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The Westin Copley
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3:00pm - 5:00pm
Another Age Productions
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Boston Convention and Exhibition Center
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The Fierce Urgency of Now Festival brings Boston’s diverse young professionals together with business leaders, organizations and their peers to build connection, advance careers and ignite positive change.
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The last week of June, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s Pacesetters Program hosted its inaugural Pacesetters Awards, a celebration of the successes and learnings from the network’s recent supplier diversity efforts and accomplishments. Guests attended from across the ecosystem of corporate buyers, minority business enterprises (MBEs), business support organizations and funders, with a panel discussion delivered by 2022’s Pacesetters award winners:
Champion of the Year – Meredith Whalen, Chief Purchasing Agent, Gilbane Building Company
Company of the Year – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Deal of the Year – Gilbane Building Company and Janey Construction
Meredith Whalen, Chief Purchasing Agent at Gilbane Building Company, Daylana Ervin-Parker, Director of Budget and Supplier Diversity at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, and Eurick Dorsett, Project Executive at Janey Construction, discussed some of the changes they’ve seen in vendor diversity over the careers and how to address some of the challenges that they still face. The Pacesetters award honorees all agreed that it takes a team effort to increase vendor diversity. While it’s critical to have top-down support from leadership, it’s also important that everyone in the company is bought in and understand the purpose of having diverse suppliers.
“Leadership understands and leadership gets it. And then the process goes down to the selection committee. And then we realize we don’t win. So what we’ve realized is that many times that message doesn’t make it down to the selection committee. It’s one thing for management and ownership to buy into it, it’s another things to have that message come down through the process that allows fair and equitable discharge of the ask.” – Eurick Dorsett
Building relationships between the Pacesetters and MBEs are just as important as building relationships within a company. Panelists reiterated that patience and having a strong relationships will lead to partnerships and contracts in the long term.
“A lot of it has to do with patience on both sides. You don’t get your first job right off the bat and you don’t win your first contract or buy from procurement. So it’s a matter of continuing the process and believing in the process. And even when you’re faced with all of the adversities, don’t give up. It’s the law of averages. Eventually something will happen.” – Eurick Dorsett
The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce would like to thank our Pacesetters sponsor, Eastern Bank, for their continued support. We would also like to thank our event vendors,
Darryl’s Kitchen and Corner Bar catered the Awards ceremony. Darryl’s, a restaurant in Boston’s South End, is owned by Nia Grace, a Chamber Pinnacle honoree.
Nicole Chan Photography, founded and owned by Nicole Chan, captured on-site photographs of the program and audience.
Good Life Productions, owned by Julia Cruz, recorded the event and will be creating the video replay.
The Urban Grape, co-owned by TJ Douglas and Hadley Douglas, provided wine for the event.
The Centerpiece Flower Shop arranged flowers for the event. Ángel Diaz is the owner and principal floral designer.
Minuteman Press Natick, owned by Pramita Chowrira, created new, engraved awards for the Pacesetters honorees.
To learn more about the Pacesetters Program, email Tom Browne and Amber Haskell and sign up for our monthly newsletter!