program gives certified businesses an equitable opportunity to partner with MLGW in a buyer-seller relationship. Our mission is to help foster economic parity within the Memphis and Shelby County community. The Supplier Diversity Program is designed to give the maximum practicable opportunities to certified businesses as a partner in the buyer-seller relationship with MLGW.

Standards of Business Conduct Policy Notification for Employees, Contractors and Suppliers
Bidders should note that Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division adheres to certain standards of ethical business conduct. Any bidder who may be related to an MLGW commissioner, officer, agent or employee is advised to consult the Standards of Business Conduct.

Policy Statement
It is the intent of Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division to encourage the growth of minority-owned, women-owned and locally owned small business enterprises. The Supplier Diversity Program provides these businesses an equitable opportunity to participate in contracts for goods and services, in a contractor or subcontractor arrangement with MLGW. This will ensure that a representative proportion of the goods, services and construction projects purchased and contracted by MLGW are supplied by minority-owned, women-owned and locally owned business enterprises (MBE, WBE, LSB).

Program Process
This program is designed to give maximum opportunities to certified businesses as a partner in the buyer-seller relationship with MLGW. Important points to remember about MLGW's procurement policies and procedures:

Most goods and services are purchased or contracted through a competitive bid process.

Requests for competitive bids are solicited by telephone, written requests for quotations and public advertisement for sealed bid. All bids for material, equipment and supplies are automatically forwarded to bidders that have registered at MLGW's Bid Notification System.

All suppliers and contractors requested to bid receive the same information.

In accordance with appropriate legal standards, MLGW will actively seek businesses owned by minorities and women, as well as those owned locally for participation as subcontractors to the apparent lowest and best bidder on all contracts.


MLGW utilizes the certification of any recognizable entity that certifies businesses covered under the MLGW Supplier Diversity program definitions (MBE, WBE, LSB). The certification must be based on the business being 51% owned, controlled, operated, and managed by a person or persons who represent one of the three (3) business classification outlined in the program definition.

Certifying organizations include, but are not limited to:
  • Mid-South Minority Business Council Continuum’s Uniform Certification Agency
  • Women’s Business Enterprise National Council
  • Tri-State Minority Supplier Development Council
  • National Minority Supplier Development Council
  • City of Memphis Certification
  • Shelby County Government's Certification

Advocate Agencies
MLGW’s advocate agencies are community partners helping to progress the growth and sustainability of minority-owned, women-owned and locally owned business enterprises (MBE, WBE, LSB).
Our advocate agencies include but are not limited to:

Women’s Business Enterprise National Council: WBENC Women Business Enterprise Council- South
Lance Mitchell
WBEC South Representative
Phone: 205-440-5154

National Association of Women Business Owners
Stacy McCall
President NAWBO Memphis
5800 Stage Road, Suite 202
Bartlett, TN  38134
Phone: 901-683-0064

Black Business Association
Roby Williams, President

555 Beale Street
Memphis, TN  38103-3203
Phone: 901-526-9300

Tri-State Minority Supplier Development Council

Nashville State Office
Metro Center, Plaza I Building
220 Athens Way, Suite 105
Nashville, TN.  37228
Phone: 615-259-4699
Cheri Henderson- Email:
Derrick Dowell- Email:
Joyce Tabb -Email:
Mid-South Minority Business Council Continuum
Kendra Lee
158 Madison Ave, Ste. 300
Memphis, TN  38103
Phone: (901) 525-6512
Fax: (901) 525-5204
Memphis Area Minority Contractors (MAMCA)
Stephanie Alexander
Executive Director
555 Beale
Memphis TN 38103
Phone: (901) 526-9300

Small Business Development Council -Tennessee
Rory T. Thomas
Executive Director
8800 East Shelby Drive, Ste. 112
Memphis, TN  38125
Phone: (910) 333-5085
Fax: (901) 333-5698
Yolanda Handy, Administrative Secretary

Minority Business Development Agency Business Center U.S. Department of Commerce
Lawrence Browder, Jr.
Member Registration Manager
158 Madison Avenue, Suite 101
Memphis, TN  38103
Phone: (901) 528-1432
Fax: (901) 528-1755

Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division invites businesses or vendors which meet one or more of the criteria below to participate in our Supplier Diversity Program.

Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) is defined as a business, which is at least 51percent owned, operated and controlled by a person, or persons who are minority group members. For these purposes, minority group members are African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans and Asian-Pacific Americans, who are U.S. citizens.

Women Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) is defined, as a business which is at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by a female or group of females who are U.S. citizens.

Local Small Business (LSB) is defined as a business which is located in Shelby County, Tennessee, whose average gross annual sales in the last three years are less than SIC category limits for the contractor SIC code found in 13 CFR, Part 121.601, and which is at least 51percent owned, operated and controlled by a resident or residents of the Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Memphis Light Gas and Water Division (MLGW) may debar a prime contractor, subcontractor, supplier, owners or principals at the time of debarment and those owners or principals of future companies from participating in the bid process and from contract awards for a period of five (5) years from the date of the Notice of Debarment. Debarment is not meant to be punitive, but a procedure to ensure that the Supplier Diversity Program is conducted legally with responsible parties, maintaining the integrity of the MLGW procurement process.

Prime contractors, subcontractors, and/or suppliers found to have committed any of the following offenses shall be issued a Notice of Debarment.

Actions resulting in debarment may include, but not be limited to, the following:

  1. Failure to submit, in writing, documented reasons to substitute or replace certified subcontractors or suppliers listed on the MWBE/LSB Assurance Statement provided in the bid documents to the Supplier Diversity Department prior to the start of the work to be performed by the subcontractor or supplier.
  2. Contractors utilizing firms as subcontractors to satisfy Supplier Diversity participation and not utilizing them to perform the work.
  3. Submission of falsified documentation concerning Supplier Diversity during the bid process and contract period.

For additional information on MLGW's Supplier Diversity Program, please contact:

Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division
Tamara S. Pate
Supplier Diversity Coordinator
P.O. Box 430
Memphis, Tennessee 38101-0430
Phone: (901) 528-4635
Fax: (901) 528-4374