WSSC’s FY 2017 OSDI Programs’ Performance Results Report (revised 11/2017) 39 WSSC is leading the way in supplier diversity engagement on a local, regional and national level. Other public and private agencies are taking similar strides and benchmarking themselves against WSSC’s OSDI. “We have won plenty of awards and recognitions throughout this fiscal year—either myself directly on behalf of the administration, or the Commission itself—for our efforts related to supplier diversity, which serves as confirmation we are getting it right,” acknowledges Livingston. This year, Livingston received national recognition on the 2016 Diversity MBA’s Top 100 under 50 Diverse Executive Leaders List for her advocacy efforts demonstrated via outcomes. “I’m extremely proud of my team’s achievements. Our work represents WSSC’s investment into our Supplier Diversity Program, and we want to make sure that we have a return on that investment daily. For us, the value of our Program goes beyond the tactical arbitrary goals. Measuring payments to MWBE firms is integral to the success of our Program efforts; however it is only part of the equation. Our Program’s mission involves leveraging our community and business partnerships to strategically position sustainable value/solution- driven diverse and small local firms in our industry and broader marketplace that will continuously improve the economic base,” Livingston says. Livingston’s passion and personal approach to leadership is contagious and has spread to her staff, who have strategically shed negative labels associated with affirmative programs and who strive to make incremental improvements toward excellence in supplier diversity best practices and service delivery. By strengthening core values and gaining and sustaining public trust, the OSDI team is focused on breaking through barriers to public contracting, and transparency is the key to the Program’s success. “I am humbled to have a self-motivated team who are inspired by our purpose and are committed to excellence daily,” Livingston asserts. “However,” she notes, “the road ahead is yet to be paved. What I would like to do moving forward is to create an environment where we have loyal customers to WSSC who keep coming back, inspire people to embrace and deliver on our supplier diversity mission daily, continue to ethically and fairly operate our business, and have significant partners who thrive on the mutual trust and respect they feel toward WSSC and our Supplier Diversity Programs. Also, I would like to continue working to serve people who live and thrive on excellence. For me, it is extremely hard to go back to mediocrity when you have tasted the sweetness of excellence and excellence is where WSSC lives and thrives.” “Our program is so much more than a mandated regulatory program for MBEs or a remedy to eliminate potential discriminations in public contracting and in the marketplace. Supplier Diversity is a choice for WSSC.” TOWANDA R. LIVINGSTON, WSSC’S DIRECTOR, OSDI VIEWS FROM THE C-SUITE: CONT.