Since 1968, Diversity Information Resources (DIR) has been at the forefront in providing information resources that support and enhance supplier diversity. Diverse-owned supplier? Registration on DIR's portal is free. Represent a major corporation? Learn how DIR's supplier data management solutions, educational seminars and publications can enhance your corporation's supplier diversity program. Learn more at

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Congratulations to DIR client, Chrysler Group, that was named NMSDC "Company of the Year"

Chrysler Group, a longstanding DIR client, was named NMSDC's  "Company of the Year". Why? How about these stats for starters:

  • Chrysler Group's supplier diversity goals require that 16.5 percent of the Company's Tier 1 and Tier 2 supplier procurement be sourced to certified minority suppliers.
  • Chrysler Group itself spent $2.1 billion with approximately 200 minority suppliers in 2013.
  • More than $52 billion has been purchased from minority-owned suppliers since 1983.

Congratulations on being recognized for a world-class, and inspirational supplier diversity initiative. Thank you for your ongoing work to "drive supplier diversity success"!

Stats and information on why SMEs add a greater return on buying operations ... even on a global scale.

Thanks to Procurement Leaders blog for this insightful article on SMEs (Small Minority Enterprises):

"[SMEs] open up opportunities in terms of access to innovations, which can help boost market share while, importantly for procurement, they have also been proven to deliver a greater return on purchasing activities.

Research by The Hackett Group found that those companies who have an established supplier diversity programme in place tend to generate a 133% greater return on their buying operations than those that don’t."

Jesse Jackson—Why Diversity in Silicon Valley Matters

Supplier diversity, along with diversity in the talent pool, needs to improve in Silicon Valley. Jackson brings great stats and insights to the discussion table here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

DIR client, Chrysler Group, has a Matchmaker Program Celebrating 15 Years Creating Value for Minority Businesses and Communities

Wondering what a corporate matchmaking event is all about? Check out what DIR's client, Chrysler Group, does. Must be working great as they're celebrating their 15th year of holding these sessions!

"The 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 $2.1 billion in new business opportunities for exhibitors since 2000."
Chrysler Group's Matchmaker Program Celebrates 15th Year Creating Value for Minority Businesses and Communities

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

An impressive panel of Supplier Diversity experts brought together by the FCC.

DIR took the time to listen to this impressive panel of Supplier Diversity experts and recommends that you do, too. The FCC‘s Office of Communications Business Opportunities (“OCBO”) hosted a Supplier Diversity Conference and Workshop focusing on private sector business opportunities for small, minority and women-owned businesses on July 30, 2014.

"Representatives from private industry, specifically telecommunications and technology firms (Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, Comcast, and Microsoft) discussed their organizations’ contracting procedures and provided insight on how small businesses should navigate the procurement process generally."
From approx. 18 to 26 minutes [18-26M; all times mentioned are approximate!], each executive recaps the process to join in the consideration for future business.

At about 38M, AT&T and Verizon spend considerable time talking about specific future opps.

The importance of Second Tier opportunity and reporting is mentioned at 57M; comments on the rather impermeable advertising industry start at 61M; "Do's and Don'ts" are at 76M including the importance of supplier branding at 80M.

Highlights include candid, but pointed, words of advice to small and diverse-owned businesses including:

  • Be Strategic: research and be aware of future opportunities and directions a corporation is headed; make sure you're in alignment
  • Tailor your value proposition to each corporation; supplier diversity teams can help you navigate through this process (at about 24 min.)

Here's the link. It's a fantastic 90 minutes of free! expertise on breaking in to major corporations. Please recommend and pass along. Thank you.

