The Diversity Alliance For Science: Making Way in Supplier Diversity

| By Kaela Roeder

(Photo from DA4S West Coast Conference, Day One)

“It’s organizations like NGLCC that get us certified and in the room, and then organizations like DA4S that get us in front of relevant stakeholders in an industry-specific setting that help us grow,” said David Ricciardi,  President and Founder of Proximo Inc., a Certified LGBTBE®.

Leah Brown and Jackie La Joie founded the Diversity Alliance for Science (DA4S) in order to promote diverse networking spaces for businesses in the science and healthcare industry. Nearly 12 years later, DA4S has thrived in providing a platform to identify, attract, and develop diverse businesses. Now, DA4S has collaborated with nearly 600 companies and built a membership of upwards of 250 businesses.

Ricciardi has been involved with D4AS for nearly four years. Proximo Inc. is an information services company that specializes in data analytics, and works to help businesses understand their own data and what said data means to a business’s strategy and success.

Proximo has been a Certified LGBTBE®for eight years, and Ricciardi has been involved with NGLCC for the past 10 years. He was the first chair of supplier diversity at nglccNY, and has been the chair of corporate engagement with nglccNY for the last five years.

From June 3rd to 6th, DA4S held its 12th Annual East Coast Conference, which featured top-level pharmaceutical executives, CEO’s of diverse scientific and clinical enterprises, and renowned guest speakers.

(David Ricciardi, President and Founder of Proximo Inc.)

For the third year in a row, the Conference held its “Eight That Innovate” competition.  Many DA4S members applied for the competition with their services or products that bring innovation to the industry.  Of the applicants, only eight are selected to give a three minute presentation to a panel of judges on the first day. The top three of those presentations then move on to present on the main stage to the entire audience on the final day of the conference.

This year, Proximo was one of the final three. Ricciardi presented the company’s “Supplier Diversity in a Box” program, which is used to manage data, connect businesses with diverse suppliers, and establish an efficient supplier diversity program for corporations and businesses. This program is a joint venture between Proximo, Source One Innovations and Certify My Company.

“Supplier Diversity in a Box gives you what you need to stand up a Supplier Diversity program in a fraction of the time and cost compared to if you did it on your own,” said Ricciardi.

With judges from NGLCC partners Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck, and Medtronic, as well as several diverse suppliers, Proximo and “Supplier Diversity in a Box” successfully finished second. 

Conferences such as DA4S and NGLCC’s International Business and Leadership Conference celebrate diversity in the economic sector, and provide spaces for LGBT businesses to network, learn, and grow.

“NGLCC has opened up such a broad network that I never had before," said Ricciardi. “I only had a few regions where I had business, now I can go to every state and know people that are eager to support me,” said Riciardi.

Are you an LGBT business owner? Learn more on how to certify your business like Proximo here.