Dorothy B. Brothers Executive Scholarship

[ October 2011 ]


October 2011
President's Message
Ambassador Program
Small Business Saturday
Pearls of Wisdom Video
Beyond Certification:
The Competitive Edge
WBDC-Chicago Celebrates 25 Years
Tuck-WBENC Executive Program: One Week Leads to Years of Growth
WBENC's 15th Anniversary ...An Important Milestone
WBENC's Summit & Salute
WBENC's 2012 National Conference
WBENC's 2012
WBE Stars Announced
DiversityPlus Honors National Diversity Leaders
 •Office Depot Executives Honored by ICABA
Welcome New Corporate Members
Like Us on Facebook
WBENCLink Training
Calendar of Events


Whether you are a Corporate Member, one of our Women Business Enterprises (WBEs), or one of our supporters, we appreciate your loyalty to WBENC and that you tune in each month to learn the latest by reading WBENC's President's Report (monthly e-newsletter).

Now, it's time WBENC and its readers hear from you. We invite you to join our growing online community of advocates for the advancement of women in business and entrepreneurs every where. If you're one of our Corporate Members, we offer you additional opportunities to publicize your company's successes. Also, use this platform to share your company's best practices in doing business with women business enterprises and let WBEs know about your supplier diversity portals and any outreach events.

WBEs are invited to post award and recognition information, anniversary photos, new product or service announcements, and new contract awards.

Click here
to find us on Facebook.


The Federal Reserve
Bank of Cleveland

Debbie Marko
Manager, Contracts & Purchasing

Kantar North America
John Weinberg
Commercial Director

Xavier University
Cheryl Nunez
Assistant to the President
for Diversity & Equity

Click here
to view the
current list of WBENC Corporate Members.


Click here for WBENCLink Training for Corporate Members.

Click here for WBENCLink Training for WBEs.

President's Message from
Pamela Prince-Eason

WBENC and Corporate Members Drive Excellence

This month, I applaud our Corporate Members as drivers of our pursuit of excellence on WBENC's Roadmap to 2020. When we look for best practices in growing women's business enterprises and fueling the economy, it is our own Corporate Members that demonstrate a commitment to outstanding growth strategies and opportunities.

They continually set the bar higher for themselves and for everyone across the women's business network. They:
  • Develop innovative and profitable WBE business partnerships
  • Mentor WBEs on how to compete, win and keep corporate contracts in today's marketplace
  • Provide candid direction and feedback on what WBENC can do to prepare our WBEs for corporate standards
  • Enhance the Corporate Member experience by being resources to each other in sharing successful practices and WBE referrals
We couldn't do our work without our Corporate Members. Not only because of their generous sponsorship of our events and initiatives, but also because of the intellectual capital they have brought to our Board, our Committees and our RPOs.

One prime example is our Ambassador's program. Under the tremendous leadership of Board Chair Laura Taylor, our Ambassadors have helped us to grow our Corporate Membership and enhance the value of membership. We thank Laura for her outstanding work and are thrilled to welcome Debra Jennings-Johnson, Director of Supplier Diversity at BP America, Inc., as our new Executive Sponsor. Please see our special article on the Ambassador's Program in this President's Report.

