Neel-Schaffer received the Minority Business Champion Award for 2014 at the recent Mississippi Minority Business Alliance banquet. Founded in 1997, the MMBA is a non-profit organization that aims to enhance minority business opportunities.
The Minority Business Champion Award, according to MMBA Chief Executive Officer Shellie Michael, is given annually to “corporate citizens who have demonstrated continuous commitment to minority business development through various resources, and their innovative and liberal procurement practices.”
At the awards banquet, Michael said: “The name Neel-Schaffer is a staple for engineering excellence throughout the South. The firm’s development of strategic alliances and partnerships with small and minority businesses has helped create a business environment of inclusion and strength through diversity.”
Hibbett Neel, who co-founded Neel-Schaffer in 1983 and still serves as the firm’s President and CEO, has been a long-time advocate of partnering with diverse firms and seeking diversity in the work place. In 1990, he created the Neel-Schaffer minority scholarship award to help fund scholarships for minority engineering students. Since then, Neel-Schaffer has awarded some $147,000 worth of scholarships to minority students in Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Florida.
“Since we were incorporated, we have realized the value of our partnerships with minority companies, as well as the development of minority professionals who contribute greatly to the success of our company,” said Hibbett Neel.
“It is a great honor to receive recognition by the Mississippi Minority Business Alliance for this commitment.”
Neel-Schaffer is the largest Mississippi-based engineering and planning firm, with about 400 employees working out of 36 offices spread across nine Southeastern states. Sixteen of those offices are in Mississippi, including the headquarters in Jackson.