Trumbull resident Frederick W. McKinney, managing director of the Minority Business Program’s Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, recently received the 2017 Ronald Brown Leadership Award from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The award is inspired by the late U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Ronald H. Brown and recognizes individuals who have achieved significant results in creating diversity, expanding minority business enterprise and who have demonstrated exceptional leadership in the public or private sector.

McKinney said he accepted the award with a sense of humility and pride on behalf of minority businesses and those who support inclusion of minority businesses in the American economy.

“The Late Ronald Brown...was a man that I looked up to in my early years pursuing a career in minority business development,” McKinney said. “Secretary Brown was the first, and so far the only, African American Secretary of Commerce. His appointment as Secretary of Commerce sent a clear message to minority entrepreneurs and to Corporate America that the future of the United States economy would include diverse businesses.”

McKinney started Jamaica Gourmet Coffee, a wholesale gourmet coffee company, in 1983. In 1999, McKinney started a new company, Advanced Dispensing Systems, based on a U.S. patent for dispensing whole bean coffee in retail environments. McKinney has also published several books and articles on minority supplier development and corporate supplier diversity.