(BALTIMORE – March 4, 2023) – One of Baltimore City’s favorite sons past a few days ago. Damon Hughes grew up on the Westside and graduated from Morgan State University. Thereafter, he embarked on his professional career in the design field and the corporate world simultaneously. Somewhere along the way, his passion for social equity and economic engineering inclusion surfaced and he became, at first a student … and then a legend.
His first assignment in government enabled him to create a world-class MBE/WBE compliance and goal-setting mission with Baltimore County government with county purchasing. Often he would clash with County Executive leaders because they thought he was too aggressive with his goal setting and rejecting way too many waiver requests, but we in the MBE/WBE business community praised him because this achievement was the highest level of Baltimore County spending for MBE/WBE’S ever, prior to the County Executive relieving him of his duties. What a shame because his homestead county has never achieved anything close to his performance since.
Thereafter, Damon was immediately hired by the Johns Hopkins University/medical system to create that same inclusionary environment, and he did but was again let go by a new administration. Perhaps again because he was too intentional and as a Black man, unless one owns their own business, intentionalism, 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, and 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 the type of committed man he was and allowed him to work with other leaders to begin to create a supplier diversity program second to none.
Damon Hughes, you lived a glorious life full of ups and downs and you touched thousands of people along the way. Your intentional work created untold opportunities for folks 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 Jolivet, Robert Clay, and the late Congressmen Parren J. Mitchell and Elijah Cummings. They all touched the lives of many who they never met. Homeboy, you are already missed!
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