WBENC asked both Maria Prince, head of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) in DuPont’s Global Procurement, and Peggy Del Fabbro, CEO of M. Davis & Sons and Chair of the Women’s Enterprise Forum, about their longstanding relationship, what “Momentum” means to them and what advice they have for supplier diversity leaders and WBEs related to engaging in the WBENC network.

Read on for inspiration and sage advice!

Both M. Davis and DuPont are Conference Co-Chairs this year. Why was it important to you to play that leadership role for this year’s Conference? 

Peggy Del Fabbro (PD): At the 2022 National Conference in Atlanta, I was reminded of the value and the energy of our WBENC network. I realized how much I missed being in person and knew I had to make the commitment for the 2023 conference at a higher level. The National Conference is a tremendous opportunity to connect 360 degrees with the most robust network I know of.

Maria Prince (MP): Being a co-chair allows us to support women-owned business by supporting WBENC an organization focused on providing equitable opportunities to women owned businesses. DuPont has been a member for almost 20 years and are proud to continue to support the work of WBENC by attending the conferences and supporting their programs.

Understanding diversity and creating an inclusive culture is the foundation of our collective success. DuPont believes equity is the fuel that propels these concepts into concrete actions and opportunities without it, DE&I efforts are not sustainable. At DuPont we extend this concept to our supply chain by providing opportunities for diverse businesses allowing us to impact communities around the globe by fostering job creation, economic growth and innovation.

DuPont and M. Davis & Sons have worked together for many years. How would you characterize that relationship and the value it brings to DuPont and to M. Davis? 

PD: I would characterize our relationship with DuPont like a partnership. Key factors to success are based on shared core values and can also be attributed to the developed trust and respect between DuPont and M. Davis personnel.

M. Davis established our safety program based on DuPont, which is one of the single most important decisions that anyone at M. Davis has ever made. Today we are proud that M. Davis has a long history of performing work at multiple DuPont sites, with multicraft crews that are trained to plan and complete projects safely, and in line with DuPont’s corporate standards around safety and quality.

MP (with input from DuPont team members that work closely with M. Davis): Overall, the value that M. Davis brings to our company is immeasurable. They are a trusted partner that we rely on to help us deliver high-quality construction and maintenance services to our internal DuPont stakeholders. Their expertise, dedication, and commitment to quality and everything they do, make them an invaluable asset to our business, and we are grateful for the opportunity to work with them.

This woman-owned business has been working with DuPont for close to 100 years, and we have built a relationship based on mutual respect, trust, and collaboration.

The relationship that we have built with M. Davis is a testament to the power of collaboration and partnership in business. By working together, we have been able to achieve great things, and we look forward to continuing our relationship for many years to come.

What do you consider some of the key factors that have established and maintained the relationship?

MP/DuPont: From the very beginning, we were impressed with the professionalism and expertise of M Davis, especially with the way they transformed their organization to mirror DuPont Core Values in safety performance, engraining safety in everything they do for their customers. They also have a deep understanding of the construction and maintenance field, and they always go above and beyond to ensure that our needs are met.

Peggy Del Fabbro brings a personal touch to our interactions. She is always willing to go above and beyond to accommodate DuPont’s special needs and requests, which has been instrumental in helping us to complete projects on time and within budget. For example, there have been times when we needed a piece of specialty equipment to meet our operations needs and real state footprint and Peggy and the M. Davis team has always been able to provide us with what we need, even if it means working and thinking outside “the box” and bringing innovative ideas to the table. This kind of dedication and flexibility is incredibly valuable to DuPont, as it helps us to meet our commitments to our internal stakeholders and to maintain our Procurement reputation as a reliable partner.

Share your perspective on the value of Supplier Diversity as it stands today.

MP: At DuPont, we know that small and diverse suppliers are critical to our ability to win in the marketplace, due to their increased levels of agility, flexibility, innovation, and safety performance. Small and diverse suppliers can and do provide high-quality service with cost-competitive rates that deliver value straight to the bottom line and as a large company, we have had the pleasure of working with many diverse suppliers over the years.

The WBENC network heads to Nashville next week March 20, 2023. What advice would you give to a WBE that wants to grow a relationship with a Corporation?  

Peggy: Do your homework. What are the corporation’s core values? Does your culture fit with the corporation’s core values?

MP/DuPont: Here are a few we regularly share with WBEs and the WBENC network:

  • Do your homework on your target corporations. Find out as much as you can via public information and their webpage.
  • With this information have a clear idea on how you can provide value and come ready to share that.
  • Get certified based on your diversity category.
  • Seek industry or business certifications that demonstrate your company’s expertise.
  • Be persistent but also patient and allow time for the relationship to develop. If there is not an immediate opportunity check in periodically but not daily.

The WBENC network gathers in Nashville, TN, for the 2023 WBENC National Conference taking place March 20-23, 2023, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center. WBENC, along with our 2023 National Conference Co-Chairs, Bristol Myers Squibb, DuPont, EY, Nissan Group of the Americas, The ActOne Group, Ampcus Inc., CSS Building Services, and M. Davis & Sons, Inc., Host Committee and all of our sponsors, exhibitors and attendees will connect again in person, building momentum, identifying innovative best practices, learning industry trends and celebrating accomplishments by our WBEs and Corporate Members that further a diverse supply chain and grow business opportunities for women entrepreneurs.

Stay tuned for articles, social media and more with insights, takeaways and new opportunities announced at the Conference! We are just getting started for 2023!