Business Assistance Team Honored as ‘Supplier Diversity Champion’

Keith Davis, president of (left) and Senior Vice President Kevin Davis (right) present HISD’s Team Lead for Supplier Diversity Bernard Willingham with the 2013 Top 25 Supplier Diversity Champions award.

Houston’s monthly African-American Business Journal,, recognized HISD’s Business Assistance team Tuesday with the “2013 Top 25 Supplier Diversity Champions” award at the HESS Club in the Galleria area.

“HISD’s supplier diversity team is making a difference,” said President Keith “D-MARS” Davis. “As a minority business owner, I wanted to let them know they are important to our community.”

Bernard Willingham, HISD’s team lead for Supplier Diversity, said the Business Assistance team has worked diligently to help minority and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBEs) improve their businesses with educational and networking events. The goal is to ensure the district’s suppliers and vendors reflect the diversity of the Houston community.

“It’s good to be recognized for the hard work that we’ve done; it’s certainly a team effort,” Willingham said.

Also recognized during Tuesday’s luncheon were the district’s Interagency Mentor-Protégé Program partners: the City of Houston, Metro, and the Port of Houston Authority.

“We all have a common cause,” Willingham said. “We’re all trying to identify diverse suppliers and we’ve learned that it’s easier to work together.”

The event also recognized the Top 25 prime contractors for diversity in the Houston area including KBR Building Group, Drymalla Construction Company and Clark Construction.