Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council and Aramark Announce Cohort 4 of P.I.P.E. Program for Fall 2021

Jul 14, 2021 1:00 PM ET
Campaign: Employee Advocacy

Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council and Aramark Announce Cohort 4 of …

CHICAGO, July 14, 2021 /3BL Media/ - The Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc. (ChicagoMSDC), a premier organization for increasing business opportunities between major buying organizations and minority-owned businesses, and Aramark (NYSE: ARMK), the leading U.S.-based food service provider, are launching the fourth cohort of the P.I.P.E. Program (Progress, Insight & Performance Education), for minority-owned businesses (MBEs). The new cohort begins in September 2021.

The PIPE Program is an eight-week, advanced business management program designed to provide participants from diverse-owned companies (a diverse business is generally defined as one that is 51-percent owned and controlled by women, ethnic minorities, veterans, LGBTQ+, or disabled person(s)), with the skills and knowledge needed to optimize their business. The course, taught in collaboration with the University of Phoenix, covers areas such as strategic planning, managing organizational goals, business ethics, and supply chain and project management. Dr. Rhonda Henderson, last year’s facilitator, is returning to lead the eight-week sessions.

“Our third PIPE cohort last fall, with 26 participants, was a huge success,” noted Neda Sharp, Director of Program Development at ChicagoMSDC. “Although we were completely virtual, the topics and coursework were engaging, timely, and relevant. Building on the momentum and success of 2020, we look forward to starting our fourth program cohort in September, welcoming a new group of MBEs into the program, and seeing them expand their understanding and growth potential.”

“The PIPE Program is a powerful example of supplier diversity at work,” stated Rubullah Mahdee, President of RAMPRO Cleaning and Janitorial Supplies, and a cohort three PIPE Program graduate. “With the knowledge, I gained from PIPE, I know that there are more opportunities to be had for my business. To invest more, hire more, and perform better. Thanks to Aramark, ChicagoMSDC, and the PIPE Program, we have endured through 2020, and are now pivoting our way to success.”

“Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is a long-standing one,” commented Ash Hanson, Chief Diversity and Sustainability Officer with Aramark. "Our purpose is to have a positive impact on people and the planet, and supplier diversity is core to our strategy. Aramark has approximately $75 million in spending with small and diverse suppliers in the Chicago market alone and is committed to expanding this in the coming years. The PIPE program, in conjunction with ChicagoMSDC, aligns perfectly with Aramark’s focus on developing sustainable relationships with diverse supply chain partners committed to service quality and value to clients.”

In addition to sponsoring 20 minority-owned businesses for PIPE cohort 4, Aramark also leverages its Employee Resource Group network in support of PIPE. Members of Aramark LEAD (Leaders and Employees of African Descent), continue to engage in opportunities with cohort members, diverse businesses, and ChicagoMSDC by actively participating on various committees and educational sessions throughout the PIPE program year.

If you are a small or diverse-owned company and would like to work with Aramark, please visit the Aramark ASCEND Supplier Diversity Registration Portal.

Applications are now being accepted through August 2, 2021, for the PIPE Program – Cohort 4, which will take place virtually from September 14 to November 2, 2021. For more information, click here.

About the Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council

The Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council, ChicagoMSDC, or the Council, has a rich history of service spanning more than 50 years and is the founding member of the National Minority Supplier Development Council. A 501(c)3 Illinois not-for-profit corporation, ChicagoMSDC’s mission is to certify, develop, connect, and advocate for minority suppliers, creating sustainable and profitable relationships between minority business enterprises and major buying organizations. ChicagoMSDC supports access to over 350 private and public sector member buying organizations and more than 1,000 certified MBE’s that partner with the Council locally, regionally, nationally, and globally. This access enables the promotion of job creation, growth, and competitiveness of minority-owned businesses. Additionally, ChicagoMSDC, through its national network as one of 23 affiliates, leverages a base of 3,500 buying organizations and 16,000 certified minority businesses. Learn more at or connect with us on Linked InFacebook, and Twitter.

About Aramark
Aramark (NYSE: ARMK) proudly serves the world’s leading educational institutions, Fortune 500 companies, world champion sports teams, prominent healthcare providers, iconic destinations and cultural attractions, and numerous municipalities in 19 countries around the world with food, facilities, and uniform services. Because our culture is rooted in service, our employees strive to do great things for each other, our partners, our communities, and our planet. Aramark has been named to DiversityInc’s “Top 50 Companies for Diversity” list, the Forbes list of “America’s Best Employers for Diversity,” the HRC’s “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality” and scored 100% on the Disability Equality Index. Learn more at and connect with us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.