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Business Diversity Program

For more than 32 years, EEI's Business (formerly Supplier Diversity) Diversity Program has created opportunities for diverse businesses to take part in the growth of the electric utility industry. EEI and its members aim to establish long-term relationships with diverse suppliers who provide products and services that help our industry succeed in a highly competitive environment.  EEI's members continue to build close alliances with diverse suppliers, knowing that a business practice today will impact business development tomorrow. 

Our mission is to provide guidance and leadership to members using a dynamic 360º vision, managing a myriad of needs and sustaining full industry alignment in a changing business environment.

Why is Business/Supplier Diversity Important?
A common misconception is that diversity is a quota system or social program designed to benefit selected groups while adding little to no value to the bottom-line. The fact is that a competitive advantage exists, as progressive organizations who have already implemented an effective strategy have realized.  Supplier diversity is beneficial to all stakeholders, not just to the companies with programs.  Supplier diversity programming adds economic value because it encourages the growth of diverse businesses. 
Since most diverse businesses are small businesses, they aide in the economic recovery and sustainability of their communities. U.S. statistics show that nearly 50% of the U.S. workforce is employed by small business. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) reported in 2014 that new jobs were added to the U.S. workforce after the worst recession in U.S. history. Approximately 7 million of the 10.9 million jobs were by start ups and small businesses. 
The Commitment to Supplier Diversity benefits utilities because it:
- Promotes innovation through the entrance of new products, services, and solutions
- Provides multiple channels to procure goods and services
- Showcases a company’s commitment to the economic growth of all communities  

The 33rd Annual EEI Business Diversity Conference

Whether you're a supplier looking for customers, or a customer looking for a supplier, EEI's Annual Business (Supplier) Diversity Conference is a must-attend event. The conference includes case studies, industry speakers, and business networking opportunities. All utilities and primes are invited to participate in this utility-specific conference. 
Join EEI and APS for the 33rd Annual Business Diversity Conference,  May 24–27, 2016 at the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel, Phoenix, AZ. Click the link for more information.
Comments from the 2015 Conference 
“Thank you so much for encouraging me to attend the SD conference in Albuquerque. Dave was so impressed and glad he attended with me. Truly, we experienced better networking than at ANY previous similar event; plus, networking with the SD managers and other managers on Thursday was truly helpful and a positive experience; they all were truly helpful and just plain nice folks.”  The presentations were also very good—especially the Cybersecurity, What is Your Supplier Diversity IQ, and Understanding Culture and Building Community. Dave and I had a lot of time to discuss our current sales, past projects,and what we should consider going forward.”   
It was my first time to attend the EEI Supplier Diversity conference and it was a wonderful experience. Thank you so much for your hard work, your leadership in making the 2015 EEI Supplier Diversity conference a success and a wonderful experience for me. I made some really good contacts and am looking forward to the follow ups. Richard Miles, VP Business Development, LegalWATCH 
I wanted to take a moment and commend the EEI  team and all of your volunteers on hosting such a  successful conference last week in New  Mexico. I gained invaluable insights about trends  occurring in our industry as well as in corporate supplier diversity.  The workshops were robust,  the networking was great, and I can say that this was truly time well spent!  Veronica Walton, MBA,  Supplier Diversity Executive, Ameren Missouri 
Comments from 2014 Conference
"Many thanks for everything you did to make this year's conference such a great success.  I was able to meet with 11 Utilities during the match making sessions which I feel was quite accomplishing as they were quality one on ones and I expect future opportunities to bid to come from those meetings."
"Congratulations on another outstanding and successful conference. As always I am looking forward to next year’s event in Albuquerque. The supplier I invited to attend the conference was extremely impressed and was successful in obtaining many new contacts. There is even the possibility of a partnership with one of the other suppliers that I introduced them to."
Imagine the possibilities!