2017 Top 25 Women in Power Impacting Diversity
Driving progress in Diversity & Inclusion requires strong leadership, well-defined strategies, and successful relationship building. The Women in Power Impacting Diversity bring these success elements and much more to their organizations.
Pursue a Vision of Inclusiveness
DiversityPlus Magazine is honored to once again to showcase the Top 25 Women in Power Impacting Diversity. They are professionals who have broken through glass ceilings during their careers and now use their positions to promote equal opportunities for diverse suppliers in the strong belief that Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) at every level is critical to organizations that want to remain competitive well into the future.
Supplier diversity programs are getting more sophisticated, reflecting the increasing importance of diversity in the supply chain and to business success. The diversity professionals named as the Top 25 Women in Power hold prominent, high—level positions in their organizations, but they realize they cannot build strong supplier diversity programs alone. In reading the nomination responses, a common theme emerged. Supplier diversity program building requires embedding an appreciation and accountability for diversity in organizational processes, and developing internal and external relationships that cultivate potential, qualified suppliers.
Embedding supplier diversity in organizational processes is only possible if executives are willing to listen to the business case for diversity, support the efforts of the diversity specialists, promote an organization-wide culture of Diversity and Inclusion, and hold decision-makers throughout the organization accountable for diversity in their units. This is a big agenda the women took on with great passion because they each have a vision for their organization that is focused on developing equal opportunities for diverse suppliers. The challenge for many is finding diverse suppliers with the capacity and capabilities to manage large corporate contracts. For too long, many MWBEs were shut out of the procurement processes through various barriers like lack of access to capital, and did not have growth opportunities. For this reason, the Women in Power Impacting Diversity developed programs that are built on a foundation of relationship building and providing opportunities to diverse suppliers interested in increasing capacity and doing large contracts.
The past year's strategies for building supplier relationships were different from prior years in several ways. There is a definite movement toward offering more intense development opportunities. They include one-on-one mentoring, holding invitation–only supplier events, cultivating potential suppliers, and one-on-one introduction meetings between suppliers and sourcing professionals. The Women in Power are intentional about giving diverse suppliers what they need to succeed, including giving them access to intellectual assets and accelerating payment terms. The women diversity specialists are also adamant that setting cross-functional corporate goals and holding managers accountable for making progress toward goals are necessary steps in any company that is serious about expanding diversity in the supply chain. The female developed strong communication systems, too, holding regular meetings with sourcing category teams, developing tools that increase interactions with suppliers, and developing teams of diversity champions and diversity ambassadors as advocates.
There were three additional trends noted during the nomination review process. Once trend is increasing use of data and data analytics to track progress toward goals. Targets are set, reports are generated, dashboards are made available, and performance reviews include goal measurements. The second trend is the leveraging of Supplier diversity programs to improve environmental and social sustainability. Blending supplier diversity with sustainability is an efficient and productive strategy that leads to new supplier opportunities.
The third trend is one of the most interesting. Bias can easily creep into supply chain decisions just like it does in the talent management processes. To eliminate the bias, Leann Thompson at Cargill developed a pre-read template for sourcing category teams attending supplier introduction meetings and Concetta Savovich at Abbott uses a supplier review tool to help level the playing field.
The bios of the Top 25 Women in Power Impacting Diversity are brief, but they are filled with innovative ideas that other companies can use or adapt. The women chosen as awardees use very different approaches to growing supplier diversity and are happy to discuss their strategies with anyone who is interested in getting more detailed information. This is an opportunity for organizational leaders to connect with the best-of-the-best in supplier diversity and join the effort to develop an inclusive corporate ecosystem.
Director of Supplier Diversity
Kimberly Marcus is Redefining Supplier Diversity at AARP
Director of Supplier Diversity
Kimberly Marcus, Director of Supplier Diversity for AARP, believes the organization can only remain relevant by ensuring its staff, membership, and supply base reflect the diversity of its members. She is a passionate supporter of diverse businesses, focusing her attention on encouraging colleagues to prioritize supplier diversity through interactions with the supplier diversity team on a regular basis. Kimberly has initiated new procedures such as accelerated payment terms for the small and diverse supply base, a process for identifying the highest probable opportunities, and ensuring the inclusion of qualified diverse suppliers in the bid process.
