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Community Outreach, Diversity, General Information, Media Advisory

LSU Attends Gateway Conference to Introduce the Supplier Diversity Initiative

09/26/2011 09:13 AM

BATON ROUGE – The E. J. Ourso College of Business Diversity & Inclusion Initiative; LSU Office of Equity, Diversity and Community Outreach, or EDCO; and the LSU Office of Finance and Administrative Services recently introduced the LSU Supplier Diversity Initiative.   


“The initiative seeks to encourage economic development and growth of small, minority-owned, women-owned, under-resourced, owners with disabilities, veteran-owned, HUBzone and local business enterprises by providing community-based awareness and educational programs; creating contracting opportunities for diverse vendors; developing partnerships between diverse vendors and LSU’s departments and schools that result in lasting business relationships; and promoting diversification of the university’s contractor vendor base through increased opportunities for diverse vendors who have not worked directly or indirectly with LSU, maintaining a high standard of quality in all products and services provided,” said Sonja Wiley-Patton, associate professor of information systems & decision sciences and director of the E. J. Ourso College of Business Diversity & Inclusion Initiative.


To initiate the program, EDCO attended the Gateway Conference 2011 Business Opportunity Expo in New Orleans, a business fair bringing together buyers and minority business enterprises, or MBEs. Katrice Albert, vice provost for EDCO, and Marco Barker, assistant to the vice provost for EDCO and director of Educational Equity, had the opportunity to meet with MBEs from across the state and the nation, introducing them to the LSU vendor enrollment process.


“By proactively attracting minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned, and other historically underutilized vendors, we will help to progressively transform LSU’s supply chain such that it reflects the demographics of the region we serve,” said Albert.


“The supplier diversity initiative demonstrates great potential as LSU works to expand the supplier base and improve the number of qualified vendors that are available to the University,” said Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administrative Services and CFO Eric Monday. “LSU is pleased to be a leader in the state of Louisiana in this effort.”


The Gateway Conference 2011 was hosted by the Louisiana Minority Supplier Development Council, or LAMSDC, an affiliate of the National Minority Supplier Diversity Council. The LAMSDC is currently led by President Phala Mire, and Susan Stentz of ExxonMobil serves as the board of directors chairwoman. During the conference, Wiley-Patton presented the LSU Supplier Diversity Initiative Town Hall Meeting business session.  


“The LSU Supplier Diversity Initiative hopes to create opportunities for diverse vendors to market their products to Louisiana State University and to encourage LSU’s departments and schools to offer opportunities to such vendors,” said Patton.


The LSU Supplier Diversity Initiative currently operates with support from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, ExxonMobil and Shell.  


For information regarding the LSU Supplier Diversity Initiative, contact Patton or Albert at or visit For more information regarding this press release or LSU diversity efforts, contact Barker at or 225-578-5736.

E. J. Ourso College of Business