The Porsche Experience Center, situated near the bustling Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Hapeville, is a renowned attraction in Atlanta. Visitors to this destination are treated to an immersive experience that encompasses the brand’s rich heritage, cutting-edge technology, exquisite culinary offerings, and exhilarating speed. It is especially appealing to those seeking an adrenaline rush. What many people may not be aware of is that Porsche Cars North America has made Atlanta its home since 1998, relocating to its present-day facility in 2015. This year marks the 75th anniversary of this legendary automaker, celebrated for its exceptional performance and striking design. In addition to its reputation as an industry leader, Porsche is quietly establishing itself as a front-runner in supplier diversity, a GMSDC corporate partner that is truly on the rise. The Supplier Diversity Lead at Porsche – Sandi Jones – is driving a program that looks to reach the winners’ podium in short order.
Sandi, an experienced purchasing category manager, has been entrusted with the task of revitalizing the supplier diversity initiatives established by her predecessors. Having relocated to the Atlanta area from Florida almost twenty years ago, she brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the procurement of various direct and indirect categories. With the unwavering support and advocacy of Thierry Kartochian, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Porsche Cars North America and David Thevis, Director of Procurement, Sandi has been blazing trails that point to a rapid ascension of Porsche in the world of inclusive procurement. “Thierry and David have been amazing advocates for diversity in all aspects of the business,” she says. “Their energy and enthusiasm are powerful catalysts for our supplier diversity efforts, and we are seeing results.”
Porsche has adopted the practice of including MBEs in bid solicitations, a simple but highly effective best practice utilized by first-rate programs. In fact, several minority suppliers played a large role in the recent expansion of the company’s Atlanta campus. Sandi collaborates with Porsche’s DEIB leadership and Business Resource Groups to gather input on how to grow the program through mentorship, outreach and enhanced supplier engagement. The Porsche team is also a member of the Supplier Diversity Leadership Council at the GMSDC, to interact with and glean from prime, award-winning companies in the region who are committed to inclusive procurement practices. Porsche recently appointed its first African-American female executive, Ayesha Coker, to lead the marketing department at Porsche Cars North America. This is further proof of the company’s commitment to diversity at all levels. Sandi is actively working with all of Porsche’s business units to review upcoming project requirements and anticipate opportunities for utilizing diverse suppliers.
The Porsche Experience Center will once again serve as the host for the GMSDC’s Spirit of Alliance Awards in September. If there were ever a year you should not miss SOA, this would be that year. Sandi indicates that she excels at ‘selling’ the value of introducing a diverse supplier into a project internally, as she seeks to leverage the momentum of executive support and inclusive culture at Porsche Cars North America. I think it is wise to keep an eye on Supplier Diversity at Porsche, a program that will be in pole position very soon.
To learn more, visit https://www.porsche.com/usa/aboutporsche/porschecarsnorthamerica