Rob Maphis
VicePresident/Branch Manager
James A. Cummings, Inc.
Orlando, Fla.

Having a solid record of diversity development is not only a socially responsible approach to doing business, but it also can be beneficial to project acquisition and the company’s overall profitability. Our history of mentoring small and minority businesses and our proactive approach to a diverse supply chain is appreciated by many of our clients, particularly those who have their own diversity initiatives.

Some clients utilize diversity development in their selection criteria and essentially see our program as an extension of their overall diversity objectives. Our mentor-protégé program has resulted in partnerships that have benefited both the small business protégé and our organization.

Tapping into diversity in the supply chain is another source from which to obtain competitive bid pricing. Engaging these companies early in our projects allows them to become familiar with the facilities and provides diverse participation in the process, as well as increases competitiveness to lower overall project costs. 

Leneé M. Koch
Vice President and Co-Founder
LEI Companies, Inc.
Denver

Our inclusion philosophy is grounded in our corporate values and the belief that diversity contributes to the richness of our organization by encompassing a variety of views to use in strategic and tactical planning, problem-solving and decision-making. LEI’s professional development plan emphasizes the development of critical competencies, metrics, values and ethics, including technical skills, continuing education, effective communications and strategic thinking.

Until recently graduating from the 8(a) program, we participated in a successful mentor protégé relationship. The best practices implemented as a result of this relationship helped launch the firm into six profitable years. Although we are certified, we are committed to continuously partnering with other MBE/SBE companies on projects.

LEI is a member of numerous industry associations, several of which are specifically missioned toward collaboration with small, MWBE-owned business for the services and supplies we purchase and contract out.

Maureen Underwood
Executive Vice President, People
TDIndustries, Inc.
Dallas

Valuing differences is one of TDIndustries’ basic beliefs—practiced among our partners (employees), customers, suppliers and vendors. We recognize that the path to diversity and inclusion needs to be supported and measured. The TD Diversity Council is a representative group of volunteers from all levels of the organization who help communicate, educate, celebrate and measure our diversity efforts. We also offer diversity classes for everyone in the organization. 

Our formal succession planning process includes a structured review of management leaders and minority hiring potentials every six months. During that process, each leader is required to assess their business units from a diversity vantage point. In the past 12 months, our company has hired 44 percent within our diversity demographic.

We also participate on the Dallas/Fort Worth Minority Supplier Development Council as a way to support and grow local MWBE vendors.