TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 1, 2018) – In a sign of its commitment to cultivating a diverse and inclusive campus environment, the University of South Florida System will hold its second annual Supplier Diversity Day on Friday, Oct. 5 in the Marshall Student Center.  The event seeks to build on the success of last year’s inaugural event, which included participation from more than 70 companies and over 300 attendees.

Starting at 8:30 a.m., the all-day program brings together the Tampa Bay region’s business community with key purchasers from the USF System, aiming to strengthen relationships with minority, woman and veteran-owned organizations, further educate vendors about the university’s procurement process and offer guidance for successfully competing for business opportunities at USF.

The event reflects USF’s strategic investments over the past 12-18 months to enhance supplier diversity, a commitment that has resulted in a significant increase in new and expanded partnerships. In the most recent fiscal year, the university spent $27.5 million with diverse-owned suppliers, or nearly 8 percent of USF’s total addressable (competitively sourced) purchases, an increase from $18.8 million the previous year.  USF leadership has set a goal of increasing the total amount to between 13-20 percent within the next several years.

Since last October’s inaugural event, USF has developed a strategic plan for supplier diversity, designed to serve as a roadmap for short and long-term growth in this important area.  The Office of Supplier Diversity also hired a business analyst to compile and study spending data in order to identify places for additional improvement.  The new analyst works alongside Assistant Vice President Terrie Daniel, an experienced leader in the field, who was hired in April 2017 to oversee USF’s supplier diversity program.  Daniel and her team continue to organize training programs for university employees to educate them on best practices in the procurement of goods, services, construction and other contracts.

“In a short period of time, we have implemented a foundation for success, and we’re already seeing new opportunities created for our suppliers every day,” Daniel said. “Because of the leadership of our Board of Trustees, President Judy Genshaft and other key contributors across the USF System who are champions for this initiative, we are making significant progress that will be transformational for our campus climate.”

Full agenda for the Oct. 5 event:

8:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. Vendor check-in and exhibit setup

9:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Welcome and Office of Supplier Diversity program update

10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. Information sessions and panel discussion.

  • Session 1: How to do business with USF
  • Session 2: USF’s commitment to supplier diversity
  • Session 3: Upcoming university projects

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Lunch and networking

12:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Supplier diversity awards and vendor showcase

For more information on the event or learn more about supplier diversity, please visit the Office of Supplier Diversity’s website.

About the University of South Florida System

The University of South Florida System is a high-impact global research system dedicated to student success. The USF System includes three institutions: USF, USF St. Petersburg and USF Sarasota-Manatee. The institutions are separately accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. All institutions have distinct missions and their own detailed strategic plans. Serving over 50,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.8 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference.