11th Annual Professional Services Symposium – UChicago Office of Business Diversity

11th Annual Professional Services Symposium – UChicago Office of Business Diversity


NADIA QUARLES: This symposium
has changed our position on the way we approach the
business of this institution. We have moved beyond
what is deemed acceptable by most supplier
diversity initiatives. It’s about building
relationships that ultimately create great opportunities. GEORGINA FABIAN: I am very
excited because the University of Chicago is actually
taking action. It’s making sure minority
businesses are having the opportunity to explain
to the decision makers what they bring to the table. MELODY SPANN COOPER: Chicago
is a relationship town. It’s a big city, but
it’s a small town, right? When you get an
opportunity to network, spend the first interaction
talking about them. And in order to do that,
you gotta do some research. A.J. PATTON: I have to
say that the decision maker is in the room. Folks have clearly done
the research they really embrace the opportunity
and really dug deep into what the
opportunity could be between the two groups. NADIA QUARLES: Today
we had 45 businesses that gave presentations
to our leadership at the University as well
as the medical center. We also had folks from
Princeton, Johns Hopkins and University of
Illinois Urbana Champagne, and all of them are
interested in replicating what we are doing here. LATONYA WEBB: The
meetings were great. It was a great
opportunity to increase our pool of diverse
vendors that we have, to be able to meet our
contracting goals on campus. AUDRA DAVIS: Exeter
definitely sees a shared mission between our
focus on particularly serving underserved communities,
and the University of Chicago’s mission. We firmly believe that our
solutions can help advance the university’s initiatives. FIONA MCENTEE: I think
that there is a great need that a firm that exclusively
handles immigration, like our firm does. I think that we
could offer a lot to the university given that
it’s what we do day in and day out. MARNI SIMMONS: Meetings
have been great. We’ve had three so
far this morning, an opportunity to think
really meet with some folks that we normally wouldn’t
have an opportunity to engage. The better
relationships we form, I think it allows us to tap
into those talent resources. NADIA QUARLES: So the John
W. Rogers Junior Business Diversity Impact
Award is being awarded to Kim Taylor this year. KIM TAYLOR: It’s
encouraging for me tonight to talk to the attorneys
who have come to this. And they know now that
I mean what I say, and that we are looking
for opportunities to bring in new people. Last few years we have hired
23 lawyers or law firms through this. We now have employee
benefits lawyer. She has been hired also by
Argonne and the University of Chicago Medical Center. So we’re really very proud
to help these lawyers expand their business, both
with the university but also with our affiliates. ROBERT J. ZIMMER: There’s
a lot of talent sitting in minority and women
owned companies, and people need an opportunity
to express that talent. It is of enormous benefit
to us to engage more talent, and we thank you
for participating in this project with us. [APPLAUSE]

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