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DIR announces its 2016 “Building Strategic Phases of a Supplier Diversity Initiative” seminar.

Minneapolis, September 21, 2015—DIR’s annual “Building Strategic Phases of a Supplier Diversity Initiative” seminar will be held on February 17-18, 2016 in Las Vegas, NV at the Vdara Hotel & Spa. This classroom-style seminar reinforces DIR’s commitment to supplier diversity education and is one of two annual seminars hosted by DIR (also see “Best Practices in Supplier Diversity Strategies and Initiatives”). Small group discussions are encouraged throughout the two days, followed by sharing the results. Reporting out to the group then fosters inclusivity while offering attendees a chance to exchange ideas and ask questions in a supportive setting—everyone has something to offer. Innovation and creative problem solving is encouraged! Networking activities, including a lunch with DIR Board Members, help to create long-lasting mentoring relationships. Proven tactics, information and ideas enable attendees to return to work with actions that can be implemented immediately.

The “Building Strategic Phases . . .” seminar is specifically designed to enable the creation of, and/or improvement to, an effective supplier diversity process within major corporations, prime suppliers with SD initiatives, non-profits and educational institutions. Typically, attendees hold the titles of Supplier Diversity Specialist/Manager/Director, Sustainable Purchasing Manager/Director, Purchasing Manager, Buyer, VP of Materials and Purchasing, Procurement Manager or SBLO.

Topics will include:

  • An Overview of Supplier Diversity DevelopmentEngaging and Enrolling Leadership,
  • Procurement and SuppliersKey Elements to Sustainable Supplier Diversity
  • An Overview of Supplier Diversity Development
  • Engaging and Enrolling Leadership, Procurement and Suppliers
  • Key Elements to Sustainable Supplier Diversity Processes
  • Being Strategic: How to Develop and Market an Effective Supplier Diversity Plan
  • How to Build a Supportive Internal Team
  • Reaching Out to Build Within: Engaging Industry Groups, Trade PR and Business Fairs
  •  Bringing Majority Suppliers into a Second Tier Initiative
  • Data Management Solutions: An Overview of Tracking and Reporting Spend
  • From Strategy to Sustainability—How Creating a Road Map Leads to Innovation, Breakthroughs, and a Successful Supplier Diversity Process + more

13-conniesmithConnie Smith, former Director, Supplier Diversity Development at Altria, is the facilitator. Recently retired from her 32-year career, Smith managed Altria’s Supplier Diversity Development process for almost ten years, implementing programs and processes that assured the inclusion of diverse-owned businesses. She’s earned a lifetime certification with the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) as a Certified Purchasing Manager (CPM) and attained ISM’s newest certification of Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity (CPSD).

About Diversity Information Resources (DIR)—Founded in 1968, DIR is a not-for-profit corporation headquartered in Minneapolis, MN. DIR partners with SupplierGATEWAY™ to power its online data management portal. DIR is proud to be the only data management and publishing organization focused exclusively on developing and supporting supplier diversity programs. DIR advances supplier diversity initiatives through comprehensive, flexible solutions, superior technology, personal service and the proven expertise to help corporations build the best possible supplier diversity programs. DIR’s exceptional products (seminars and publications) and services support both corporations and suppliers, facilitating the advancement of corporate diversity as a whole. More information at

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