Northwest Mountain MSDC Hits Four Decades of MBE Supply-Chain Inclusion

Volume II 2018
By Genny Hom-Franzen

Fernando Martinez believes corporations that have not embraced supplier diversity are missing the mark. “They are not creating value for their stakeholders / shareholders by continuing to take the easy way out and remaining status quo,” he said. “They are alienating the consumer market. The market always reaches equilibrium. The prudent consumers align themselves to organizations that share their values. Failure to be inclusive in a meaningful way — as the market becomes more diverse — is a sure way to lose market share, customers and revenue.”

Martinez should know. For almost 10 years, he has served as president and CEO of the Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. “Being able to serve our region for 40 years is our biggest success. Our council’s longevity has established us as an institution within a region where MBEs [minority business enterprises] are truly the minority,” he said, referring to the Northwest Mountain region where ethnic minorities make up less than 25 percent of the population.

“The founding model of our organization — MBE inclusion within the supply chain, launched by The Boeing Co. — continues to exist today, but not without challenges,” Martinez said. “In the state of Washington, for example, legislations such as Initiative 200 are being misquoted to the detriment of minority-owned businesses. Given today’s economic environment, it is crucial that we innovate and build on the MBE inclusion model.

“While inclusion is our core focus, developing and growing MBEs remains as relevant as it was 40 years ago,” he continued. “At the end of the day, it’s about helping our members and MBE companies grow their businesses year over year, drive wealth into our communities, economically impact our region, create generational wealth and make our region a better place to live.”

While supplier diversity has helped minority-owned businesses grow and develop over the last 40 to 50 years, Martinez believes that currently, supplier diversity is being deprioritized. He said funding is dwindling, supplier diversity staffs are shrinking, supplier diversity practices are being absorbed into other departments as an adjunct role and — in some cases — supplier diversity is being completely shut down.

BRINGING PARITY TO SUPPLY CHAIN

“We must stave off this trend,” he said. “We must factually articulate the value a strong supplier diversity process delivers to the organization and its customers. Our advocacy/education must link supply-chain value to the customer-value chain.” To that end and to resolve these biases, Martinez is making education a top priority initiative at the council. He and his staff have provided MBE and member development training, including minority executive education, supplier diversity training for leadership and procurement teams, programs for innovators and industry experts and programs to connect business leaders who share the same values.

“Education and validation can silence some of the biases,” he said.
“Our goal is to support diversifying the workforce. By bringing parity to the supply chain and having an inclusive and diverse workforce, our council will have a much bigger impact on our communities,” Martinez said. “Parity will drive better community wages, better health care, better education, an increased tax base and, thus, empowered and vibrant communities. Once established, parity will gain momentum, self-perpetuate, build diverse companies and protect our communities of color from gentrification.”

Ultimately, via all its educational and development programs, initiatives and events, he said the council’s goal is to bring parity between the supply chains they support and the community demographic makeup.

In addition to the council’s ongoing educational programs, it will be celebrating with a 40th anniversary breakfast. Corporate and public agency members, MBEs, other partner organizations and friends will be gathering Oct. 10, 2018, at the Hilton Bellevue in Bellevue, Washington. The event will pay tribute and thanks to the council’s founding organization, Boeing. The council will present Legacy Awards to honor corporations, public agencies and MBEs that have been with the council for 10 years or more.

With 40 years of success to stand on, Martinez and his staff are poised for the future. “Thank you to all the corporate/public agency members and MBEs who have come before us,” he said. “We stand on your shoulders and dedicate ourselves to the continuous growth of our members, MBEs and community. We are committed to supporting the growth of our corporate/public agency members and MBEs — it is the path to keeping our diverse communities alive, growing and sustainable.”

For full article visit: Minority Business News USA

AT&T, Boeing and Union Bank among “Top 50 Companies for Diversity”

Congratulations to Northwest Mountain MSDC Corporate Members AT&T, Inc., The Boeing Company and MUFG Union Bank, N.A. for making it into the 2018 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity.

AT&T remained in the top three position for the second year, and top six on the 2018 Top Companies for Supplier Diversity.  The company continues to build on the success of its supplier diversity program, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.  AT&T’s DiversityInc profile made note of approximately $14.4 billion spend with diverse suppliers, representing 25.2% of total procurement spend for 2017. Over the last 50 years, AT&T has spent approximately $158 billion with minority, women and service disabled veteran businesses.

Union Bank emphasized its commitment to diversity in its 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Annual Report, reporting $172 million in diverse spend, representing 13.2% of the bank’s total discretionary spending and surpassing their Community Service Action Plan (CSAP) goal.

