Diversity/Careers in Engineering & Information Technology



February/March 2014

Diversity/Careers February/March 2014 Issue

Hispanics in software & IT
Healthcare technology
Disabled veterans
Engineering grad programs
DigiPen Institute

MBEs flourish
News & Views
Regional roundup
Supplier diversity

Diversity in action
News & Views
Veterans in action

Areva AAAS



February/March 2014

Chrysler Group receives NMSDC’s Company of the Year Innovation award
Auburn, MI – Chrysler Group LLC has received the inaugural Company of the Year–Innovation award for 2013 from the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC).

Since 1983, the Chrysler Group has purchased more than $50 billion from minority-owned suppliers.

“I’m pleased to present our inaugural Innovation award to Chrysler Group,” says Joset Wright-Lacy, president of the National Minority Supplier Development Council. “Its High Focus supplier program is a best practice that creates a win-win for Chrysler and its suppliers, and serves as a great example of supply chain innovation.” The High Focus program, established in 2011, works with tier 1 Chrysler suppliers to equip them with the tools and support to increase their spending with diverse suppliers and achieve their diversity goals. The diversity spend status of each supplier is monitored monthly and reviewed with the supplier quarterly.

Since the program’s inception, fifty-two suppliers have improved their minority purchasing by more than 92 percent, more than $325 million. Chrysler is the only automaker to include diversity sourcing performance at the tier 2 level as a criterion on a supplier’s scorecard.

The company’s annual Matchmaker event provides minority-owned, women-owned and veteran-owned businesses access to Chrysler Group’s tier 1 suppliers and to decision makers in the company’s procurement organization. The program has generated more than $2 billion in new business opportunities for exhibitors since 2000. In 2013 the event attracted more than 3,000 participants. More than 270 minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned and majority-owned Chrysler Group suppliers participated in the day-long event.

“Chrysler Group’s supplier diversity program brings together our culture of inclusion with our passion for innovation,” says Scott Kunselman, SVP of purchasing and supplier quality at Chrysler. “We are very proud that programs like Matchmaker and High Focus not only create new business opportunities for minority suppliers but set benchmarks that other companies can emulate, moving the entire supplier diversity landscape forward.”

The company’s supplier diversity goals require that 10 percent of a tier 1 supplier’s procurement buy be sourced to certified minority suppliers. Chrysler Group announced early in 2013 that it spent $2.1 billion with approximately 200 minority suppliers in 2011, representing 8.5 percent of its total annual purchasing. Women-owned businesses, which are tracked separately, accounted for $301 million of the company’s spending. Overall, Chrysler Group purchased $31 billion in direct and indirect parts, materials and services in 2011.

Raytheon’s Fortner is new WBENC board chair
Washington, DC – The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) has named Benita Fortner chair of the WBENC board of directors.

Fortner is director of supplier diversity for Raytheon Company (Waltham, MA). She previously served as first vice chair to Laura Taylor, VP of strategic sourcing and procurement operations at Pitney Bowes Inc. Taylor became WBENC board chair in 2011 and will continue to sit on the board as immediate past chair.

“Benita Fortner has been a tremendous partner to me over the last three years. We at WBENC are proud and honored that she will bring her talent and deep experience to leading the board,” Taylor says.

“Benita is an outstanding professional,” adds Pamela Prince-Eason, WBENC president and CEO and a former board chair. ”I have enjoyed working with her in her many roles. She has contributed greatly to the WBENC board, and I am very excited that she will be our organization’s board chair.”

Prior to her role as first vice chair, Fortner chaired member services and programs for the WBENC board. She has been involved in minority and women business outreach and development for more than twenty years, and has served in numerous leadership roles for business, government and educational organizations.

She was national chair for National Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week from 2002 to 2004, and was named MED chair emeritus in 2005. She has also served on the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Small Business Week planning committee.

Fortner was an NMSDC Advocate of the Year and received a Diversity Leadership Award from the Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) organization.

Prior to joining Raytheon, Fortner was corporate liaison officer and manager of socioeconomic programs for Hughes Electronics Corporation, where she held many management positions over a twenty-eight year career. She has undergraduate and graduate law degrees from Golden West University and completed Raytheon’s Business Leadership program.

Northrop Grumman honors suppliers for supporting Socio-Economic Business Programs
Falls Church, VA – Northrop Grumman Corporation honored thirty-two suppliers for their outstanding performance in support of its Socio-Economic Business Programs (SEBP).

The SEBP strives to ensure that capable small businesses receive the maximum practicable subcontracting opportunities on all major programs. It focuses on businesses classified as small disadvantaged, woman-owned, veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned, historically underutilized business (HUB) zone, AbilityOne, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and historically black colleges/ universities (HBCUs), as well as minority-serving institutions.

Among the suppliers receiving awards were American Product Distributors Inc. (Charlotte, NC), Boecore, Inc. (Colorado Springs, CO), Corporate Subscription Management Service (Montvale, NJ), LTC Engineering Associates, Inc. (Sarasota, FL), Open SAN Consulting (Atlanta, GA) and Westech International (Albuquerque, NM).

