Street Talk: Meijer sets supplier diversity event

Cancer initiative.
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On the heels of a similar successful event last year, Meijer Inc. announced it will host a second supplier diversity event in May, giving diverse-owned businesses nationwide the opportunity to showcase their offerings for interested Meijer merchants.

After meeting with nearly 250 diverse suppliers at its first Supplier Diversity Summit in November, the retailer plans to meet with even more at its upcoming multi-day virtual event.

“Supplier diversity, much like our overarching diversity and inclusion efforts, is not about checking boxes or a ‘one and done’ mentality — it’s about ensuring our partnerships reflect our customers and communities,” said Peter Whitsett, Meijer’s executive vice president of merchandising and marketing. “By continuing to recruit diverse vendors through these events, we are creating a pipeline of diverse partners that will better serve our customers and communities for years to come.”

The May 4-6 virtual event will focus on the following categories: 

  • Beauty and personal care
  • Over-the-counter and wellness
  • General merchandise
  • Grocery

Certified minority-, LGBTQ-, woman-, veteran- and disability-owned businesses with retail-ready products in those categories can apply by Monday, March 8, for consideration here (rangeme.com/meijerdiversity).

“Our Supplier Diversity Summit was incredibly successful, and we are excited to begin working with many new partners as a result,” said Jamie Akemann, group vice president of indirect procurement and supplier diversity. “However, it takes time to go from meeting a new vendor partner to carrying their product in hundreds of stores. By holding this second event, and future supplier diversity events, we ensure a consistent flow of new products and partnerships that empower diverse suppliers and create positive economic impacts in our communities.”

Meijer is partnering with RangeMe, an ECRM company and online product sourcing platform, to manage all product submissions by qualifying and connecting suppliers with the appropriate buyers.

Once applications for the event are submitted, Meijer teams will review and select the vendors they would like to meet with virtually through the ECRM Connect meeting platform. Suppliers not chosen for the event still will be accessible through RangeMe and may be reviewed by Meijer merchants again in the future as business needs change.

While they may not qualify for May’s event, diverse vendors carrying services or products outside of the categories mentioned above can submit their information for consideration through the retailer’s prospective vendor page.

Cancer care

Bronson Health Foundation (BHF) announced the launch of the public portion of its Cancer Care Campaign and the initiative already has a good start.

Through significant support during the initial phase of the campaign, BHF received more than $9 million from individuals, families, businesses and foundations. Now, a community-wide public initiative is underway to support meaningful and equitable programs and services for patients undergoing cancer care at Bronson.

“Philanthropic support and community engagement fuels our providers and directly connects to our patients,” said Terry Morrow, vice president of development at Bronson Healthcare. “As a locally owned and operated system, Bronson is committed to implementing a bold vision for cancer care and giving back to the community that continues to invest so generously in our future.”

The Cancer Care Campaign supports the following priorities:

  • Establishing the new Bronson Cancer Center in Kalamazoo. Located in the Frank J. Sardone Pavilion at Bronson Methodist Hospital, the new outpatient facility provides medical oncology, hematology and infusion services. Community support enhances the healing environment and offers supportive services like survivorship, palliative care, nutrition counseling and healthy living activities.
  • Reinvesting in the Bronson Cancer Center in Battle Creek. At this established site, the Cancer Care Campaign already has supported the purchase of a Varian TrueBeam Linear Accelerator and Varian HyperArc — leading edge radiation technology. Philanthropic support also purchased a new electronic record system, which improves coordination and communication between system-wide providers as well as patients. Additionally, several facility updates will be completed using donated funds.
  • Building a supportive future for children at the Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Clinic. Through fundraising efforts, a new child and family psychologist will be available for cancer patients and their caregivers at Bronson Children’s Hospital. This professional will support young patients and their caregivers and provide guidance that encourages learning, development, and resilience during and beyond a child’s cancer journey.
  • Advancing an equitable future for cancer care across the Bronson Healthcare system. Exploring barriers to access and treatment among vulnerable community members will ensure Bronson’s regional cancer care program is serving all people equitably. The campaign will support a demographic analysis and community outreach strategy to advance equity-oriented solutions in Bronson’s cancer program. Further, funding to address critical patient needs like transportation, medication support and nutritional supplements continues to be raised through the campaign.

Kim Nuyen, president of Moore Electrical Service Inc., and his wife Valerie made a leading $1.25 million investment in Bronson’s vision for cancer care.

“My family has confronted the realities of cancer treatment,” Nuyen said. “Making this gift is meaningful as our community builds a better and more coordinated vision for cancer care. Facilities and spaces really matter during a patient’s time of vulnerability, and Bronson is delivering the healing environments that our families, friends and neighbors deserve.”

Other donors to the Cancer Care Campaign include the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, The Maxon Foundation at US Bank, Bronson Battle Creek Hospital Community Partners, Havirmill Foundation, Frank Sardone and Susan Fall, Suzanne Upjohn Delano Parish Foundation, Dorothy U. Dalton Foundation, Friends and Family of Mall City Mechanical, CSM Group Inc., W.S. and Lois VanDalson Foundation, Miller Johnson attorneys and Josh and Pamela Weiner.

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