Patricia Rodriguez Christian accepts from Lynn Scott

WBE Honoree

Patricia Rodriguez Christian is president and CEO of Dallas-based CRC Group Inc. She leads the firm’s acquisitions and oversees the general management of CRC’s holdings, which include interests in commercial real estate, retail, restaurant, professional services and construction. CRC Group provides business, professional and construction services to Fortune 500 companies, as well as privately held enterprises. She is responsible for the strategic direction of the organization. Her expertise in this area has been instrumental in developing strategic alliances in the areas of fulfillment, warehouse operations, business center and mail-related services. The construction division provides interior finish-out and paint contracting services.

Amy Millman accepts from Billie Bryant Shultz

WBE Trailblazer Honoree

Amy Millman is a passionate advocate for women entrepreneurs seeking to transform their small businesses into major players in the marketplace.  In 2000, she co-founded Springboard Enterprises, Washington, DC-based non-profit venture catalyst and network of innovators, investors and influencers. The goals of the network’s initiatives are to inspire confidence in women business owners and ensure accelerative platforms for those seeking equity capital for product development and expansion. Springboard has distinguished itself by assisting hundreds of women entrepreneurs in raising $8 billion in investments, creating thousands of jobs, generating multi-billion annual revenues and connecting with expert resources. 

Rosemary Weppler, EY Global Diversity and Inclusiveness Procurement Manager, accepts on behalf of Stephen Howe from Sahar Hague

CEO Honoree

Steve Howe is EY’s U.S. Chairman and Americas managing partner. He leads the U.S. and Americas executive committee, represents EY in regulatory relationships, serves on EY’s global executive board and is actively involved in the development and support of EY’s corporate responsibility initiatives. Mr. Howe, who has been with EY for 35 years, also serves as executive sponsor for the firm’s focus on diversity and inclusiveness and has led initiatives to increase the number of women in leadership positions by building a supportive environment.

Barbara Carbone accepts from Tom Baker

Corporate Advocate Honoree

Barbara Carbone is a partner at KPMG LLC, where she has helped develop the financial services firm’s family-friendly work/life initiatives and career development policies. Well-known for her mentoring ability and audit expertise, she thrives on the growth of the people she has helped.
And throughout her career, she has dedicated herself to advancing women inside and outside of KPMG, serving as a board member of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council for nearly 20 years.

Roz Lewis accepts from Debbie Hurst

Corporate and WBE Advocate Honoree

Roz Lewis is president & CEO of the Greater Women’s Business Council, a regional partner organization of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and has certified more than 900 women-owned business enterprises in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
Ms. Lewis is one of the founding members who spearheaded the growth and development of GWBC, now in its 17th year. As founding chair, she led the board of directors and staff to ensure that the overarching goals bridged the gap between corporate America and women-owned businesses to build sustainable and profitable relationships. During her leadership, GWBC has received Partner of the Year honors and the Applause Award from the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, earned commendations from the State of Georgia and accepted the Legacy of Leadership award from LEADS – the annual women-of-color conference at Spelman College in Atlanta.

Marti Powers, Head of Shell U.S. External Relations,
accepts on behalf of Shell from Pamela Prince Eason

Corporate Leadership Honoree

With a supplier diversity practice dating from 1973, a founding member of Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance and Women’s Business Enterprise Council South, and as a 14-year Women’s Business Enterprise National Council Top Corporation for WBEs, Shell has a strong supplier diversity history. But more importantly, Shell recognizes that a changing world brings new business challenges, and what got you here won’t necessarily get you to the next level.

Over the last few years, the company has retooled its supplier diversity strategy with strong C-suite and senior executive leadership, doubling down on its investment in development and capacity-building for WBEs, while building up internal focus on strategic supply chain inclusion to connect WBE’s to real opportunities.

Shell has created innovative educational opportunities, such as training sessions prior to events hosted by WBENC and its regional partner organizations, coffee talks between WBE groups and Shell executives and the Find Your Fit campaign that offers information on the energy supply chain. All are focused on making WBEs better with Shell or better because of Shell.

Recognizing the long term need for more WBEs with a strong technical foundation to grow in the energy industry, Shell was the catalyst for the 2012 restart of the WBENC Student Entrepreneur Program with a focus on STEM students.

Kathy Homeyer accepts from Cheryl Stevens

Corporate Advocate Honoree

Kathy Homeyer retired as director of supplier diversity at United Postal Service in June 2015, but didn’t step away from helping business owners. Since retiring, she has been involved with mentoring minority-and women-owned business enterprises and serves as member of EnCORE, a group of retired supplier diversity executives who use their vast experience in corporate America to advise the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.
Homeyer was appointed to the UPS Corporate Supplier Diversity team in August 2002. As director, she worked with UPS managers nationwide to implement initiatives that identify potential diverse suppliers and provide those suppliers with critical information and access to UPS’s purchasing process.

Sharon Patterson accepts from Ricardo Barrientos

Organization Leader Honoree

Sharon Patterson is president, CEO and co-founder of the Billion Dollar Roundtable Inc., an organization established in 2001 to encourage companies to increase their commitment and spending levels for diverse businesses. The Billion Dollar Roundtable currently boasts a membership of 28 major corporations that purchase more than $1 billion annually in goods and services from minority- and women-owned companies. The Billion Dollar Roundtable shares supplier diversity best practices and thought leadership both locally and globally. Several years ago, the organization published its first book, Billion Dollar Roundtable: Best Practices in Supplier Diversity. The Billion Dollar Roundtable was recently inducted into the Minority Business Hall of Fame and Museum.

Don McKneely accepts from Tom Trotter

WBE Catalyst Honoree

Don McKneely is a 39-year veteran of newspaper, magazine, radio, and pay television. A stalwart of supplier diversity, he is the founder, chairman and CEO of TexCorp Communications, Inc., publisher of Business News Group magazines that include Minority Business News USA since May 1988 and Women’s Enterprise magazine since July 1991.
 Mr. McKneely is the founding chairman of the Billion Dollar Roundtable, an organization that recognizes companies annually purchasing in excess of $1 billion with women- and minority-owned businesses. He also founded the supplier diversity Million Dollar Roundtable, an initiative that honors corporate buyers that annually purchase $1 million or more with women and minority owned suppliers.