Kimberly brought deep corporate and non-profit experience to AARP. She was a presidential appointee for the Department of Commerce; appointed to serve as the Associate Director for the Office of Legislative, Education & Intergovernmental Affairs at the MBDA; and was the National African American Outreach Director for the Democratic National Committee. She is applying her expertise in communications, public affairs, external relationships, outreach, research, and policy development to redefine the AARP supplier diversity program as a critical component of the social mission organization's success.
“Success in many respects can be attributed to the innovation and performance of small and diverse owned businesses.” — Kimberly Marcus
Senior Director, Supplier Development and Diversity
Concetta Savovich Elevates Abbott's Diverse Business Enterprises
Senior Director, Supplier Development and Diversity
Concetta Savovich is the Senior Director, Supplier Development and Diversity for Abbott Global Procurement. She has implemented many initiatives to reflect a maturing supplier diversity program. One is a mentorship program entered into with a diverse supplier to identify new and innovative opportunities to drive efficiencies and supply chain synergies. Concetta raises awareness of supplier diversity through regular communication with the Global Operations Council to engage senior management, revamped the Tier 2 program by using automated data collection from prime suppliers, and publishing a dashboard containing government goals and organizational targets.
Concetta developed a team of diversity champions from each Abbott division and major spend category to oversee, monitor, and track diverse spend. Diverse suppliers are showcased at monthly champion meetings. She believes in regular communication and education of internal groups, and oversaw the creation of a Supplier Diversity Governance Council. Concetta initiated the partnership of Abbott Supplier Diversity and an Abbott key customer supplier diversity program to present opportunities at diversity workshops. She also implemented a real-time, online supplier review tool to measure internal satisfaction levels.
When it comes to diversity my philosophy is “Education, Communication and Inclusion.” I believe that a successful program is dependent on having these three tenants as a foundation. — Concetta Savovich
Director of Supplier Diversity
Paula FrankPaula Frank Transforms ADP's Supplier Diversity Program
Director of Supplier Diversity
Paula Frank launched a transformational strategy that grew supplier diversity spend by 36 percent year-over-year in her first full fiscal year as the Director of Supplier Diversity for ADP. She has focused on assisting top performing diverse suppliers in securing new business at ADP. Paula initiated best practices that include a mix of increasing engagements in hard to penetrate purchasing categories, supplier mentorships, and improving program communications. She also worked with prime suppliers to increase tier 2 spend. Paula's team partners with the Global Procurement Supplier Diversity Advocacy Group to drive engagement through purchasing decisions.
Top–down support for the supplier diversity program has been instrumental in the program's success. Paula oversaw the 2016 ADP sponsored supplier diversity summit in which ADP's chief financial officer, the division vice president of human resources, the chief procurement officer, and other top executives participated. She also developed an IT information session at which suppliers will hear from a panel of ADP IT leaders. Paula believes high quality communication is key to helping diverse suppliers secure new ADP business.
I've done my job if I can help affect change by helping diverse suppliers "get to the table" and close deals. — Paula Frank
Director of Supplier Diversity
Rose HatcherRose Hatcher Cultivates Current and Potential Diverse Suppliers
Director of Supplier Diversity
As the Director of Supplier Diversity at Aetna, Rose Hatcher works to develop and grow relationships with current diverse vendors in order to identify and act on expanded opportunities. She cultivates relationships with potential diverse suppliers so they are prepared to do business with Aetna when the appropriate opportunities arise. This proves to be an excellent strategy for steady growth in the supplier diversity program. Working with senior management, annual targets are set for the enterprise and at the business area levels that are inclusive of both Tier 1 and Tier 2.
Rose utilizes a number of key best practices to ensure supplier diversity thrives. She works directly with the centralized category and supply management team to strengthen process and policy on inclusion. Rose also worked to update RFP and contracting language and developed a category level report to increase visibility to diverse opportunities and retention of current successfully performing diverse suppliers. Rose also expanded the Tier 2 program. She renewed focus on enterprise wide training and awareness that includes participation in onboarding processes and mandated technology based training for Aetna's buyers.
"Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance." — Verna Myers
Supplier Diversity Liaison Officer
Jinus Moghbeli Jinus Moghbeli Embeds Supplier Diversity in Amgen Operations
Supplier Diversity Liaison Officer
Jinus Moghbeli is the Supplier Diversity Liaison Officer at Amgen and also heads the Supplier Sustainability and Sourcing Compliance programs. She has been instrumental in developing an effective communication process that emphasizes the importance of supplier diversity to all functions. With executive management's support and sponsorship, Jinus has obtained the commitment of all functions to provide opportunities to small and diverse suppliers any time they are sourcing. Her success in gaining top down support for the supplier diversity program has been critical to growing the diverse supply chain in the global Human Therapeutics company in an industry where companies still struggle to find diverse suppliers who have the appropriate capacity to supply a global company.
Jinus implemented a number of specific initiatives to shape Amgen's supplier diversity program. She incorporated supplier diversity expectations and targets into the existing sourcing and procurement processes. They include the RFP and contracting systems. Jinus also established a successful onboarding process that is effective in making sure that anyone who does sourcing considers and provides real opportunities to diverse suppliers.
"The art of thinking independently, together.” — Malcolm Forbes
Staff Vice President of Supplier Diversity
Brenda Burke Anthem's Brenda Burke Builds Executive Support for Supplier Diversity
Staff Vice President of Supplier Diversity
Brenda Burke is the Staff Vice President of Supplier Diversity at Anthem. In her role she builds strategic relationships with key diverse suppliers and serves as the ambassador for external constituencies. She has brought enormous success to the supplier diversity program which has experienced 2,403 percent growth since the program's inception in 2005. She works closely with the executive team to develop strategic initiatives, goals, and internal support across functions for the supplier diversity program.
One of the key strategies bringing success is the linking of supplier diversity initiatives with corporate objectives. Brenda has demonstrated the value of supplier diversity in growing revenues, brand recognition, positive public perception, community relationships, and subject-matter expertise. She has the full support of the top management team which has provided the resources and enabled her to fully participate in advocacy organizations. Just recently, Anthem's executive vice president & chief financial officer signed on as a supplier diversity executive sponsor. This was a major step in the continued growth and expanded support of the supplier diversity program and initiatives.
"Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." — Ralph Waldo Emerson
Supplier Diversity Program LeadBD(Becton Dickinson)
Jessica GemmellBecton Dickinson's Jessica Gemmell Further Integrates Supplier Diversity into Procurement Strategy
Supplier Diversity Program Lead
Jessica Gemmell is the Supplier Diversity Program Lead for Becton Dickinson and Co. (BD). She has been instrumental in integrating the supplier diversity program into the company's procurement strategy. Over the last year, Jessica has managed to not only leverage, but also create a seamless collaboration among the Bidding & Contracting Center of Excellence, category groups and supplier diversity to expand and strengthen support for further inclusion of small and diverse suppliers into BD’s supply chain. This has laid the foundation for maintaining and cultivating BD’s relationships with diverse suppliers in the future.
Jessica attributes the success of BD’s Supplier diversity program to these types of departmental relationships. She also actively works to foster collaborative partnerships across departments to garner support to achieve BD’s overall diversity goals. The relationship building approach instills unity among peers and highlights the importance of inclusion and diversity in everything the organization does. She sits on the OPEN Associate Resource Group (ARG) leadership team, BD’s ARG promoting open inclusion and advocacy for LGBTQ persons, and advocates internally, and in the communities BD serves, for increased diversity awareness. Through these efforts, Jessica has witnessed a difference in the diverse communities of operation.
Favorite Quote:"Be the change you wish to see in the world." + Mahatma Gandhi
U.S. Supplier Diversity ManagerBMO Harris Bank
Jessica TurnerBMO Harris Bank’s Jessica Turner Led the Way in Implementing Supplier Diversity Strategic Plan
U.S. Supplier Diversity Manager
In her position as U.S. Supplier Diversity Manager, Jessica Turner led the way in implementing BMO Harris Bank’s U.S. supplier diversity strategic plan, focused on best practice principles that align BMO Harris Bank to market leading supplier diversity programs. The three-year plan sets aggressive goals and tactical objectives for the program and has gained support from senior leaders. Key stakeholders helped shape the plan’s vision adding a shared accountability for supplier diversity deliverables and progress.
