Virtual Panel: Diversity and Inclusion

December 02, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Zoom Virtual Meeting

Venue website

Join us on Wednesday, December 2nd as the SMPS Columbus Chapter will be hosting a virtual discussion with Central Ohio leaders from various market segments regarding their Diversity and Inclusive practices within their respective companies.  Panelists will discuss best practices around D&I initiatives and how they lead by example in the communities in which they serve.    

Kavy Lenon, Senior Supplier Diversity Manager - Herman Miller

Kavy Lenon serves at the Senior Supplier Diversity Manager for Herman Miller for the last eight years. For the past decade, Kavy has been a contributor in promoting growth of diverse owned businesses through various opportunities by coaching, educating, advocating, and community outreach. Kavy gravitates to challenges and is motivated to solve complex business problems.  She successfully connects new business opportunities by utilizing the corporate value of inclusiveness and diversity  as a differentiator for competitive bidding. 

Karmin Bailey, Senior Manager Procurement & Business Diversity - Columbus Regional Airport Authority
As a 20-year employee of the airport authority, Karmin brings a wealth of experience and a set of trained, fiscal eyes that help to elevate the Business Diversity program. Through the promotion of business opportunities and the collaboration of partnerships with other business agencies, she works to enhance the way the airport authority executes diversity and inclusion. Karmin is committed to ensuring that small and minority-owned businesses have maximum opportunity to provide exceptional goods and services for the organization and help drive economic growth in Ohio. 

James Ferguson, VP Advancing Black Headways - JP Morgan Chase
Advancing Black Pathways is a bold JPMorgan Chase initiative powered by the global breadth of the firm to make our economy work for more people. In his role James works to increase access to educational and training opportunities for Black people to advance in their careers. James is also responsible for managing and expanding the firm’s relationship with Historically Black Colleges and Universities to recruit talent and support the professional development and financial health of the nation’s Black student population.

Yolanda Zepeda, Assistant Vice Provost, Office of Diversity & Inclusion - The Ohio State University 
Yolanda leads university wide efforts to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in faculty recruitment and hiring practices, and promotes the adoption of model practices in the recruitment and advancement of students from underrepresented groups.  Yolanda facilitates institutional collaborations, partnerships and community outreach projects to expand access for groups historically underrepresented in higher education. She also oversees a range of targeted programs that promote the full inclusion of students from diverse backgrounds.  This year, Yolanda was awarded the Prospanica Comunidad Award for her contributions to support and inspire members of the Columbus Latinx community. 

Quincy Howard, Contracts/DBE Program Administrator - COTA
An industry expert with more than twenty years of successful experience in Supplier Diversity and Business Development, Quincy Howard has a proven track record of fostering business relationships between private/public companies and agencies and the minority business community. Now going into his ninth year as a DBE Program Administrator, Quincy continues to forge relationships and encourage supplier diversity throughout the transit industry. Quincy has immersed himself into Supplier Diversity and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as a whole. He finds reward in giving back to his community and helping others become successful in what they love. 

Terri Wise, Outreach Coordinator - Columbus City Schools
Ms. Wise’s responsibility is to assure that Local Economically Disadvantaged Enterprises or (LEDEs) have fair and equitable access to contracting and procurement opportunities with the School District. Ms. Wise’s role includes recruitment of LEDE Vendors, notifying vendors of bid opportunities, assisting prime contractors to ensure that they are making Good Faith Efforts towards achieving the District’s participation goal of 20%, participating on selection committee(s) and working with various departments and divisions within the school district to guarantee that bid packages are properly being structured to provide maximum inclusion and participation by the small business community and to eliminate barriers.  Throughout the years, Ms. Wise has served on a variety of committees that promote Minority and Small Business Development including the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus Minority Business Roundtable, Small Business Small Business Collaborative, The Statewide MBE/DBE Taskforce, the Ohio DBE Consortium, The Enterprise Advocacy Group and the Minority Business Council.

Marliese Wicker, Small Emerging Business Coordinator - Franklin County Board of Commissioners
With over 20 years as a small/minority/women/disadvantaged business enterprise advocate, I strive to encourage small business participation within the agency, while continuing to strengthen community partnership with minority organizations to provide resources and opportunities for those businesses. My current position in the newly created Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the Franklin County Board of Commissioners  is to provide Small and Emerging Businesses the opportunity to do business with the 14 Board of Commissioner agencies, 42 independently elected officials, and 39 appointed boards and commissioners agencies within Franklin County. Driving economic activity is one of my top priorities as the SEBE Coordinator and the best way to do this is through growing our small and local businesses.


$25.00 SMPS Columbus Chapter Member

$35.00 Not a member of SMPS Columbus Chapter