William J. Alcorn Leadership Award Recipients
Michael Robinson is IBM’s Program Director, Global Supplier Diversity. He is responsible for IBM’s supplier diversity initiatives worldwide. In this role, Michael, and his team, focus on the utilization, development and mentoring of diverse suppliers who can provide value-add to IBM’s Supply Chain. Michael’s team is also responsible for IBM’s Supplier Connection initiative which provides U.S Small Businesses access to large corporations.
Under Michael’s leadership, IBM has been selected for numerous awards such as Corporation of the Year by the NMSDC (2x), one of the Top Corporations by WBENC (12x), received the Francis Perkins Van Guard Award by the SBA, Asian Enterprises Top Corporation, recognition from WBENC and NMSDC Regional Organizations as their Corporation of the Year and one of DiversityBusiness.com’s Top Corporations to name a few. IBM has spent in excess of $2Billion, 1st Tier, annually worldwide with diverse enterprises since 2006 and in excess of $1B, 1st Tier, annually with diverse enterprises in the U.S. since 2000.
Michael’s IBM experience has spanned various disciplines. His previous positions include: Manufacturing Manager, Procurement and Production Control Manager in Charlotte, NC; Distribution Manager in Boulder, CO; ECAT Site Procurement Manager in Charlotte, NC; Materials Manager in San Jose, CA; Business Services Council Chair in Charlotte, NC and Federal Procurement Manager in Bethesda, MD.
Michael attended the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia; received his BS from Cheyney University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and his MBA from Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia.
Kathryn "Kathy" Homeyer, Director, Supplier Diversity, UPS received the William J. Alcorn Leadership Award during the Tribute! Dinner at WBENC's 2014 National Conference in Philadelphia.
In her remarks, Homeyer spoke of her journey from UPS driver to her current role as the Supplier Diversity Director including the incredible support from her husband and family, as well as her amazing community within UPS.
Homeyer manages internal and external programs at UPS designed to increase representation of small, minority-, and women-owned businesses in UPS' supplier network.
Homeyer was appointed to the Corporate Supplier Diversity team in August 2002. As director, she works with UPS managers nationwide to implement initiatives that identify potential suppliers and provides them with critical information and access to UPS' purchasing process. She is also responsible for the establishment of new, and the development of existing, UPS relationships with small, women, and minority business organizations.
Homeyer began her UPS career in accounting in 1980 in Missouri. During her nearly 35 year career, she has held a number of increasingly responsible positions, including district controller in Colorado, California and Texas. In that capacity, she managed purchasing, supplier relations and technical support, as well as other aspects of finance.
Homeyer is a courageous and valued member of the WBENC community. In addition to her role at UPS she also serves as Treasurer and board member for WBENC and is on the board of the Women’s Business Council, Southwest. She is also an advisory board member for Enterprising Women magazine, and has served as a board member for the Greater Women's Business Council (GWBC).
View the article in the July/August 2014 President's Report.
2013 Award Recipient
Geri Swift, President of the Women’s Business Enterprise Council PA-DE-sNJ (WBEC PA-DE-sNJ), received the William J. Alcorn Leadership Award at the WBENC 2013 National Conference and Business Fair. This award is a prestigious honor bestowed by WBENC on an individual for outstanding leadership contributions to its mission.
Swift is a member of the WBENC Board of Directors and for three years served as Chair of the Leadership Council representing the 14 Regional Partner Organizations that implement WBENC certification across the country, enabling WBEs to enhance their skills and take advantage of marketplace access to major corporations and government agencies.
Swift, as the founding President of the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC), exemplifies the meaning of the Alcorn Award. Formed in 1995, WBDC fosters the development and retention of successful businesses by delivering resources that enable individuals to start new businesses and cultivate existing ones. In 1999, under Swift’s leadership, the WBDC created the WBEC as a marketing, procurement and certification assistance council that facilitates the relationship between corporations, government agencies and women-owned businesses. A WBENC co-founder and regional partner, the WBDC with its WBEC, administers WBENC’s National Certification Standard in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Southern New Jersey. Tapping into the resources of her own business, the community, business organizations, and all levels of government and the corporate sector, Swift has been and continues to be a leader in supporting the growth and development of entrepreneurial business ventures.
