Supplier Spotlight: A Closer Look
The Kent State Procurement Office of Supplier Diversity has begun a new initiative to match diverse vendors with offices on Kent State’s campus.
Veronica Cook-Euell, supplier diversity program manager, said she noticed some offices around campus may have difficulty finding vendors to supply their needs or are simply not aware of new vendors and their goods and/or services, particularly the Office of Global Education.
“Looking at one of Kent’s internal publications, I noticed the great number of study abroad programs for students here,” Cook-Euell said. “When I found out there was no contract currently held for suppliers working alongside the Office of Global Education for these programs, I saw the opportunity to match the office with a diverse supplier to whom I have access after having met them at a matchmaker event with the State of Ohio Department of Administrative Services.”
This discovery led Cook-Euell to the idea of organizing vendor spotlights to showcase companies that may be useful to the university. According to Cook-Euell, the initiative aims to expose minority and women-owned suppliers who are not currently doing business with Kent State to offices that may be interested in their capabilities or have a need for their services.
Based on the potential interest from students, faculty and staff to use a travel management program, Cook-Euell featured UniGlobe Travel Designers in the first vendor Spotlight on April 9.
UniGlobe Travel Designers is a travel company that assists businesses in creating, managing and maintaining travel programs. UniGlobe has been providing international and domestic group travel for more than 10 years.
UniGlobe Owner and President Elizabeth Blount delivered the presentation on her company. According to Blount, the presentation was an introduction of UniGlobe Travel Designers’ history, business background and services.
“It definitely gave us more visibility, and it’s wonderful that Kent State has a commitment to work with diverse suppliers,” Blount said. “It was a great way for me to showcase what we do and show that we would be able to provide valuable service.”
Those that attended the presentation included representatives from the Deans Office of College of Business, Executive M.B.A. programs, and other members and faculty of Global Education.
Ediz Kaykayoglu, assistant director in the Office of Global Education, attended the presentation and said the experience was valuable to his offices and others on Kent’s campus.
“I think the presentation was really helpful for us to learn more about different suppliers and vendors, Kaykayoglu said. “It was well-prepared and the content was geared toward us.”
Kaykayoglu said he applauds supplier diversity for bringing an initiative like this to Kent State.
“There are great benefits: first, it’s a chance to learn more about opportunities with vendors, and second, since our main goal is to serve the university and students, we want to learn about different suppliers and what they can provide to serve the community best,” Kaykayoglu said.
Cook-Euell said the presentation from UniGlobe Travel Designers opened doors to possible future opportunities with this and other diverse suppliers.
“With the success of this presentation, I think we can start exploring the option of doing a spotlight with other vendors who are not currently working with Kent State,” Cook-Euell said. “I image there’s a need from other offices around campus for an initiative like this, so supplier diversity will do its best to assist them.”
For more information about the Procurement Office of Supplier Diversity, visit http://www2.kent.edu/procurement/diversity/index.cfm.