I attended the Western Regional Minority Supplier Development Council’s (WRMSDC) 2022 Excellence in Supplier Diversity Awards Gala the other night, with an emphasis on the gala part! It was a great evening honoring wonderful, well-deserving people and organizations from across the supplier diversity community. It was the first in-person WRMSDC event since before the pandemic hit, and it was perfectly executed.
Safety-wise, I was glad to see so many protocols in place, including proof of vaccination and color-coded wristbands to indicate who was comfortable with a hug, a wave, a handshake, or whatever the preferred greeting might be. I thought they were a really good idea. I would also like to shout out Oakland’s Lake Chalet Seafood Bar and Grill for providing a beautiful waterfront setting and delicious refreshments. The theme for this year was Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. The evening started off with a touching video, included a great lineup of speakers and presenters, welcomed the Golden State Warriors as a new corporate bronze member, and honored the winners with fanfare and festivities.
I was extremely impressed with the turnout, and everyone was so genuinely excited to see one another after so long. It was amazing. I’ve been slowly getting back to in-person attendance (as opposed to the virtual variety) and each time is a new adventure. It seems we’re all getting more comfortable, little by little, and organizers are figuring out the best ways to combine safety and sociability. There are absolutely some good things about virtually connecting, but being with people for real was wonderful! Kudos and many thanks to the WRMSDC team for the time and thought they put into creating this wonderful experience for us all!
Finally, I want to congratulate all the winners on a job well done! I would love to go on at length about each of them individually, but it’s probably best to refer you to the WRMSDC’s own excellent site with all their information. They are truly an impressive group. ATR has been recognized in the past, so I keenly understand what’s involved in becoming an individual or company that is honored by the council. It is the work of years on the frontline of diversity and inclusion—far from an overnight success. The awards recognize excellence that comes from a strong and lasting commitment to supplier diversity and supporting the council’s mission of providing equal treatment and opportunity to minority businesses.
I am always inspired and invigorated by the example of others, and this night was no exception. Working for a more just and equal world is not a task with a discernible end. It is an ongoing effort to reach a goal that requires us to be vigilant and mindful across many areas of our lives. I’m proud to be a part of that effort, and it was a privilege to celebrate and honor some great colleagues—in person, no less. Congratulations, everyone!