She has received honors and has been recognized as a Woman’s Business Advocate from many business and professional organizations. In 1997 Swift served on the Steering Committees that created WBENC and the Association of Women Business Centers. Locally, Swift has served as an appointed member of Governor Ed Rendell’s Minority and Women’s Business Opportunity Council. Swift is also an appointed member of Mayor Michael Nutter’s Office of Economic Opportunity Advisory Council, the WBENC Board of Directors and the WBEC PA-DE-sNJ.
View the article in the July 2013 President's Report.
2012 Award Recipient
WBENC honored Cheryl Stevens, Vice President of Supplier Diversity at Energy Future Holdings, with the William J. Alcorn Award on June 21, 2012, at its National Conference & Business Fair in Orlando. WBENC presented the award to Stevens for her outstanding leadership contributions to WBENC's mission.
In addition to WBENC's Board, Stevens currently serves on the Boards of Directors and Executive Committees of the Women's Business Council – Southwest; the Dallas/Fort Worth Minority Supplier Development Council; and she is a past Chair of all three organizations. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Institute of Diversity and Commerce and the Advisory Boards of Minority Business News and Women's Enterprise. She is a graduate of Leadership Texas, Leadership Dallas and Menttium 100.
Under Stevens' leadership, Energy Future Holdings has become a nationally recognized leader in Supplier Diversity. It has received numerous regional and national "Corporation of the Year" awards for Supplier Diversity accomplishments. Read the full story the July 2012 President's Report >
2011 Award Recipient
Theresa Harrison, Director of Supplier Diversity at Ernst & Young LLP, was honored with the William C. Alcorn Award, a singularly prestigious award bestowed by WBENC on an individual for outstanding leadership contributions to its mission. The award ceremony took place during the final evening gala event at WBENC's National Conference & Business Fair convening over 3,000 corporations and women's businesses in Las Vegas from June 21 -23, 2011.
"Theresa Harrison is an extraordinary leader who has led meaningful growth among our membership and enhanced our financial strength. She has stepped up to take on many different roles in our organization during her tenure on the Board, always with the goal of decisively and measurably improving our effectiveness," said Laura Taylor, WBENC Board Chair and Vice President, Strategic Sourcing and Procurement Operations at Pitney Bowes.
Theresa Harrison joined Ernst & Young, the global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services, in June of 2004 to develop the firm's supplier diversity initiative. She is responsible for the management and oversight of the Ernst & Young supplier diversity initiative which includes the design, development and implementation of diverse supplier policies, processes, and procedures. She is a frequent public speaker and works to build awareness of the importance of supplier diversity both inside and outside of Ernst & Young.
She serves on the WBENC Board of Directors in numerous positions touching the various constituencies of WBENC. She is Chair of the Membership and Revenue Generation Committee. She serves as Board Liaison with the WBENC Women's Enterprise Leadership Forum galvanizing WBEs across the organization. She is an active Ambassador engaging prospective Corporate Members. Additionally, she has engineered significant improvements to the organization by developing its Recruitment Program and its Dashboard for success measurement.
"We are very proud and honored to have Theresa Harrison's involvement and leadership on our Board and in our organization. She demonstrates to others how a corporate leader can be efficiently productive and deeply committed at the same time," said Pamela Prince-Eason, WBENC President and CEO.
Harrison is also the Chair of the Procurement Council, NGLCC, and Board Chairperson for Diversity Information Resources. She has been recognized for her efforts in supplier diversity with the 2010 Applause Award from WBENC, 2008 Advocate of the Year by NGLCC, and The Network Journal's Top 40 under 40. In 2006 and 2008 Women's Enterprise Magazine named her as one the "100 Women Impacting Supplier Diversity."
In her remarks, Taylor saluted Harrison as an advocate for supplier diversity in her role at Ernst & Young, as a recognized leader in the industry, and as a change agent for WBENC improvement and growth.
