EEI Announces Winners of 2021 Business Diversity Awards

WASHINGTON (May 18, 2021) – The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) today announced the winners of its 2021 Business Diversity Awards. The awards were judged by an esteemed panel of energy industry professionals and recognize companies for their outstanding efforts to advance purchasing opportunities for diverse suppliers, including minority-, women-, veteran-, and LGBTQ-owned businesses, within the investor-owned electric power industry. Submissions were evaluated for results achieved over a two-year period.

Ameren Corporation has earned the EEI Excellence Award. The Excellence Award recognizes stellar contributions in diverse supplier inclusion, development, growth, partnership, and economic impact. Ameren Corporation is ranked among the nation’s top investor-owned electric companies for supplier diversity and features supplier diversity inclusion accomplishments in its Corporate Annual Report. The company’s accomplishments include active CEO- and executive-level involvement; enterprise-wide diverse spending goals; strategic sourcing events with supplier diversity securely embedded in planning, strategy execution, request for proposal development, proposal evaluation, and supplier performance management; routine internal training and infusion of advisors to major business lines; an active diversity council; scholarships; tier-two goal requirements; and tracking, reporting, and accountability initiatives. 

Ameren Corporation also has designed diverse supplier symposiums and outreach, has created mentoring programs for diverse suppliers that are jointly led by the company and its prime suppliers, and has participated in joint ventures with diverse suppliers. During the two-year nomination period, Ameren Corporation’s annual spending goal with diverse suppliers was roughly 20 percent, and its diverse spending totaled approximately $1.3 billion. During the same period, Ameren Corporation’s prime suppliers reported $415 million in second-tier spending with diverse suppliers.

Evergy has earned the Innovation Award. The Innovation Award recognizes the implementation and execution of innovation in supplier diversity practices, as well as proven successes and benefits for diverse suppliers and for the company. Evergy’s innovation is The Light Source Mentoring Program, which was initiated as a pilot in 2007 and remains active today. The program features diverse suppliers that are paired with Evergy executive leaders for up to three years, creates a curriculum based on their needs, and allows for mentors to provide direct feedback. In total, 34 diverse suppliers have graduated from the program, and nine currently are enrolled.

Testimonials from diverse suppliers attest to the effectiveness of the program and the business opportunities and relationships developed through their participation. Internally, Evergy has benefitted by the increasing the pipeline of talented diverse supplier options. The Light Source Mentoring Program also was successfully replicated by two local agencies and one other electric company. Additionally, Evergy led local efforts to bring a corporate collaboration between Kansas City and Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business to host its Business Executive Education Program for select diverse businesses. During the two-year nomination period, Evergy’s spending with diverse suppliers totaled approximately $253 million.

Day & Zimmermann Maintenance and Construction has earned the Prime Supplier Leadership Award. The Prime Supplier Leadership Award is presented to an EEI member company prime supplier that has made impressive strides in diverse supplier utilization and development. Day & Zimmermann (D&Z), a company that provides power plant maintenance, modifications, projects, and construction, has an enterprise-wide supplier diversity initiative with a dedicated supplier diversity administrator and a supplier diversity section on the company’s website. D&Z collaborates and partners with diverse suppliers for new projects and implementation of innovative technologies, and the company supports local and national diversity councils. D&Z announces bidding opportunities online and has implemented an employee recognition program that rewards employees financially for finding and developing diverse suppliers. During the two-year nomination period, D&Z’s spending with diverse suppliers exceeded $32 million.

Solutions for Energy Efficient Logistics LLC has earned the Diverse Business Award. The Diverse Business Award is presented to a diverse supplier that does superior work and supports fellow diverse suppliers in its supply chain. The winner of this year’s Diverse Business Award, Solutions for Energy Efficient Logistics (SEEL) LLC, was nominated by DTE Energy. SEEL has expertly managed DTE Energy’s energy efficiency programs since 2009. Its core competencies include energy audits, recycling and incentive programs, weatherization, contact center and trade ally management, and it is a certified BPI Test Center. SEEL also provides one-on-one customer energy efficiency education and recommendations with direct installation services and has designed a rigorous training module that prepares candidates to work in renewable energy jobs. SEEL’s executive leadership team serves as a resource to diverse businesses and to volunteers in the community. The company has pledged that 25 percent of procurement dollars would be spent with diverse suppliers. SEEL exceeded the pledge and averaged 38 percent spending with diverse suppliers, resulting in $24 million spent during the two-year nomination period.

“Congratulations to this year’s Business Diversity Award winners for their continued commitment to an inclusive and diverse supplier network,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “These companies and their suppliers have demonstrated, and continue to showcase, the values of our entire industry. By maintaining a diverse business environment, these companies are leading by example and are creating a better future for the customers and communities they so proudly serve. All are extremely deserving of these prestigious awards."

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