UBR Spotlight: Manufacturers Industrial Group CEO Andre Gist

This week on The Urban Business Roundtable, UBR Contributor Dwyaine Betts Jr. talks with Andre Gist, Co-founder, President and CEO of Lexington, Tennessee-based Manufacturers Industrial Group L.L.C. (MIG), one of the nation’s largest Black-owned businesses. With 2011 revenues of more than $356.7 million, MIG is ranked No. 11 on the Black Enterprise 100s list of the nation’s largest Black-owned industrial/service companies.

MIG produces welded assemblies and fabricated metals for the automotive industry, with six facilities in Lexington, Chattanooga and Athens, Tennessee, making it the largest black-owned business in the state. In addition, MIG has formed a construction service. Gist co-founded the company in 1998 and has been the majority owner since 2001. Gist, who built his career in the automotive industry, including with Ford, GM and Johnson Controls, is responsible for business development, customer relationship, mergers and acquisitions and overall company vision and strategy. The native of Flint, Mich. has completed three acquisitions and formed one joint venture since 2003.

Also, UBR Contributor Samantha Pass talks with Liberty Educational Group Owner Lynesha McElveen about the importance of building up cash reserves. Also known as the “Di$Count Diva,” McElveen works with colleges and universities to educate students on financial topics. In addition, she’s the owner of Cheer On The Move, which focuses on developing self-esteem, character and discipline through cheerleading training.

In my “Alfred’s Notepad” segment, I talk about why entrepreneurs need to make the most of Small Business Saturday, a campaign to get consumers to direct their holiday shopping spending at small businesses. Entrepreneurs need to look out for special incentives from American Express, FedEx and other supporters that can help them boost profits and gain new customers. Always the weekend after Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday falls on November 24 this year.

And finally, every week on UBR, you’ll get motivation and inspiration from author and entrepreneurial icon Farrah Gray, a weekly wrap-up of business news from USA Today business correspondent Charisse Jones, our Patient Investor Report from Khoa X. Ho of Ariel Investments and key economic intelligence for small business owners from our UBR economists Derrick Collins and Rasheed Carter.

If you have a question you want answered or a topic you want addressed on The Urban Business Roundtable, connect with me at BE Insider, the social media network for people who are serious about Black Enterprise. You can also find me on Twitter and Facebook.

Alfred Edmond Jr. is the senior VP/editor-at-large of Black Enterprise and the host of the Urban Business Roundtable, a weekly radio show, sponsored by Ariel Investments, airing CST Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m., Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. on WVON-AM 1690, the Talk of Chicago. You can also listen live online at WVON.com. Check back each week for UBR Spotlight, which features additional resources, advice and information from and about the topics, entrepreneurs and experts featured on the show.

SAVE THE DATE for the 2013 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo hosted by Nationwide, May 15-18, at Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. Expect innovative sessions, high-powered speakers, and an early peek at the products, trends, and services you’ll need to stay ahead of the curve. Nominate your company or an outstanding entrepreneur in your network for our Small Business Awards! Also don’t miss the chance to enter our Elevator Pitch Competition to compete for $10,000 for your business. To find out more, visit www.blackenterprise.com/ec/