WBE Canada Hosted Its First WBE Impact Event in Vancouver

On February 28th WBE Canada organized its first WBE Impact event in beautiful Vancouver, BC. ”WBE Impact: BC” kicked off the organization’s commitment to facilitate buyer-vendor opportunities in regions across Canada.

WBE Community
Debbie Wershler, Bowen Workforce Solutions; Julie Kaye, TBD Telecom By Design & Lisa Siragusa, NRG TelResources at WBE Impact: BC

This event had 3 primary objectives:

  1. To connect the community of certified WBEs based in Western Canada
  2. To introduce supplier diversity and share best practices to the organizations and businesses in the region.
  3. To facilitate networking between women-owned businesses and corporate/government buyers and leaders.

This event was led by the WBE Canada Team and organized thanks to the support and active involvement of our Supplier Advisory Committee – which is comprised solely by  representatives from our certified WBE community. The Supplier Advisory Committee was represented by Julie Kaye, Chair of the Committee and President, TBD Telecom By Design and Lisa Siragusa, Committee Member and President, NRG TeleResources. Both joined us all the way from Ontario. We were also grateful for the support and collaboration of our partners GroYourBiz and Women’s Enterprises Centre of BC.

Attendees had the opportunity to learn from an engaging panel led by Julie Kaye. Madeleine Baker, Director, Procurement IT & Technology Services, TELUS shared lessons learned from her involvement in corporate supplier diversity programs in the US as well as Canada. Michael Pacholok, Chief Procurement Officer, City of Toronto shared best practices and lessons learned while implementing social procurement initiatives for public organizations and municipalities. Lisa Siragusa shared her perspective and experience as diverse supplier and best tips for women-owned businesses looking to scale up their businesses.

Panel at WBE Canada’s WBE Impact: BC event in Vancouver

Karen Blackwell, keynote speaker with 20+ years experience in supplier diversity who was there when supplier diversity started in the US under the Nixon administration, enlightened us with the evolution of supplier diversity, best practices and recommendations for Canadian companies. Karen Blackwell and Silvia Pencak, President of WBE Canada met at the 2018 WBENC conference at a private meeting with The Honourable Minister Champagne, then Minister of International Trade. This meeting resulted in a mutual partnership as WBE Canada seeks support and guidance of experienced supplier diversity professionals across North America to contribute their knowledge and resources to support success of supplier diversity initiatives in Canada.

Silvia Pencak, President, WBE Canada and Karen Blackwell, Supplier Diversity Manager, Kellogg’s at the meeting with Hon. Minister Champagne in Detroit, June 2018

Thank you to all who attended WBE Impact: BC, we look forward to meeting you at the next event we’ll be hosting in Western Canada, US partnership events or other WBE Canada events.

This event was hosted by TELUS.


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