Bronx Zoo – May 24, 2024 –The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) recently hosted its first-ever Supplier Diversity event, “Diverse/Reverse Vendor Fair” supported by Columbia University and Ascend NYC on May 23rd, with more than 25 vendors showcasing their products and services to various business units throughout WCS. 

The WCS event was part of ongoing efforts to continue to build and nurture a supplier diversity program that includes an interactive supplier portal for vendors to register and gain access to procurement opportunities, while also supporting its key success strategies with stakeholders and local communities.

“We are extremely grateful to all who attended our inaugural event and are proud to work with our fellow Ascend NYC Anchor Partner Co-Chair, Columbia University, and other Ascend members in the public and private sector who share our views on diversifying supply chains,” said Kevin Wells, Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer of WCS. “It was also essential to have my colleagues from various business units see that these strong companies understand the benefits of reaching out to diverse firms.  As our supplier diversity efforts continue to grow and evolve, we will remain steadfast in our endeavor to further engage all the various communities we serve.”

“By creating a collaborative ecosystem for our private anchor firms and diverse businesses alike, Ascend NYC has created a recipe for success to drive robust growth with firms in the New York marketplace,” said Tanya E. Pope, Assistant Vice President, University Supplier Diversity Construction Business Initiatives, Columbia University Facilities and Operations. “This vendor fair was well attended and deemed valuable by exhibitors and buyers alike.”

“This event was an excellent occasion to celebrate our commitment to engage our stakeholders,” said Robb Menzi, Interim President and CEO of WCS. “We are a diverse institution made up of people with many backgrounds, stories, and innovative ideas. Our Supplier Diversity program recognizes that strength.”

Unlike traditional networking vendor events where vendor firms wait in line to approach companies before presenting their sales pitch, this Fair was “reverse” because interested companies approached vendors at their exhibiting tables.