DIRECTIONS ~ Wisconsin Supplier Diversity Program Updates by Director Tondra Davis
Happy (Fiscal) New Year!
I'd imagine you may have thought this article was quite dated since the calendar New Year was over 6 months ago. However, the state's fiscal new year begins on July 1, 2021. So, Happy New Year!
It is customary to begin the new year reflecting on accomplishments from the previous year and setting goals for the new year. I'd like to take this opportunity to do just that for the Wisconsin Supplier Diversity Program (SDP). FY21 has proven to be a banner year for SDP. It has been filled with an abundance of accomplishments and milestones for which we are so grateful.
The accomplishment that perhaps matters most to our businesses and partners is the fact that for the first time in 6 years, Wisconsin met and exceeded its MBE Diverse Spend goal with a 5.35% MBE spend. Wisconsin hadn't achieved this goal since 2014! My staff and I are so thankful to the diverse suppliers, agencies, campuses, community leaders, partners and supporters who had a hand in helping us realize this goal. Thank you!
Of course SDP's FY21 accomplishments don't stop with achieving the MBE Spend Goal: In FY21 we also improved marketing, increased certifications, streamlined processes and like all other entities, did the COVID shuffle. First, we upped our marketing game by revitalizing our website, launching a newsletter, developing logos (more information coming soon), style guides and brochures.
In FY21 we increased our number of certifications to over 1,300 and grew our DVB certifications to 45, a record high. To make it easier for businesses to navigate our system, we streamlined processes for Joint Ventures, Trusts, and Document Checklists to name a few. Pivoting, the COVID buzzword, happened for SDP too. We developed a process to deliver certificates electronically – eCertificates, began conducting Virtual Site Visits, and completed over a dozen virtual training and recruitment events of which two were groundbreaking – Certification Workshop and a Madison Area Certifiers Event.
A few of SDP's monumental accomplishments fall into the miscellaneous category. They are:
- Created a 50+ page SDP Policy and Procedure Manual, which will aid SDP in delivering quality, consistent service for many years to come.
- Moved from a quarterly review schedule to a monthly one, which allows us to work more closely with individual businesses.
- Became members of many of the Wisconsin Diverse Chambers of Commerce.
- Hired a summer intern, Ellena Hein. SDP hadn't had an intern in over a decade!
Although we've accomplished a lot, we still have work to do. We will continue to keep our foot on the gas. Over the next month or so we plan to have conversations with staff, agencies, campuses, businesses and partners to develop FY22 goals. Stay tuned!