Special Corporate Feature

Leveraging Data To Innovate And Tell The Economic Impact Story Across Industries

Data is not information until it is converted into useful insights. That is why Proximo serves its corporate customers at the intersection of data and storytelling with impact, and David Ricciardi is leading the way.

Proximo was named the 2023 LGBTBE Supplier of the Year by the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). Proximo is a story of entrepreneurial success through leadership, agility, and adaptability. Under David Ricciardi, CEO, President, and Founder, the company has been operating and thriving for 27 years in the continually changing technology industry. This recognition is a result of the annual process where the LGBTBE of the year is selected as an outstanding supplier who brings innovative products and service quality to their customers, even in challenging times.

“David Ricciardi and Proximo exemplify the excellence and innovation we celebrate at the NGLCC. As our Supplier of the Year, their achievements and impressive business growth set a high standard, inspiring other suppliers. David's leadership and commitment to equity, inclusion, and supplier diversity are at the heart of their success. For these reasons and more, we are proud to honor David and Proximo for their outstanding contributions and leadership,” said Justin Nelson, NGLCC’s co-founder and CEO.


Proximo is an information services company specializing in Big Data, but its work goes far beyond data collection. Proximo works in data strategy and governance, data warehousing and integration, and data analytics and business intelligence. David and Proximo focus on delivering more than just what customers need. They approach each project thinking about forward-looking solutions. As David explains, “A customer comes to us with a need, and we determine how we will use the available data to predict something or to help tell a story, often over multiple years. To supplement these analytics, we also do lots of proof of concepts, pilots, and internal research and development in areas like generative AI, to demonstrate what they can do in the near-term or long-term future.”

Proximo is a supplier to Corteva Agriscience, and this enduring partnership has brought benefits to both companies. Shortly after Corteva Agriscience spun off from its parent company, the new firm turned to Proximo to collaborate on an initiative to set the baseline of the economic impact it was having through its supply base spend on communities within the global footprint.

Michelle Morin, Global Head of Supplier Diversity & Procurement Sustainability at Corteva Agriscience, describes Proximo as an agent of the future. This makes sense considering Proximo’s longevity in an industry that transforms in leaps and bounds, with AI as the latest innovation. Proximo is always forward-looking and committed to turning data into analytics and business intelligence. Speaking with David and Michelle gives a glimpse into how a productive supplier relationship can benefit both the corporation and the supplier.

What sets Proximo apart is that the company delivers innovative and advanced analytics in the Procurement and Supplier Diversity space, which it defines as “everything beyond diverse spend reporting”. It can leverage spend as a lagging indicator and apply predictive analytics, incorporating supplier surveys to provide an economic impact analysis that reflects current conditions. This approach offers a predictive factor for the near future, moving beyond merely looking at backward-looking spend.

Michelle wanted to see Corteva Agriscience’s global economic impact with the full supply base, not just spend with small businesses and diverse suppliers. “One of the differentiators from the economic impact assessment that Proximo offered to us was that they don't just harvest existing industry data; they will do surveys of the suppliers that already worked for us and will do outreach to those suppliers. As a global organization, Proximo also allowed us to assess our footprint in certain countries and regions around the world.”

"Our approach delivers forward-thinking results that clearly demonstrate the economic impact for our clients," explains David. "We rely on solid, verifiable data to provide insights into how business activities influence economic factors, including job creation and wage trends. This robust analytics capability empowers our clients to share their success stories with confidence."

While Proximo’s diversity analytics line of business is significant, it has a range of professional services across many other types of data and analytics. As a small business in a competitive market, Proximo has to stay on top of technological advances, like Generative AI. “We try to always look ahead, and we are currently anticipating bringing Gen AI tools to the market that let clients operate off private data sources. Large language models would be trained from the customer’s data as opposed to public ones that may contain unvetted or inaccurate data.” David anticipates that customers could subscribe to these new Proximo services like its Diversity Analytics Platform.


Proximo was named the NGLCC LGBT Supplier of the Year in August 2023. David has no hesitation admitting the award was very much appreciated and says that while Proximo was “already a successful company with an excellent reputation, this award continues to elevate our profile.”

From Michelle’s perspective, a supplier winning the LGBT Supplier of the Year award is confirmation that Corteva Agriscience uses suppliers providing excellent services. “When we have suppliers recognized like this, it is confirmation we have the right partners on our journey as we move forward. Proximo is recognized at the pinnacle of all other LGBT suppliers for the year. It also leads me to ask what else we should be doing with this unique supplier and what they will do in the future? What innovations do they have that we can learn from?”

This work Michelle does with Proximo on the impact in local economies is key. “That is a circular economy,” says Michelle, “with impact upstream, downstream, and in the commercial chain out to the world. Proximo understands we have a direct touch on the commercial and the supply side.”

Proximo's expertise in data and business intelligence allows for a comprehensive analysis of economic impacts and opportunities, providing valuable insights beyond simple spend. Michelle notes, "The array of data points we examine offers a novel perspective on strategic planning." This approach enables a broader discussion on the influence and benefits of inclusive supplier practices.


One of the reasons Proximo has thrived is due to its people. The company has a very low attrition rate, with one employee working for Proximo for 26 years. The strategy for such exceptional loyalty is that everyone is treated the same, no matter where they work. “We have a global workforce, and it doesn’t matter if you are in the US, Latin America, Europe, APAC, or anywhere else. You are part of the same reporting structure, receive the same PTO and professional development opportunities, attend the same staff meetings, and have the same expectations,” says David.

Maintaining this steady workforce is a key best practice that helps Proximo avoid having to retrain people repeatedly. David believes that when you are good to people, coach and train them, and get them in the proper role, they will work autonomously and authentically. Employees want some control over their decisions. David encourages his team members to be independent workers who build their own client relationships and develop solutions.

David also points to the “unsexy side of running a business” as a strength, such as project management. Proximo has a set of pre-developed project plans in its enterprise management tool. When the Proximo team starts a client engagement, there are basic things team members know they have to do, so they are not reinventing the wheel. "The company maintains a watch on market trends, ensuring our teams are primed to address our customers' evolving needs," David states. "It's crucial to balance our focus between the present and the future."


In the final analysis, Proximo also helps its corporate customers pursue their purpose. As Michelle puts it, “We do the work, have plans, make predictions, adjust, and learn, and Proximo adds talent and expertise that we do not have internally. We need an external partner to give us different views. Proximo helps us see data points we can apply to strategy to grow with intention in our economic footprints.”