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A Tribute to Damon Hughes

Damon, you lived a glorious life full of ups and downs and you touched thousands of people along the way
Damon Hughes, Amazon; Wayne R. Frazier, Sr., Md. Washington Minority Companies Association (MWMCA)


Recently, one of Baltimore City's favorite sons passed away. Mr. Damon Hughes grew up on the west side of Baltimore City and graduated from Morgan State University. Thereafter, he embarked on his professional career in the design field and corporate world simultaneously. Somewhere along the way, his passion for social equity surfaced and he became at first a student and then a legend in the ongoing effort for diversity and economic inclusion.


His first assignment enabled him to create a world class M/WBE compliance and goal setting mission with Baltimore County government within county purchasing. Often, he would clash with County Executive leaders because they thought he was too aggressive with his goal setting and rejecting too many waiver requests. However, we in the M/WBE business community praised him because this achievement was the highest level of Baltimore County spend with M/WBE’S ever prior to the County Executive relieving him of his duties. It’s a shame because his homestead county has yet to achieve anything close to his sense of performance.


Thereafter, Damon was immediately hired by the Johns Hopkins University & Medicine to create that same inclusionary environment, which he did, but was again let go by a new administration. Perhaps this happened again because he was too intentional, and as a black man, unless one owns their own business, intentionalism and intentional strength and confidence may rub senior leadership the wrong way. He loved his role with Johns Hopkins!


Then it was on to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Maryland, and I won't even comment on that because that assignment was never realistic, they still don't have a strong supplier diversity program, and he was once again let go and out of work. His final stop at Amazon, America’s foremost world class leader in the sale of various types of goods and services, became his greatest assignment and his joy because Amazon understood that type of committed man he was and allowed him to work with other leaders to begin creating a supplier diversity program second to none.


Damon, you lived a glorious life full of ups and downs and you touched thousands of people along the way. Your purposeful work created untold opportunities for people in business who don't even know who you are. I for sure will celebrate and honor your life much like I have, with the late great Arnold Joliette, Robert Clay, and the late congressmen Parren J. Mitchell and Elijah Cummings. They too, have touched the lives of many who they’ve never met. Homeboy you are already so very missed.


Your Friend,

Wayne R. Frazier, Sr.

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