Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month – Meet Our Diverse Suppliers and Dealers

Get to know a Hispanic-owned supplier and dealer in the MillerKnoll network as they share about their business, their professional journeys, and the importance of diverse partnership in this industry.

Did you know Latinx create businesses three times faster than any other group in the United States?1

The Kaufman study from March 2022 found that Hispanics started new businesses at the fastest rate in more than a decade and 23 percent faster than pre-pandemic levels. People who are Hispanic were more likely to become new entrepreneurs in a given month than Americans of any racial or ethnic background.2

At MillerKnoll, we know diversity drives innovation. To design for the good of humankind, we must ensure individuals from diverse backgrounds and heritages have a seat at the table and a voice in the conversation.

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we sat down with two of our Hispanic-owned suppliers and dealers to hear their stories and perspectives.

Meet Mitchell Cuellar – President of Primera Plastics

Q: Tell us about your journey and how you became the owner of your business.

Primera Plastics is a family-owned and operated business established in 1994. We had a commercial relationship with MillerKnoll since 1999. I’ve been in leadership for 4 years working in partnership with my father Noel who has historically owned and operated this business. My father is involved in more of the strategic direction of the business currently and I manage day-to-day operations.

Q: How have your personal and professional experiences shaped your role today in leading a company?

I think so much of what we do is people-focused. Yes, we’re manufacturing, but we’re a group of 115 people and we have to do what’s best for everyone. We’re in this together. It’s about making sure we’re all taken care of and that we’re working together to achieve a sustainable goal that will positively impact our communities. We treat our people right, prioritizing internal training and promotions within as well as each employee grows.

Q: Given that MillerKnoll requests suppliers to support diversity and inclusion, how do you promote inclusion and diversity at your organization?

Primera Plastics is an Equal Opportunity Employer but we also cascade that down into supplier requirements. An example of this can be demonstrated with our approach to logistics; the company that handles all of our logistical needs is minority-owned.

Q: Why is it important for you to work with businesses like MillerKnoll who value diverse-owned companies within its ecosystem?

I think when a company focuses on diversity, it prioritizes long term sustainability. You’re not looking at just the next quarter’s earnings or results. Primera Plastics plans to be in business for the long-run and it is beneficial to have partners who plan to do the same - to do good for the community.

MillerKnoll has been a reliable partner who we have always had a positive and transparent relationship with. A lot of our business has been focused in the automotive industry and this partnership allows us to broaden our reach by being active participants in the furniture industry as well.

Q: How does our partnership impact relationships with customers?

Together, we provide a quality product that has great manufacturing and competitive cost with a foundation of transparency built into our process. Strategically, we work together to achieve efficiencies that can be incorporated into the end product that ultimately gives the customer a quality product that they can rely on.

Meet Marcelo Reggiardo – Principal CEO of Alianza Duffy

Q: Tell us about your journey and how you became the owner of your business.               

I started Alianza Duffy in 2006. I had a career in international logistics and wanted to pursue opening my own business. Through close friends, I was connected to the legacy Herman Miller distribution team, and we put together a business plan that was ultimately accepted. The business plan focused on two things:

  1. Growing and developing business in the New York metropolitan region.
  2. Understanding and leveraging the fact that my dealership would be Hispanic-owned and would allow Herman Miller to build business relationships with companies who have strong diversity programs in place.

In the 18 years we’ve been in business we’ve grown from a team of just 2 people to now 35.

Q: How have your personal and professional experiences shaped your role today in leading a company?

My career prior to opening Alianza Duffy had been focused on sales. It all began when I was 13 years old as a paper boy. It was my responsibility to get new subscribers, collect money and deliver the papers on time.

I went on to study Finance and International Business at NYU landing my first corporate job in sales which ultimately grew into sales management. I was able to leverage my work experience to enter a new industry. I leveraged my strengths of relationship building and providing value for clients.

My Latin heritage has played a significant role in my success as a business owner because Latinx tend to be passionate and personable. There is a word in Spanish called simpatico, which translates to “transparent”. I’ve found this quality allows you to develop good relationships in any situation.

Q: Given that MillerKnoll requests suppliers to also promote diversity and inclusion, how do you promote inclusion and diversity at your organization?

 One of the things that I’m really proud of is the diverse workforce at Alianza. Diversity is a part of our DNA; it’s important to us not only as we go out to develop business, but it enriches corporate culture overall. We look to partner with diverse suppliers. We contribute to our non-diverse business partners by providing them with first-tier minority spend as we actively seek out diverse suppliers who provide delivery and installation services to our customers.

Q: How does our partnership impact relationships with customers?

Being MillerKnoll partner gives us instant credibility in the marketplace. MillerKnoll is a combination of two iconic brands – that gives us the opportunity to knock on doors with a pre-qualification. Clients understand the brand and its value.

Alianza has a strong competitive offering, so when our teams work together strategically, we often arrive at a solution with a high level of quality, design, and innovation that resonates with our customers.

MillerKnoll’s Commitment to Supplier Diversity

MillerKnoll is committed to working with and creating opportunities for diverse and underrepresented businesses (Black-, Asian Indian-, Asian Pacific-, Hispanic-, and Native-American; Women-, Disabled-, Veteran-, Service-Disabled Veteran-, HUBZone-, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender-owned) to deliver innovative, value-added solutions for their business and customers.

Learn more about MillerKnoll’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging on MillerKnoll.com.


1 The Poynter Institute
2American Community Survey 2021 & Bureau of Labor Statistics