As we go forward on our Roadmap to 2020, how can WBENC match our corporations' commitment and build our best practices? By following our vision and our COR values – our Certification, Opportunities and Resources:
  • Certification: Our goals are to create depth and breadth in our pool of WBENC-certified WBEs. We want our Corporate and Government Members to have access to the industries, the expertise and the capacity they need to meet the escalating challenges ahead.
  • Opportunities: We continue to create new ways for WBEs to connect with corporate and government decision makers in venues where a meaningful connection can be made. We will also emphasize WBE preparedness so they can make the most of these moments. The Tuck-WBENC Executive Program: Building a High-Performing Business brought to us by IBM and just completed the first week of October provides an outstanding opportunity for executive education.
  • Resources: We help our WBEs to meet the changing demands of a shifting supply chain. Our corporate-led workshops and keynote presentations – at our Summit & Salute to WBEs and our National Conference & Business Fair – provide a window into the escalating requirements of the supply chain needs of corporate buyers.
What are the key elements in WBE preparedness? Within the last few weeks, I spent time at our Tuck program and at Ernst & Young, which is world renowned for cultivating successful entrepreneurship. Here are some key guidelines for what women must know as they build their businesses:
  • Understand where you are in the value chain and set your sites on growth at the next level.
  • Know the changes underway in your marketplace, how that affects your clients, and how you plan to meet their needs.
  • Look at the growth channels available to you – including doing business with other WBEs.
That's the foundation for our COR values. Watch us as we up our game with a focus on Recognition and Technology.
  • Recognition. Many of our Corporate Members devote considerable resources and leadership to cultivating best practices in supplier diversity. It is right to recognize them – in America's Top Corporations for WBE's, for example. And it is important for other companies to see what they can aspire to and accomplish.
  • Technology: We will emphasize our use of technology – and the power of social media – to enhance our brand, streamline our work, and connect our constituents regionally, nationally and globally.
In summary, WBENC is expanding the recognition of the leadership of our Corporate Members by developing strategic and practical ways to increase their visibility. In addition, we are championing the explosive growth potential of our WBEs by helping them meet their growth hurdles and whatever economic challenges that lie ahead.

All in all, worthy goals and ones I am optimistic we will attain!

Pamela Prince-Eason
President and CEO

Ambassador Program: Making the Most of
WBENC Corporate Membership

The Ambassador's Program brings together committed leaders from WBENC Corporate Members, government entities, Women Business Enterprises, and Regional Partner Organizations to attract more Corporate Members to WBENC and, once joined, help them fully experience the benefits of membership.

Under the leadership of Laura Taylor, WBENC Board Chair and Vice President, Strategic Sourcing and Procurement Operations at Pitney Bowes, the Ambassador's Program has become a strong network of support and best practice sharing for Corporate Members.

"Our Ambassadors start out as contacts for prospective members – and soon become trusted colleagues," Taylor says. "We find that this deepens the experience that new members have and provides tremendous value."

Debra Jennings-Johnson
Director of Supplier Diversity, BP America, Inc.
Taylor has proudly announced that the new Executive Sponsor of the Ambassador's Program is Debra Jennings-Johnson, Director of Supplier Diversity at BP America, Inc. Jennings-Johnson brings to her role the industry expertise and strategic creativity she has contributed so successfully over the years as Chair of the Marketing, Communications and Brand Management Committee. She was also the recipient of the 2011 Applause Award at the WBENC National Conference & Business Fair.
"I look forward to building upon Laura's leadership and the exciting opportunities for our Ambassadors team," Jennings-Johnson said.

As the name suggests, WBENC "Ambassadors" represent the organization in multiple capacities with a key focus on reaching out to prospective members who would benefit from Corporate or Government Membership. Ambassadors connect with these prospective members in a variety of ways from hosting informational events, to more personal one-on-one conversations.
Beyond that, Ambassadors are a credible source of information and guidance to new Corporate Members and government entities, lending perspective on how to get the most out of WBENC membership, and sharing their experience in leading and growing supplier diversity programs.

Kim Jones, Manager of Corporate Membership Services at WBENC, provides ongoing support for the Ambassador's Program as part of her role. "It's exciting to see Ambassadors share successes," she says. "The impact of the Ambassadors goes far beyond reaching out to corporations and government entities and even counseling and advising prospective members. Through their work, the Ambassadors ultimately open more doors of opportunities for women businesses and create paths to well-needed economic growth."