“We recognize the critical role our small business suppliers play in helping us meet our aggressive SEBP goals, and in applying innovation, affordability and top performance to meet the increasingly challenging global security needs of our customers,” said Harry Q. H. Lee II, vice president of corporate contracts, pricing and supply chain at Northrop Grumman. “The awardees demonstrated superior business support and made outstanding contributions to our service-disabled veterans’ outreach, mentor-protégé programs, HBCU goals, AbilityOne program, and other initiatives.”

In 2013, Northrop Grumman spent $6.9 billion with approximately 9,500 suppliers. More than 36 percent of Northrop Grumman procurement spending goes to small businesses and W/MBEs. The company has met and exceeded its 23 percent small business statutory goals for the last ten-plus years.

NY & NJ Minority Supplier Development Council presents awards at fortieth gala celebration
New York, NY – Minority entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies were honored at the New York & New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council’s fortieth anniversary partnership awards gala held in December at the New York Marriott Marquis.

The council presented the National Corporation of the Year award to Johnson & Johnson. Con Edison received the Regional Corporation of the Year award. Theresa Harrison, director of supplier diversity at Ernst & Young, LLP, was named Advocate of the Year. In addition, the council presented the Chairperson’s award to Emmett Walker, president and CEO of Walker International Transportation and chair of the council’s minority business input committee.

Supplier of the Year awards were presented to several multicultural businesses that distinguished themselves in business and service to their communities. Among the recipients were two IT-focused MBEs: staffing firm Eclaro International and IT solutions provider Pride Technologies.

“For forty years, the council has been instrumental in helping thousands of New York and New Jersey minority companies grow their businesses,” said Pauline Gebon, chairperson of the council and VP for supplier diversity at Adecco North America (Melville, NY). “The council’s fortieth anniversary is a tribute to the long-term positive impact of the collaborations between our certified minority businesses and our corporate members.”

Ernst & Young’s Harrison was the corporate co-chair, and Noorali Sonawalla, founder and CEO of Sunrise Systems, was the MBE co-chair. Gold sponsors included Avis Budget Group, BNY Mellon, Con Edison and PepsiCo.

The council, a National Minority Supplier Development Council affiliate, has approximately 200 corporate members and 1,300 certified MBE participants. Its jurisdiction covers New York State through Trenton, NJ.

Emilia DiMenco is new president at Women’s Business Development Center
Chicago, IL – Emilia DiMenco was named president and CEO of the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC, Chicago) in August. She succeeds co-founders Hedy M. Ratner and Carol Dougal.

Ratner and Dougal founded WBDC in 1986 when less than 10 percent of U.S. businesses were woman owned. It was one of the first women’s business assistance centers in the country. WBDC has helped more than 66,000 women in the greater Chicago area, and also helped establish fourteen additional women’s business assistance centers in six states.

DiMenco joined WBDC as COO in 2010 after a thirty-year career as an executive vice president with BMO Harris N.A. She had served on the board of WBDC for several years before that.

At WBDC, she launched two microloan programs with a pool of nearly $1 million. She led an initiative to automate the organization’s economic impact monitoring and reporting which has led to a significant increase in financial contributions.

DiMenco contributes to civic and professional organizations and serves on a number of boards and councils. She’s a leader in Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), helping the organization develop policies for access to capital for women-owned businesses.

Since its founding WBDC has grown from a two-person operation to a national presence in women’s economic development with a budget of $3.3 million.

Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Delaware MSDC recognizes corporate diversity and supplier excellence
Philadelphia, PA – The Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Delaware Minority Supplier Development Council (PA-NJ-DE MSDC) announced its corporation and supplier of the year winners at the MSDC Choice awards gala held recently at the Hyatt at the Bellevue in Philadelphia, PA.

The celebration brought together over 450 guests, including Fortune 500 executives, minority business owners, public and private sector leaders, and government officials.

“It was a great night to celebrate corporate diversity and supplier excellence,” said Wade Colclough, president and CEO of the PA-NJ-DE MSDC. “It was gratifying to honor our corporate members for providing contract opportunities for diverse MSDC-certified MBEs and to recognize those MBEs who consistently provide stellar service to corporate America.”

Comcast NBCUniversal, the global media and technology company, received the National Corporation of the Year award. AmeriHealth Caritas Family of Companies received the Regional Corporation of the Year award. Both awards honor the winning companies’ supplier diversity engagement, contracting activity, leadership, and minority business enterprise (MBE) development.

Four MBEs were named Suppliers of the Year, based on sales revenue, high-quality products and services, contributions to the growth and development of society and their communities and other criteria. The recipients were Jidan Cleaning, LLC; Wu & Associates, Inc.; Union Packaging, LLC; and Populus Group, LLC.

Saunjah Powell-Pointer, associate director of supplier diversity at Merck, and Marla Hamilton, VP of marketing and business development at Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, were named Advocates of the Year.

Merck, BNY Mellon and Johnson & Johnson were the event’s top gold sponsors.

PA-NJ-DE MSDC is an affiliate of the National Minority Supplier Development Council. It represents over 150 corporate members and 425 MBEs with more than 35,000 employees and $14 billion in total revenue. It serves southeastern Pennsylvania, South Jersey and Delaware.

