DyNAMC Issue 10 November 2015 Preview | Page 12

Diversity Spend: What Are The Numbers Truly Showing Us? Why community-based organizations like NAMCO are key to growing diversity spend By Writer Jodie Tweed Best practices should be the guide for Fortune companies to measure the success of their supplier diversity procurement programs. When Douglas Phason reads through the diversity spend data reported voluntarily each year by thirty-four of California’s largest utility companies, he’s looking for more than just the numbers generated within the database. Phason, who serves as Supplier Diversity Officer at the California Public Utilities Commission, is looking deeper into what the data doesn’t report. Phason spoke to DyNAMC about his role within the CPUC, as well as his work finding and breaking down the barriers for diverse firms interested in procurement opportunities with Fortune companies nationally. Several years ago, Phason was diagnosed with cancer. Soon after, he began to look for a way to give back to the community. He had spent thirty-one years with AT&T, retiring as associate director for Regulatory Affairs; an opportunity arose for him, in 2004, to become a Supplier Diversity Officer at the CPUC; a job that has become a passion for Phason. Douglas Phason “Through supplier diversity, I found my life vocation,” Phason shared with DyNAMC. “That’s how I deemed giving back to the community through this work.”A large part of Phason’s duties within the CPUC is to promote the commission’s supplier diversity program, which was enacted through legislation almost thirty years ago. It authorized the CPUC to enact a program that requires all California public utilities that generated more than $25 million in annual revenues, to set up their own supplier diversity programs. The intent is for outreach to minority, women and disabled veteranowned businesses interested in procurement opportunities within their companies. Phason said the supplier diversity program is voluntary, and it has grown through