WBENC at Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week

Pamela Prince-Eason, President & CEO, WBENC and David Hinson, National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)

As part of the engagement strategy for WBENC's new Women-Owned Small Business Government Certification program, President & CEO Pamela Prince-Eason, five members of the WBENC leadership team, and the Women Presidents Educational Organization-DC, a WBENC Regional Partner, converged on the 29th Annual Minority Enterprise Development Week (MEDWeek) Conference produced by the U.S. Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
This annual event convenes procurement representatives from federal agencies as well as their prime suppliers - many of WBENC's major Corporate Members - to share the best ways to do business with government entities. Participating as a panelist on the in the track on Access to Contracts, Global Supply Chain: Minority Business Success panel, Pamela Prince-Eason shared insights based on her past experience as Vice President of World Wide Procurement at Pfizer. Hitting the key highlights of operating as a supplier in the global arena, Pam was able to build an immediate tie to the audience and position WBENC as an authority on access and connection to procurement opportunities.
Taking the lead as one of the new third-party certifiers appointed by the U.S. SBA to support its Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs) Federal Procurement Program, WBENC used this event as a way to demonstrate its commitment to government certification and to build government relationships that will provide newly certified women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) access to government entities. Attending practically every session, WBENC staff engaged government representatives to continue to build relationships that will result in increased access for WBENC's WBE/WOSB certified businesses.

"We recognize the importance of the appointment of WBENC as a WOSB Certifier,” says Pamela Prince-Eason, WBENC President and CEO. "Through third-party WOSB certification, both, Government and Corporate Members, will realize increased access to substantially under represented women business enterprises."

As WBENC and its Regional Partner Organizations navigate the government terrain, the organization is collaborating with many of its members to accelerate a number of Corporate Members who have a vested interest in WBENC's success.

WBENC Joins the Second Annual Small Business Saturday
to Drive Business to Small Business

Aims to Unite and Inspire Consumers to Shop Small on November 26, 2011

The Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) today announced its participation in the second annual Small Business Saturday on November 26, 2011. Small Business Saturday is a day for dedicating a portion of holiday shopping to local, independently-owned small businesses.

American Express, the founding sponsor of Small Business Saturday, created the national program in 2010 in response to small business owners' most pressing need: more demand for their products and services. The second event will build on last year's inaugural program that drove millions of dollars to main street merchants.

WBENC recognizes the importance of small businesses throughout the United States, the jobs they create and the culture they instill in local communities. Small businesses have generated 64 percent of net new jobs over the past 15 years and employ just over half of all private sector employees, according to the Small Business Administration.

"WBENC is proud to support Small Business Saturday, which will make an immediate and positive impact on the small business sector of our economy. Small businesses are key to expanding economic growth," said Pamela Prince-Eason, President and CEO of WBENC, which is the leading advocate for and authority on women's business enterprises as suppliers to the nation's top corporations.

"We are proud to have WBENC join the Small Business Saturday Coalition," said Maryann Fitzmaurice, senior vice-president, American Express OPEN. "It is critical that we get as many supporters on board as possible to generate demand for small, independently owned businesses this holiday season and beyond."

Joining the Annual Initiative
Social media will play a central role in helping raise awareness about the importance of supporting small business and recognizing Small Business Saturday. The Small Business Saturday Coalition will drive consumers and business owners to where they can participate in many ways, including:
  • American Express is giving $100 of free Facebook advertising to 10,000 business owners who sign up at to help build online buzz and drive customers to their stores on Small Business Saturday. By simply entering a few pieces of information and clicking a button, these business owners can create a personalized, geo-targeted ad that will run on Facebook leading up to November 26.
  • American Express is giving a $25 statement credit to 200,000 Cardmembers who register their Card and use it to shop on Small Business Saturday at any locally-owned, independent small business that accepts American Express.
  • Small business owners can go to to download online promotional materials that will help them drive sales to their business on Small Business Saturday.
  • Everyone can spread the word about the day and their favorite businesses by giving a shout-out to their favorite local shops and restaurants via Facebook and Twitter.
About Small Business Saturday
Small Business Saturday (SBS) was created in 2010 by American Express in response to small business owners' most pressing need: creating more demand for their products and services. One and a half million Facebook users, 130 public and private organizations, and 41 elected officials declared their support for SBS last year. One hundred thousand small businesses downloaded SBS marketing materials, 10,000 businesses signed up for free Facebook advertising that ran on SBS and 200,000 consumers registered their American Express cards to receive $25 statement credits when they shopped at a small business on SBS. In the first year, small retailers who accept the American Express Card saw a 28% increase in sales on SBS.

