Leading In Supplier Diversity
The Network Journal|FALL 2016

Corporate platforms and MWBE partnerships.

Valerie D. White

Many corporations are partnering with minority- and women-owned business enterprises in support of their own diversity and inclusion practices. I recently spoke with Stephan Nicoleau, founder and managing partner of Critical Value Advisors LLC, about the growth of such partnerships and how they can support corporate diversity strategies. Nicoleau also is managing director of LaGuardia Development Partners, a minority owned infrastructure development firm focused on the redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport’s Central Terminal Building. The firm is well regarded, not only for its infrastructure expertise, but also as an advocate for greater inclusion of MWBEs in government contracts.

Question: Tell us about your work redeveloping New York’s LaGuardia Airport Project, and how diversity plays a role in it.

Nicoleau: We’re producing, constructing, developing, and will be operating an airport that on aggregate serves over 25 million travelers per year. And so we’re taking into consideration the needs of everyone who will travel through and work at the airport. I can tell you that we are constantly focused on providing the best service we can for the city of New York and the constituents that are served by this major public utility. Everyone will use the airport, and not just business travelers. Visitors will see that sensibility reflected in the project. They’ll be able to see public arts that reflect the diversity of people who will travel through the airport. They’ll also see the diversity among the airport workers, themselves.

Question: What are some effective strategies for advancing diversity initiatives in larger corporate schemes, and how can smaller businesses become more involved in these activities?

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