Under Harrison's leadership, Ernst & Young has received several accolades for the firm's support of entrepreneurs. WBENC named Ernst & Young as one of America's Top Corporations for Women's Business Enterprises for 2009 and 2010. The Women's President Education Organization named Ernst & Young as the 2009 Corporation of the Year Award and in 2008, Hispanic Enterprise Magazine named Ernst & Young as one of its Top 50 Corporations for Supplier Diversity.
Ms. Harrison obtained her Bachelor of Science Degree in Management from Emmanuel College and a Masters of Business Administration from Bentley College.
As an active WBENC Board Member and Vice Chair, Laura has contributed significantly by supporting Board Chair Pamela Prince-Eason, and by championing a key initiative of 2010, the re-launch of the WBENC Ambassador Program. Under her leadership the program engages dedicated Corporate Members, Women's Business Enterprises (WBEs), and Regional Partner Organization Directors as advocates in attracting other high caliber companies and deepening WBENC's quality corporate membership.
Building strength from within the WBENC organization has been a theme of Laura's quiet but profound contribution to WBENC over the years. For example, as a member and then Vice Chair of the Development Committee, Laura has worked closely with Theresa Harrison and Paige Adams in developing an innovative dashboard for measuring goals and tracking progress for membership and sponsorship growth. She has also been instrumental in expanding membership and providing planning and guidance on membership recruiting events.
Laura and Theresa have also worked with peer chairs and WBENC's Chief Operating Officer Lynn Quinn to implement a Program Review Process to evaluate the effectiveness of WBENC programs and determine future funding needs. She is also part of a leadership team that made recommendations to implement budget reviews by program each year as WBENC does it planning for the next year.
Laura's reliable and strategic leadership is also reflected in her 25 year career at Pitney Bowes, where she has held management positions of increasing responsibility with multiple business units and at the corporate level. In her current position, Laura has accountability for Indirect Strategic Sourcing, Supplier Relationship Management, and Procurement Solutions.
She was twice awarded the company's One Standard Excellence Award for results in business process improvement. As Vice President, Strategic Sourcing and Procurement Operations, she developed a competency model that realized the company's strategic vision for procurement and resulted in over $250 million in benefits for the company over the last five years.
The first William J. Alcorn Leadership Award recipient, Barbara Carbone, was awarded in 2009. Cheryl Stevens, Vice President, Energy Future Holdings, selected Carbone due to her leadership as a member of WBENC's Board of Directors since 1998 and a leader in the financial industry for 28 years.
Demonstrating leadership at WBENC, Carbone has held many different roles to include Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee. She is currently Chair of the Audit Committee, as well as a member of the Finance, Program, and Allocations Review Committees. In a heightened regulatory environment, Carbone's expertise has been invaluable in developing strong internal controls at WBENC, understanding new guidelines for non-profits, and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.
In the financial industry, Carbone has been a partner at KPMG for 13 years. As an audit partner, she led KPMG's Northern California Business Unit with audit practices in San Francisco, Sacramento, and Honolulu for three years. In addition, Carbone led KPMG's Software and Services Practice nationally and globally from 2000 to 2002. Carbone also was a contributor to a publication entitled, Defining the Digital Future: Business and Accounting Issues.
She also served two years as National Partner in Charge of Human Resources for the firm's Assurance Practice in New York. There she led the development of HR strategies, policies and practices including a number of the KPMG programs and initiatives for which KPMG has consistently been recognized for its excellence in areas to include: Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For, Diversity Inc Employer of Choice, Working Mothers Top 10 Best Companies and Catalyst Award, among others. Carbone has also been named as one of the San Francisco Bay Area's Most Influential Women three times.
Through her leadership and participation, Carbone has significantly contributed to the overall success, progress, and development of WBENC as an organization and the financial industry. The years of leadership, commitment, and excellence that Carbone has brought to WBENC and the financial industry is a stellar example of the type of honorees that represent the ideals and principles associated with The William J. Alcorn Leadership Award.
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