Jessica also supported the development of BMO’s first corporate commitment statement and internal facing supplier diversity website. She initiated the reinvigoration and broadening of the Supplier Diversity Advisory Council in the U.S., and has grown the supplier diversity program by challenging the status quo and tackling opportunities with innovation. Jessica’s many contributions to the supplier diversity program are aligned with her values and life experiences. Jessica believes that diverse suppliers should have opportunities to compete for business with organizations like BMO Harris Bank, and in doing so, supply chains are strengthened when diversity is added into the supplier mix.
Favorite Quote:"Fairness does not mean everyone gets the same. Fairness means everyone gets what they need." - Rick Riordan, The Red Pyramid
Supplier Diversity Manager Cargill
LeAnn ThompsonCargill's LeAnn Thompson Builds Success Through Centralization
Supplier Diversity Manager
LeAnn Thompson is the Supplier Diversity Manager at Cargill and is responsible for increasing the alignment and coordination of supplier diversity goals among Cargill Businesses and Functions. Her approach to growing the supplier diversity program centers on centralizing processes, like adding procurement buyers to the supplier diversity function. This enables her team to reach a larger base within Cargill. With the support of senior leaders, LeAnn made supplier diversity one of the pillars in Cargill's center of expertise within strategic sourcing and procurement.
There are a number of initiatives LeAnn has developed and implemented to increase diverse supplier participation. One is the hosting of category specific one-on-one introduction meetings with the sourcing category teams. Included in the process is the requirement that each supplier complete an in-depth template that provides information about the business. LeAnn worked with sourcing leaders to create the template. The dedicated meetings give suppliers a chance to share their story, and ask and answer questions. Suppliers eligible for the one-on-one meetings have been vetted and attend match-making sessions.
Favorite Quote:"Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal - a commitment to excellence - that will enable you to attain the success you seek." + Mario Andretti
Director of Supplier DiversityThe Clorox Company
Dwan ArmstrongDwan Armstrong Quadruples Diverse Supplier Spend at Clorox
Lead, Supplier Diversity Organization
Dwan Armstrong leads the Supplier Diversity Organization for the Clorox Company. She is a pioneer in supplier diversity with over 17 years of experience in the diversity space and 27 years of experience in supply chain management. Under her direction in the past few years, Clorox has more than quadrupled the amount of spend with diverse suppliers and more than doubled the number of diverse suppliers Clorox does business with. As a result of the Supplier Diversity Initiative, the number of diverse suppliers that Clorox procures over a $1 million in goods and services from has tripled.
Dwan also implemented a Tier 2 Diversity Initiative that has generated an additional annual spend of $50 million. She attributes much of the success of supplier diversity to organization-wide support, from the CEO to buyers. The suppliers are given equal access to opportunities. In return, Clorox gains insights and perspectives on consumer preferences and needs. Dwan considers diverse suppliers to be partners with Clorox and key to long-term corporate sustainability.
"If your presence doesn’t make an impact, your absence doesn’t make a difference!" - Trey Smith
Director of Strategic ProcurementCVS Health
Monette Knapik Monette Knapik Uses Outreach to Grow CVS Health Supplier Program
Director of Strategic Procurement
Monette Knapik is the Director of Strategic Procurement for CVS Health. Under her direction, spend with small and diverse suppliers for Tier 1 and Tier II exceeded $2 billion in 2016, enabling the company to join the prestigious Billion Dollar Roundtable. She attributes the strong commitment of executive leaders to her success in integrating supplier diversity initiatives into the overall corporate business plan.
Monette has implemented a number of supplier development and capacity building initiatives that continue to evolve. The Executive Learning Series for Diverse Suppliers builds leadership skills needed to secure contracts with large businesses. The full–day event includes general information sessions and one-on-one meetings with suppliers and purchasing decision–makers in the construction area. The supplier outreach initiatives include the Construction business building events that seek diverse prime and subcontractors, and provides training on developing capabilities statements. Monette's team also hosts the "Partnering for Success" program that seeks diverse suppliers in the finance, legal, IT, and merchandising categories. The program includes workshops and one-on-one meetings with CVS Health decision-makers.