WBENC-Certified WBEs are encouraged to go to WBENC's Facebook page to let readers know that they are participating as a supplier, their location, their business hours, and the type of products or services to be acquired. Everyone else is asked to support these WBENC certified WBEs and other small businesses by voting with your dollars on Saturday, November 26.

Pearls of Wisdom
Supplier Insights from Corporate Members

Click on the image above to view this video
on WBENC's YouTube channel.

Beyond Certification: The Competitive Edge

The marketplace is competitive and your toolkit must be chock full of arsenal to set you apart from the pack! Certification is a critical component to adding value to your company, but you must look at the big picture and ask yourself important questions once certification has been obtained:
  • Who is my target customer?
  • What is their purchasing and supplier diversity philosophy?
  • Do I have relationships with the appropriate people who can either make the purchasing decisions or affect them?
  • Is the corporation purchasing my service/commodity directly or should I inquire about multi-tiered opportunities?
  • How can I authentically present myself as a true partner to the corporation?
Research - Secondly, conduct comprehensive research on your target audience such as: reviewing their annual report, reviewing their website to find key information on the company as a whole and specifically in your region, find out who their suppliers are in your industry, contract cycle, budget cycle, etc. Listen to WBENC's Webinar on: The ABC's of Research, Creating a Target List, and Visibility Tactics.

Capabilities Statement - You will then need to develop an iron-clad, informational capabilities statement with a customized approach; not necessarily presenting the same one to each corporation. It may contain the same information, but perhaps it is sequenced differently to address the corporation's individual needs, goals and philosophy. Ensure you provide information on work you actually completed that is in alignment with your target using industry specific buzz words and jargon that will grab their attention. Ask your existing customers if you can list their information on the document. If you are a smaller company, list the firms you have relationships/strategic alliances with so the corporation will know your true capacity. Lastly, make sure you are showing you are a partner to the corporation.  (Download the audio recording and handouts from WBENC's webinar, Capability Statements: What They Are and How to Use It to Showcase Your Company.)

The Regional Partner Organizations (RPOs) and WBENC provide a plethora of educational opportunities for you to obtain the knowledge you need to navigate the procurement path, so take advantage of these offerings.  Contact your
RPO for information about educational opportunities, and visit WBENC's online calendar for upcoming events.

Remember, Supplier Diversity and Procurement professionals come in contact with thousands of suppliers annually, and you want to make sure they remember you!

WBDC-Chicago Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Drawing over 2,300 attendees to include State of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Women's Business Development Center-Chicago (WBDC-Chicago) celebrated its 25th anniversary on September 14 at Chicago's McCormick Place-West. The organization’s co-founders and co-presidents, Carol Dougal and Hedy Ratner, have grown the annual budget of WBDC to $3 million and its staff now made up with 24 employees and consultants.

The WBDC-Chicago was established in 1986, 10 years before the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), which serves as the national certifying organization that is an inherent part of The WBDC-Chicago's services. Back then, WBDC was one of the original four Regional Partner Organizations (RPOs) that today, make up the 14 RPOs that administer WBENC certification throughout the 50 United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

"Long before I became involved with WBENC, Carol and Hedy were in the trenches advocating equality for women owned businesses," said WBENC President and CEO Pamela Prince-Eason. "They started at a time when 10 percent of all businesses were owned by women. Now women represent almost half of the small businesses in the United States."

The celebration was opened with the WBDC-Chicago's Women's Forum breakfast moderated by Chicago Sun Times syndicated financial columnist, finance expert and best-selling author Terry Savage. Featuring prominent entrepreneurs and panelists Leylani Cardoso, of Bolzano Handbags; Maxine Clark, of Build-A-Bear Workshop; Cathy Hughes, of Radio One; and Lynn Tilton, of Patriarch Partners, the audience listened to a rambunctious conversation on the challenges and strategies of running a successful business.

