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Elkay has announced that nationally-renowned supplier diversity leader Shondra Watson-Wilson has joined their ranks to assume leadership of the newly developed Supplier Diversity Program. The Supplier Diversity Program will seek to measure and expand upon its existing supplier diversity reach and increase its book of business with minority-owned, women-owned, and small businesses serving their industries.
"Elkay is a 101-year old company with a strong set of cultural values and a proud tradition of investing in our people and the communities where we live and work," states Elkay President and CEO Ric Phillips. "We pride ourselves in building strong, long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with our supply partners, treating them as extensions of 'the Elkay Family.' We are also deeply committed to continuously expanding diversity and inclusion within our company and our culture. In keeping with this commitment, we are launching this new Supplier Diversity program to grow more successful partnerships with the expanding set of diverse business owners within our supply chain."
Wilson comes to Elkay from the Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council (ChicagoMSDC), an affiliate of the National Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), where she served as director of strategic partnerships. Before her strategic partnerships role at the ChicagoMSDC, she served as the diversity program manager for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). In a previous tenure with ChicagoMSDC, Wilson served as director of certification for over ten years. Wilson was presented with the Diversity Professional of the Year award by the Minority Business Enterprise Input Committee in 2019. She holds a Master of Arts in training and development awarded from Roosevelt University, and a Bachelor of Professional Studies Degree in organizational leadership.
Wilson brings nearly 20 years of experience to the new role. She has a proven track record for implementing innovative supplier diversity programs that develop strong, two-way supplier relationships while maximizing value to an organization's diversity and inclusion initiatives and increasing sustainable business opportunities for the company's diverse partners.
"We are extremely fortunate to have attracted an accomplished diversity professional of Shondra's caliber to lead our Supplier Diversity programs here at Elkay," said Kim King, Elkay's senior director, Global Sourcing and Procurement. King also leads Elkay's enterprise DEI Council.
"We'll start the program with a comprehensive supplier audit to understand our current supplier diversity performance and use this data to identify diversity gaps and opportunities in our supply chain," Wilson said. "We plan to engage with high-performing certified WBE, MBE, and SME suppliers who meet our exacting quality and performance standards to help us fulfill our tier-one and tier-two sourcing requirements. Currently, we will look for partners certified by the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) Regional Affiliates and Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)."
In addition, Elkay has recently joined the Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council (CMSDC) and the Women's Business Development Center (WBDC) — the leading supplier diversity certification organizations in the nation — as a corporate affiliate to strengthen our connections in the Supplier Diversity community.
"Elkay has been on a diversity and inclusion journey since we first began measuring our performance in this area in our 2016-2018 Corporate Responsibility Report," said Ted Hamilton, president of Elkay's plumbing division. "In today's business environment, building diversity into every aspect of our business is essential. Under Shondra's leadership, I feel confident in our ability to make our supplier diversity efforts best-in-class."
Elkay Interior Systems Global Executive Vice President Tony Lutz, agrees. "Our employees, customers, and suppliers are increasingly diverse — as are the people who make up the communities we serve. Each of these constituencies expects the companies they come to work for and do business with to reflect their own diverse spirit — and they are asking for transparency and a commitment to advancing societal change. Elkay's Supplier Diversity Program is one way that we can actively demonstrate our commitment," he said.