Favorite Quote:"Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another." - John C. Maxwell
Vice President, Supply Chain SustainabilityDell
Jennifer AllisonDell's Jennifer Allison Relies on Strong Accountability Measures for Success
Vice President, Supply Chain Sustainability
Jennifer Allison is Dell’s VP, Supply Chain Sustainability. Her team has successfully grown the supplier diversity program spending billions with diverse businesses annually and gaining membership to the Billion Dollar Roundtable since 2009. With full support from the top, her team implemented a Global Supplier Diversity Steering Committee so that accountability is established at all levels of the organization. Spend goals are set for all executives, champions, and extended team members based on the sourcing strategy.
Goals are monitored through monthly meetings and progress and risks communicated broadly. Jennifer also taps into the Dell Women's Entrepreneur Network to provide suppliers with networking opportunities, technology, and sources of funding.
Their Global Ambassador program extends sourcing opportunities for diverse businesses outside the U.S. and a supplier development program helps suppliers find expanded opportunities within Dell and build capabilities. The Dell team recognizes that its customers come from every nation and culture and make sure that all aspects of their business reflect that same diversity.
Favorite Quote:"…In all areas of the human existence, what we put into this world, we get back from it." - Jim Rohn
Lashelle Hamilton Lashelle Hamilton Builds Supplier Diversity through Outreach and Mentoring
Lashelle Hamilton is Purchasing Supervisor of Indirect Materials for DENSO's Maryville and Athens, Tenn,. facilities, and Supplier Diversity Coordinator for DENSO's southern facilities. Under her guidance, the Supplier Diversity Initiative has significantly expanded, growing by 72 percent over the past few years. Lashelle accomplished this by expanding outreach efforts such as attending customer and industry driven diversity events. She also worked closely with direct material associates and developed a deeper engagement with local Chambers of Commerce to develop superior suppliers. Lashelle has strengthened the program at every staffing level with the full support of top executives and praises them for providing the resources necessary to succeed.
Another key strategy that Lashelle has used to grow the Supplier Diversity Initiative is mentoring of diverse suppliers to improve their quality, cost, and delivery performance. Suppliers who successfully complete the mentoring program gain an increased number of opportunities for additional business with DENSO affiliates across the country. Currently, 25 percent of DENSO's diverse suppliers are supporting multiple affiliates across North America.
Favorite Quote:"The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for." - Maureen Dowd
Supplier Diversity ManagerEricsson
Anisha JacksonAnisha Jackson Builds Sustainable Networks at Ericsson
Supplier Diversity Manager
Anisha Jackson is the Supplier Diversity Manager for Ericsson in Regional North America. She is a proven corporate leader in relationship building and is using her experience to expand Ericsson's utilization of minority, women, and disabled veteran businesses in the supply chain. Anisha has focused on team building to grow the supplier diversity program, building support throughout the organization and ensuring strategic alignment of supplier diversity and organizational goals.
Anisha applied best practices to continually grow and expand the supplier diversity program including establishing a mentorship program and offering workshops and seminars. She developed a "Best in Class" annual Supplier Diversity Matchmaker event that provides diverse suppliers direct access to opportunities to partner with Ericsson's sourcing team, customers, and prime suppliers. The event also provides networking opportunities and gives suppliers the ability to link to the entire Ericsson organization. Anisha and her team use a two-tier reporting portal to strengthen supplier networks and provide greater access in pursuit of Ericsson's vision of a networked society where every person is empowered to reach their full potential.
Favorite Quote: "There’s is room in this world for beauty to be Diverse." — Lupita Nyong’o
Supplier Diversity Specialist ExxonMobil
Susan StentzExxonMobil's Susan Stentz is a Pioneering Leader in Supplier Diversity
Supplier Diversity Specialist
Susan Stentz is a Supplier Diversity Specialist at ExxonMobil and has been actively involved in the company's supplier diversity initiative for 30 years. She has been a long-time leader in advancing supplier diversity and is a founding member and past chair of the Women's Business Enterprise Council South. Susan has grown the supplier diversity program through increased engagement with corporate buyers and decision-makers, including those writing agreements. She has also helped with doubling the number of advocates from procurement organizations in all areas of the business to support efforts to find opportunities for diverse suppliers.
