Group of diverse business people

2021 Supplier Diversity Awards: Promoting resiliency, equity, and business success

By: Natasha Vialva-Haynes, Siemens USA Supplier Diversity Program Manager, and Patric Stadtfeld, Head of Supply Chain Management for the Americas, Siemens USA

After months of pandemic and with ever greater complexities in the supply chain, we are reminded—now more than ever—of the fact that a strong supplier base is essential to resiliency, competitiveness, and customer satisfaction. And as we’ve seen in the news in recent weeks, businesses large and small, across multiple industries, continue to face many novel challenges.


One of the ways Siemens has weathered these challenges is by actively working to expand our supplier networks. Our partnerships specifically with small and diverse-owned suppliers, who make up roughly a quarter of our supplier base, reflect our commitment to creating a more inclusive marketplace. It’s how we’ll manage today’s supply-chain shocks, and it’s also how we’ll build on our innovation and strength over the long run.


Each year, multiple Siemens businesses nominate outstanding suppliers in the company’s Supplier Diversity Program and winners are chosen based on business achievements, quality teamwork and impact to Siemens. This year’s award winners haven’t just gone above and beyond to support our work across our business segments; they’ve done so in difficult times, so that we can continue to support America’s critical infrastructure and serve our customers around the country.

This year’s Supplier Diversity Award winners haven’t just gone above and beyond to support our work across our business segments; they’ve done so in difficult times, so that we can continue to support America’s critical infrastructure and serve our customers around the country.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) also matters in our work with suppliers, and the ways in which we use our technologies and our footprint to advance a more just and equitable society.


“DEI is a big reason why we’re intentional about expanding our networks through our Supplier Diversity Program,” said Nichelle Grant, Head of DEI. “This program is designed to make sure that small businesses and those owned by minorities, women, people with disabilities, the disadvantaged, veterans and others have maximum opportunity to be part of our competitive contracting and procurement processes.”


Our partnerships with small and diverse-owned suppliers don’t just help to maximize our business success and help us drive forward our mission—they’re inspiring, representing some of the best work that we do. So, with great pleasure, we introduce our award winners:


Larsen Manufacturing—Small Business of the Year

Larsen provides turnkey metal-manufacturing solutions from design, through prototype, part production and assembly.

“Diversity is important for survival in business. Being diverse allows for greater inputs from our employees and allows for better problem-solving techniques and company growth.”
—David Larsen, President, Larsen Manufacturing


Metalform, Inc.—Small Business of the Year

Metalform, Inc. is a precision sheet-metal manufacturer of quality products, with nearly 40 years’ experience in the sheet-metal fabrication business.

“Diversity brings experience and new ideas to the table. This aids in productivity. We do a lot of problem-solving here, and everybody’s experience and input helps us build better products.”
—Bobby Fairchild, Treasurer, Metalform, Inc.


AIA Technologies—Small Disadvantaged Business of the Year

AIA Technologies is a DBE-certified electronics contract manufacturer and is a leading electronic manufacturing services (EMS) supplier.

“Diversity has helped us with creativity, problem-solving, and innovative solutions.”
—Zinal Patel, Program Manager, AIA Technologies


Lean Goat, LLC—Small Disadvantaged Business of the Year

Lean Goat, LLC provides highly capable resources to the product lifecycle management (PLM) services industry, specializing in infrastructure, security, and cloud management.

“We believe that diversity is very important because in PLM diversity is everything. You have different projects that are never the same, involving people from all over the globe.”
—Travis Bloehm, CEO and Software Consultant, Lean Goat LLC


Clarke Packing & Crating Company—Woman Owned Small Business of the Year

Clarke Packing & Crating Company offers the most up-to-date crating solutions, on- and off-site, using state-of-the-art equipment to accommodate the most complex packing and crating needs.

“Our company is staffed, in both labor and management, with employees from all cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. Each member brings valuable work experience and life lessons to the table.” 
—Bonnie Clarke, Owner, Clarke Packing & Crating Company


Hunter & Bard, LLC—Woman Owned Small Business of the Year

Hunter & Bard, LLC offers expertise in long-term sales enablement, helping with account-based marketing campaigns, well-written content marketing, social media, SEO, and award-winning design and branding.

“Diversity is important to us because it brings a wider range of experience. The wider range of experience, the better answers you can deliver, and the better product you deliver to the client.”
—Shira Able, CEO, Hunter & Bard, LLC


DEXCO Inc.—Woman Owned Small Business of the Year

DEXCO Inc. provide a full range of services in contract metal machining and fabrication, from prototype development to both long and short production runs of individual components to finished and painted full assemblies.

“We work so that we’re supporting each other. Diversity is important because it is an empowering freedom that we can provide each and every person that allows them to perform and exist as their authentic self.”
—Shannon Huffman, President, DEXCO Inc.


Collier Construction—Woman Owned Small Business & Hubzone

Collier Construction specializes in construction management and general contracting for both public and private projects, including municipal/government buildings, financial institutions, and commercial buildings.


“Our employees come up with innovative ideas and diverse ideas—and that’s all very important due to the economic challenges for small businesses.”
—Matt Collier, Construction Manager, Collier Construction



These annual awards complement our ongoing efforts to ensure everyone has the opportunity to succeed in business. Earlier this year, Siemens announced that it will provide a total of $140,000 in grants to Black-owned businesses to support diversity and inclusion in entrepreneurship and business development. Siemens and its partner, the Atlanta MBDA Business & Advanced Manufacturing Centers at Georgia Tech, selected businesses to receive the grants across seven U.S. cities including Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, New York, Orlando, and Pasadena.


Our suppliers are an essential part of our success as a business, and, in turn, Siemens will continue to act to help ensure the success of all our business partners, vendors, and suppliers.

Published: October 28, 2021