Supplier Diversity Manager Recognized for Successes
Veronica Cook-Euell, supplier diversity program manager at Kent State University, was recognized at the 2016 Ohio Asian Awards Gala for her work assisting minority- and women-owned businesses with information regarding upcoming opportunities with the university.
The Ohio Asian Awards recognize the leaders and businesses in Ohio that are actively working to assist the Asian community.
This isn’t the first time Cook-Euell has been recognized for her excellent work for the university and the community; she was the 2014 Advocate of the Year award winner from the Ohio Minority Supplier Development Council, which is given to someone who supports minority business development and supplier diversity and is a leader in their community.
Cook-Euell helps minority and women-owned business owners receive information about upcoming contracts with the university through coaching, advocating, outreach, and matchmaking, providing them with the skills and knowledge necessary to not only be considered for an request for proposal or a contract at Kent State, but to be attractive to other universities as well with the capability statements provided to them.
“Supplier diversity is the process in which we assist minority- and women-owned companies in gaining information about contract opportunities at the university,” Cook-Euell said.
She helps maintain a database of diverse suppliers with information containing what they do, photos of their final products and services, and more information in order to keep the suppliers’ capabilities available to the university buyers and project managers.
“It’s important for any business to have a diversified supply chain, which could lead to new and improved ideas, cost savings, and inclusivity,” she said. “It’s good to do business with a diverse group of businesses in terms of who we ultimately buy from.”
While Cook-Euell is an advocate for businesses that may be minority and woman-owned otherwise when looking for contract opportunities with the university, she believes there is room for all businesses to take part these opportunities.
“Supplier diversity is all about inclusiveness. It doesn’t mean that we take away from one demographic and give to the other, but it means that everyone gets an opportunity and that we recognize that great suppliers come from all types of backgrounds. The one common thread in all business is that a great supplier is a great supplier, and that’s what we are looking for.”
Cook-Euell also attended the 2016 National Association of Educational Procurement Supplier Diversity Institute in Kansas City. With her help, Kent State’s supplier diversity program has received national attention for her presentation on the 10 Steps to Successful Advocacy in Supplier Diversity.