FCC hosted Supplier Diversity Panel

Thursday, July 3, 2014

As DIR celebrated its 45th anniversary in 2013, we connected with founders, early supporters, past and current corporate clients and the diverse-owned businesses we've helped along the way. This video recaps how our mission to be advocates for supplier diversity has helped stay our path while driving supplier diversity success. Thanks to DIR's Board of Directors for their continued leadership, experience and guidance! For more information on DIR's history and its current client list, visit

Monday, June 9, 2014

DIR's Board Member, Lesa Rivers-Supplier Diversity Director for Staples, Named a Top Woman in Power Impacting Diversity

Lesa Rivers, Staples
Supplier Diversity Director
2014 Top 25 Women in Power Impacting Diversity by DiversityPlus Magazine:
  • Gladys Lopez, Manager, Supply Chain Inclusion Initiative, American Express
  • Monette Knapik, Director of Strategic Procurement, CVS Caremark
  • Marcella McCullough, Manager, Supplier Diversity, Ford Motor Company
  • Gloria Pualani, Corporate Director, Global Supplier Diversity Programs/Government Relations, Northrop Grumman
  • Shari Francis, HUB Merchandising Manager, Office Depot
  • Christina Morrow, Sr. Manager, Purchasing & Supplier Diversity, Ricoh Americas Corporation
  • Sonia Mercado, M/W/DBE Liaison, Schiavone Construction Co. LLC
  • Joyce Christanio, Senior Manager, Supplier Diversity, Sprint
  • Jamie Crump, Director of Strategic Sourcing & Supplier Diversity, United Rentals
  • Kathy Homeyer, Director, Supplier Diversity, UPS
  • Bonnie Wong, Founder and President, Asian Women in Business
  • Teresa Whalen LeFevre, Vice President and Manager of Supplier Diversity, Comerica Bank
  • Michelle L. Taylor, Diversity Procurement Director, Cummins
  • Jacqueline Taylor, Diversity Supplier Development Director, Dakkota Integrated Systems, LLC.
  • Sherrie Duncan, Manager, Supplier Diversity, Duke Energy
  • Deborah R. Pickens, Director of Supplier Diversity, Eaton
  • Heidi C. Morgan, Vice President Business Needs – Hospitality, Leisure and Retail Brands, Foodbuy, LLC.
  • Stacey Key, President and CEO, Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council (GMSDC)
  • Debra Voss, Manager of Supplier Diversity, International Paper
  • Valerie Coyazo, Supplier Diversity Manager, Kansas City Power & Light
  • Natalie Cortes, U.S. Supplier Diversity Program Manager, Pearson
  • Dawn Mitchell, Executive Director of Supplier Diversity, Saatchi & Saatchi
  • Lesa Rivers, Director, Supplier Diversity, Staples
  • Melissa Persia Oliver, Founder, Odyssey IP
  • Dr. Tendai Ndoro, CEO/Founder, Strategy Leadership Institute in Private & Public Affairs, SLIPPA (Strategy Leadership Institute in Private & Public Affairs)
From its press release: DiversityPlus Magazine is pleased to announce the 2014 Top 25 Women in Power Impacting Diversity award winners. The women are honored in the May/June issue of DiversityPlus Magazine as the most dedicated and innovative leaders in the diversity space. The honorees have worked tirelessly to continue the progress that has been made to date in developing diverse work forces and supply chains. To achieve their goals, they developed a host of new approaches to integrate diversity and inclusion throughout entire organizations. The Women in Power strive to promote supportive business cultures and bring to the forefront the diverse talent and suppliers who can play a vital role in improving corporate competitiveness.

One of the things that stands out about the 2014 Women in Power Impacting Diversity is that they have taken the effort to integrate diversity in their organizations to a new level. In the past, they focused on designing the infrastructures needed like supply chain databases and launching Tier 2 programs. The last year saw a remarkable level of activity that involved more internal and external outreach beyond CEOs and top leadership and beyond databases. This reflects a maturity in diversity programs and is proof that many of the programs are ready for expansion.

The Women in Power reached out to the organizational members in positions that can most dramatically impact the development of a culture supportive of corporate and supply chain diversity. They regularly met one-on-one with brand managers and department supervisors to educate them on the connection between diversity and competitiveness, sustainability, and profitability. They introduced suppliers to department supervisors or plant managers and brought together suppliers who could form joint solutions. The honorees developed summits and networking events and arranged for time for face-to-face meetings between corporate decision-makers and suppliers. Small businesses owned by women and minorities were given customized assistance so they could better compete and succeed. Experienced suppliers were connected with diverse suppliers. The Women in Power also assisted small businesses that may or may not end up doing business with their respective organizations. Underlying their efforts is a belief that helping any MWBE helps all MWBEs by advancing diversity.

