As director of diversity, inclusion, and engagement at Stellantis, North America, Lottie Holland is making it her daily mission to be a hands-on leader in the development of Black professionals, Black businesses and Black suppliers on a national playing field.
Last month, Holland was joined by her team for the National Black Supplier Development Program Kickoff (NBSDP), an inaugural program designed to develop and support Black-owned supplier companies through education, connections and resources. The event was held at Stellantis’ Conner Event Center in Detroit, and the program’s objective is to develop Black businesses for future contracting and procurement opportunities and success in a post-pandemic economy. Under this year’s program, 15 Black supplier businesses were welcomed into The Collective. At scale, the program will create equity for more than 2.9 million Black businesses in future contracting and procurement opportunities, enabling future success. To view the inaugural Collective class, please see below.
Holland kicked off the ground-breaking event alongside NBSDP co-chairs Marvin Washington, global vice president of Mechatronics and Electronic Modules Purchasing, Stellantis and Dr. Ken L. Harris, president and CEO of The National Business League.
“Launching the inaugural collective of the Stellantis-National Business League National Black Supplier Development Program is an important milestone moment on the road to leveling the playing field and achieving economic justice for Black communities and millions of Black businesses,” said Dr. Harris. “The program is expected to realize 20-30 percent of the untapped potential of Black businesses. The goal is to develop sustainable Black businesses that will impact local and global economies, create jobs through entrepreneurship and grow the number of Black businesses of all sizes.”
Holland eloquently welcomed The Collective, their corporate partners and her executive team to the program with the following words.
Holland: We are especially proud to be here with all of you to celebrate the next collective of suppliers to join this inaugural program. Today, we will share with you some of the enhancements and additions to this program to ensure that we continue the success that we’ve experienced thus far.
Myself, along with a few other colleagues from Stellantis, and pilot suppliers from last year’s pilot program, had the opportunity to ring the opening bell for the New York Stock Exchange in honor of all of the work that we are doing for this program and in honor of Black Business Month.
We understand the power that this program brings and the power that all of us have in what we do for Black businesses. One of the phrases we’ve heard throughout the course of this morning is “This is history in the making.” We felt the heaviness and the weight of the moment and we still feel it. When this program is fully scaled and developed, it has the potential to provide opportunities for millions of Black owned businesses in the United States and around the world. This program underscores our belief at Stellantis that we are much more than a car company. We are a source of empowerment and economic justice for many underrepresented groups and we do not stand alone.
We believe that amongst all of us, we have the collective power to drive racial equity in the marketplace and positively impact local and global economies to ultimately change lives.
I want to thank Dr. Ken Harris and the NBL for his vision. I called him a couple of years ago to let him know that we wanted to do more, and be more than just a check. We wanted to drive meaningful change, so what solutions could we implement? Within an hour, the vision of this program was born. I thank you for having the ability to assemble a power team with key team members.
I also want to thank Marvin Washington, one of our senior leaders in Stellantis. When I called and asked him “I need someone with the level of influence and expertise that has a great reputation both inside and outside of our company, can you be our chairperson?” He stood up and accepted without hesitation. I am grateful for everything you’ve done to ensure the success of this program.
Gregory Hawkins is the mastermind behind all of this. He continues to champion this effort internally and is constantly meeting with suppliers. He is the greatest connector of people and developer of relationships, and is able to uncover every opportunity that is available.
This program is powered by our Stellantis African Ancestry Network Diaspora (STAAND) team members. They are the arms and the legs of this program. I want people to understand how we are connecting all facets of the business within Stellantis to drive meaningful solutions.
Last, but certainly not least, I want to congratulate all of our new suppliers. We are looking forward to working with you as we continue to advocate for Black businesses.
To find out more information on the National Black Supplier Development Program, visit: www.nationalbusinessleague.org