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L to R: Wanda Colon-D’Angelo (Director of State Certification, OSD’s Supplier Diversity Office), Jabes Rojas (Deputy Chief, Office of Access and Opportunity and Community Affairs), Susan Rittscher (President/CEO, Center for Women & Enterprise), Bill McAvoy (Deputy Assistant Secretary, OSD’s Supplier Diversity Office), and Bonnie Borch-Rote (Counsel, OSD’s Supplier Diversity Office).

Photo Credit: Gammino Photography L to R: Wanda Colon-D’Angelo (Director of State Certification, OSD’s Supplier Diversity Office), Jabes Rojas (Deputy Chief, Office of Access and Opportunity and Community Affairs), Susan Rittscher (President/CEO, Center for Women & Enterprise), Bill McAvoy (Deputy Assistant Secretary, OSD’s Supplier Diversity Office), and Bonnie Borch-Rote (Counsel, OSD’s Supplier Diversity Office).

On October 20, the Center for Women & Enterprise (CWE) recognized OSD’s Supplier Diversity Office with the Community Partner of the Year award. This accolade acknowledges an organization that supports the growth and expansion of CWE, which provides opportunities for women in business to increase their professional success, personal growth, and financial independence.

As part of the Annual Women Business Leaders Conference, CWE President and CEO Susan Rittscher and Karen Copenhaver, Chair of the CWE Board of Directors, highlighted a number of OSD’s Supplier Diversity Office accomplishments, including:

  • Expanding opportunities for diversity and inclusion in procurement, both by increasing the number of diverse and small companies conducting business with the state, as well as increasing the total dollar amount annually won by diverse and small businesses;
  • Developing cross-certifications programs with CWE, the Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council (GNEMSDC), the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN), and the City of Boston; and
  • Closing the gaps and lowering barriers to entry for diverse and small vendors.

Copenhaver also noted the bold leadership of both the Commonwealth’s Office of Access and Opportunity and Community Affairs and OSD’s Supplier Diversity Office, remarking, “Jabes (Rojas) and Bill (McAvoy) have been tireless advocates in diversity. Their efforts demonstrate their dedication and commitment to the success of diverse and small businesses.”

As detailed in its Fiscal Year 2016 Comprehensive Annual Report, the Supplier Diversity Office has made significant progress toward its goal of increasing opportunities for certified and small businesses. In FY16, certified minority, women, veteran, and service-disabled veteran-owned business enterprises, along with COMMBUYS-verified small businesses, earned nearly $1 billion in direct spending with the Commonwealth. Throughout the year, the Supplier Diversity Office:

  • Processed 325 new applications for state certification, 178 new applications for Disadvantaged Business Enterprise certification, 194 requests for certification actions, and 2,022 renewal applications;
  • Implemented an in-house Veteran certification program;
  • Streamlined the certification application from 32 pages to 10 pages and automated the certification application process by upgrading the certification tracking system to allow for online application and document upload; and
  • Convened 873 diverse and small Massachusetts vendors and 821 prime contractors at nine events.

The Supplier Diversity Office continues to build partnerships and opportunities. Learn more about the available programs and services at mass.gov/sdo. For information on the other award winners, see the CWE webpage.

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