Corey Smith is the Senior Director of Supplier Diversity and Strategic Sourcing at Major League Baseball (MLB). Having met Mr Smith myself I can definitely say that the man is serious about promoting diversity within the organization. While the MLB has been in the news for having to fire search firm Korn Ferry for its inability to place a single minority in a front office job, the league is still pushing forward and trying to expand its opportunities for diverse suppliers.
In a recent interview with Rolling Out, Smith discussed MLB’s recent “Winter Diversity Summit at the Gaylord National Resort in Maryland” and the goals of the organization. For Smith and the MLB the Summit was about finding the qualified suppliers for multiple league opportunities. With the MLB currently in its offseason, apparently now is when alot of the clubs are looking to purchase items for next season. In addition to belonging to every national organization promoting diversity, the MLB has developed their own process in connecting with suppliers directly (i.e. http://mlb.com/mlb/official_info/mlb_official_info_diverse.jsp)
For myself, I’ve attended one of the MLB’s events and I can attest to the great job they do. When I went to an event in Phoenix, not only did all the 30 MLB teams have booths, but their was also representation from the Minor League organization, the media group, and their nonprofit arm. I got the sense that with the MLB it is a combined effort to connect with qualified diverse suppliers and grow with them through league opportunities.
I would suggest all companies check out an MLB conference or Summit at least once if there are opportunities within the league. It is definitely worth the trip.