December 2013/January 2014

Mississippi River bridge project utilizes diverse contractors and workforce
St. Louis, MO – More than 15 percent of the $700 million cost of the new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Mississippi River at St. Louis was spent on contracts with disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs). The overall project, which includes roadway approaches on both the Missouri and Illinois side, provided 229 contracts worth more than $108 million to 113 certified minority-owned and women-owned companies.

Women make up nearly one in every ten workers building the $230 million main span of the new bridge, according to Kwame Building Group, the firm overseeing the project’s diversity and workforce inclusion for the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT). More than one in five workers on the bridge main span are minorities. Among the MoDOT employees are two women engineers and three minority engineers.

The bridge connects downtown St. Louis and southwestern Illinois. It’s a four-lane cable-stayed bridge with a main span of 1,500 feet, and will carry Interstate 70 traffic. It is expected to open in February 2014.

As of September, women workers had performed 9.9 percent of the construction work hours on the main span of the bridge, and minority workers had performed 22.3 percent. U.S. Department of Labor goals encourage at least a 6.9 percent female workforce and at least a 14.7 percent minority workforce on any federally funded project in the region, including the new Mississippi River Bridge project.

MoDOT’s ongoing effort to expand job access and diversity in transportation projects, first implemented on the New I-64 expansion project in St. Louis, has been named “The Missouri Model” by the Washington, DC-based nonprofit Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO).

IBM receives NMSDC’s Corporation of the Year award
San Antonio, TX – At its national conference and business fair in October, the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC, nmsdc.org) named IBM (Armonk, NY) Corporation of the Year. The award recognized the company’s achievements in minority business development.

The awards ceremony capped a four-day conference and business opportunity fair attended by nearly 6,000 corporate executives, supplier diversity professionals, government agency representatives and minority business owners from around the world.

The Corporation of the Year award is the organization’s top award. NMSDC recognizes a major corporation dedicated to improving the overall participation of Asian, black, Hispanic and Native American suppliers in the global corporate supply chain. Finalists for the award included Ford Motor Company, Johnson Controls, Raytheon and Toyota.

“IBM’s unwavering commitment to supplier diversity predates the chartering of NMSDC in 1972,” said NMSDC president Joset Wright-Lacy. “The technology giant was one of the first corporations to start a supplier development program. Over the course of four decades, IBM has solidified its position among the leading practitioners of global supplier diversity.”

IBM was a founding member of NMSDC, and spent $3.3 billion with first and second-tier diverse suppliers in 2012. IBM has been active in minority supplier development since 1968 and has consistently spent in the $1 billion-plus range with minority and women-owned suppliers since 2000. IBM was the first information technology company to become a member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable.

The Corporate Excellence in Access to Capital award, one of two new awards, was presented to Bank of America for its Small Business Reserve Grant program.

Chrysler Group LLC was honored with the inaugural Corporate Innovation award for its High Focus Supplier program, which encourages lower- performing suppliers to improve by creating a structured reporting process.

NMSDC also presented Reginald K. Layton of Johnson Controls with the Minority Supplier Development Leader of the Year award. The Houston Minority Supplier Development Council was named NMSDC Regional Council of the Year. Minority-owned firms Ad Pro, 21st Century Expo Group, Way To Be Designs and Guy Brown were honored as national Suppliers of the Year.

Twelve minority businesses were honored as regional Suppliers of the Year: Cube Care Company; Custom Service Plastics, Inc; Diamond Restoration, LLC; GDKN Corporation; Metal-Era; New Age Communications; Osceola Consulting; Pride Technologies; Rose International, Inc; Tempo Creative Consultants; World Wide Technology, Inc; and Zycron, Inc.

Women’s Business Development Center honors entrepreneurs and advocates at annual conference
Chicago, IL – Nearly 2,000 women and men attended the Women’s Business Development Center’s (WBDC) twenty-seventh annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference in September at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

Successful women entrepreneurs and advocates who have demonstrated a commitment to strengthening women’s business ownership and economic development received honors at the Hall of Fame awards luncheon.

Carolyn Gable, CEO of New Age Transportation, Distribution & Warehousing Inc. (Lake Zurich, IL), was named woman of the year; Lili Hall, president and CEO of Knock (Minneapolis, MN), received the entrepreneurial woman of the year award.

OfficeMax received the annual corporate support award for its ongoing commitment to the advancement of women and minority-owned businesses and for its steadfast dedication to WBDC.

For more information about WBDC, visit www.WBDC.org.

Kwame’s Tony Thompson receives Award of Distinction from Missouri Community College Association
St. Louis, MO – Anthony “Tony” Thompson, CEO and chairman of the board for MBE Kwame Building Group (St. Louis, MO), received the Award of Distinction from the Missouri Community College Association (MCCA) in November. The annual award, one of the association’s highest honors, is presented to an individual for sustained service and commitment to a local community college.

Thompson was recognized for his nineteen years of service and commitment to the St. Louis Community College (STLCC) Foundation.