"Hedy and Carol have done an amazing job balancing the sourcing needs of corporations looking to do business with women-owned businesses throughout the region," said Debra Jennings-Johnson, Director of Supplier Diversity, BP Americas Inc. and Chair of WBDC-Chicago's Board of Directors. "As a result of their work, they have helped over 65 thousand women business owners achieve economic independence. They truly represent Chicago's finest."

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel addressed Chicago's women's business community as he delivered the keynote address for the WBDC-Chicago's 25th Anniversary Hall of Fame Awards Luncheon. The 25th Hall of Fame Awards honored successful female entrepreneurs as well as supporters of women's economic development.

"The WBDC-Chicago has served as a model for many of the 14 RPOs throughout the U.S.," shared Geri Swift, President of Women's Business Enterprise Council-PA-DE-sNJ, a sister RPO, and Chair of the Leadership Council which represents the leadership of the 14 RPOs. "Carol and Heddy are phenomenal leaders and can be proud of what they have accomplished throughout their 25 years."

In addition to the awards luncheon, conference attendees benefited from access to capital and access to contracts advice, connections and networking that included:
  • Women's Business & Buyers Mart offering face time with more than 200 corporate and government representatives who are committed to purchasing products and services from women-owned businesses;
  • Contract Connections, pre-arranged one-on-one meetings between certified Women's Business Enterprises (WBEs) and corporate and government purchasing decision-makers;
  • Workshops and roundtable discussions, with practical advice from business experts addressing the current issues facing women business owners today.
During the event, the WBDC-Chicago also presented the American Express OPEN State of Women-Owned Business Report and announced its selection as a partner with Goldman Sachs in conducting the 10,000 Small Businesses Program in partnership with the City Colleges of Chicago to help small businesses to create jobs and economic growth.
The Tuck-WBENC Executive Program:
One Week Leads to Years of Growth

Click image for enlarged view

The first week of October brought together a dynamic group of women business owners with the world-class faculty of Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business and IBM, one of America's Top Corporations for WBEs. In its ninth year, the one-week program continues to demonstrate tremendous impact on WBEs and their strategic growth.

The curriculum includes finance, marketing, operations and service, while incorporating a collaborative learning environment. This year's participants took one week of time to work on their businesses and are already seeing the results. Here's what some of them have to say about the program and the tools that they have gained:
Collaborative Learning
The professors clarify the most complicated business models into understandable forms. The classroom has a wonderful energy that is vibrant and interactive. Walking away from the Tuck-WBENC Executive Program with so much knowledge inspires you to grow!  –Mary Jo Gaumer, President and CEO, Cablelinks

World-Class Faculty and One-On-One Consultation
I am so glad I finally made the time to attend the Tuck-WBENC Executive Program. The seasoned faculty from the Tuck Business School did a superb job of imparting knowledge and challenging us to think about our businesses in ways we have never done before.
Cynthia F. Towers, Esq., President and CEO, Juristaff, Inc.

Superior Execution
This program will definitely help my business not only to run more efficiently but take my business to the next level. The Tuck curriculum has given me the outlines for success and demonstrated how to put them into practice.
Olsa Martini, President and CEO, OLSA Resources

Better Decision Making
By day three, I had a huge "Ah-Ha" moment when I realized there might be a better and more efficient way to structure my business. I got goose-bumps in class, and I will be taking the idea back to my advisers and my team to work the logistics. I am thrilled I attended!
–Sharon McRill, President, The Betty Brigade

Held at the IBM Palisades conference facility in Palisades, NY, IBM hosted the program and brought key staff from procurement, supplier diversity and marketing to network with the group throughout the week. WBENC extends a special thank you to IBM for their continued support of their program and providing stellar corporate representation: Fran O'Sullivan, Linda Cantwell, Michael Robinson, Sherry Robison and Denise Evans.

Thank you to this year's sponsors:
Presenting Sponsor: IBM
Major Sponsors: AT&T, Chevron, Johnson & Johnson, MasterCard
Supporters: Manpower, Office Depot, UPS
Contributors: Alcatel-Lucent, USPS

For more information on the program, please visit

WBENC's 15th Anniversary … Get Involved and Get Recognized

Next year is WBENC's 15th anniversary, and WBENC will recognize those entities and individuals who have been an integral part of its success while serving an important role in planning the organization's next steps to achieve the vision for the organization's future.

