Emory University recently received the George Lottier Rising Star Award for its increased support of diverse suppliers and minority-owned businesses. According to the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council’s website, the award recognizes an organization which has implemented a supplier diversity program within the last three years and achieved significant supplier diversity during that time.  

Newly appointed Chief Procurement Officer Kevin Nash, who sits on the Business Diversity Advisory Council, said that the University has a long history of commitment to minority distributors.

“Within the 650+ diverse suppliers utilized, we have suppliers in the areas of professional services, facility management products and services, food and event related products and services, laboratory products and services,” Nash wrote in a Nov. 5 email to the Wheel. 

Administration Building. (The Emory Wheel/Hagar Elsayed, Photo Editor)

Nash is in charge of sourcing and managing supplier activities and focuses on promoting supplier diversity at the University. Under Nash’s leadership, the University has expanded the use of minority products and services in addition to its existing supplier diversity programs. 

He said goods and services provided by minority-owned businesses touch “almost every part of life on campus.”

According to Nash, this is an asset as small and diverse suppliers often provide a higher level of service and care than larger corporations. Additionally, their increased flexibility has allowed the University to improve its pool of offerings to buyers across the campus. Nash said this helped make Emory’s supply chain “more resilient and agile” during the pandemic.

While Nash said the University is proudly committed to supporting minority-owned businesses, working smaller can present challenges, like an insufficient volume of goods and services. When this occurs, the University uses multiple small suppliers to meet its needs rather than outsourcing to larger corporations.

Nash expects to continue leading the University’s effort in collaborating with diverse distributors, expanding on its already impressive network of diverse suppliers. 

“By working with the departments and schools along with the local community, we will continue to invest and grow the supplier diversity program which will enable even greater utilization of diverse suppliers,” Nash said.