What is Next for Supplier Diversity and Veterans?
DETROIT, MI, UNITED STATES, October 22, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — On November 3-4, National Veteran Business Development Council is hosting its virtual event: 2021 NVBDC Connect. There will be 1:1 Matchmaking Sessions, Networking, Exhibits, break-out sessions called Connect Club, high-level presentations and engaging panel discussions.
“NVBDC is proud to announce the Corporate Supplier Diversity Panel Discussion that includes an incredible line-up of supplier diversity professionals. “What is Next for Supplier Diversity and Veterans?” is the topic of discussion led by our moderator with each panelist providing their perspective, insights and point of view,” said Keith King, Founder & CEO, NVBDC.
Lisa Mobley-Blake, Supplier Diversity Manager, Altria Group – Moderator
Lisa Mobley-Blake has been an employee of Altria Group (Richmond, Virginia), formerly Philip Morris USA, for 28 years and, since 1997, a Supplier Diversity Champion. During her years at Altria, her roles included Territory Sales Manager, Trainer, Procurement Analyst and is currently the Supplier Diversity Manager. As part of her Supplier Diversity role, she is responsible for increasing diversity spend for diverse businesses – LGBTQ+, disabled-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned – and often engages with Salute, Altria’s Military Employee Resource Group to help create veteran awareness.
Lisa earned her bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Tuskegee University (Tuskegee, Alabama). She joined Philip Morris USA (Richmond, Virginia) in June 1993. While working in her role as Territory Sales Manager, she earned a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from Fairleigh Dickinson University-Silberman College of Business (Teaneck, New Jersey).
Lisa is also a Founder and CEO of Life’s Realities Greeting Cards and serves on the Board of Directors of the Carolinas-Virginia Minority Supplier Development Council (CVMSDC).
Bashar Cholagh, Head of Supplier Diversity Development and Purchasing Communications,
Stellantis – Panelist
Bashar Cholagh is the head of Supplier Diversity Development and Purchasing Communications at Stellantis (Amsterdam, Netherlands), formerly Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). In his role, he partners with minorities, women, veterans, LGBTQ and certified disabled businesses to create opportunities for procurement and to further progress Stellantis’ supplier diversity.
After 4 years supporting dealer network diversity, Bashar has driven an increase of 37 new minority-owned dealerships across the FCA dealer network. This stood for a 30% growth in FCA dealer diversity and was the highest growth among all Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) during that time. He is also the founder and President of Stellantis Middle Eastern Employee Resource Group.
Bashar earned his Business of Science in Computer Science and Master of Business Administration from Wayne State University (Detroit, Michigan). In 2017, he was recognized by Automotive News as a “Rising Leadership Star” for Automotive Leaders under the age of 40.
Amanda Cruz, Supplier Value Optimization & Communications, Citrix Systems – Panelist
Amanda Cruz joined the United States Navy after leaving high school. She was a Quartermaster (Navigation) on the USS Bataan. Since being honorably discharged from the Navy, she has had the opportunity to travel the world as her husband is still on active duty.
In Amanda’s current role of Supplier Value Optimization & Communications at Citrix Systems (Fort Lauderdale, Florida), she strategizes on ways Citrix can use diverse suppliers to meet organizational needs. She has a passion for not only increasing diverse supplier spend and count, but also strives to make the largest impact in Thought Leadership involving supplier diversity. She is also on the Leadership Team for Citrix’s Military Veteran’s Employee Resource Group, where she is building upon the Veteran’s ERG to include Military Spouses, Parents and Dependents.
Amanda earned her Master of Business Administration from the University of Maryland Global Campus (Adelphi, Maryland).
Rona Forté, Global Community Engagement Leadership Team, United Airlines – Panelist
Rona joined United Airlines in October 2019 as a member of the Global Community Engagement Leadership Team to drive supplier diversity programming as an integrated part for impacting global communities. In August 2020, she also became a Co-Administrator for United’s We Care Employee Relief Fund, which runs as a separate non-profit entity.
From 2010 through 2018, Rona was the Director of Supplier Diversity and D&I Education for Walgreens Boots Alliance (Deerfield, Illinois). As an integral member of the Global Diversity and Inclusion Team, she and her team oversaw delivering $3.3 billion in diverse-owned and small business spend. She also oversaw the implementation of microinequity, aggressions and unconscious bias training at Walgreens University (Chicago, Illinois).
Rona earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Accounting from DePaul University (Chicago, Illinois), a Master of Arts of Divinity and is currently completing her doctorate in Biblical Leadership.
Keith Hines, Global Supplier Inclusion and Diversity Leader, Mars Inc. – Panelist
Keith Hines is the Global Supplier and Diversity Leader for Mars Inc. In this role, he is charged with leading the development and management of Mars’s Global Inclusive and Diverse Supplier Development Program. Keith is a member of the Mars Global Services Leadership Team, where he works to integrate supplier inclusion and diversity into all areas of procurement and business operations.
Prior to joining Mars, Keith worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) in various procurement, operations and supplier diversity leadership roles. Prior to PWC, he held procurement and supplier diversity leadership roles at Altria, Coors and Cushman & Wakefield.
Keith earned his bachelors from Lemoyne Owen College (Memphis, Tennessee) and masters from New York University (New York, New York).
We look forward to virtually seeing you on November 3-4 for 2021 NVBDC Connect.
NVBDC is the only Veteran Owned Business Certification Organization developed by Veterans for Veterans. The purpose is to supply a credible and reliable certifying authority for all size businesses ensuring valid documentation exists of Veteran ownership and control.
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