Since the moment we started investigating the numerous resources and benefits of becoming Woman’s Business Enterprise (WBE) certified, it was clear how important supplier diversity is. At CBI, taking the extra step with supplier diversity and continuing education to successfully utilize those external resources is an important piece of our corporate culture puzzle.
Since becoming WBE certified, CBI has had the privilege to apply and take part in numerous WBENC related business opportunities. We applied for the Adient Project One Extended Workshop, which in total we participated in for over 14 months and were overwhelmed with the value and support we received from the corporate members in that program. Another opportunity came when our Global Director of Product Development, Hayley Owczarzak was selected to the student entrepreneur program from National WBENC.
Recently, a handful of CBI employees had the opportunity to attend the CVS Health/Rogers Williams University Executive Learning Series for Diverse Suppliers in the state of Rhode Island. This kind of training helps educate and develop personal and professional relationships within the diversity supplier and partnership environment. The program included 24 hours of college courses in everything from finance and best practices, to marketing and how to establish a corporate culture. Another 10 hours were set aside for personal coaching, along with two days of on-site seminars, additional teaching opportunities and an opportunity to create a presentation to be presented in front of six CVS Health senior buyers.
Founder and CEO of CBI, Denise Booms-Pepin was one of the lucky few who had the opportunity to take part, she had this to say, “The 8-month program proved to be enriching, education and fulfilling as we were provided with great reference material, useful links, a refresher on finance and corporate culture matters. Each of us had access to CVS buyers; their willingness to assist, share information, provide constructive criticism and insightful input went above and beyond. Kudos to both CVS Health and Roger Williams University!”.
Hayley was another one of the fortuitous CBI employees who took part. After participating with all the great exposure in front of the stakeholders and great networking opportunities to meet other small woman, LGBT, veteran and minority owned companies, Hayley had this to say, “The executive learning series provided insight into expectations, tips and advice on enterprise level presentations, which I have used a great amount of the advice provided at this event, and in turn have improved a great deal of my presentations”.
This turned out to be yet another successful WBENC related business and learning opportunity for each CBI employee involved. We encourage all WBENC certified companies to consider taking part in this learning event. Don’t let the application process intimidate you! Take a chance, step out of your comfort zone and ask questions of your regional partner organizations if you need to. The support staff at these organizations are always willing to mentor and provide direction in taking advantage of these opportunities.
Again, kudos to CVS Health, Rogers Williams University and everyone involved in this wonderful learning experience!