An exciting approach to supplier diversity has been its inclusion as a component of the Global Sustainable Procurement Group. ExxonMobil has implemented a robust process to recognize opportunities in supplier diversity by broadening the perspective of the corporate decision-makers. The corporate team has access to a unique platform that educates managers on supplier diversity and its importance to ExxonMobil. The company is dedicated to developing a strong diverse supply chain that benefits the businesses and communities of operation.
Favorite Quote:"Be the change you wish to see in the world."
- Mahatma Gandhi
Director, Supply Chain Development, Supplier Diversity Development Ford
Renee JonesRenee Jones Connects Ford's Opportunities and Diverse Suppliers
Director, Supply Chain Development, Supplier Diversity Development
Renee Jones is the Director, Supply Chain Development for the Ford Motor Company including Supplier Diversity Development. She has led the efforts to grow the Supplier Diversity Development Program, including monitoring progress in meeting spend goals for accountability. Supplier diversity metrics are reviewed quarterly during the corporate business plan review meetings, chaired by the CEO and attended by top senior executives. The success of the program is attributed to inclusion of supplier diversity in performance metrics for procurement personnel, attendance of top management at supplier diversity events, and senior leaders serving on boards for diversity advocacy organizations.
Ford recognizes the importance of sourcing diverse suppliers and of building capacity in these suppliers. The corporate philosophy is that everyone benefits when all businesses are given an opportunity to fairly compete. Renee works closely with Ford's Joint Technology Framework Program which is dedicated to enhancing the technical capacity and sustainability of M/V/WBEs through access to intellectual assets, such as patented ideas and support from Ford subject matter experts. JTF projects help suppliers enhance their business model and brand image in the marketplace.
Favorite Quote:"Having a diverse supply base is an important part of Ford Motor Company’s commitment to make people’s lives better by changing the way the world moves…, we in turn empower the communities we aim to serve.” — Renee Jones
Supplier Diversity/Supply Chain Sustainability Manager Humana
Sandra HarperHumana's Sandra Harper Blends Supplier Diversity with Sustainability
Supplier Diversity/Supply Chain Sustainability Manager
Sandra Harper is the Supplier Diversity/Supply Chain Sustainability Manager for Humana, Inc. Her dual role enables her to build internal advocacy connections and to support external advocacy organizations. Outreach efforts internally and externally have built strong support on an organization-wide basis while increasing competitiveness and creativity through interactions with diverse suppliers. Sandra has overseen the "Walk N Talk" initiative in which suppliers meet with potential corporate buyers at an annual diversity event while enjoying productive and healthy walks together. In blending supplier diversity and sustainability, Humana contracted with a diverse business to oversee the first pallet recycling project at one of their pharmacy distribution locations.
Sandra has led Humana in other achievements, such as developing good faith inclusion measures for corporate procurement teams and internal sourcing groups. Sandra's team has instituted processes that make it easier for procurement professionals to access diverse businesses, including providing initial registration guidance and sourcing directories. She also worked with a third–party organization to automate and expand the Tier II program to include more top prime suppliers in the diversity effort.
Favorite Quote:"If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Manager, Supplier DiversityKCP&L
Valerie CoyazoValerie Coyazo Shines the Light on Supplier Diversity
Manager, Supplier Diversity
As the Manager, Supplier Diversity at Kansas City Power & Light, Valerie Coyazo first focused on increasing organizational awareness of supplier diversity. She developed internal training for employees titled "Introduction to Supplier Diversity" which shares information about the program and the community economic development impact. Valerie also managed the addition of a mentoring program and scorecards for measuring performance of key managers. Contract language has been added to require/promote the utilization of diverse suppliers, and goals and non-performance penalties were set.
One of the supplier diversity program's star achievements is the Light Source Mentoring Program. Valerie manages the program, serves as the liaison between senior level leadership and mentoring activities, and mentors new supplier diversity managers. The Light Source program pairs a diverse supplier with a KPC&L executive and assigns a procurement advocate who ensures the supplier is included in the bid process. The program graduates have succeeded beyond expectations, growing in a down economy, hiring more people, and contributing to community economic development. The program has been adopted by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.
