LOS ANGELES, April 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) received two awards at the recent Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce's (GLAAACC) 20 th Anniversary Economic Awards Dinner on April 5 in Los Angeles. GLAAACC awarded SoCalGas with its Utility of the Year Award and Richard D. Hobbs, SoCalGas' director of supply management and supplier diversity received GLAAACC's Small Business Advocate Award. The event featured representatives from corporations, nonprofit groups, local businesses and individuals committed to GLAAACC's mission of advocating and promoting the economic growth and development of African American business by focusing on developing business opportunities, alliances and legislative advocacy. The mistress of ceremonies for the event was Vivica Fox, television and film actress and producer, and Nicole Y. Lame-Hale, assistant secretary for Manufacturing and Services at the U.S. Department of Commerce, was the keynote speaker at Friday's event. "For twenty years, GLAAACC has played a major role in developing and sustaining African American businesses in the region. Without the support of corporations and individuals such as Southern California Gas Company, this would not have been possible," said Gene Hale, chairman of GLAAACC. "We have a long history of partnerships with diverse business enterprises," said Anne Shen Smith, chairman and CEO of SoCalGas, who served as dinner chair for the event. "For several decades we have worked alongside such groups as GLAAACC to promote, develop and grow small and minority businesses. Having access to a larger pool of qualified firms has led to more competitive pricing and higher quality of goods and services that we use to deliver safe and outstanding service to our customers." SoCalGas achieved a record year in 2012 for contracting with Diverse Business Enterprises (DBEs) with nearly 42 percent of its contracting budget going to minority, women-owned and service-disabled veteran businesses for goods, supplies and services. And, SoCalGas' commitment doesn't stop there. Its diverse workforce of more than 8,300 employees includes 64 percent minorities. And of its top leadership, 56% percent are either women or minority.