Michael Byron, senior director of supplier diversity at Wal-Mart Stores, who moderated the panel, noted that minority suppliers are often very involved in their communities, and can often help burnish the retailer’s image in that regard by working through existing community relations channels at the retail company.
Minority supply side
Rona Fourté, director of supplier diversity, Walgreen Co., talked about the importance of having minority suppliers involved in industry associations.
James Harris, director of supplier diversity of H-E-B, has a day each year dedicated to bringing together minority suppliers and the procurement team.
“To have a diverse program, you must have corporate support,” said Denise R. Thomas, director of corporate supplier diversity at Kroger Co., Cincinnati. “All must understand the importance.”
Terrez Thompson, VP of global supplier diversity at Coca-Cola, said, “It is important to have the diversity goals, strategies and objectives embedded in the procurement division’s goals, strategies and objectives.”
Carol Moseley Braun, former U.S. senator from Illinois, was in the audience.