"Diversity is not about how we differ. Diversity is about embracing one another's uniqueness." - Valerie Coyazo
Executive Director of National Supplier DiversityKaiser Permanente
Beverly Norman-CooperBeverly Norman-Cooper at Kaiser-Permanente Makes Supplier Spend Count
Executive Director of National Supplier Diversity
In 2014, Kaiser Permanente became the first healthcare organization to join the Billion Dollar Roundtable. Ever since, Beverly Norman-Cooper, Executive Director of National Supplier Diversity at Kaiser Permanente, has looked for ways to advance that innovative thinking by striving to optimize her program’s spend so that it supports small business growth; drives job creation; and makes a positive economic impact on the communities where people live, work, and thrive.
Beverly is adamant that supplier diversity is not just about counting spend, but making spend count. Her team uses data to analyze and measure the impact of spend decisions on communities, in the form of jobs and tax revenues. Beverly relies on data to measure the economic impact of that spend in support of KP’s Total Health Agenda, which recognizes that health is more than healthcare, and poverty, economic insecurity and other socio-economic determinants of health are more critical to good health than the clinical care people receive.
Favorite Quote:"In all my work, I try to say - 'You may be given a load of sour lemons, why not try to make a dozen lemon meringue pies?" -Maya Angelou
Global Economic Inclusion & Supplier DiversityMerck
Tara SpannMerck's Tara Spann Expands Supplier Diversity with Strategic Alliances
Global Economic Inclusion & Supplier Diversity
Tara Spann is the Director, Global Economic Inclusion & Supplier Diversity at Merck. She has worked to expand the pharmaceutical company's supplier diversity program strategies, processes and outreach efforts. She supports Merck's commitment of providing the greatest number of opportunities to diverse suppliers in recognition that economic inclusion and supplier diversity brings a competitive advantage and economic growth. Tara brought deep experience to Merck having previously worked with Bristol-Myers Squibb, developing international strategies and overseeing the integration of supplier diversity and inclusion into the strategic category management process. She led an enterprise-wide transformation.
While at Staples Inc., Tara increased top line sales from $100,000 to $325,000 million. She accomplished this by creating diverse strategic alliances. At Staples, she also had responsibilities that extended to workforce diversity and inclusion for the North America salesforce. Prior to her role at Staples, Tara served as senior software licensing negotiator at Harvard University. She was also the contract manager of Harvard University's procurement management department where she managed the minority procurement program, government compliance regulations, audits for purchasing, and the implementation of strategic vendor alliances.
"There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient; when you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses - only results." - Kenneth Blanchard, PhD.
Supplier Diversity ManagerNielsen
Shirelle MageeNielsen's Shirelle Magee Strengthens Supplier Team Relationships
Supplier Diversity Manager
As Supplier Diversity Manager, Shirelle Magee has called upon her progressive experience to expand supplier diversity at Nielsen. The expansion of their team gave her an opportunity to implement a variety of strategies. One is engaging more C-suite executives as speakers and collaborators in the supplier diversity program to promote the value of supplier diversity and to increase corporate associates' interest in purchasing from local and global businesses. Executive support has been critical to growing the program.
Shirelle has focused on building relationships between the supplier diversity team, category buyers diverse suppliers and other key employees. This year she is committed to traveling to key Nielsen U.S. offices for group discussions to better understand the growing and changing IT, property management and purchasing needs. This creates an environment where open, honest conversations identifies local challenges and potentially new buying opportunities that can be matched to a list of local diverse suppliers. Her collaborative efforts help keep supplier diversity at the forefront and substantially improve the company’s Tier 1 and Tier 2 spend.
Favorite Quote:"Listen to understand over listening to reply." — Shirelle Magee
Director, Supplier DiversityPfizer
Ellen JamesonPfizer's Ellen Jameson Builds Diverse Supplier Relationships
Director, Supplier Diversity
As Director of Supplier Diversity, Ellen Jameson works closely with Global Procurement colleagues on Pfizer's Supplier Diversity Council to advance supplier diversity domestically and globally. Her focus is on developing quality relationships with diverse suppliers through one-on-one mentoring and to not just concentrate on numbers. She believes this approach develops supplier diversity ambassadors who are embedded in the global organization.
One of the innovative approaches to relationship building that Ellen has implemented is organizing invitation-only events at Pfizer based on specific needs and opportunities. This personalized approach ensures that diverse suppliers spend quality time with specific procurement contacts to discuss capabilities and opportunities. Her goal is for Pfizer to develop long-term, sustainable relationships with small and diverse suppliers.
