Company: Salt River Project
Diversity Team Name: Salt River Project Supplier Diversity Team
Diversity Team Leader: Patricia Pyle
Salt River Project is a political subdivision of the state of Arizona and is a Federal Reclamation Project established by the Federal Reclamation Act of 1902. Delivering water and power to two million customers.
Salt River Project’s Supplier Diversity Team is currently a three person department. Supplier diversity was implemented in 1995. However, the department was re-energized in 2012 to educate external community constituents, organizations, & entrepreneurs. Internally, we communicate to employees across the enterprise, emphasizing that every employee is responsible for the success of our Supplier Diversity and Sustainability initiatives, identifying the impact on the economic vitality of Arizona.
Over the past year, SRP has accepted several awards: Corporation of the Year, Advocate of the Year, and more. We have also been inducted into the Arizona Million Dollar Circle of Excellence Awards for the past six years, which recognizes organizations that have spent at least $1 million dollars with diverse, minority-owned suppliers.
We have moved the needle in the past eight years. When we began in 2012, we had a 9.2 % managed-spend; last year we reached a managed spend of 24% -spending $184 million dollars with diverse and small local businesses.
Our diversity spend includes women, minorities, veterans, and small local businesses. SRP is not regulated through a corporation commission; we self-impose targets that will ensure our procurement spend reflects the communities we serve.
We publish a quarterly Newsflash that highlights a diverse business, identifies the diverse businesses added to our database and utilized by our supply chain professionals.
Working with the Arizona Indian Chamber of Commerce, the Team has mentored Native American students; we also mentor women, minority, and veteran business owners and entrepreneurs. Many are current suppliers.
We also provide capacity building opportunities by offering scholarships that enable diverse small business owners to attend the Arizona State University Small Business Leadership Academy taught by MBA professors. The eight-week engagement provides small business owners with instruction that provided business acumen on several skills and offers them opportunities to build relationships with other business owners for solutions.
Patricia Pyle serves on the Board of Directors for the Pacific Southwest MSDC, WBEC-West, Southwest Veterans Foundation, and the Advisory Council for the National Center for Indian Economic Development.