“Tony is an ardent advocate of St. Louis Community College and consistently helps sponsor fundraisers that provide financial support to our students,” says Jo-Ann Digman, executive director of the foundation.

Thompson has been a member of the STLCC Foundation board of directors since 2006, and has served on its strategic planning, scholarship, finance and audit, and fundraising committees. He also is a member of the STLCC chancellor’s corporate advisory board.

In 2006, Thompson established the Jack Thompson Endowed Scholarship Fund in honor of his father, to help students at STLCC-Forest Park get their associate degrees. In 2012 he served as honorary chair of the college’s fiftieth anniversary golf tournament, a major event that raised funds for student scholarships.

Thompson and his wife Kim established the Kwame Foundation to support universities and schools that improve educational opportunities for minority students, including STLCC. Kwame Building Group has been recognized as one of the forty-eight companies that are most supportive of historically black college and university engineering schools.

Kwame Building Group, an employee-owned company, is a pure program and construction management firm providing estimating, scheduling, project planning, value engineering and other project management services as an independent advocate for owners and developers.

BRK Electrical Contractors saves bridge project $1 million
St. Louis, MO – BRK Electrical Contractors (St. Louis, MO), a minority-owned company working as a subcontractor on the Mississippi River Bridge project, was recognized by the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials for its contribution to the bridge project.

BRK suggested a way to reduce the expense of running the bridge’s utility lines, but still meet the project’s standards. It was one of several suggestions the subcontractor provided for the bridge project; altogether BRK saved the project more than $1 million.

The suggestions were made as part of the Missouri Department of Transportation’s (MoDOT) value engineering process. Contractors make suggestions that are evaluated by MoDOT and approved if the suggestion saves money and meets department standards. Any savings are split evenly between MoDOT and the contractor.

BRK was founded in 2003 by Marion A. Hayes III. It is a certified MBE electrical contracting company.

October/November 2013

Chrysler Group matchmaking event attracts diverse suppliers

Auburn Hills, MI – Chrysler Group LLC hosted its fourteenth annual Matchmaker event in September at the company’s headquarters in Auburn Hills, MI.

Matchmaker provides minority-owned, women-owned and veteran-owned businesses access to Chrysler Group’s tier 1 suppliers and to decision makers in the company’s procurement organization. The program has generated more than $2 billion in new business opportunities for exhibitors since 2000.

This year’s Matchmaker attracted more than 2,800 participants. More than 270 minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned and majority-owned Chrysler Group suppliers participated in the day-long event.

“Chrysler Group is committed to creating a diverse and sustainable supply base that directly reflects our customers,” said Scott Kunselman, SVP for purchasing and supplier quality. “Our commitment to diversity is deeply rooted and fully engages our entire team, including our extended enterprise partners. This enables us to better understand and satisfy, and perhaps even better anticipate, the tastes and needs of diverse customers and communities.”

Chrysler Group’s supplier diversity goals require that 10 percent of a tier 1 supplier’s procurement buy be sourced to certified minority suppliers. Chrysler Group itself spent $2.0 billion with approximately 200 minority suppliers in 2012, representing 7.7 percent of the company’s total annual purchasing. Since 1983, the company has spent nearly $50 billion with minority-owned suppliers.

“Programs like Matchmaker help Chrysler Group build and strengthen a diverse and inclusive minority supply base,” said Kevin L. Bell, senior manager of diversity supplier development. “This enables Chrysler Group to operate efficiently and sustainably, and to bring innovative new products to market that resonate with a diverse customer base.”

In addition to the opportunity for business-to-business interaction, Matchmaker offered minority-owned suppliers a wide range of development seminars designed to give them supplier knowledge that can strengthen their businesses. The seminars were led by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Minority Business Development Agency, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and others. They covered topics like access to capital and minority business services, merger and acquisition strategies, the use of computer programs designed to assist tier 1 and minority suppliers to do business with one another, and the effect of federal healthcare reform on small and medium-sized businesses.

Chrysler Group supports several organizations that assist tier 1 suppliers with achieving their minority-owned and women-owned sourcing goals, including the National Minority Supplier Development Council, the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. The company supports veteran-business ownership through membership in the National Veteran-Owned Business Association.

Chrysler Group has been recognized in other areas of diversity as well. It has been named one of the nation’s top supporters of engineering programs at historically black colleges and universities for the past three years by U.S. Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine, which sponsors the Black Engineer of the Year awards, and has also been recognized as a supporter of HBCUs by Advancing Minorities Interest in Engineering (AMIE), a coalition of HBCUs with engineering and IT programs or departments.

Chrysler Group employees have access to six employee resource groups (ERGs) whose objectives include promoting a positive awareness of diverse people and issues within Chrysler Group, and ensuring that the company’s products and services are tailored to diverse customers and employees. ERGs include the Chrysler African American network, Chrysler Hispanic employee network, Chrysler Asian network, Native American employee resource group, a gay and lesbian alliance and a women’s forum.

Women’s Business Development Center honors entrepreneurs, advocates at annual conference

Chicago, IL – The Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) honored successful women entrepreneurs as well as advocates who have demonstrated a commitment to strengthening women’s business ownership and economic development at its twenty-seventh annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference and Business Mart in September.

