Energy Industry Experts Gathered To Discuss Supplier Diversity, Procurement Best Practices And Sustaining Operations During Industry-Wide Downturn

HOUSTON, Sept. 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Energy industry experts gathered Friday at the Energy Summit and Business Expo in Houston to discuss insights on the importance of maintaining a diverse supply chain, procurement best practices and opportunities for sustaining operations during the current industry-wide downturn.

The event was organized by the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Shell Oil. “This event was put together to provide a unique perspective on the implications of a changing global energy landscape on Houston’s economy,” said Dr. Laura Murillo, President and CEO of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “We had a significant turnout which demonstrates the importance of Houston’s evolving energy sector to our members.”
“My hope is that through today’s conversation, you as Hispanic business owners find opportunity to position your business as a partner with the oil and gas industry in the midst of this economic downturn,” said Greg Guidry, Executive Vice President – Unconventionals, Shell Upstream Americas. “The potential to unlock future growth for diverse suppliers is there and I’m committed to help Shell do its part. We hope to be the first oil and gas major to join the Billion Dollar Roundtable. ”

“We are putting in place, sponsored by our CEO, a specific targeted direct approach to increase our spend with minority and women owned businesses by 40% over the next few years,” said Deborah C. Stewart, Director Supplier Diversity & Diversity Outreach, Shell.

About the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce:
The Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is the leading regional advocate for the economic and civic interests of the Hispanic business community. As such, the HHCC serves as the Leader of Houston’s New Majority. HHCC represents approximately 90,000 businesses in the Greater Houston Region, ranging in size from start-ups to multi-national corporations, making the Houston Hispanic Chamber the largest in the country.

Hugh McColl reflects on 25 years of supplier diversity at BofA: ‘We understood that brains come in different packages’

In 1990, Hugh McColl Jr. was busy transforming NationsBank into the largest financial institution in the country.
“That time period was kind of like The Wild, Wild West,” the outgoing vice-chairman of Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC), David Darnell, said at an event Wednesday. “It was acquisitions and moving fast. We all had goals, objectives and a lot of accountability around getting mergers done. It was a fast-paced time for the company.”
During that busy time, McColl, now the retired chairman and CEO of Bank of America, set another goal for the company: 10% of the bank’s suppliers would be minority or women-owned businesses and services.
It was the start of Bank of America’s supplier diversity program— an initiative that paved the way for BofA to be inducted to the Billion Dollar Roundtable this year. The Charlotte-based bank is the first financial services firm to join the group of 20 companies that have reached $1 billion in diversity spend annually. Today, Bank of America spends $2.5 billion on minority and women-owned suppliers.
BofA celebrated the 25th anniversary of its supplier diversity program Wednesday evening at The Westin Charlotte hotel uptown. Darnell and McColl conducted a fireside chat in front of an audience of the bank’s suppliers. At the end of the evening, recently promoted Chief Administrative Officer Andrea Smith presented McColl with the bank’s first-ever Visionary Award.
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“When you step back and think about that one idea and the deliberateness and the impact of that idea, I think you see the true essence of what it means to be a visionary,” Smith said. “So tonight it is my honor to present the first-ever Visionary Award to Hugh McColl for hatching this idea 25 years ago. For his commitment, his leadership, his vision and as he just said a minute ago, doing the right thing.”
McColl and Darnell discussed how the bank has changed over the last 25 years and the role diversity played as NationsBank scaled and expanded to become the Bank of America we know today.
“I think we really understood that brains come in all different kinds of packages,” McColl said. “We didn’t really care what the package looked like, as long as people could get the job done. We were looking for brains, energy and talent. We needed it.”

