It is hard to believe that we are already at the end of February! Before I get into all the great things happening at CAMSC this year, I want to take a moment to appreciate the successes of 2016.
Last year was remarkable for growth of diversity procurement in Canada and the CAMSC office has stayed in step with those advancements. We relocated to an office in bustling downtown Toronto, said goodbye to two long-term CAMSC team members and prepared to welcome a couple of new team members into the fold.
Amit Kumaria is our new Director, Business Development and Partnerships. With a vast knowledge of the not-for-profit world, plus extensive business development and sales experience, Amit is already building relationships and coordinating activities with our many stakeholders.
Joseph Phillips joins us as Manager, Supplier Development and Outreach. Using his experience connecting Indigenous marginalized communities (on- and off-reserve), various levels of government, NGOs and non-profit groups, Joe is well positioned to advance our supplier development portfolio.
CAMSC’s corporate members now number 80, including new 2016 partners Sun Life Financial Canada; Sanofi Canada; Jones Lang LaSalle; and Citibank. And just two months into 2017, we have already welcomed Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada; Johnson & Johnson Inc Canada; Speedy Staffing Services Inc; and Ford Canada. An auspicious start to the busy year ahead!
Every year, CAMSC develops programs and events designed to bring the best educational and networking opportunities to our certified suppliers. 2016 proved to be a very successful year for CAMSC’s myriad events and our growing stakeholder base. Thank you to all who joined us and congratulations for all who found success in their many connections.
One of the two most significant initiatives of the last year was the launch of the Supplier Diversity Alliance Canada (SDAC), in partnership with the Canadian Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC) and the Women Business Enterprises Canada Council (WBE Canada).
SDAC will focus on research and education, with the goal of helping shape inclusive procurement policies and practices on behalf of certified suppliers across the country. For CAMSC alone, this signals new economic opportunities for our membership of nearly 300 certified suppliers.
While SDAC has a national focus for supplier diversity, our second important initiative was geared towards the global market. In October of 2016, we launched Global Supplier Diversity Alliance (GSDA), which includes member organizations in Australia, Canada, China, South Africa and the UK. This alliance shares global best practices and provides a vehicle for corporate members and our diverse suppliers to do business globally.
On February 9, we held our first-ever event for suppliers to the pharmaceutical industry. Co-presented with the Network of Quebec Business Women (Le Réseau des Femmes d’affaires du Québec), 50 suppliers attended the CAMSC Connect Plus – Inclusive Procurement through Pharmaceutical Partnerships event in Montreal, gaining insight into supplier diversity planning and development at several morning sessions and taking advantage of unique networking opportunities in the afternoon. With hard work and consistent effort, procurement diversity opportunities in new industry sectors will continue to grow, and we can’t wait to bring more great industry-specific events to you in the future.
Capitalizing on the momentum of 2016, we continue to work with the Inclusive Procurement Roundtable, a select group of corporate members from the financial, automotive and manufacturing industries, to discuss best practices, and to identify next steps in the ongoing advancement of inclusive procurement. Stay tuned for more on this topic as we look at supplier diversity and its impact on the Canadian marketplace.
Don’t miss our upcoming Diversity Procurement Fair in Toronto this spring (April 11 – 12). Now in its 13th year, this CAMSC marquee event features a supplier boot camp and a corporate members’ forum, plus ample networking, learning and business-building opportunities for all participants.
There are many events this year that will provide both certified suppliers and corporate members with opportunities to learn, network and develop exciting business prospects. Keep your eye on the CAMSC event calendar and make the most of your membership this year.
2017 is shaping up to be another great year for supplier diversity and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you!