The Coca-Cola Co. honors Partners in the Promise

The Coca-Cola Co. lauded the supplier diversity accomplishments of suppliers and employees during its 2016 Partners in the Promise Awards Celebration in April. Held at Coca-Cola Plaza in Atlanta, the high-profile event was emceed by local news journalist Karyn Greer and recognized outstanding contributions and performance of associates and internal teams that have championed supplier diversity.

The celebration, usually an annual affair, was put on hold last year so the supplier diversity team could focus resources on the Business Forum and Supplier Showcase, which paired diverse suppliers with prime suppliers.

“As successful as the forum was, we missed formally celebrating our internal colleagues and external partners who contribute to our success,” said Terrez Thompson, vice president, global supplier diversity.

She also announced the launch of The Coca-Cola Company Supplier Diversity Institute, which provides training to help diverse suppliers improve their operation and bottom lines.

During the awards celebrations, diverse and majority suppliers that excelled in the areas of quality, delivery of products and services were honored.  This event is a critical component of Coca-Cola’s overall internal and external communication and corporate reputation as it relates to supplier diversity. Thompson noted that the honorees and all who believe in the inclusion of diverse suppliers are winners.

“Despite challenges and obstacles, we forge ahead on our quest for best-in-class supplier diversity,” she said. “We have been tested and found ourselves up to the task. We have endured to gain greater confidence in our convictions. We’ve learned the path between here and our destination is not a linear journey. There will always be twists and turns. I challenge all of my colleagues to join us in getting there. We all win in the end.”

In the spotlight

The following advocates were lauded during the evening:

─ Diverse Supplier of the Year: Alpharetta, Georgia-based Pyramid Consulting Inc. has been working with Coca-Cola for three years, supplying consulting and staffing services for information technology and non-IT positions. Pyramid was credited with streamlining the recruiting process and saving 30 to 40 percent over other vendor pricing. Pyramid allocates at least 15 percent of its spend to diverse suppliers.

─ Outstanding Leadership Award: Mary Riddle, vice president, director flavor ingredient supply. Her team is responsible for managing the supply chain for the confidential ingredients of The Coca-Cola Co. The FIS group raised its spend by more than 50 percent last year for a $48 million increase, along with adding a Tier I supplier and three Tier II suppliers.

─ Chairman’s Award: Workplace 2020 is a group responsible for the design, creation and operation of Coca-Cola’s new work environment. Led by Julie Seitz, the group was charged with engaging women and minorities throughout the project. In addition, any contractor pursuing business on the project was required to demonstrate the participation of diverse businesses. This honor comes with a $10,000 check.

─ Buyer of the Year: Brandi Hubbard, GSP senior procurement manager, was recognized for her efforts that led to a rise in year-over-year percentage with diverse firms, a new first-tier contract and an increase of more than $1 million in her 2015 procurement category spend with diverse suppliers.

─ Champion of the Year: John Kocinski, CCBSS senior procurement manager, received the award thanks to a decision to rescind a decision that would have eliminated a contract with an annual diverse supplier spend of $4.1 million. Instead, he worked with the supplier to improve its capabilities and competitiveness. He was credited with adding about $9 million in first-tier spend with diverse firms.

─ Prime Supplier of the Year: Builders 2020, a joint venture partially owned by a minority business enterprise, handled the redesign of Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta. The venture has amassed a database of diverse companies and ensures that diverse suppliers participate in all projects.

─ Special Recognition: Analysts International Corp. were honored for helping Coca-Cola Freestyle manage projects that required specialized skills. Tracey Mackey, vice president, global procurement marking, was lauded for facilitating a seven-step procurement training program for marketing procurement managers.

─ Special Recognition for support to The Coca-Cola Company Supplier Institute: Roderick Smith, a subject matter expert in supplier development, played a key role in creating the company’s supplier development program. Kimberly White was recognized for being a key factor in the success of the program. Amy Youngblood, Nichelle Singleton Williams and Alfreda Mackie were recognized for developing a financial acumen training program for diverse supplier participating in the institute.

─ Special Recognition for Georgia Mentor Protégé Connection Participation: Ashish Patel was honored for unwavering advocacy of the inclusion of diverse firms in all requests-for-proposals he manages.