Chairman's Newsletter: October 2019
Following each board meeting, WWT Chairman Dave Steward shares his thoughts on the business and what is inspiring him.
Dear WWT Family,
Welcome to the third edition of the Chairman’s Newsletter! I hope this finds all of you well and enjoying the beginning of a new season. Let’s jump right in with a little test of your supplier diversity knowledge and the impact it has on our economy and communities.
Did you know?
- WWT is the largest minority-owned business in the United States. We recently celebrated our eighth annual customer appreciation event at the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) conference in Atlanta, where we were privileged to host almost 200 customers — primarily Fortune 500 — who are also committed to growing a more diverse supply chain of women-owned, minority-owned and other diverse businesses. We were thrilled that John Dyer, a WWT Board member and former CEO of Cox, Inc., and his wife could join us. Cox is a leader in diversity and we are honored to have John on the WWT Board. Spoiler alert: You will hear more from John later in the newsletter.
- Almost 30 of the Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. — a group of organizations known as the Billion Dollar Roundtable (BDR) — spend over a billion dollars a year with diverse businesses and that more than 50% of those BDR companies are WWT customers.
- Statistics show that 99 percent of diverse suppliers meet or exceed performance expectations for their customers. Perhaps even more important: This investment in diverse suppliers creates more jobs that strengthen businesses and communities. As diverse consumer spend is filtered back into the economy, the benefit to both communities and corporations is realized.
Diversity is a differentiator
WWT’s commitment to diversity is an important benefit we offer our customers. Diversity of thought and ideas are a catalyst for innovation, which drives business and technology outcomes for our customers. Companies that combine outstanding supplier diversity initiatives and outcomes with other best-in-class diversity and inclusion programs will maintain a competitive advantage, win new business, retain customers and reinforce their brand around the world.
WWT helps our customers succeed because we are a minority-owned business and have a shared commitment to growing supplier and workforce diversity, which in turn builds strong businesses and communities.
Todd Weaver, owner and CEO of TW Constructors, has been a personal mentee of mine and WWT partner for over 10 years. TW Constructors was recently named one of the largest black-owned businesses in the U.S. It is both personally and professionally rewarding to see TW’s growth and commitment to building great communities.
As supplier diversity creates more job opportunities, many BDR companies are requiring their suppliers to be more intentional about hiring a diverse workforce. Organizations like NPower play a critical role in training diverse candidates and are helping launch digital careers for military veterans and young adults in underserved communities.
As I think about how WWT employees embrace veterans and young people who come to us from NPower, I am honored and incredibly proud. Because of you, over the past two years WWT has employed 50 NPower alumni in various roles, including internships.
We recently launched our 2019 United Way campaign and I am thankful for the tremendous support the WWT family provides year after year. While many in the WWT family donate to United Way, we also have family members who have received their support. Please take a moment to read this moving letter from Ray Gardiner, a WWT strategic sourcing analyst, detailing how United Way personally impacted his family.
Organizations like United Way, Global Leadership Forum and many others are the bridge to future talent and customers. We saw this firsthand at this year’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500 IndyCar race at World Wide Technology Raceway.
WWT, United Way, Global Leadership Forum and many other community partners brought 11,000 new and diverse attendees/fans to the race.
Particularly close to my heart, Variety Children’s Charity brought over 400 kids to the race!
The sport of racing, and virtually every other sports league, is hungry for a more diverse fan base and workforce. I saw this firsthand when Ann Marr and I participated in a fireside chat at the NASCAR-hosted Sports Diversity & Inclusion Symposium.
Darrell "Bubba" Wallace, #43 car for Richard Petty Motorsports, represents diversity in racing and WWT stays committed to investing in his success.