Toyota’s 24th Opportunity Exchange is underway! Our theme this year is “Leveraging Relationships & Activating Opportunities” and we could see that idea in action as attendees began arriving at the Duke Energy Center today.
This afternoon, I was part of a really energizing panel discussion about Toyota’s commitment to diverse supplier development. But instead of just talking about our philosophy and processes, we had actual Tier I and Tier II partners participate as panelists. My role on the panel was to represent our point of view, and I was joined by Stacey Wade, President & Chief Creative Officer of NIMBUS, an MBE Tier I indirect supplier. Stacey and his team have been supporting Toyota with strategic and creative marketing communications services since 2009.
Joining us on the panel were Amanda Clark of Gentex Corporation, Tier I direct supplier, and Song Soo Anderson of eM Services, a Tier II MBE. After an introduction that revealed their joint capabilities, Gentex and eM Services joined forces, creating a collaborative partnership that has supported both companies’ strong emphasis on innovation and accelerated company growth.
Dr. Robert “Bob” Wallace moderated our session, and challenged us to go in-depth about the dynamics of how our respective partnerships began and continue to develop. Because we each approach supplier relationships from a different perspective, we were able to cover a lot of territory. I think the session offered a valuable mix of insight and inspiration as well as offering real-life examples of opportunities and relationships in action.
It was also exciting to welcome Joset Wright-Lacy, President of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) to this afternoon’s session. NMSDC is an important partner to Toyota and the nation’s leading advocate on behalf of economic inclusion for minority-owned businesses. We appreciate Joset’s leadership and were honored to have her address our OE audience today.
Tomorrow we have the Keynote Breakfast and trade show, so much more networking and information is in store at the 2013 Opportunity Exchange. I look forward to seeing everyone again on Tuesday.