DETROIT — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) recently received three awards from the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC), including “Corporation of the Year” for the fifth time in six years. BCBSM employees Ulysee Rice Jr. of Detroit and Donna Strickland of Auburn Hills, Mich. were also recognized for their individual achievements. Strickland received the “Jethro Joseph Advocate of the Year” award for the third consecutive year and Rice was named “Corporate Buyer of the Year” for the second time since 2010.
“BCBSM is proud to have a significant impact on diversity in the marketplace, because our customers and members consist of a diverse population.” said Daniel J. Loepp, BCBSM president and CEO.
The MMSDC presents the “Corporation of the Year” award to a company that actively includes certified minority suppliers in its procurement opportunities, mentors minority suppliers and promotes supplier diversity and business developments. The “Jethro Joseph Advocate of the Year” honor was again awarded to Strickland as recognition of “an individual outside of the purchasing/buying function that best symbolizes the spirit and intent of supplier diversity and minority business economic development” throughout the past year.
“We understand the positive influence our corporate partners can make in communities and households across Michigan. The work we do together is well worth celebrating.” said Louis Green, president and CEO, MMSDC.
As in 2010, BCBSM won awards in each category it was nominated in, thanks in part to opportunities provided for vendors to network with departments, senior leadership and procurement staff. Building partnerships with a wide variety of suppliers has enabled BCBSM to create economic efficiencies and expand into new markets. The company’s spending on diverse vendors has more than tripled over the last eight years.