SDG&E and the Greater San Diego Business Development Council host supplier awards ceremony and Kirk Whalum benefit jazz concert

Jul 19, 2006

Media Contact:
Anne Silva

San Diego Gas & Electric

(877) 866-2066


        SAN DIEGO, July 19, 2006 – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E),the Greater  San Diego Business Development Council (GSDBDC) and other corporations are joining together to help celebrate the achievements of San Diego companies and individuals who have made significant contributions for diverse business suppliers in San Diego.  An Awards Ceremony and Benefit Jazz Concert will take place Friday, July 28, at 7:15 p.m. at the historic Spreckels Theatre, 121 Broadway St. in San Diego.  The jazz concert will feature Kirk Whalum, seven-time Grammy-nominated jazz saxophonist and winner of a Stellar Award for Best Gospel Instrumental Album.  The public is invited.

        GSDBDC is a nonprofit organization that brings corporations and Minority Business Enterprises (MBE’s) together to help market diverse companies.  It is one of 39 regional councils under the umbrella of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), one of the nation’s leading business membership organizations.

        “This event is an opportunity to honor minority business suppliers, advocates for minority and disadvantaged business owners and our corporate partners,” said Ron Garnett, president and CEO of the GSDBDC. 

        Since its inception in 1999, the GSDBDC has helped a lot of minority business owners grow their companies.  One such San Diego business owner is African-American fashion designer Lizz Russell.

        “I’m definitely on my way and a lot of that is thanks to the help of the Greater San Diego Business Development Council,” said Russell.  She designs evening gowns, specialty hand-bags and tank tops from her San Diego home.  Her clients have included comedian and actress Jackée Harry.  As a result of the help she received from the GSDBDC, Russell was awarded a major contract with Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.  She is also currently negotiating with a large department store chain to carry her merchandise.

        “The Greater San Diego Business Development Council helped me design a business plan, learn about marketing and put me in touch with large accounts that are really going to help my business grow,” said Russell.

        “SDG&E is pleased to partner with such a respected organization and to sponsor this upcoming awards ceremony and concert,” said Margot Kyd, vice president of SDG&E’s supply management and fleet services.  “Our goal is to provide business opportunities with our companies – Sempra Energy, SDG&E and Southern California Gas Co. – for diverse business enterprises.  One way to help these businesses grow is by working with groups such as the Greater San Diego Business Development Council.”

        To purchase tickets for the 2006 Awards Ceremony and Kirk Whalum benefit jazz concert, go to or contact the Greater San Diego Business Development Council at 619-293-0760. 

        The GSDBDC and the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) serve as a link between corporate America and minority-owned businesses.  There are 3,600 corporate members throughout the network including most of America’s largest companies as well as universities, hospitals and other institutions.  To learn more, go to

        SDG&E currently serves 3.4 million consumers through 1.3 million electric meters and more than 825,000 natural gas meters.  The utility’s service area spans 4,100 square miles and serves customers in more than 125 communities from Southern Orange County to the Mexican border.  SDG&E is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE).  Sempra Energy, based in San Diego, is a Fortune 500 energy services holding company.  To learn more, go to