Be a part of this important milestone by attending, exhibiting or sponsoring WBENC's key 2012 events. Sponsorship details are now available for the Summit & Salute, and sponsorship as well as exhibitor information is available for the WBENC 2012 National Conference & Business Fair. 

Sponsorship is an outstanding way to support WBENC and its Regional Partner Organizations (RPOs); and, at the same time, offers tremendous visibility in front of a large, diverse audience consisting of Fortune 1000 representatives, government/nonprofit agencies, and many women business owners. To learn more about becoming a sponsor, contact Paige Adams, Director of Development at

The guiding theme for 2012 is Celebrating 15 Years: Vision, Opportunities, and Success!. You are needed to make this theme a reality.
Summit & Salute to Women's Business Enterprises
March 21–22, 2012, Baltimore, MD

Presenting Sponsors:
Accenture, Ernst & Young, LLP

Click here to view Summit & Salute sponsorship opportunities. Sponsor pledges are being accepted now. 

Online registration will open in October at

WBENC National Conference
& Business Fair:

June 19-21, 2012, Orlando, FL

Avis Budget Group, Office Depot,
Accel, Inc., ICON Information Consultants

Click here to view Conference sponsorship opportunities. Pledge now to be a sponsor. For Exhibitor Package pricing, please contact Paige Adams at
Online registration opens in mid-November at

WBENC'S 2012 Women's Business Enterprise Stars Announced

Fourteen exemplary women business leaders will receive the nation's premier award for excellence among women's business enterprises (WBEs) bestowed by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) at its annual Salute to Women's Business Enterprises, on Thursday, March 22, 2012, before 1,000 corporate executives, government and nonprofit VIPs, and WBEs at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel in Baltimore, MD.

WBENC's Summit & Salute is a comprehensive two-day strategic educational program showcasing thought leaders and key business trends, and providing WBEs with vital access to WBENC Corporate Members. Continuing the introduction of our new Multi-Tier Connections sessions (formerly Multi-Tier Opportunity Connections) from 2011, this year's sessions will include formal opportunities in which WBEs can expand their businesses by accessing Corporate Members, prime suppliers and other WBEs.

Selected by WBENC's 14 Regional Partner Organizations (RPOs), the 2012 WBENC WBE Stars serve as national spokeswomen on behalf of WBENC citing the benefits of certification, corporate and/or government access, business and educational opportunities, and networking and alliances.

"Recognition of these 14 women is a vital representation of the caliber of women businesses that WBENC certifies and provides as sourcing solutions to America's corporations and government entities," says WBENC President and CEO Pamela Prince-Eason. "As national representatives of WBENC, these women not only symbolize the best in their respective industries, but also serve as advocates for women in business and strong supporters of their local communities and other women businesses."

In delivering sophisticated resources and senior-level networking opportunities, WBENC enables the long-term success of women's businesses and the corporations they serve.

The following 2012 WBENC Women's Business Enterprise Stars will be recognized for leadership in their respective local business communities, inspiration to other women business owners, and active roles at the helm of successful certified businesses:
  • Julie Sue Auslander, President, cSubs, representing the Women Presidents' Educational Organization-NY,
  • Carmen Castillo, President, SD International Corp., representing the Women's Business Development Council of Florida,

  • Cathi Coan, President, Techway Services, Inc., representing the Women's Business Council – Southwest,

  • Mary Fox Donnelly, CEO, Fox Specialties, Inc. dba Encompass Elements, representing the Women's Business Enterprise Council–PA-DE-sNJ,

  • Hannah Kain, CEO, Alom Technologies Corporation, representing Astra Women's Business Alliance,

  • Lianne Lami, President, Bocci Engineering, LLC, representing the Women's Business Enterprise Alliance,

  • Patti Massey, President, Myca Material Handling Solutions, Inc., representing the Ohio River Valley Women's Business Council,

  • Mary Moslander, Owner, LiveHealthier, representing the Women Presidents' Educational Organization-DC,