Favorite Quote:"It always seems impossible until it’s done." - Nelson Mandela
Supplier Relations & Diversity Manager Southern Company
Glenda Thomas Glenda Thomas Grows Southern Company's Community Presence
Supplier Relations & Diversity Manager
Jay Sheldon Wesley brings depth of experience in supplier diversity, procurement and supply chain management across six industries to his position as the Global Head of Supplier Diversity and Performance for Pitney Bowes. He developed a process for diverse suppliers that is more engaging and easier to navigate in order to encourage greater participation. Jay also developed a process to build capacity of bid-ready diverse suppliers. Suppliers not meeting capacity needs are added to a development list under supplier connections and offered the academy for mentorship, counsel, and development to make them bid ready for future opportunities.
Glenda Thomas is the Supplier Relations & Diversity Manager for the Alabama Power, a Southern Company. Under her leadership, she has significantly grown the supplier diversity program in all the core business areas of power generation, transmission, and distribution. Glenda has worked to increase the company's presence in the communities that serve the Southeast region in the U.S., holding information sessions to engage diverse suppliers. She also assists diverse suppliers with business development, helping them with key areas like succession planning, innovation, utility best practices, and project management. She implemented a business education series for small businesses to help them build and sustain the back office while performing required work.
Glenda also facilitates business-to-business mentoring and oversees a mentoring program that aligns a supplier with at least two mentors. The mentors work with suppliers to help them be more effective in aligning with Alabama Power Company's culture. She believes "straight talk" between Alabama Power Company managers and suppliers is critical to improved communications, decreases potential conflicts and misunderstandings, improves customer relationships, and grows supplier self-awareness.
Favorite Quote: "Live life vibrantly but creating vibes of inclusiveness, passion and excellence in all you do."
- Glenda S. Thomas
Corporate Supplier Diversity Director
Estrella CramerEstrella Cramer Builds Strong UPS Supplier Diversity Program with Mentorships
Corporate Supplier Diversity Director
Estrella Cramer is the Corporate Supplier Diversity Director at UPS. She is also the Chairperson of the UPS Asian Business Resource Community Connections Committee. She has been instrumental in evolving the formal Supplier Diversity Working Group's relationship with the UPS Diversity Steering Council. She attributes the supplier diversity program's success to a strong top down approach coupled with an enthusiastic bottom up buy-in. The council is comprised of representatives from different business units and functions. Executive support has led to the inclusion of diverse suppliers in all relevant RFP/Bids.
Estrella also manages the UPS supplier diversity mentoring program. The mentoring program is designed to help diverse businesses through education with the refinement and improvement of their business processes so they may gain a competitive edge with the goal of increasing opportunities to win corporate contracts. The program includes one-on-one sessions. Estrella actively mentors employees through her role as committee chairperson with the UPS Business Resource Group. Employee mentoring develops participant skills and knowledge so they can eventually take on greater responsibilities.
"Wit lies in recognizing the resemblance among things which differ and the difference between things which are alike." - Madame de Stael
Program Services Manager, Supplier Diversity
About DiversityPlus Magazine: Vizient's LaSheia Strong Brings Greater Visibility to Supplier Diversity Program
Program Services Manager, Supplier Diversity
LaSheia Strong is the Program Services Manager of Supplier Diversity for Vizient, Inc. She is focused on bringing greater visibility of the supplier diversity program to member hospitals in order to increase procurement opportunities for contracted suppliers. LaSheia has been instrumental in supporting the expansion of category offerings to include travel management services, IT consulting services, and data services software leading to robust growth of the supplier diversity program.
LaSheia has also helped shape the development of the pillars of the supplier diversity program that provide a base for rapid but steady growth in contracted vendors. The pillars are mentoring and enrichment, fostering collaboration, and maximizing opportunities. Each addresses specific audiences with strategic initiatives and forecasted ROI. LaSheia also works to develop more collaborative partnerships with Vizient’s member hospitals and contracted diverse suppliers to expand opportunities. She is active in several supplier diversity groups including the NMSDC, WBENC, and Vizient's Supplier Diversity Advisory Council.
Favorite Quote:"I know there is strength in the differences between us. I know there is comfort, where we overlap.” — Ani DiFranco
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