“Diverse suppliers should focus on what’s important to the companies they’re engaging with. They have to be able to scale, operate, and deliver, leading to better outcomes relative to services and products.” – Curtis Crowder

Mishaune Sawyer is the Senior Regional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Manager at JE Dunn Construction. A leader in the commercial construction industry since its founding in 1924, JE Dunn is a family-owned, employee-owned commercial building contractor headquartered in Kansas City. Mishaune has over two decades of professional experience in diversity, equity, and inclusion. She is the former Director of Projects at ERS Enterprises, Inc., where she served for over 20 years before joining JE Dunn Construction. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Emory University and a J.D. from DePaul University College of Law.

Kris Oswold is the Vice President of Global Supplier Diversity at UPS. Kris is a leader in global business process design and organizational transformation who has built a career at UPS designing and executing global organizational change through formal programs and personal leadership. As the Vice President of UPS’s Global Supplier Diversity program, Kris is dedicated to expanding opportunities for diverse suppliers and enabling them to collaborate with UPS. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington.

Curtis Crowder is a cross-functional senior executive, award-winning entrepreneur, and diversity leader. He is the Director of Global Supplier Diversity, Sustainability, and Innovation at Fiserv, a leading global technology provider for the financial services industry. Curtis served as the Chief Information Officer of Jetaire Flight Systems and the Director of Client Solutions for Metasys Technologies before joining Fiserv. He also formerly served as the founder and CEO of Syntellus Dataworks for over a decade before joining SPI as an infrastructure solutions partner in 2014. He holds a degree in Management from Georgia Institute of Technology.

Mishaune, Kris, and Curtis join us today to share their insights on how they select diverse suppliers. They describe the key factors corporations evaluate when considering working with diverse suppliers. They explore how diverse suppliers can demonstrate scalability to corporations they want to work with. They also outline best practices and innovative tips for leveraging diversity and gaining access to corporate procurement opportunities.

This week on Breaking Barriers:

  • Business continuity, value proposition, and other factors corporations consider when working with diverse suppliers
  • What scalability means in the context of supplier diversity
  • The relationship between scale and capacity
  • How training programs can bridge the scalability gaps among diverse contractors
  • How diverse suppliers can differentiate themselves from other suppliers
  • The importance of networking and relationship-building
  • True software providers as diverse suppliers
  • What ESG initiatives permanent recruitment firms should solve
  • How IT Solutions providers can show they’re hungry, humble, smart, and willing to show the sweat equity
  • The value of brainstorming sessions and discovery meetings with supplier diversity professionals
  • Finding the best point of entry in growth relationships with the right person in corporations
  • Creating relationships in supplier diversity and beyond

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Mishaune Sawyer:

Connect with Kris Oswold:

Connect with Curtis Crowder:

This podcast is brought to you by Hire Ground

Hire Ground is a technology company whose mission is to bridge the wealth gap through access to procurement opportunities. Hire Ground is making the enterprise ecosystem more viable, profitable, and competitive by clearing the path for minority-led, women-led, LGBT-led, and veteran-led small businesses to contribute to the global economy as suppliers to enterprise organizations.

For more information on getting started please visit us @ hireground.io today!

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