A broad range of industries is represented, and the women leaders customized their approaches. Examples include the development of a diverse business products catalogue and a program to promote diverse retail pharmacies. The industries represented include energy, construction, heavy equipment and engines, office supplies, parcel delivery services, financial, manufacturing, technology, pharmacies, and many more. The nonprofits are represented also, including the Georgian Minority Supplier Development Council and Asian Women in Business.

All the Women in Power donate time to community organizations, councils and Chambers of Commerce. The proof of the success of the 2014 Women in Power is that their programs have evolved from basic starts to ones guiding decision-making. Each year, diversity principles become more embedded in corporations and society, and it is largely due to the efforts of people like these women. It is with great honor that DiversityPlus Magazine introduces the Top 25 2014 Women in Power Impacting Diversity.

The May/June issue of DiversityPlus Magazine will be distributed at the Women´s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) 2014 National Conference & Business Fair to be held in Philadelphia, PA on June 23-25, 2014. The Women in Power Impacting Diversity awardees will also be featured in the eMagazine version of DiversityPlus, distributed to more than 121,000 readers located in the United States, Europe, and 7 other countries. The 25 winners will be featured on the DiversityPlus website for one year to ensure all readers have an opportunity to learn what the women in leadership positions accomplished in the diversity space. They share their experiences to encourage people in other organizations to assume the mantle of change.

DiversityPlus Magazine issued a call for nominations to its subscribers. The nominations were reviewed by DiversityPlus Magazine researchers and editors to determine the nominees exhibiting uncompromising effort to create opportunities for diverse businesses and talent. The winnowing process was difficult because all the nominees gave tirelessly of themselves in their organizations and communities to integrate diversity at all levels. The final Top 25 Women in Power Impacting Diversity are those who designed innovative approaches and have experienced exceptional success. They are standard bearers who developed best practices that are being implemented in corporations around the world.

DiversityPlus magazine is one of the nation´s leading diversity publications. The rapidly growing subscriber base targets minority suppliers and corporate purchasing and supplier diversity executives at firms worldwide. For more information about the 2014 Women in Power Impacting Diversity or DiversityPlus magazine, visit

Monday, June 2, 2014

Too early to end the early bird special!

Last week after Memorial Day it was a short week for a lot of business people. It was too early to end the "Early Bird" savings for DIR's "Best Practices in Supplier Diversity Strategies and Initiatives" Seminar per many colleagues who called for an extension.

We're pleased to extend the special rate for an additional work week! The Early Bird Special, reflecting a $50 savings, will now end on June 6, 2014.

Take advantage of this timing and register today. For details, please visit DIR's Web site, or click here to see the brochure. Hope to meet you in St. Louis!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Community Level Networking for Diverse Suppliers

We think it's always a good thing to hear from your peers. This article in the Houston Chronicle includes some first person observations from exhibitors at the Women's Business Enterprise Alliance Business Expo at the George R. Brown Convention Center. This closing statement rings true: "The main thing is to try to keep your name in lights."

Keeping your name 'in lights' also means being sure you are registered in a major corporation's supplier database. For a list of corporation who use DIR's online data management tool, click here. Meanwhile, good luck with your community networking!

Monday, May 12, 2014

DIR congratulates Novant Health, a client and a supporting Board of Director's member ...

for being recognized nationally for its diversity programs!

From a recent press release, DIR learned that Novant Health has been named one of the 2014 Top 10 Hospitals and Health Systems in the nation by DiversityInc., the country’s leading source for advancing and recognizing excellence in diversity management. Novant Health debuts at No. 3, joining some of the country’s most prestigious healthcare systems including Cleveland Clinic (5th) and Mayo Clinic (8th). (To note: Cleveland Clinic also utilizes SupplierGATEWAY's data management portal. SupplierGATEWAY is DIR's tech partner.)