Here are highlights from the conversation with Darnell and McColl, edited for brevity and clarity:
The need for supplier diversity
McColl: Well, we were really trying to attract good people to our company and we were here in Charlotte and a lot of good people were located in cities all over the world. We knew we had to have a better city and a stronger business community. We looked around and saw lapses in small businesses, in particular an absence of minority-owned businesses. That got us interested in that. We were trying to figure out how to move that ball. We came up with the idea inside the company. We decided we were going to have 10% of suppliers be minority suppliers.
Dealing with pushback

Darnell: That time period was kind of like The Wild, Wild West. It was acquisitions and moving fast. We all had goals, objectives and a lot of accountability around getting mergers done. It was a fast-paced time for the company and I know there were some leaders that didn’t really understand that we needed this kind of program. You got some pushback. As the leader of our company, how did you handle that?
McColl: Internal resistance went away rapidly. I mellowed a lot as I got older, but when I was younger we would have a discussion about it, in which I did all the talking. We really would just tell them we want to do what’s right. It wasn’t very complicated, it was just doing the right thing and if you were good enough to be in charge or part of our businesses, you ought to be good enough to figure out how to get 10% of purchases from minorities and we did that.
I couldn’t decide whether to tell this story or not, but we had one very large telephone company essentially tell us they couldn’t do that, or wouldn’t do that and everybody said we can’t do anything — they won’t do it. I said, ‘Oh yeah? We could do something.’ So we started switching to Sprint. Guess what. They came around fast because we had a very large telephone bill.
We don’t do anything in a halfway deal. We liked to be the best at whatever we did. If we were going to have a minority purchasing business, we were going to be No. 1 in the country.
McColl’s secret formula
McColl: Something we shouldn’t lose is talking to our customers because people who don’t talk to customers, they will lose them. At the end of the day, customer satisfaction is a huge part of everything.
I always thought the formula was taking care of your own employees first. Then they will take care of the customers and that will take care of the shareholders.
Who hired Darnell?
McColl: I have to ask you a question. Did I hire you?
Darnell: I will tell you that you came to Chapel Hill to hold a ‘Meet the president of NCNB.’ I went, and that night — that’s when I decided that’s where I wanted to work, and it’s been a fun 36 years.
McColl: Well, we were glad to get you.
Words of wisdom
McColl: It seems to me that we should feel good that we’ve been successful and we’ve done it because we wanted to. We’ve had fun doing it and it’s the right thing to do. I don’t believe we want praise for it necessarily, we are just doing what we think is the right thing.
If I’m around here in a decade from now, which I plan to be — y’all cant get rid of my pension and it’s expensive by the way — I hope we can do this again.

National Assoc. of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) Priorities for 2015

Author: Elena Moreland/Monday, February 23, 2015

NASPO announces the release of its inaugural Top 10 Focus Areas for State Procurement for 2015. The priority areas will help narrow the association’s focus when developing new publications and research, planning conference sessions, and hosting webinars to share best procurement practices.

The top 10 ranking of state procurement focus areas reflects the collective voice of State Central Procurement Officers who voted on their top 10 priorities, based on the relevance and existing or anticipated impact on state procurement policies in their respective NASPO member state.

Based on the voting results, the highest priority area for state central procurement offices nationwide is Procurement Reform and Reengineering of Procurement Processes. The second highest priority is the commitment to use procurement data collection and Spend Analytics as strategic assets to enhance procurement oversight and efficiencies in all states. Planning and Managing Large Technology Procurements and the need to involve state central procurement offices early in the process came in third. Following closely in fourth place came Measuring Success in State Procurement, including outcome-based performance measurements and data-driven decisions.

You can access the complete Top 10 Focus Areas for State Procurement at: http://www.naspo.org/dnn/ResearchPublications/WhitePapersIssueBriefs.aspx

SoCalGas Reports Record Spending with Diverse Suppliers

LOS ANGELES /PRNewswire/ — Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) achieved a record year in 2014 with 48.4 percent of its contracting budget going to woman, minority, and service-disabled veteran-owned business enterprises. Over the years, SoCalGas has steadily increased its procurement with diverse suppliers and is seen as a national industry leader.

“We have long known that our supplier diversity activities bring economic benefits to not only our suppliers, but also to the regional economies where they do business,” said Dennis Arriola, president and CEO of SoCalGas. “At SoCalGas, supplier diversity isn’t just a program or a department. It is an integral part of our strategy, our commitment to diversity in action and a smart and effective way to run our business.”

