for exemplary advocacy, service
Photos by Amy Mayes Photography
The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce has named Capital One Financial Corp. as its 2013 Corporation of the Year and ZippyDogs LLC as its LGBT Supplier of the Year. The awards were announced during the organization’s 2013 National Dinner at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. About 800 people attended the black-tie event, celebrating leading LGBT business owners and entrepreneurs, corporations and supplier diversity advocates, as well as government and community leaders.
The award recognized Capital One for support and dedication to ensuring equal opportunities for LGBT suppliers, customers and employees. The honor also highlighted the McLean, Va.-based financial services firm for its commitment to an active and sustained supplier diversity initiative that includes LGBT businesses in sourcing opportunities.
“At Capital One, diversity and inclusion are an integral part of our culture. The more opportunity we provide for diverse suppliers, the better the results will be — not only for the company, but also for the communities we serve,” said Jim Gorzalski, chief procurement officer, Capital One. “As a result of our steadfast commitment to diversity inclusion, we have enhanced our internal processes and significantly grown the number of diverse suppliers participating in our programs.”
NGLCC CEO and co-founder Chance Mitchell praised the company for creating initiatives that benefit and value LGBT suppliers. “Capital One has built an internal goal-oriented atmosphere where good decisions and hard work are rewarded,” he said. “We honor them as Corporation of the Year because they have set a goal to include diverse enterprises in every sourcing opportunity based on commodity need, and as a result, the company’s total spend with diverse suppliers continues to climb year over year.” Kimberlee Sours, Capital One supplier diversity manager, co-chairs the NGLCC Corporate Advisory Council and is a member of the National Certification Committee. In addition, she is a national NGLCC conference speaker on inclusion best practices.
“Capital One believes cultural intelligence and awareness are fundamental to business and workplace solutions,” said Justin Nelson, NGLCC president and co-founder. “Kimberlee and the entire team at Capital One have helped champion the LGBTBE certification program that strives to foster growth and enhance competitiveness in small-business sourcing.”
He added that many Capital One associates work tirelessly to support organizations that share the goal of increasing diverse spend. From certification efforts to trade fairs to tech- nical support, Capital One associates are committed to expanding partnerships with diverse suppliers.
ZippyDogs LLC — a three-year-old Seattle-based provider of promotional items, services and apparel — received the LGBTBE of the Year Award. Founders Elise Lindborg and Kelli Henderson were recognized for their achievements and contributions to the development of LGBT supplier diversity. The company helps businesses and other organizations market themselves through the use of products that are eco-friendly and made in the United States.
“The NGLCC has been pivotal to the success of ZippyDogs, and that makes this award extra special to us,” Lindborg said. “Not only do we provide products that we are proud to sell to our clients, we take every opportunity to educate our customers about eco-friendly, made-in-USA products and supplier diversity. If we can help influence companies into this forward-thinking model of business, then we can wag our tails at the end of the day.”
ZippyDogs, which earned LGBTBE certification in 2010, employs four people and has been awarded several government contracts.
The Supplier Diversity Advocate of the Year Award went to José Nido, vice president, global supplier diversity, Wyndham Worldwide Corp.
“At Wyndham Worldwide, we understand the power of diversity. Every day we see immense value and benefit of varied cultures, experiences and perspectives that allow us to best meet our needs, as we continue to grow as a global company,” Nido said. “Cultivating and expanding diversity throughout the company — including our supply partners — is one of our core values.”
Through its supplier diversity program, Wyndham Worldwide includes diverse suppliers when possible in each request for proposal and bid notice, mentors existing and potential suppliers, builds partnerships with all suppliers, increases internal and external awareness of its supplier diversity programs and goals and expands its supplier diversity outreach around the globe.
MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts won the American Airlines ExtrAA Mile Award for his longstanding commitment to promoting LGBT equality. This fall, he spoke to Russian and other global media outlets to express support for Russia’s LGBT population in light of the country’s anti-gay laws.
“I know the law is very vague and still hard to inter- pret for many people,” Roberts said. “But, it is discrimination, and that’s definitive. And, I don’t think that the LGBT population in Russia or anywhere should be marginalized to that degree. We are not asking for special protection. We’re just asking for equal respect.”
NGLCC’s Nelson said the honorees are leaders in search of equality. “The NGLCC is celebrating the people and the organizations that recognize not only the influence of LGBT business enterprises, but also the overall economics of inclusivity,” he said. “Recognizing the work of passionate leaders, both LGBT and allies, is an integral part of ensuring the marketplace and the workplace are open and accepting of LGBT people.”