OfficeMax received the annual Corporate Support award for its ongoing commitment to the advancement of women and minority-owned businesses and for its steadfast dedication to the WBDC. Carolynn Brooks, OfficeMax VP and chief diversity officer, and Anthony Billinger, supplier diversity manager, accepted the award for the company.

Between 2010 and 2013, OfficeMax grew its diversity spending by approximately 60 percent. OfficeMax hosted its first business opportunity exchange in 2011, bringing together its diverse suppliers and vendors for a one-day conference to develop strategic relationships with internal stakeholders. The second annual business opportunity exchange in 2012 required OfficeMax’s prime vendors and suppliers to engage certified diverse suppliers on contracts and projects. The program was recently expanded to include gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender-certified suppliers.

Carol Gable, CEO of New Age Transportation, Distribution & Warehousing (Lake Zurich, IL) was named woman of the year; Lili Hall, president and CEO of the Knock creative agency (Minneapolis, MN), received the entrepreneurial woman of the year award; and Melody Spann Cooper, chairman of Midway Broadcasting Corporation (Chicago, IL) and president of radio stations WVON and WRLL, won the advocacy award.

Gable launched New Age in 1989 with one employee. Today, with forty-five employees and annual revenues of $25 million, New Age is a leading third-party logistics business that provides transportation and consulting services to dozens of companies, including several in the Fortune 500.

The recipient of numerous awards for her business acumen, Gable gives back to the community in part through her Expect a Miracle Foundation, which has given more than 7,000 children nationwide access to music and dance lessons, sports and school tutoring. She is the author of a motivational book, Everything I Know as a CEO I Learned as a Waitress.

Hall founded and leads Knock, one of the few female-owned advertising agencies in the nation. In 2001, she gathered a core group of talent and launched a business that has grown at a remarkable rate, landing the agency on the Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Companies list for three consecutive years. Hall also founded and heads two other local companies that support Knock’s service offerings: a trend-inspired product development business called Treat and Company (2006), and Neighbor (2012), a 3-D animation and creative content developer. Under Hall’s direction, Knock does a significant amount of pro bono work for nonprofit organizations. Hall serves on the boards of the Children’s Theatre Company and the Italian Cultural Center, and maintains an active membership in the Women Presidents’ Organization. She recently completed an international masters of practicing management degree at McGill University, for which she studied at five management schools around the world.

Melody Spann Cooper purchased a controlling interest in Midway Broadcasting in 1999. The company’s properties include WVON 1690AM, Chicago’s only black-owned and operated radio station, which is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year, and WRLL 1450AM, a Spanish language station. For five decades, WVON has been a platform for the African American community and the voice of information for social, economic and political issues both locally and nationally. Spann Cooper’s accomplishments in broadcast media have been recognized by organizations including Crain’s Chicago Business, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council. She is a member of the Alliance of Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs, a board member of the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters and the Provident Foundation, and is a trustee of the Museum of Science & Industry and the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Laurel Bellows, principal of the Bellows Law Group, PC, located in Chicago, and the immediate past president of the American Bar Association (ABA), delivered the keynote address at the awards luncheon.

In addition to the luncheon, the event included a Business and Buyers Mart, where conference attendees made connections and got information on increasing business growth. Workshops for startups and established businesses were also available.

Co-chairs for the 2013 conference were Carolynn Brooks, VP and chief diversity officer of OfficeMax and president, OfficeMax Charitable Foundation; and Marsha Cruzan, Chicago market president for U.S. Bank.

August/September 2013

Edison Electric Institute announces SD awards

Washington, DC – At its annual supplier diversity conference in June, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) announced its 2013 supplier diversity award winners. The awards, presented annually, recognize companies and individuals for their outstanding efforts in advancing purchasing opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses in the electric power industry.

Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L), a wholly owned subsidiary of Great Plains Energy Incorporated, earned the industry’s overall Excellence award for its commitment to an inclusive procurement system that identifies and develops relationships with diverse suppliers.

CenterPoint Energy and Southern Company were named first and second-place winners of the industry’s Innovation award for their creative efforts to promote a diverse supplier base.

EEI also presented several special category awards. Jewel Smith, supplier diversity manager of CenterPoint Energy, received the Pacesetter award, which recognizes individuals who have a long history of championing supplier diversity on many fronts in varied environments. John Eley, senior manager of corporate procurement and supplier diversity at DTE Energy, received the Vendor Opportunity award, given by small and/or diverse-owned businesses to recognize an EEI member company purchasing agent for its efforts to promote diverse and small businesses.

“I congratulate KCP&L for winning this year’s Supplier Diversity Excellence award,” said EEI president Tom Kuhn. “KCP&L’s innovative ideas and new ways of doing business, including offering unique strategies for reaching diverse markets, exemplify what the supplier diversity program is, while helping the company to better understand and anticipate its customers’ needs.”

For the past thirty years, EEI has recognized electric companies that have demonstrated leadership in advancing purchasing opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses. Contracts with power companies during this time have gone from traditional services like office supplies and temporary personnel to critical industry areas such as underground and overhead line construction, meter reading, nuclear engineering services, construction management and pension fund management.

