Each year, the event assembles many of the industries most decorated executives to engage in thought provoking conversations about ethnic minority participation in the global automotive marketplace. The event and organization promote full and equal participation for people of color by forging partnerships within the industry to better ensure the fair participation of minorities at every level of business.
Presented by another “Living Legend” Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., the Living Legend Award recognizes individuals whom demonstrate outstanding leadership, togetherness, teamwork and high accomplishments. This year’s award winner, Mr. Hightower, is the embodiment of all that the accolade represents, and so much more.
Hightower started HPC as a licensed Motor Fuel Dealer in 1984. With foresight and continuing innovation, HPC has developed into a “Virtual Marketplace” with the ability to provide gasoline, diesel, biodiesel, ethanol, lubricants, oils and greases across the globe. Today, HPC’s customer base includes Ford Motor Company, Duke Energy, General Motors Corporation, DW Morgan Co., P.A.M. Transportation, The Kroger Company, Fed Ex, UPS, AK Steel Corporation, Progress Energy, PEPCO Holdings, Inc., Con-Edison, Catholic Health Partners, The State of Ohio, Greater Dayton RTA, Honda/TRC, University of Miami, Casers Entertainment, Boarder States Industries, Dallas DART, United Rentals, Dominion Transportation, General Mills and many others.
In reference to a Japanese trade where host Rev. Jackson made key introductions to companies such as Nissan, Honda and Toyota, Mr. Hightower stated, “We’re doing business with those companies as a direct result of your support and willingness to assist African American businesses in being all that they can be and giving them the exposure and putting them on a platform for success.”
As a philanthropist, advocate of equality and community serviceman, Mr. Hightower has served on the boards of the National Minority Supplier Development Council, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Regional Economic Development Initiative (REDI), Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, National Park Foundation (appointment by the Secretary of Interior), The Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers Association, National Petroleum Council (appointment by the Secretary of Energy) and the National Black Caucus of State Legislators.
The Rainbow PUSH Coalition (RPC) is a multi-racial, multi-issue, progressive, international membership organization fighting for social change.
RPC was formed in December 1996 by Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. through the merging of two organizations he founded earlier, People United to Serve Humanity (PUSH, 1971) and the Rainbow Coalition (1984). With headquarters in Chicago and offices in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and Oakland, they work to make the American Dream a reality for all citizens and advocate for peace and justice around the world. They are dedicated to improving the lives of all people by serving as a voice for the voiceless.
Their mission is to protect, defend, and gain civil rights by leveling the economic and educational playing fields, and to promote peace and justice around the world.
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