The ranking uses exhaustive research to look at:
  • Talent pipeline: workforce breakdown, recruitment, diameter of existing talent, structures
  • Equitable talent development: employee resource groups, mentoring, philanthropy, movement, fairness
  • CEO/leadership commitment: accountability for results, personal communications, visibility
  • Supplier diversity*: amount spent with companies owned by people from underrepresented groups, accountability, support
“At Novant Health, there is a strong focus on health equity and ensuring that patients, families, communities, employees and stakeholders are respected and heard,” said Deborah P. Ashton, PhD, vice president and chief diversity officer. “Diversity is owned from the executive team through each employee to ensure that our patients’ healthcare experience is remarkable.”

About Novant Health: Novant Health is a four-state integrated network of physician clinics, outpatient centers and hospitals that delivers a seamless and convenient healthcare experience to our communities. Novant Health is one of the top 25 integrated health systems in the United States and was named a top 50 “Best Places for Diverse & Women Managers to Work” by Diversity MBA Magazine. For more information, please visit

About DiversityInc: DiversityInc’s mission is to bring education and clarity to the business benefits of diversity. The 2014 Top 50 Companies for Diversity results are featured on

*Mr. Kevin J. Price, MBA, MHA is Novant Health's Director, Supplier Diversity & Performance. He is also a DIR Board Member. About Mr. Price: Price joined Novant Health in 2006. He is responsible for diversifying the procurement spend base by developing and implementing Novant Health’s Supplier Diversity and Development initiative. Working with various lines of business, Price identifies certified and qualified diverse suppliers, ensuring that they are given an opportunity to compete for Novant Health’s business. As a result of his efforts, Novant Health has increased its diverse supplier spend by 340% utilizing almost 400 diverse suppliers. His latest initiative is the refinement of the Tier II program and encouraging more majority/minority joint ventures. In addition, he monitors and reports the performance of all suppliers within the Supply Chain.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Informative video of UPMC's supplier diversity outreach event

The University of Pittsburgh's Medical Center held a Supplier Diversity outreach event at the end of March, 2014. This video captures the energy there! Thank you for sharing, UPMC.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

DIR's take on "Why Attend?" WBENC 2014

The Women's Business Enterprise National Council offers a variety of ways to connect to their dynamic network of WBEs (Women's Business Enterprises) and Corporate supporters. The pinnacle of this networking happens during their national conference, however. 

This year's conference is in Philadelphia, PA on June 22-25, 2014. A projected attendance of 3,000+ put it at a grand, but manageable size to navigate for networking opportunities and workshops. It certainly is the largest event of its kind in the nation for women business owners. 

This year, over 300 exhibitors will fill the Business Fair floor showcasing their products and services. Exhibitors include WBEs themselves who wish to do business with like-minded companies, and corporations who want to encourage WBEs to do business with them via their Supplier Diversity initiatives. 

Supplier Diversity is about economic growth. Corporations understand that broadening their supplier base brings flexibility, cost-efficiency and innovation. Sometimes a diverse-owned businesses is introduced to a major corporation by doing business with a prime (a majority-owned, larger business who sub-contracts) and sometimes a corporation chooses to mentor and invest in a diverse-business enterprise directly, enabling you to provide services/products in the future. (Here's a LINK to an article in "Minority Business News" about Dell's Suppler Diversity staff and their concerns.) 

Economic growth is the best reason for a WBE to attend this national conference. By attending you'll:
  • learn from peers: hear stories that resonate with your own experiences
  • support your peers: share stories that will educate others
  • network, possibly even attend a face-to-face matchmaking session, with corporate representatives: you are the face of your company ... smile and share it!
  • learn from case-study sessions, about what to learn from failing (always important!) and how others walked a road of success
  • meet allies: sometimes it takes a village to approach a corporation; team up and try out
  • learn jargon: every industry has it, you want to understand it

DIR encourages WBEs who are ready to explore working with a bigger client base to attend. For more information, visit WBENC's site.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Taking the step from Supplier Diversity to Supplier Development

