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Kent State Receives Best in Class Honor for Supplier Diversity

Posted May, 12, 2014

 Kent State University won a Best in Class award for supplier diversity from the Commission on Economic Inclusion, a program of the Greater Cleveland Partnership. The university received the award at the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s annual meeting held last month at the Cleveland Convention Center.

Photo of Kent State group at Commission on Economic Inclusion awards“We strive for inclusive excellence at Kent State University,” said Kent State President Lester A. Lefton. “Diversity and inclusion are about every person in the Kent State family and beyond. To be honored by the Commission on Economic Inclusion for supplier diversity is a great distinction, and it helps validate our ongoing efforts.”

Given in the nonprofit/government, large corporation and middle-market categories, the Best in Class awards were based on results of the commission’s 2013 Employers Survey on Diversity™ and follow-up interviews by commission staff. Kent State’s Supplier Diversity program, which is an integral component of the procurement department, develops strategies to increase minority business representation in securing purchasing contracts at the university.

Veronica Cook-Euell, Kent State’s supplier diversity program manager, assists the university in diverse spending with minority and women-owned businesses. She works closely with procurement department personnel as well as individuals across the university responsible for making purchases for their departments to ensure that diversity is a key consideration in purchasing decisions. She serves as the university’s equal employment opportunity (EEO) officer monitoring minority business enterprise/encouraging diversity, growth and equity (MBE/EDGE) spending.

Cook-Euell said Kent State’s Supplier Diversity program is an important initiative within the university’s larger diversity agenda, and it receives support from leaders in the administration.

“The only way these types of endeavors work is when there is clear leadership from the top of the institution, and here at Kent State University, we are fortunate to have that,” she said. “We encapsulate the spirit of innovation and creativity, and there truly exists an entrepreneurial mindset in how we approach supplier diversity. We believe in the vision and mission, and we progressively pursue our goals.”

For more information about the Commission on Economic Inclusion, visit www.gcpartnership.com/See-What-We-Do/Economic-Inclusion/Commission-on-Economic-Inclusion.

For more information about Kent State’s Supplier Diversity program, visit www.kent.edu/procurement/diversity.

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Photo Caption:
Veronica Cook-Euell (center), Kent State University’s supplier diversity program manager, holds the Best in Class award for supplier diversity that the university received from the Commission on Economic Inclusion, a program of the Greater Cleveland Partnership. She is surrounded by colleagues from Kent State, including President Lester A. Lefton (sixth from the left), following the awards presentation at the Cleveland Convention Center.

Media Contacts:
Veronica Cook-Euell, vcook3@kent.edu, 330-672-9195
Emily Vincent, evincen2@kent.edu, 330-672-8595