  • Mary Parker, President & CEO, ALL(n)1 Security Services, Inc., representing the Greater Women's Business Council,
  • Kathryn Petty, President, White Lion Tea, representing the Women's Business Enterprise Council-West,

  • Cassandra Sanford, CEO, Kelly Mitchell Group, Inc., representing the Women's Business Development Center-Chicago,

  • Juli Sinnett, Principal, Swervepoint, LLC, representing the Center for Women & Enterprise,

  • Lynn Tilton, Managing Member/President, Dura and Global Automotive (Patriarch Partners), representing the Women's Business Enterprise Council-Great Lakes,

  • Lee Youngblood, Partner, McIntyre & Youngblood, representing the Women's Business Enterprise Council South,

 DiversityPlus Honors National Diversity Leaders

In 2011, more than 16,000 women and minority owned businesses (MWBE) were contacted to nominate candidates for DiversityPlus Magazine's 2011 Champions of Diversity. Ultimately, 117 nominations were received for the 2011 awards.

The 2011 nominees represent a wide range of industries, including some of the biggest corporate names in America. Their collective credentials are impressive, which made it a challenge for DiversityPlus' independent editorial team to narrow the pool to the 30 nominees ultimately named as DiversityPlus' 2011 Champions of Diversity.

The final award winners stand out from their colleagues due to their demonstrated leadership abilities and roles as good mentors to diverse suppliers. Award winners also went above and beyond in championing diversity within their organizations, increasing their firm's diversity spending year over year, being responsive to the needs of diverse suppliers, and implementing important best practices and benchmarking standards to help drive their firms' supplier diversity programs.

An additional consideration for the selection committee was how diligently the 2011 Champions Of Diversity group worked to help MWBEs get their foot in the door at their respective firms to bid on contracts. Many of the 2011 winners were actively involved in matching suppliers to internal opportunities, helping build capacity and increase their outreach efforts in this tough economy.

The 2011 DiversityPlus awards mark the fifth year that the magazine has named Champions Of Diversity. The awards are a unique effort to reach out to minority and women suppliers of all sizes, products, and service backgrounds to determine which executive individuals are perceived as doing the most to promote the benefits of diversity within their organizations.
Since the award selection process grows more competitive each year, the 2011 Champions Of Diversity truly represent the absolute top of the leadership spectrum in the diversity field. Each honoree has made noteworthy strides to shift the environment at their firm to take greater advantage of the opportunities available to work with diverse suppliers, and their individual stories never cease to inspire.

Eighteen of the 30 Top Champions of Diversity (visit for full list) represent WBENC Corporate Members and include:
Susan PetitAvis Budget Group
Jewel SmithCenterPoint Energy
John EleyDTE Energy
N. Marcella McCulloughFord Motor Company
Ruben Dario TabordaJohnson & Johnson
Fernando HernandezMicrosoft
Joan Namahana KerrPacific Gas and Electric Company
Larry WootenPitney Bowes
Beth CanningPrudential Financial
Kathy HomeyerUPS
Rupert R. Warner Jr.US Postal Service
Jamie CrumpUnited Rentals
Lynn ScottAlcatel-Lucent
Abigail W. KofeteLimited Brands
Truth A. GarrettMarathon Petroleum Corporation
Debra Clark StewartShell Oil Company
Shelley Stewart, Jr.Tyco International
Gleatha GlispieWalgreens

DiversityPlus Magazine is one of the nation's leading diversity publications. Their rapidly growing subscriber base (100,000+) targets minority suppliers and corporate purchasing and supplier diversity executives at firms worldwide. Present at industry conferences and highly active in the diversity field, DiversityPlus Magazine was the 2007 winner of the National Minority Business Council's Media Award.