Supplier Diversity industry magazine, MBN Texas, published an article on the impending need of corporations to step beyond a Supplier Diversity initiative into Supplier Development. We link to the article, but also highlight the following excerpts because our annual seminars, "Building Strategic Phases of a Supplier Diversity Process" and "Best Practices in Supplier Diversity Strategies and Initiatives" typically address this concern by sharing case studies and real-life examples. To learn more about DIR Seminars for Corporate Executives, see links on the left of this blog, or visit DIR's web site:
  • "Visionary executives see much of that supply business coming back to their home countries and are developing the suppliers that will replace offshore sources.”
  • "Over the next two years, Verchot foresees a continued, steady growth in corporations, first-tier suppliers and government agencies that have goals and dedicate some resources to supplier diversity efforts. "This [growth] is really driven by the growing understanding of the changing demographics in the United States. But, what I’ll be most interested in seeing is how many of these corporations, first-tier suppliers and government agencies develop and implement a strategic approach to minority supplier development,” he said. "That’s the much harder and more complex challenge and the only way that we will significantly move the needle when it comes to growing the size of large numbers of minority-owned businesses.”

Thursday, January 23, 2014

From Rick Hughes of Procter and Gamble ... Innovation, Investment, Enabling ... 3 great reasons for diversity in the supply chain.

"A Diverse Approach To Supplier Engagement" 

15-Jan-14 09:44

In this guest post, Procurement Leaders invites Procter & Gamble CPO Rick Hughes, to look at supplier diversity - why it's important and how to demonstrate value from the initiative.

As procurement professionals we are constantly creating, managing, transitioning and connecting our supply chains and supply chain partners in innovative ways to meet the needs of our customers and consumers. Aside from the traditional expectations of cost; quality; service & responsiveness and innovation we should all be looking for how to best infuse diversity in our supply networks, just as we seek to have diverse employee bases in our companies.

It has been proven that diverse teams of employees can out-perform homogeneous teams. Having a diverse employee base, which mirrors the pool of recruiting talent for a company, is an objective for any company of scale. This principle also applies to our supply networks. As procurement leaders we must ensure this is recognised by the organisations we lead, as well as by our non-procurement colleagues in other functions and disciplines.

Diversity is often construed narrowly, to consider only visible diversity like color or ethnic background. Considering diversity of supply on a much broader scale, however, enables breadth and depth in the supply chain that is supportive of the mandates we all have from the business units we support. Small companies (versus large multinationals) are often more responsive, and can innovate and iterate quickly.

In addition to this value add, there is another element of diverse supply bases to consider – that of investment in the employees and communities where the supply partners live and work. While this is an objective of many/most corporations, minority owned, women owned, small corporations disproportionately invest in their employees, their families and their communities.

I visited an Alaskan native corporation in the US to see firsthand what the company was doing to improve the lives of their employees and their communities. The profits of the corporation were shared among the owners (who were the Alaskan native tribal members) and used to strengthen communities who were struggling from loss of fishing revenue resulting from the growth of commercial fisheries. Another company in western China was sharing its profits among a remote village to provide basic necessities of life like clean water and decent housing.

There are many examples of small/ medium-sized companies enabling growth and business development over years or even decades. A third supplier we work with is celebrating 20 years in business (and the same time in supplying P&G). This small but growing firm has provided not only contract manufacturing services, but has expanded to now include promotional design and execution, promotional materials management, and has partnered with a large multinational to expand into customisation and display building. All the while, the employee base has grown and developed into loyal consumers of the products for which they provide services.

This last element, of enabling individuals and families to purchase consumer products, is a unique opportunity and advantage to B2C companies like P&G. It makes diversity of supply not only the right thing to do from a supply view, but also a business decision that makes sense. For us, supply diversity is part of ‘responsible sourcing’, which includes other elements of supply management like stewardship, environmental sustainability and social responsibility & compliance.

As procurement leaders, when we review our supply chains and the value and capabilities they bring to our business, we must ensure we do so with a focus towards partner diversity in those chains. Where that diversity is lacking, leaders must drive the change we want to occur, champion the small firms, the un-tried supply potential, and ensure that opportunities for new suppliers are considered. We never know when the next Intel or Microsoft is being formed, and a diverse supply base can bring new capabilities and competencies to help drive our innovation, sales, and profits."

**original source:**