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Duke Recognized For Minority Business Utilization

Carolinas Minority Supplier Development Council presents award to Duke

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Duke recently received the "Public Sector Corporation of the Year" award from the Carolinas Minority Supplier Development Council. Photo by Bryan Roth

Duke recently received the "Public Sector Corporation of the Year" award from the Carolinas Minority Supplier Development Council for its commitment to expanding economic opportunities for minority-owned businesses. The award is given each year to an organization in North or South Carolina. Duke previously won the award in 2008."We want the businesses we work with to mirror the diversity of our students, employees and patients at Duke," said Mary Crawford, associate director of Procurement Services. "We know that Duke's business has a significant financial impact and supporting local, minority and women-owned firms continues to improve the local economy."Duke's definition of a "minority business" is one that is at least 51-percent owned and operated by African-Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Subcontinent Asian Americans or women. In addition to these socio-economic categories, Duke works to identify and utilize veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses as well as those located in Historically Underutilized Business Zones.To receive the award, Duke was nominated by Progressive Business Solutions, a Raleigh-based printing and promotions company that's owned and operated by an African-American family. Awards are decided based on a nominee's mentorship, active pursuit of opportunity creation, community awareness/involvement and volume of business with minority firms. Duke has used Progressive Business Solutions for about five years for printing projects but recently worked with the company to offer distribution of janitorial supplies like paper towels and toilet tissue to Duke Raleigh and Durham Regional hospitals and Residential Life and Housing Services."Our relationship with Duke opened avenues to enhance our product line, provide products and services at a competitive rate and increase revenues," said Tim Catlett, president of Progressive Business Solutions. "Even though we are an established 24-year old company, it's extremely beneficial to have the support of an organization the caliber of Duke and know that they are committed to trusting our services. Duke has been a true mentor."In addition to current partnerships, Crawford said the construction of the Duke Medical Pavilion and Cancer Center projects allow Duke to focus on hiring local companies, an important aspect of its supplier diversity program."We see it as a sort of stimulus project for Durham and its minority businesses," Crawford said. "It's a huge opportunity to showcase Duke's effort to develop relationships with small, local minority-owned companies."