For additional information about the industry’s supplier diversity program, go to www.eei.org/diversity.

EEI is an association of U.S. shareholder-owned electric companies. Member companies serve 95 percent of the ultimate customers in the shareholder-owned segment of the industry, and represent approximately 70 percent of the U.S. electric power industry.

Lockheed Martin strengthens ties with small diverse suppliers through new channel

Bethesda, MD – Suppliers are critical to success at Lockheed Martin (Bethesda, MD), yet they are often the first impacted in a challenging economy. In order to strengthen the company’s interaction with small businesses and provide them additional opportunities, Lockheed Martin has introduced a supplier-focused website called Supplier Wire (www.lockheedmartin.com/supplierwire).

Supplier Wire offers a wide range of educational resources, including free webinars, video tips and supplier testimonials designed to help small businesses learn how to build, sustain and expand their business with the corporation. The site also features resources on immediate procurement opportunities; information on what Lockheed Martin buys, including a listing of corporate agreements with expiration dates; and a calendar of Lockheed Martin’s supplier diversity events.

“With the launch of Supplier Wire, Lockheed Martin once again demonstrates why it is a leader in supplier relations,” said Charles Ramos, chief executive officer and president of CR Dynamics & Associates, Inc, and Lockheed Martin supplier. “Supplier Wire takes an innovative approach to identifying and connecting small businesses with the appropriate procurement and business development personnel. This is a refreshing experience for any vendor, especially a small business looking to launch a relationship with Lockheed Martin.”

To directly engage with small businesses, Supplier Wire offers live chat sessions allowing firms to interact with subject-matter experts and get answers to real-time questions. In addition, the site contains information on how to seek a partner on a proposal pursuit and how to get added to the Small Business Innovation Research directory.

“Lockheed Martin is committed to small businesses and we continually search for better methods to educate and engage with qualified diverse suppliers through more affordable solutions,” said Susannah Raheb, Lockheed Martin corporate supplier diversity leader. “Supplier Wire allows us to reach a targeted audience and strengthen our relationships through enhanced connections in a virtual environment.”

In 2012, Lockheed Martin awarded $6.4 billion in contracts to small businesses and businesses classified as diverse. This amounts to approximately one third of the corporation’s total purchase order commitments. For the second year in a row, the corporation exceeded Department of Defense goals and received an “outstanding” rating, the highest rating given by the Defense Contract Management Agency.

Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 120,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.

Chrysler names BASF Supplier of the Year for sustainability and diversity supplier development

Wyandotte, MI – BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, NJ, was named Supplier of the Year by Chrysler Group LLC for extraordinary performance in the areas of sustainability and diversity supplier development.

The diversity supplier development award recognizes BASF for exceeding its 2012 diversity goal. In addition, BASF was commended for hosting annual events for diverse suppliers.

The sustainability award recognizes BASF’s long-term commitment to environmental, social and economic sustainability and its leadership in the industry.

“Chrysler is pleased to honor suppliers who embrace philosophies focused on social and environmental responsibility as well as overall cost- effectiveness to deliver total value for our customers,” said Bill Hall, director of sustainability and business continuity for Chrysler Group LLC. “BASF exhibited a focused commitment in these critical areas, helping us create a more sustainable model for our industry.”

“We are honored to be recognized with Chrysler’s Supplier of the Year award for two areas so critical to our collective successes: sustainability and diversity supplier development,” said Rui Goerck, senior vice president for mobile emissions catalysts. “The awards demonstrate the tremendous capability of our team to exceed expectations. BASF is thrilled to be part of the Chrysler team and looks forward to working together to enable future success.”

Award recipients were determined based on an evaluation of each company’s external balanced scorecard performance in 2012, coupled with input and agreement from Chrysler Group senior leadership.

Goerck and Charlene Wall-Warren, sustainability director for BASF in North America, accepted the awards on behalf of BASF during Chrysler’s 2013 annual strategy meeting and supplier awards ceremony in Auburn Hills, MI. Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler Group chairman and CEO, served as the keynote speaker, and thanked attendees for the role they played in the company’s journey.

BASF is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. It has more than 16,600 employees in North America. BASF provides chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products, as well as oil and gas.

June/July 2013

EEI holds thirtieth supplier diversity conference
Santa Clara, CA – The Edison Electric Institute’s thirtieth annual supplier diversity conference took place at the end of May, hosted by PG&E. See our next issue for coverage and a list of award winners. In 2012, awards went to Southern Company, Progress Energy, Ameren Services, Joe Alderete of Southern California Edison and URS Corporation.

PG&E named Corporation of the Year for supporting minority business development
San Francisco, CA – Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has been named Corporation of the Year for the third year in a row by the Northern California Minority Supplier Development Council (NCMSDC, www.ncmsdc.org). The award recognizes the utility’s consistently strong commitment to minority business development.

Joan Kerr, director of supplier diversity and sustainability at PG&E, won the Supplier Diversity Leader of the Year award for her work on improving the overall participation of minority suppliers in the utility’s supply chain. PG&E’s procurement specialist Cynthia Olson won the Corporate Buyer of the Year award for her efforts to include minority suppliers in the PG&E procurement process.