As a result of SoCalGas’ efforts, spending last year reached a total of $571.4 million with diverse firms or 48.4 percent of the company’s total procurement. Diverse suppliers provide SoCalGas with everything from meters to pipes to information technology to advertising solutions to financial investment advice.

One example of a diverse supplier is Loop Capital Markets, an African American-owned, full-service investment bank, brokerage and advisory firm. It was one of four companies selected to work on the utility’s $250 million, 30-year bond deal. Working with SoCalGas, Loop Capital Markets has seen firsthand the company’s commitment to supplier diversity.

“We’ve heard their executives talk about supplier diversity and how it’s part of their DNA. That’s been really clear from the interactions we’ve had,” said Sidney Dillard, partner, Corporate Investment Banking at Loop Capital Markets.

SoCalGas was recognized last year for its efforts with supplier diversity and won numerous awards from a variety of organizations including: Asian Business Association of Los Angeles, Elite Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business of Los Angeles, Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce, National Latina Women Business Association, Southern California Minority Supplier Development Council, and U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

SoCalGas’ commitment to diversity extends beyond its diverse suppliers to its workforce and the communities it serves as well. Last year, SoCalGas donated more than $4.8 million and thousands of volunteer hours to the more than 500 communities it serves, benefitting underserved community groups in African American, Hispanic, Pacific Asian, Asian Indian and Native American communities. And SoCalGas’ commitment doesn’t stop there. Its diverse workforce of more than 8,300 employees includes 65 percent minorities.

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute to Host Supplier Diversity Event

Birmingham Business Journal

SAM HODGSON/BLOOMBERG

Birmingham, July 9, 2015 / The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and Skye Connect Inc. are partnering on a supplier diversity training event on July 15.

The training, which will focus on new metrics and strategies for supplier diversity, will be led by Alice Gordon, CEO of Sky Connect and Layle McKelvey, supplier diversity manager for United Airlines.

The training will demonstrate how supplier diversity can improve innovation, drive technology enhancements and lower costs in both the service and manufacturing industry. Gordon formerly led the supplier diversity efforts at Alabama Power Co., which has nearly 2,000 diverse vendors and millions in spending with diverse companies.

Registered attendees will also have a chance to learn how to do business with United Airlines.

The target audience is supplier diversity managers, human resource professionals, sourcing agents, procurement managers and others.

Novation Named Among “The Best of the Best” Supplier Diversity Programs by U.S. Veterans Magazine

IRVING, Texas, Jul 09, 2015 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Novation, the nation’s largest health care services company, was recently recognized by U.S. Veterans Magazine on its annual “Best of the Best” list for Supplier Diversity Programs. The magazine polled hundreds of Fortune 1,000 companies to arrive at this nonbiased list of organizations that offer the best opportunities for veterans, transitioning service members, disabled veterans, spouses and veteran business owners.

The annual list serves to give guidance and current information to readers with the goal of spurring more active outreach and diversity policies among government agencies and corporate entities. Study results are valuable to jobseekers, business owners, students, consumers and managers.

“Novation has a strong and ongoing commitment to encouraging and supporting diverse suppliers,” said Cathy Denning, Novation’s senior vice president of sourcing operations. “This recognition by U.S. Veterans Magazine is a testament to our belief that diverse suppliers are of crucial importance to a successful supply chain process. Through our Supplier Diversity Program, we will continue to foster relationships between large and diverse suppliers.”
Since its inception in 1999, Novation’s Supplier Diversity Programhas worked with Minority, Women, Veteran, and Small Business Enterprises by providing support and networking opportunities that raises their visibility and helps them connect with prospective customers. In 2014, alliance members and affiliates served by Novation purchased approximately $1.1 billion in goods and services directly from small and diverse suppliers. In addition, Tier II (subcontractor) spend with diverse suppliers was approximately $1 billion in 2014.