Created on March 8, 2013
In 1970 Abraham S. Venable was appointed by President Richard Nixon to serve as the Minority Business Development Agency’s first African American Director. Under his leadership, President Nixon signed Executive Order 11625 to develop and coordinate a national program for minority enterprise that has now been in existence for over 40 years. After leaving MBDA, Mr. Venable remained dedicated to championing minority-owned firms and spent nearly 20 years working with General Motors Co., to increase its business relationships with minority-owned dealerships, suppliers, insurers and banks. Mr. Venable’s efforts helped to spur the dramatic growth of opportunities for minority-owned businesses in both the public and private sectors in recent decades.
In recognition of Mr. Venable’s estimable record of minority business advocacy, MBDA named a National Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week award in his honor, the “Abe Venable Award for Lifetime Achievement,” to acknowledge individuals who have played an integral role in the creative, technical or professional progress of the minority business community. Recent honorees have included Rush Communications LLC Founder Russell Simmons and U.S. Representative Silvestre Reyes. Through this award, MBDA is ensuring that Mr. Venable’s legacy of fostering economic opportunities for minority entrepreneurs will endure.
“Inspired by the visionary efforts of our founding National Director Abe Venable, MBDA remains a stalwart advocate on behalf of and resource for minority-owned firms striving to grow, create jobs, and compete domestically and globally,” said MBDA National Director David A. Hinson. “The entire MBDA leadership and staff are deeply saddened by his death and salute his courageous leadership of and commitment to the minority business community.”