On Tuesday, December 6, 2016, the Major League Baseball (MLB) organization held their annual MLB Winter Diversity Summit at the Gaylord National Resort in D.C. This summit is in place to add a Diversity & Inclusion vertical, specifically around Supplier Diversity, to engage a diverse supply base as a component of the Baseball Winter Meetings. During the summit a specific track of events and engagement opportunities are created between diverse suppliers, MLB Procurement and key decision makers to increase the possibility for purchasing transactions. The diverse suppliers will include current as well as new Diverse Business Partner suppliers to MLB (invitation only). MLB’s very own, Corey Smith, was this year’s moderator for the “How To Do Business with MLB” panel. The panel will be a discussion on how the procurement process works within the League, what the teams look for in selecting a supplier and how suppliers can have opportunities to work with MLB.
The 2016 MLB Winter Diversity Summit panel moderator is Corey Smith, Senior Director of Supplier Diversity and Strategic Sourcing at MLB. Corey Smith joined Major League Baseball in 2011 as the Senior Director of Supplier Diversity and Strategic Sourcing. As such, Mr. Smith’s overall goal is to establish and maintain League-wide Procurement initiatives across all MLB entities while growing spend with diverse suppliers through MLB’s Diverse Business Partners (DBP) initiative. Prior to joining MLB, Mr. Smith worked at NBC Universal as the Director of Supplier Diversity where he grew NBCU’s diverse spend over 400% in a five-year time span.
The “How To Do Business with MLB” Panelist(s) include:
Jorge Fajardo – Purchasing Manager, Washington Nationals
Jeff Jacobs – Director, Financial Management, Arizona Diamondbacks
Linda Ashauer – Purchasing Assistant, Baltimore Oriole
Gary Lawerence – Purchasing Manager, Colorado Rockies
Chief Legal Officer, Dan Helem will be providing opening remarks and Pat O’Conner, President & CEO for Minor League Baseball will be giving the closing remarks.
The MLB organization is the only sports league with full-time dedicated supplier diversity professionals with the exception of the USTA. The other leagues focus on supplier diversity as a part- time or “event specific” initiative such as NBA All-star, or the Super Bowl (in the case of the NFL). And while the various sports leagues all have their unique ways of making strides in supplier diversity (and really good programs), MLB has a dedicated staff, budget and operational process for supplier diversity. At MLB, supplier diversity is a year-round priority.