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EEI Names 2016 Supplier Diversity Award Winners
WASHINGTON (June 23, 2016) – The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) today announced the winners of its 2016 Supplier Diversity Awards. Presented annually, the awards recognize companies for their outstanding efforts in advancing purchasing opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses within the electric power industry.

DTE Energy earned the industry’s overall Excellence Award for its demonstration of procedures for supplier diversity inclusion across the supply chain, as well as its implementation of comprehensive supplier development initiatives and internal and external communication efforts. Over the last five years, DTE Energy has spent more than $1.5 billion with diverse businesses and is actively doing business with more than 180 diverse suppliers. The company also conducts periodic supplier diversity analyses in order to identify challenges and implement action plans to overcome these challenges.

"Congratulations to DTE Energy for winning this year’s Supplier Diversity Excellence Award,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. "DTE Energy’s comprehensive initiatives and commitment to diversity inclusion throughout its supply chain are tremendous examples of our industry’s commitment to supplier diversity.”  

“DTE’s supplier diversity efforts focus on being inclusive, creating meaningful business partnerships and fostering sustainable economic growth for small businesses -- the sector that creates most of the nation’s jobs,” explained DTE Energy Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Sandy Ennis. “This is true economic gardening, and is vital to the success of our economy, where 98 percent of Michigan's firms are small businesses that collectively employ more than half of the state’s private sector workforce. We are proud of the focus DTE has on the communities we serve and the suppliers who partner with us. These efforts provide critical support in our communities, and they also make us a better and more competitive company.”

Georgia Power was named the winner of the industry’s Innovation Award for its use of technology to identify, develop and connect with small and diverse suppliers. The Innovation Award is given to the company that displays a model worthy of emulation by other companies. For the innovation award, this year's winner showcased quality development and mentoring of diverse suppliers, comprehensive outreach and prime supplier accountability.

“EEI applauds Georgia Power for its innovative supplier diversity initiatives that have enabled the company to significantly exceed its goals,” Kuhn said.

“We are honored to be the recipient of this year’s Innovation Award,” said Georgia Power Chairman, President, and CEO Paul Bowers. “Our focus on developing opportunities and maintaining strong relationships with diverse suppliers is part of our broader, longstanding commitment to accessing the best products and services for our customers and supporting economic inclusion in the communities we serve.”

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) was named the Diverse Supplier of the Year for its “Diverse Suppliers are Cybersecure” initiative that began in 2014 to strengthen the cybersecurity platforms of diverse and small businesses. The initiative involves workshops and training sessions that promote awareness, education, safety, risk mitigation, cost assessments, and knowledge of available resources. 

“Protecting the nation’s power grid and the industry’s supply chain is critically important,” said Kuhn. “EEI commends PG&E’s commitment to educating businesses on the need to safeguard their assets from potential threats.”

“PG&E recognizes that an important part of supporting diverse suppliers is offering them the tools and technical assistance to succeed in today’s changing marketplace. With ‘Diverse Suppliers are Cybersecure,’ we’re raising awareness around a key issue and ultimately helping these businesses stay safe,” said PG&E Corporation Chairman, CEO and President Tony Earley.

For more than three decades, EEI has recognized member companies that demonstrate leadership in advancing purchasing opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses. Contracts during this time have expanded from traditional services, such as providing office supplies and temporary personnel, to critical industry areas, such as underground and overhead line construction, meter reading, nuclear engineering services, construction management, and pension fund management.

For more information on the industry’s Supplier Diversity program, please visit www.eei.org/diversity

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