Radio icon Tom Joyner poses with his frat brother while promoting his book, "I'm Just a DJ" at Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta

The National Minority Supplier Development Council inspired superstars in the business, entertainment, sports and media worlds — including Magic Johnson, Tom Joyner and Cathy Hughes — to converge in Atlanta for one of the largest conventions in the country for one reason: While the rest of the country talks about diversity and inclusion, the National Minority Supplier Development Council actually lives it — and then they celebrate it.

Celebrities joined Fortune 500 CEOs and 7,000 other minority business owners for what is considered the “benchmark” forum for minority supplier development for the four-day conference.

“Atlanta has evolved into a dynamic hub for some of the nation’s top corporations, and is home to a thriving minority business community representing a strong mix of industries,” said NMSDC President Joset B. Wright. “We [were] excited to bring our signature event to Atlanta. It provides a unique opportunity to NMSDC to help foster profitable business relationships between our corporate members and innovative minority suppliers from Georgia and across the country.”

Annual NMSDC awards banquet at Hyatt Regency hotel

Running off the theme “Minority Businesses and Corporate America: Raising the Bar Through Sustainable Strategies,” the NMSDC hosted 22 workshops and plenary sessions led by executives of multinational corporations, supply chain professionals and government officials. The convention helps arm its conventioneers with copious ways in which make their supply businesses more attractive in the marketplace and to procure more contracts and increase fruitful relationships that will ultimately help grow their businesses.

Atlanta is viewed as the optimum place to host such a grand convention, as the state is ranked No. 1 in the U.S. for entrepreneurship by the Information Technology Foundation. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Commerce states that there are 4.1 million minority-owned businesses in the United States, making it the fastest growing business segment.

Sabrina Jenkins, Atlanta Braves director of operations, left, and Wendy Lewis, Major League Baseball's SVP of diversity and strategic alliances

— terry shropshire