“Once again, PG&E’s inclusion of minority businesses in the procurement process demonstrates an enduring commitment to diversity and community development. Such commitment continues to come with top-down support and genuine corporate stewardship,” said NCMSDC president Scott A. Vowels.

PG&E recently announced that it spent more than $2 billion with diverse suppliers in 2012, accounting for 38.8 percent of its total procurement budget. PG&E’s total spending on minority-owned business enterprises totaled $1.3 billion, an increase of $262 million or 25.7 percent over 2011.

“A broad and diverse supplier base reinforces our commitment to the communities where we live and work, and helps us to provide safe, reliable and affordable gas and electric service to our customers,” said Kerr. “I am proud to lead a supplier diversity program that is supported by so many PG&E employees dedicated to including diverse suppliers in all aspects of our business operations.”

For info on PG&E’s supplier diversity program, or to learn how to apply to become a certified diverse supplier, visit www.pge.com/supplierdiversity.

Lear recognizes thirteen global suppliers with Supplier of the Year award
Southfield, MI – In February, Lear Corporation, a global supplier of automotive seating and electrical distribution systems, presented its Supplier of the Year awards to thirteen suppliers in recognition of their performance during 2012. Three of the suppliers are minority business enterprises (MBEs).

“The suppliers we recognized performed at the highest levels during 2012,” said Matt Simoncini, Lear’s president and CEO. “Providing the best possible cost, quality and value to our customers requires the hard work of thousands of Lear employees working together with all our suppliers. We truly appreciate the tremendous support we receive from our supplier partners,” added Simoncini.

The Lear Suppliers of the Year for 2012 were selected from among the more than 2,000 companies that supply Lear globally. The MBEs honored were BAE Industries Inc, which provides seat mechanisms; Magno International LP, which provides transportation and logistics services; and Netlink Software Group America Inc, which provides IT services.

BMW hosts second annual supplier diversity event
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – This April, BMW Manufacturing introduced more than 1,000 women and minority-owned businesses to over 100 of the company’s tier 1 suppliers at its second annual Tier 1 Supplier Diversity Matchmaker Conference.

“Many of our suppliers need the same type of goods and services that BMW needs,” said Louise Connell, senior buyer and supplier diversity specialist for BMW Procurement North America. “BMW’s goal is to create a networking event that brings MBEs and WBEs together with our tier 1 suppliers.”

BMW Group’s global diversity manager, Tassilo Wirth, was a keynote speaker at the event. He called the conference “a win-win situation for BMW. BMW Group supports women and minority-owned businesses,” Wirth said. “People with different backgrounds and different problem-solving strategies offer innovative ideas and sustainable performance. This conference certainly helps those efforts.”

Lesa Rivers, the director of supplier diversity at Staples, a tier 1 supplier to BMW Manufacturing, attended the event. “It was one of the best executed diversity events I have attended,” she said. “We met some diverse companies and are going to have more conversations regarding the services they offer.”

“It was truly a first-class event in every regard,” said Karen Knuckles, the owner of Express Employment Professionals, a women-owned staffing company.

See bmwusfactory.com/diversity for more information on BMW.

Alom’s Lisa Dolan honored as a Woman of Influence by Silicon Valley Business Journal
Fremont, CA – Lisa Dolan, vice president of strategic sales at Alom, has been recognized as a 2013 Woman of Influence by the Silicon Valley Business Journal. The ceremony took place at a gala in May at the Fairmont in San Jose, CA that honored 100 women across industry, finance and education as this year’s most influential women in Silicon Valley.

“Lisa Dolan is leading an extraordinary life of professional and personal contribution that has benefited her clients, co-workers and community. She is indeed a Woman of Influence in the best possible way,” said Hannah Kain, Alom president and CEO.

Dolan was part of the 1997 founding team of Alom, a provider of supply chain management. She manages complex global supply chain business for Fortune 100 companies.

She was promoted to senior account executive in 1999 and to vice president in 2009. Prior to joining Alom, Dolan worked in other supply chain companies and high-tech companies managing supply chain issues.

Alom works with Fortune 100 clients in the technology, automotive and medical sectors, and utilities companies. For more information, visit www.alom.com.

April/May 2013

WBENC announces 2013 top corporations for WBEs
Washington, DC – For the fourteenth year, the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (www.wbenc.org, WBENC) has chosen a group of Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs). The WBENC list is the only national recognition of world-class corporate programs that level the competitive playing field for women’s business enterprises (WBEs). This year WBENC recognized thirty-two corporations for best practices that result in “productive business partnerships with women entrepreneurs and valuable products and services for their customers,” according to the organization.

“Thanks to the extraordinary leadership of our top corporations, women’s businesses are generating strategies and solutions for meeting the fast-changing needs of today’s marketplace. Together they are driving the innovation that fuels a stronger economy and creates jobs,” said Pamela Prince-Eason, president and CEO of WBENC.

