“We are driven by a collaborative engagement strategy,” shares Karmetria Burton, general manager of strategic programs for supply chain management at Delta Air Lines, during the 16th annual Supplier Diversity Star Awards Luncheon in Atlanta, which honored small, minority, and woman-owned supplier partners and Delta employees.
“Behind every success story, there is always a team of people who make it happen. I am so honored to be a part of a team that makes it happen. Please remember, Delta is not only our hometown airline but we are global ambassadors for diversity and inclusion in everything we do. Our partnerships are the cornerstone of our corporate responsibility to our customers, shareholders and our communities we serve. Our senior leadership has positioned supplier diversity as the core element of our flight plan,” says Burton.
The luncheon was filled with stellar achievers, community leaders and a host of small-business owners who were there to salute this year’s winners as well as hear highlights about one of the world’s largest carriers.
“This is my first time at this event and I am genuinely honored to meet the people who make all our efforts come together,” shares Greg May, senior vice president of supply chain management at Delta Air Lines. “I would be remiss if I didn’t pass on my sincere gratitude to Karmetria and Kimberly [Coffman] for putting this event together and meeting our supplier diversity efforts all year long.
“Supplier Diversity is a critical element at Delta, critical at creating customer value for us. I am very proud of the supplier nominees. They’ve succeeded at being the best of the best. Each of our nominees found ways to cut costs, ensure customer safety and security, improve quality and always exceed customer expectations.”
And this year’s winners are:
- Small Business of the Year– PHS/MWA Aviation Services, Temecula, California
- Minority-owned Business of the Year– Agile-1, Torrance, California
- Woman-owned Business of the Year– GAT Airline Ground Support, Mobile, Alabama
- Corporate Real Estate Business of the Year– Creative Construction Services Corp., Cambria Heights, New York
- Catalyst Award– Reginald Williams, CEO of Procurement Resources Inc., Peachtree City, Georgia
- Team of the Year– Delta Cargo and Ground Support Equipment
“Delta has organically grown small businesses. With the redevelopment of the JFK, La Guardia and LAX terminals, a total of over $140M was spent with women and minority businesses, including renovation of baggage screening systems and SKY clubs, new baggage carousels, and several electronic and mechanical upgrades,” adds Burton.
Just to name a few, the airline’s small business partner organizations are the National Minority Supplier Development Council, the Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Administration, Georgia Women’s Business Council and Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council.