The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta is the 6th of 12 districts across the nation, each responsible for monetary policy, bank payment systems and regulation of financial institutions in its region. With rising costs and inflation in the news at present, the role of ‘The Fed’ in the American economy comes into very clear focus. With five branch banks across the region, the Atlanta Fed represents Georgia, Florida, Alabama and parts of Tennessee, Louisiana and Mississippi in the setting of monetary policy. Headquartered in midtown Atlanta since 2001, the Federal Reserve Bank plays a major role in providing research and resources to the financial community and the public at large, including tours of the facility and educational outreach designed to help citizens better understand the role of the Fed and how the banking system operates. Due to the sensitive nature of its business, the Fed maintains a relatively low profile for such a strategic institution, preferring to make a difference in the community instead of making news. Many are unaware that the Atlanta Fed has a very robust Supplier Diversity Program and serves as the host of the annual Financial Summit hosted by the GMSDC and its strategic partners in the Small Business Alliance.
The Program’s Atlanta-based leaders – Supplier Diversity Program Manager Cameron Boli and Senior Procurement Officer Patrick Dierberger – envision for a fully inclusive Fed that embraces all diverse communities. Driven by a new strategic plan designed to deepen the corporate commitment to supplier diversity, the Fed has created an advisory council known as the Roundtable for Inclusive Supplier Engagement (R.I.S.E), a team of decision-makers from various departments who are focused on diverse supplier inclusion. A recent internal roadshow campaign featured video statements from Fed leaders, to communicate to the organization the level of executive commitment, always a key indicator of program impact. Boli, who is approaching one year in the role, has hit the ground running on ramping up supplier engagement. “Our top priority is internal engagement across the organization,” he says. “We ask our divisions to each set goals and establish priorities in this area, in alignment with the overall strategic focus on inclusive procurement. This encourages our leaders to own this process and implements accountability for results throughout the region.”
The Atlanta Fed is a highly supportive and committed partner to the GMSDC, having hosted the Financial Summit annually at its midtown conference center prior to the pandemic. This year’s Summit, presented by the Small Business Alliance – a consortium of agencies, financial institutions and small business advocacy organizations including the GMSDC – will return to the facility. The 2022 Summit incorporates a number of the other Federal Reserve Banks across the nation, which expands the reach of the event exponentially and brings additional resources and expertise to the table. “We would ultimately like to see the Financial Summit become a national event featuring all of our regions,” says Dierberger. “The unique nature of our federal mandate requires that we be proactive in our supplier recruitment and engagement. The Summit is an awesome way for us to support small business sustainability and help to disseminate the vital financial acumen that is so essential to success.”
Kudos to the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank for working to build a world-class Supplier Diversity initiative. The GMSDC is grateful for your partnership. To learn more about the Federal Reserve Supplier Diversity program, visit atlantafed.org. Mark your calendars now for the Financial Summit on May 4th and visit gmsdc.org for more information.