When I first began as Director in October 2019 (almost 3 years ago – can you believe it?), I traveled the State until the pandemic and spoke to many business owners, chambers of commerce, partners, collaborators, and others to gather ideas on how to reimagine the Wisconsin Supplier Diversity Program. After all, that was the charge given to me when I was hired. There were many suggestions– from changing our email address to increasing the diverse spend goal and removing fees for WBEs and DVBs. While we haven't been able to bring about every suggestion, we were able to implement some of the ideas shared.
One suggestion that surfaced frequently was to create logos for each certification type – MBE, WBE and DVB. That idea was so popular that we even had a company offer to pay to have the logos developed-- that's just how important having the logo was to business owners. My team and I also thought it was a great idea and began working to develop them. We hired a certified MBE graphic designer, who did a magnificent job, and we were able to launch the logos for the Program and each certification type in the summer of 2021.
I'm a glass half-full kind of woman, so I must say I was a bit disappointed when I didn't see the certification logos being used all over the place as I expected. In fact, I didn't see anyone using the logos at all until recently. I attended an event in Green Bay, and one of our certified minority and woman-owned businesses handed me her capabilities statement. It wasn't until the next day that I had the chance to review the document, and guess what?! Proudly displayed at the bottom were the Wisconsin MBE and WBE logos. As I thought about all the time and effort my staff and I put into developing the logos and making other Program improvements, my eyes got a bit misty. (Maybe it was a good thing that I looked at the document the next day!) It was such a proud moment for me!
I know we'll continue to see more of the WI logos as we continue to certify diverse businesses. Speaking of which, on October 3rd we achieved another milestone in Supplier Diversity: we reached over 1,400 certifications! That's quite a few potential logos that could be displayed in the future.
If your business is certified by the State of Wisconsin, check under the MBE, WBE or DVB dropdowns on this site to learn about using the logos. Also, let us know if you have suggestions on how to improve the Program. We're listening and would be happy to hear from you – Supplier.Diversity@wi.gov.
All the best,