Diversity Fulfillment Services: Success Following AB1678

| By Brent Stewart
In September 2014, NGLCC helped pass AB1678, which opened up many opportunities for certified LGBT Business Enterprises (LGBTBEs). The law mandates that utilities companies doing business in the state of California report the amount of diverse spend they have with LGBTBEs. For Duane Thierry from Diversity Fulfillment Services, this has resulted in new business. 
 
Diversity Fulfillment Services (DFS), headquartered in Los Angeles, is a promotional products distributor providing expert assembly, fulfillment, mailing, and printing services for businesses large and small. In 2012, Duane started the business to compliment his husband’s established PR & marketing fulfillment house, MDS West/John Drinker Group (MDS). MDS focuses on supporting in-house PR/marketing departments of Fortune 500 companies in entertainment, fashion, and personal care/beauty. Though the company was very successful and had excellent relationships with its clients, it did not offer promotional products, and it did not have any supplier diversity certifications that many government agencies and corporations were seeking. Today, the DFS and MDS strategic partnership has benefited both companies by broadening their growth opportunities backed up by a successful established infrastructure.
 
Having NGLCC’s LGBTBE certification has made it easier to obtain other certifications. After going through the LGBTBE certification process, Duane applied for certification through Supplier Clearinghouse’s Comparable Agency Verification Application process. The NGLCC follows strict criteria for its certification, so he was well prepared when registering with the Clearinghouse. “My LGBTBE certification has allowed me to bid on and win business from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). I am now on their go-to list for bids. Further, we recently supported BE THE MACHINE, an experiential marketing firm specializing in live events, by assembling hundreds of promotional kits and thousands of handouts for the launch of a major television network’s new dramatic series. They used DFS because of our certifications, exceptional customer service, and relationship with MDS,” said Duane. 
 
“My advice for newly certified LGBTBEs is to utilize the NGLCC database (MyNGLCC) and find out which corporations support the NGLCC. Register your company on their supplier portals and begin a discussion for business. Keep in mind that not all companies will need your services. Don’t give up and always touch base periodically. As corporate America becomes more inclusive, LGBTBE certification will allow you to differentiate your business from competitors,” explained Duane.