One legacy of Richard Davis’s decade long tenure as CEO of U.S. Bancorp is the expansion of the banking company’s work with minority-owned businesses.
U.S. Bank spent $368 million with Minority Business Enterprises in 2015 and in the last five years has increased the value of contracts with MBEs by 63 percent.
Davis has said of the bank’s increasing diversity spending. “It creates opportunities for more individuals and firms to do business with us. When the diverse communities we serve are strong, then we have economic vitality in the communities where we live and work.”
Hector Martinez joined the supplier diversity program at U.S. Bank in 2014.
Martinez is at the forefront of U.S. Banks efforts to increase its spending with diverse suppliers. “I educate our internal procurement teams and executives on the capabilities of these organizations,” Martinez said.
U.S. Bank started its supplier diversity program in 1998. In 2015 Martinez helped the bank to increase its supplier diversity program by including certified women-, LGBT- and veteran-owned businesses.
U.S. Bank’s Minority Business Enterprise spend by year.
The supplier diversity department also does a lot of coaching and mentoring both formally and informally with suppliers who need help connecting with the right people at U.S. Bank.
Martinez helps create awareness internally about the capabilities and credibility of the suppliers but he acknowledges the employees and leaders within U.S. Bank for adopting them. “We have task force that meets quarterly to help connect with the right decisions makers at the bank,” Martinez said.
Martinez has also been a board member of the North Central Minority Supplier Development Council (NCMSDC) for nine years and currently serves as the chair of the NCMSDC.
The NCMSDC was created in 1975 by corporations who saw the importance of working with an emerging small business segment. Originally founded as the Minnesota Minority Supplier Development Council in recent years it has expanded its services to Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota and North Dakota. It is one of 23 regional councils that make up the National Minority Supplier Development Council, which certifies minority-owned businesses. They must be for-profit enterprises, located in the United States and 51 percent or more owned by an ethnic minority who is a U.S. citizens.
In September the NCMSDC awarded Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank its annual Corporation of the Year award for its MBE work.
The award is selected by an independent panel and neither the chair of the NCMSDC (Martinez) nor NCMSDC president Duane Ramseur had a say in it.
Martinez says that U.S. Bank was nominated by three of its most recent MBE suppliers: Minnetonka-based Tempo Creative Inc., a marketing communications, advertising and design firm owned by Jodie Tanaka; Bloomington-based Performix, a software solutions company owned by Sunil Bafna; and Tanson Corp., an information technology staffing services company owned by Prema Patel.
The panel is independently run by volunteers from other organizations and minority business owners. Previous winners of the award have included Medtronic PLC, Target Corp. and General Mills Inc.
Hector Martinez, supplier diversity manager at U.S. Bancorp