Office Depot's Shari Francis and Robert McCormes-Ballou Honored
at ICABA® Honors Event

Robert McCormes-Ballou
Director of Supply Chain Diversity,
Office Depot
Shari Francis, Manager
HUB Merchandising, Supply Chain Diversity, Office Depot

Earlier this month, over 400 South Florida corporate and higher education leaders gathered for the ICABA® Honors Networking and Recognition Event at Florida Memorial University (FMU) in Miami, Florida. Over 155 honorees were recognized as ICABA® Honors South Florida's Most Accomplished Black Executives, Professionals and Academicians. Among the honorees were Office Depot Manager, HUB Merchandising, Supply Chain Diversity Shari Francis and Office Depot Director of Supply Chain Diversity Robert McCormes-Ballou. Both were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the South Florida business community and their leadership roles in Supply Chain Management.

In addition, Francis was also named as an ICABA Rising Star, which is a prestigious award forecasting her success on the continuum on her professional timeline. Francis currently serves on WBENC's Board of Directors and as a member of WBENC Ambassador Program; in addition to serving as Vice Chair of WBENC's Finance Committee. Based on her current and past contributions, ICABA predicts that Francis will become one of the most recognized leaders of the South Florida business community making tremendous contributions in the years to come.

Office Depot is one of WBENC's original Corporate Members and will serve as one of two 2012 Corporate Co-Chairs of WBENC's National Conference & Business Fair. Francis leads the Historically Under-Utilized Businesses (HUB) Merchandising sector of Office Depot's Supplier Diversity Department, which is a nine-time recipient of America's Top Corporations for Women's Business Enterprises. The scope of her work is not only in acquiring products used by Office Depot as a coporation, but also idenifying products to be sold online and in Office Depot stores, as well as serving as a source or supplier to companies that look to sell office supply products. Francis is responsible for creating the first HUBZone catalog highlighting products produced exclusively by women and minority owned businesses.

Office Depot, Inc. is a global supplier of office products and services. The company was incorporated in 1986 with the opening of its first retail store in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In fiscal year 2010, Office Depot sold $11.6 billion of products and services to consumers and businesses of all sizes through our three business segments: North American Retail Division, North American Business Solutions Division and International Division. Sales are processed through multiple channels, consisting of office supply stores, a contract sales force, an outbound telephone account management sales force, internet sites, direct marketing catalogs and call centers, all supported by its network of supply chain facilities and delivery operations.

This calendar includes events hosted by WBENC's Regional Partner Organizations and strategic partners.  Visit WBENC's online calendar for more events.


US Business Leadership Network (USBLN) Annual Conference
& Expo
October 16-19, 2011
Louisville Marriott Downtown
Louisville, KY
Visit for more information and registration.

WBEC-West 8th Annual Strategic Procurement Opportunity Conference & Awards Gala
November 10-11, 2011
Ravella at Lake Las Vegas
Henderson, NV
Click here for more information.

WPEO-DC Annual Access Reception Hosted by Capital One
November 15, 2011
Capital One
McLean, VA
Registration and more information will be available this fall. Please check for updated information

WBDC 15th Anniversary & "Just Desserts"
November 15, 2011
Union League of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA
Click here for more information.

WBE to WBE Dinner Program
December 1, 2011
MetLife Sky Garden Auditorium
New York, NY
Open to Certified WBEs only. Registration and more information will be available this fall. Please check for updated information.

WBDC-Florida 4th Annual Conference & Trade Show
December 1-2, 2011
Hilton Deerfield Beach
Deerfield Beach, FL

Click here for details.

Break Through Luncheon and Business Opportunity Fair

December 6, 2011
Philadelphia, PA
Click here for more information.

2011 MacDill Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB/VOSB) and Small Business Conference & Expo
December 7-8, 2011
Tampa Convention Center
Tampa, FL
Click here for more information.

Editorial Team

Editor in Chief
Cristy McCullough
AVP Marketing, Communications, and Brand Management

Allison Gibson


Paige Adams
Director, Development and Corporate Relations

Betty Cole
Sr. Director, Programs

Cristy McCullough
AVP Marketing, Communications, and Brand Management

Pamela Prince-Eason
President & CEO

Lynthia Romney

Candace Waterman
Senior Director of Compliance & Alliance Relationships

Limb Design
President's Report Archives:  September 2011  |  August  2011  |  July 2011  |  More
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