“Our supplier diversity initiative has become the standard bearer for our peer banks as well as other major nonfinancial corporations,” said Richard Chacon, Director of Supplier Diversity and Development at Union Bank.

In addition, Union Bank’s Business Diversity Lending program provided over $31.4 million financing to 433 Diverse Business Enterprises (DBEs).

The Boeing Company also made the Top 50 Companies for Diversity list and ranked number two on the Top 10 Companies for Veterans list.  Boeing leads inclusion and diversity through several business resource groups and diversity chapters.  In the Northwest Mountain region, Boeing holds informational sessions, participates in outreach events, and fully engages in opportunity development for diverse businesses.

The 2018 Noteworthy list, whom DiversityInc described as “having the potential to make Top 50,” included Northwest Mountain MSDC Corporate Members Amazon and Intel Corporation.

The criteria for judging the Top 50 list are analyzed using sophisticated SAS software in 4 areas: Talent Pipeline (workforce breakdown, recruitment, diameter of existing talent), Talent Development (employee resource groups, mentoring, philanthropy, movement, fairness), Leadership Accountability (responsible for results, communications, visibility), and Supplier Diversity (Percent of Tier I and Tier II spend with minority, women, LGBT, disabled and veteran-owned businesses).

For the 2018 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity and other 2018 lists, visit www.diversityinc.com/st/DI_Top_50.

Sources:
The 2018 Diversity Inc Top 50 Companies for Diversity, https://www.diversityinc.com/st/DI_Top_50
AT&T Profile from DiversityInc, https://www.diversityinc.com/att
MUFG Union Bank CSR Annual Report, https://www.unionbank.com/Images/CSR-Annual-Report.pdf
Boeing Profile from DiversityInc, https://www.diversityinc.com/the-boeing-company
Images from DiversityInc.com


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Meet Sharon S. Lucas, Board Chairperson of Northwest Mountain MSDC

Sharon S. Lucas, Program Manager, Integrated Services | Indirect Supply Chain, Supply Chain and Operations, The Boeing Company

“Supplier diversity is a business imperative,” said Sharon S. Lucas, the new Board Chairperson of Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council (MSDC), when asked about the importance of supplier diversity.

Sharon is currently Program Manager, Strategic Work Placement within the Integrated Services | Indirect Supply Chain, Supply Chain & Operations at the Boeing Company. Sharon and her team are responsible for identifying, developing and advocating for a pool of minority suppliers, while partnering and collaborating with procurement for supplier bid list recommendations. In addition, they support organizations such as the Northwest Mountain MSDC in developing suppliers to maximize supplier diversity goals.

Sharon has been affiliated with the Council since 2010 and has served as Board Secretary since 2016. In January, 2018, Sharon was appointed as Interim Board Chairperson when Gary Sheneman (of Microsoft Corporation), former Board Chairperson concluded his term. On March 16, the Board of Directors unanimously voted to confirm Sharon as the Board Chairperson.

In her 28 years with Boeing, Sharon has held a wide variety of Management and cross functional assignments and progressive leadership roles within Indirect Supply Chain, Boeing Commercial Airplanes and Boeing Defense, Space & Security.  Prior to her current role, Sharon served as the Chief of Staff to the Indirect Supply Chain Vice President and in the role as Supplier Relationship Management Program Manager. In her more previous roles, she managed a team of procurement agents supporting organizations on IT Infrastructure and Information Security. Sharon is also a former Major in the United States Army Reserve and obtained her Six Sigma Green Belt certification from The Boeing Company.

Sharon has a long history of being a strong champion and advocate for minority businesses. She is currently serving her second two-year term as the Boeing Leadership Network Executive Board, Community Outreach Chair. In February, 2018, Sharon was honored with the 2018 Modern Day Technology Award presented by CCG Group at the Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) STEM Award Ceremony in Washington, DC. In 2016, Sharon was honored with a Women of Color STEM Technology All-Stars award at the Women of Color STEM Awards Conference.

In March, 2017, Sharon and the Enterprise Supplier Diversity team reached a milestone when The Boeing Company was awarded the 2016 National Corporation of the Year Award at the Northwest Mountain 2017 Annual Awards Dinner & Silent Auction. Just one year later, Sharon returned to the same stage as the Council’s Board Chairperson where she presented awards of recognition to the 2017 Leadership Awards for MBEs/suppliers.

Learn about Supplier Diversity at Boeing.