SPECIAL TO THE FLORIDA COURIER
The University of South Florida System is expanding efforts to promote opportunities for a wider range of businesses across the region and the state to work with the university, including companies owned by minorities, women, and veterans.
The USF System Supplier Diversity program is being enhanced by recently hiring new leadership, launching a new website, creating training programs for university employees and holding community outreach events.
The initiatives will provide additional opportunities for diverse businesses to work with the USF System in the procurement of goods and supplies, construction, professional services and other contracts.
Assistant Vice President Terrie Daniel, an experienced leader in the field of supplier diversity, joined USF in April to build the program through working closely with USF System purchasing agents, departmental buyers and the Facilities Management department.
She also actively represents the USF System in the business community through involvement in associations and organizations that promote the economic development of diverse businesses.
Prior to joining USF, Daniel was deputy commissioner of the State of Indiana Department of Administration, where she implemented and led the State of Indiana’s Supplier Diversity initiatives.
“There is great support from leadership for creating an effective, university-wide program that offers more robust ways to ensure increased diverse business inclusion in USF’s day-to-day business, as well as future growth,” Daniel said. “This new program will provide a better and stronger bridge between our educational community and the business community.”
Oct. 6 event
Launched last month, the new Office of Supplier Diversity website provides business owners with a resource to learn about opportunities within the USF System, participate in upcoming events and connect directly with the program’s leadership.
USF also will hold a large supplier diversity event on Friday, Oct. 6 in the Marshall Student Center.
The all-day event brings together hundreds of local businesses and will feature interactive presentations and a panel discussion, as buyers from the USF System provide attendees with insights into the procurement process and how to successfully conduct business with the university.
“The heart of this program is about connecting diverse-owned businesses with the right departments so they can more actively compete,” Daniel said. “To do that, we’re aiming to streamline the tracking of diverse spending across the USF System and better identify those opportunities.”
Diversity and inclusion are core values for the USF System, and the university has earned national recognition for its commitment to these areas.
Earlier this year, USF was honored by the U.S. Education Trust as the top school in Florida and sixth best school nationally for closing the achievement gap between Black and White students. In addition, Military Times magazine ranks USF as the top school in the United States for veterans.