The top corporations were honored at the WBENC Summit & Salute to Women’s Business Enterprises on March 13-14 in Baltimore, MD. “Our top corporations are deeply committed to strategic business development programs that cultivate competition and achieve measurable results,” Prince-Eason notes. “This event shared their thought leadership with our entire community of partners and constituents.”

These companies make up the 2012 Top Corporations for WBEs list: Accenture, Alcatel-Lucent, AT&T, Avis Budget Group, Bank of America, BP America, Chevron, Chrysler Group LLC, Dell, Energy Future Holdings, Ernst & Young LLP, Exxon Mobil Corp, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Kelly Services, Macy’s, ManpowerGroup, Marriott International, Office Depot, Pacific Gas & Electric, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Pitney Bowes, Shell, Target Corp, the Coca-Cola Company, United Airlines, UPS, Verizon Communications and Wal-Mart Stores.

Chrysler Group LLC, General Motors, Macy’s and Wal-Mart Stores appeared on the list for the first time.

The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council is the leading advocate for and authority on WBEs as suppliers and vendors to the nation’s corporations. For more information, please go to www.wbenc.org.

Duke Energy and Toyota honored by SCOMSDC
West Chester, OH – Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc received the 2012 Class IV Corporation of the Year award, and Duke Energy won the Class III Corporation of the Year award, at the South Central Ohio Minority Supplier Development Council (SCOMSDC) fortieth anniversary Awards Gala and Silent Auction in November 2012.

Corporation of the Year awards go to major corporations that are dedicated to improving the overall participation of Asian, African American, Hispanic and Native American suppliers in the global corporate supply chain. The class IV award is presented annually to a corporation whose revenue exceeds $30 billion per year. The class III award is presented annually to a corporation or organization with revenues between $12 billion and $29.99 billion.

In 2011, Toyota spent $1.7 billion with tier 1 suppliers, an increase of 13 percent from the previous year. Its tier 1 suppliers also spent $526 million with tier 2 suppliers. In spite of natural disasters that affected productivity in 2011, Toyota increased its spend with SCOMSDC-certified MBEs by 1.5 percent.

Toyota is an active member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable (BDR). The BDR was created in 2001 to recognize and celebrate corporations that achieve annual spending of at least $1 billion with minority and woman-owned suppliers. Adrienne Trimble, Toyota supplier diversity manager and current SCOMSDC board chair, represents the company as BDR secretary.

Duke Energy had a $72 million dollar spend with NMSDC-certified MBEs and $51.2 million in local spend with SCOMSDC-certified MBEs. Duke Energy’s tier 2 spend was $191 million dollars, representing a 24 percent increase over the previous fiscal year. Duke Energy actively supports the South Central Ohio council programs and initiatives, and participates on the SCOMSDC Cincinnati local advisory committee.

Duke Energy is also a member of the advisory council for Gaining Access Through Economics with Ohio Utilities (Ohio GATE, www.ohiogate.org). Ohio GATE works to develop business opportunities for diverse businesses with the regulated utilities in the state of Ohio.

Major League Baseball and the Houston Astros co-host second MLB Diversity Business Summit
New York, NY – Major League Baseball and the Houston Astros will co-host the second annual MLB Diversity Business Summit. Attendees will have access to human resource and procurement executives from all thirty MLB clubs, the MLB Network, MLB Advanced Media, MLB’s Central Office and the Minor League Baseball organization.

The MLB Diversity Business Summit will be held at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas on Wednesday, June 19. It combines a sports employment career fair with a business opportunity trade fair; job seekers and entrepreneurs will be able to network directly with decision makers for employment and business opportunities at major and minor league clubs, and at baseball-related associations and media organizations. The agenda for the event will include a keynote speech by baseball commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig, league-wide networking, exhibit floor access, workshops and executive roundtable discussions.

“Diversity is essential to our sport and remains a core priority of Major League Baseball,” said Commissioner Selig. “Major league and minor league rosters reflect players of many different backgrounds throughout our game. Away from the field, the MLB Diversity Business Summit is a key platform, allowing us to offer networking access to talented individuals who are interested in baseball careers and business opportunities. We thank the Houston Astros for co-hosting this event and exemplifying the depth of the commitment shared by all our clubs.”

The first MLB Diversity Business Summit was co-hosted by MLB and the Chicago White Sox in 2012, and attracted more than 800 registrants from across the United States.

To learn more about the summit, go to MLB.com/diversitysummit.

WBENC names fourteen WBE “Stars”
Washington, DC – In March, fourteen women business leaders received awards for excellence as women’s business enterprises (WBEs) from the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). The fourteen were recognized as WBE Stars at WBENC’s Salute to Women’s Business Enterprises in Baltimore.

“WBENC’s WBE Stars are exemplary leaders whose strategic and innovative business practices have led to their impressive business success and growth which fuels our economy,” said Pamela Prince-Eason, WBENC president and CEO.

The 2013 WBENC Women’s Business Enterprise Stars were recognized for leadership in their business communities, inspiration to other women business owners, and active roles at the helm of successful certified businesses.

HNTB Walgreens
Oracle Thermo Fisher
Philadelphia Gas Works CSX
Westinghouse DRS Technologies