Stars of Canadian diversity

From the October 2019 print edition

The annual CAMSC Business Achievement Awards Gala 2019 gave attendees plenty to celebrate the night of September 26 as suppliers, diversity advocates, corporations and others gathered at Toronto’s Liberty Grand. Each year, the event honours suppliers and corporate partners across Canada in their roles as supplier diversity leaders.

Image: CAMSC

This year marked the Crystal Celebration for CAMSC as it celebrated its 15th anniversary along with recognizing its partners, supporters and diverse suppliers. The gala event was hosted by Brandon Gonez, reporter and anchor with CP24 news in Toronto.

CAMSC president and CEO Cassandra Dorrington told the audience that the progress the organization had made over that 15 years wouldn’t have been possible without support the support of others.

“CAMSC does not stand by itself,” Dorrington said. “Our growth and our successes are the culmination of the work we do with you and for that, we thank you for playing a role in assisting and supporting CAMSC as we drive the mandate of inclusive procurement across Canada.”

When the organization was incorporated in 2004, the term “supplier diversity” was unknown in Canada, she said. Since then CAMSC has built the business and by 2009 the organization had gained traction and supplier numbers and corporate members were growing. “The business case for supplier diversity was actually starting to gain hold,” Dorrington said. “We were starting to see some real successes.”
But supplier diversity in Canada still faces challenges, she added. Making the business case and convincing decision makers to implement supplier diversity and procurement policies remain critical, Dorrington said.

And yet, supplier diversity continues to gain traction, she added. At the end of 2018 spend with CAMSC certified Aboriginal and minority-owned suppliers had exceeded $5 billion.

“While that’s only one of the many metrics that indicates success, it’s one which we are very proud of,” Dorrington said.

The winners of the CAMSC Business Achievement Awards Gala 2019 are:

Supplier of the Year
Champion Products won the Aupplier of the Year award. The company began in Windsor, Ontario selling shopping bags to supermarkets and expanded to become a diversified product distributor selling over 9,000 products to thousands of customers. Champion Products represents over 300 suppliers, operates 250,000sq-ft of warehousing, maintains a fleet of delivery trucks and employs 150-plus people full time. It has locations in Toronto, Windsor, Alberta and Detroit.

Procurement Business Advocate of the Year
Elizabeth Auceda, Sodexo’s Canadian manager for supplier diversity, took home the Procurement Business Advocate of the Year award. She joined Sodexo in 2009 and was appointed lead for the company’s supplier diversity in Canada in 2017. She advances supplier diversity and, through strategic planning and unique value propositions, has strengthened the program’s growth. She works to ensure that all areas of supplier diversity are captured and moving forward, building a strong impact through networking and mentoring.

Small Business of the Year
Drug Intelligence, an information provider about treatment for serious and complex diseases, won the Small Business of the Year Award. The company updates and integrates datasets to challenging commercial, medical, access and compliance demands of speciality medicines used to treat those conditions. Drug Intelligence provides context for its clients, who must navigate the treatment landscape, so they can prioritize their efforts and optimize their business.

Technology Innovation Award
Trinity Tech Inc. won the Technology Innovation Award. The company is an automotive quality service provider for the North American and global automotive markets. Since 2009 it has worked with Fortune 500 companies and has completed over 10,000 projects. Trinity Tech works on quality assurance issues related to software, electrical, electronics engineering, new technology testing, launch and GP12 support, project management and manufacturing support. It provides services to over 300 companies.

Collaboration Award
The Nova Scotia-based Black Business Initiative (BBI) took home the Collaboration Award. The organization supports black-owned businesses and communities in that province, working to enable economic independence. For 23 years BBI has worked with and supported Nova Scotian black entrepreneurs and youth through training, business counselling, mentorship, advocacy, financing and other support activities.

Tier 1 Champion of Supplier Diversity
Flex-N-Gate won the Tier 1 Champion of Supplier Diversity award. The minority-owned business has created a culture of inclusion and believes diversity provides richer experiences for its associates and stronger solutions for customers. It attends procurement trade fairs for minority, women, Aboriginal and veteran-owned businesses across North America.

Corporation of the Year
Accenture, winner of the Corporation of the Year award, champions change and empowers communities with practices like its Supplier Inclusion & Sustainability Program, which reaches 18 countries. Another program, the Diverse Supplier Development Program, develops relationships with businesses owned by ethnic minorities, women, people with disabilities, LGBT community members, veterans and others. The program matches Accenture executive mentors with diverse supplier protégé companies.

President’s Award
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) won the President’s Award. The company provides opportunities for diverse suppliers and since 1983 has purchased nearly $80 billion from minority, women and veteran-owned companies. In 2018, FCA US spent $9 billion with over 300 diverse suppliers also provides advocacy and consulting services to certified LGBT-owned and disability-owned suppliers. SP