Unlike many of the diversity leaders in this year’s Top 25, Rupert R. Warner, Jr. works not in corporate industry, but for the US government as a Purchasing and Supply Management Specialist for the United States Postal Service. This is a highly significant position within the field of supplier diversity, as the Postal Service develops contracts with thousands of independent suppliers every year for a wide array of products and services – everything from snow removal to real estate to promotional products. Through the Supplier Diversity Plan that Warner developed, the Postal Service devotes a substantial number of its contracts to diverse suppliers.
Warner estimates that they sign-up roughly 2000 suppliers a year that are minority and women-owned businesses and, through virtual and in-person events, they make contact with more than 10,000. Warner also holds a position on the Board of Directors at Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council, a position which attests to his commitment to mentoring and development. In fact, he is hard at work developing a small business mentorship program at the Postal Service that will help diverse suppliers learn how to increase their capacities to secure large contracts. Committed to his philosophy of “keep going, no matter what,” Warner embodies the very spirit of organizational integration of DEI.
Favorite Quote: “Keep going. No matter what.” - Reginald Lewis