A night of diversity

Diverse suppliers celebrate $1.2 billion in business over the last decade

October 15, 2014
by Michael Power

September 2014 print edition

While the Canadian Aboriginal & Minority Supplier Council (CAMSC) is looking back at its 10-year history this year, the organization is also using this year’s Business Achievement Awards to highlight new beginnings.

The CAMSC Business Achievement Awards celebrates the organization’s first decade at a new location. The gala event will be held at Toronto’s Liberty Grand, Exhibition Place, on September 24. As well, CAMSC is introducing two new awards at the event this year: the Tier 1 Champion of Supplier Diversity and the Collaboration Award.

The annual ceremony will be held right after CAMSC’s Inclusive Prosperity Summit, which takes place during the day on September 24 at the Fairmont Royal York, 8:30am to 4pm. The conference will bring together Canadian economic development policy makers, government procurement leaders and corporate supply chain diversity leaders to discuss the shared value of supply chain inclusion. The summit will serve to show governments that they can tailor a supplier diversity program to fit the public sector’s specific needs surrounding transparency and accountability, said CAMSC president Cassandra Dorrington.

“The best way to do that is to have [corporations] tell their story and get government in the room so they can start to say, ‘how can we customize this to fit our portfolio but still have some similar outcomes and success?’” she said.

As well, corporations will showcase the business impacts and best practices of supplier diversity initiatives, and collaborate with government policy makers to utilize inclusive procurement practices. The event will feature keynote sessions, concurrent workshops, breakout sessions and more.

The awards gala not only celebrates CAMSC’s 10th year but also seeks to pay tribute to Aboriginal and minority entrepreneurs, as well as the corporate leaders, government officials and community leaders who support them. The event takes place at the Liberty Grand, Exhibition Place on September 24, with the gala reception beginning at 5:30pm. From there, the dinner and awards ceremony kicks off at 7pm.

Once again this year, the event’s emcee will be Anne-Marie Mediwake, news anchor with CBC television. Mediwake herself was named GTA’s Woman of the Year in 2011 at the Consumer’s Choice Awards. This year’s keynote speaker will be Masai Ujiri, president and general manager of the Toronto Raptors. A native of Nigeria, Ujiri was the 2012-13 NBA Executive of the Year, and in 2013 returned to the Raptors where he had received his first front office position in 2007.

The awards to be presented during the evening’s celebrations are as follows:

Supplier of the Year Award: Given to an Aboriginal- or Minority-owned business with impact in sales and export growth or as an industry innovator.

Small Business of the Year Award: This honour is awarded to an Aboriginal- or Minority-owned business with 50 or fewer employees, based on business growth and development, export sales growth and major accomplishments during the previous year.

Corporation of the Year Award: Presented to a leading corporation that demonstrates active inclusion and spend with certified Aboriginal and minority suppliers, assists in the development of Aboriginal and minority suppliers, promotes supplier diversity and business development within their corporation and to their vendors and other businesses organizations.

Tier 1 Champion of Supplier Diversity: New this year, the award is presented to a business-to-business, Tier 1 corporation that supports its clients economic inclusion goals by including certified Aboriginal and minority suppliers in their procurement opportunities, assisting in the development of Aboriginal and minority suppliers, and promoting supplier diversity across their corporation.

Procurement Business Advocate of the Year Award: Presented to an individual who promotes supplier diversity through outreach and activities, and who is respected by their peers for advocating supplier diversity in Canada.

CATA Technology Innovation Award: Awarded for the most innovative new technology-based product or service. The product will have proven itself in operation and its design and market success. It will have also enhanced Canada’s international reputation for innovation and excellence.

Collaboration Award: Also new this year, this award is presented to a company or organization that works collaboratively with CAMSC members, suppliers or other organization.

For a feature report on the summit and awards ceremony, see the October issue of PurchasingB2B.