Johnson Controls Honored as 2007 ‘Corporation of the Year’ by the Michigan Minority Business Development Council

Company recognized for its development of diverse suppliers during the past year

PLYMOUTH, Mich., Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ — For its outstanding achievements in developing diverse supplier companies, Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) once again was recognized as the "Corporation of the Year" by the Michigan Minority Business Development Council (MMBDC).


This year marks the tenth time in the past 12 years in which Johnson Controls has gained this important honor. MMBDC representatives presented Johnson Controls with the award at the group’s 24th Annual Awards Dinner on October 16. The event was attended by more than 1,500 people, and was held at the Marriott Hotel at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan. Charles Harvey, vice president, diversity and public affairs for Johnson Controls, accepted the award.

Johnson Controls — a global, multi-industry company — has operated an innovative program to recruit and develop diverse suppliers since the early 1990s. In fiscal-year 2007, it purchased more than $1.5 billion in goods and services from diverse firms, making it a member of the "Billion Dollar Roundtable" that includes just 14 companies that spend $1 billion annually with diverse suppliers.

MMBDC, a voluntary organization with more than 2,000 members, creates links between major corporations and minority businesses.

"We are honored to receive this recognition from the MMBDC, which salutes the wonderful efforts of our purchasing team, supply base and business partners," said Keith Wandell, president and chief operating officer of Johnson Controls. "At Johnson Controls, we embrace diversity because it is a key element of our company’s mission and values, as well as our business strategy."

The Corporation of the Year recognition earned by Johnson Controls was for companies in the Manufacturing Sector of MMBDC. It is presented to firms that actively include certified minority suppliers in their procurement opportunities; assist in the development of minority suppliers; and promote supplier diversity and business development within their corporation and to their vendors and other businesses and organizations.

Within the Diversity Business Development model at Johnson Controls, "diverse" suppliers include companies that are owned by minorities and women in the United States, and internationally, firms that are historically underutilized in their local country.

Here are highlights of Johnson Controls’ recent activities and achievements in support of diverse suppliers and minority-owned firms.

The company...

  -- Integrates "diversity business development" as a key component of its
     strategic business plan.  Purchases from diverse suppliers, including
     those owned by minorities and women, are targeted to grow each year.

  -- Requires its vendors to develop and implement their own diversity
     business development programs.

  -- Pledges to include diverse suppliers in divestitures, lead supplier
     arrangements, joint ventures and strategic alliances.

  -- Creates successful partnerships in support of diverse businesses.  For
     example, Johnson Controls is a joint-venture partner in Bridgewater
     Interiors, LLC of Detroit, a minority-owned firm with contracts to
     supply complete seating and interior systems for four major auto

  -- Sponsors educational fellowships for officials from minority-owned
     companies.  Each year since 1998, Johnson Controls has funded
     fellowships that enable executives to attend continuing-education
     programs at the Tuck Graduate Business School of Dartmouth College in
     Hanover, New Hampshire.  Johnson Controls also has funded fellowships
     for minority executives at the University of Wisconsin -- Madison.

  -- Convenes trade shows and other events to promote purchases of
     goods and services from diverse firms.

  -- Implemented standardized internal processes throughout the company for
     recruiting, training and using diverse suppliers nationwide.

  -- Launched a special mentoring and training process for corporations and
     diverse suppliers in Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Tennessee,
     Texas and Wisconsin.

  -- Adopted web-based systems to provide business opportunities for diverse
     suppliers, measure performance, and promote diversity-oriented business
     solutions to customers.

  -- Has provided significant support to the leadership and mission of

Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) is the global leader that brings ingenuity to the places where people live, work and travel. By integrating technologies, products and services, we create smart environments that redefine the relationships between people and their surroundings. Our team of 140,000 employees creates a more comfortable, safe and sustainable world through our products and services for more than 200 million vehicles, 12 million homes and one million commercial buildings. For additional information, please visit

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SOURCE: Johnson Controls

CONTACT: Debra Lacey of Johnson Controls, +1-734-254-5735

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