Driving Supplier Diversity Success since 1968
Board of Directors
World-class experience, demonstrated leadershipDIR's continued success is due in large part to the guidance and leadership offered by our Board of Directors. Consisting of practiced, well-respected supplier diversity professionals, the Board provides real-world insight that continuously improves the products and services we offer.Meet our board Officers:
Picture of Corey Smith - Chair
Sr. Director of Supplier Diversity, Major League Baseball

As Senior Director of Supplier Diversity and Strategic Sourcing for Major League Baseball, Corey Smith establishes and maintains League-wide procurement practices for all 30 baseball clubs and the Commissioner’s Office. Prior to joining MLB, Smith spent over four years at NBC Universal as Director of Supplier Diversity, where he implemented strategies throughout the company that increased the use of minority and woman-owned businesses across a variety of services.

Smith’s career reflects over 15 years of experience in procurement and over 10 years in supplier diversity. Prior to NBC Universal, Smith held various sourcing and supplier diversity positions at companies such as Altria Corporate Services, Columbia University and Advanced Technological Solutions.

Picture of Brenda Marshall - Vice Chair
Sr. Director, Global Diversity Solutions, Kelly Services

Currently the Senior Director, Global Diversity Solutions for Kelly Services, Brenda Marshall is responsible for developing strategic alliances with diverse staffing companies for the procurement of goods and services across Kelly Services' global enterprise. Prior to joining the supplier diversity team at Kelly in 2001, she held management positions at Comcast and Eagle Communications.

Marshall serves on the Board of Directors for the Council of Supplier Diversity Professionals, the Michigan Minority Business Development Council and DIR. In addition, she chairs the certification review committee for the Michigan Women’s Business Council.

Picture of John Taylor - Treasurer
Director of Supplier Diversity, Medtronic

John Taylor has served as Director of Supplier Diversity for Medtronic since November 2016, where he is responsible for increasing alignment and coordinating supplier diversity goals. Prior to joining Medtronic, he held the Director of Supplier Diversity position at Cargill.

Taylor pledges continued support and participation in local and national organizations dedicated to stimulating the growth of minority- and woman-owned businesses. In addition, he is committed to a continued focus on mentoring activities with the leaders of disadvantaged businesses and developing and administering Medtronic’s diversity strategies and initiatives.

Board of Directors:
Picture of Benita Fortner
Director of Supplier Diversity, Raytheon Company

Since 2000, Benita Fortner has served as the Director of Supplier Diversity for Raytheon Company, though she has been involved in minority and women business outreach and development for over 18 years. In a previous position as procurement manager at Hughes Aircraft Company, she was instrumental in significantly increasing the number of corporate agreements awarded to minority suppliers.

Fortner currently serves as chair of the Advisory Board for the Tuck Minority Business Executive Programs and was recently accepted onto the Board of Overseers for the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. In addition, she holds board positions on the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), the New England Minority Supplier Development Council, the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the Business Consortium Fund and the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development.

Picture of Theresa Harrison
Director of Supplier Diversity, EY

Theresa Harrison is the Director of Supplier Diversity at EY, a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. She is responsible for the management and oversight of the EY supplier diversity initiative. In this role, which she has held since June of 2004, she is responsible for the design, development and implementation of diverse supplier policies, processes, and procedures.

A recognized leader in the industry, Harrison is a frequent public speaker and works to build awareness of the importance of supplier diversity both inside and outside of EY. She serves as First Vice Chair of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) Board of Directors and serves as Board Liaison with the WBENC Women's Enterprise Forum. She is an active Ambassador engaging prospective Corporate Members. Additionally, she has engineered significant improvements to the organization by developing its Recruitment Program and its Dashboard for success measurement.

Along with being a past Board Chairperson for Diversity Information Resources, Harrison has served as Chair of the Procurement Council in 2010 – 2012 for the NGLCC. She is currently Treasurer for the New York & New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council.

Ms. Harrison obtained her Bachelor of Science Degree in Management from Emmanuel College and a Masters of Business Administration from Bentley University.

Picture of Ché McFerrin
Supplier Diversity Lead and Sourcing Specialist, NRG Energy

Ché McFerrin is the Supplier Diversity Lead and Sourcing Specialist with NRG Energy, Inc. She joined NRG with eight+ years of experience in diverse-business development in both private and government sectors. In her current role, she assists diverse-owned business enterprises in maximizing their opportunities to participate in NRG’s procurement and sourcing processes. She also oversees the Supplier Registration Tool that is utilized from a Supply Chain and Safety Team perspective to qualify all suppliers.

Prior to joining NRG in 2011, Ché was involved in the development of Halliburton’s Supplier Diversity initiatives. She was instrumental in building innovative strategies and educated and mobilized Halliburton’s employees as advocates. She aligned supplier diversity with global sourcing and procurement initiatives; and established a defined metrics and measure system to chart progress toward world-class standards. 

Ché’s professional recognition includes “The 2010 Best in the Decade” from MBN-US magazine. Her career includes work as a Certification Specialist at the Port of Houston Authority, and a Supplier Diversity Specialist at the Houston Independent School District. She has also worked for several Fortune 500 companies, including Continental Airlines and Federal Express.

Picture of Kevin J. Price, MBA, MHA
Director, Supplier Diversity, Novant Health

Kevin joined Novant Health, an industry leader in providing quality healthcare services, in 2006. He is responsible for diversifying the procurement spend base by the development and implementation of Novant Health’s Supplier Diversity and Development initiative. Working with various lines of business, Price identifies certified and qualified diverse suppliers, ensuring that they are given an opportunity to compete for Novant Health’s business. As a result of his efforts, Novant Health has increased its diverse supplier spend by 340% utilizing almost 400 diverse suppliers. His latest initiative is the refinement of the Tier II program and encouraging more majority/minority joint ventures. In addition, he monitors and reports the performance of all suppliers within the Supply Chain. Kevin obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science/Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He also completed his Masters in Health Administration and Masters in Business Administration, both from Pfeiffer University.

Picture of Michael Robinson
Program Director, Global Supplier Diversity, IBM Corporation

Robinson is responsible for leading IBM’s supplier diversity initiatives worldwide. In this role, Robinson and his team focus on the utilization, development and mentoring of diverse suppliers who can provide value-add to IBM’s Supply Chain. IBM has spent in excess of $2 billion, first tier, annually worldwide with diverse enterprises since 2006. Also IBM has spent in excess of $1 billion, first tier, annually with diverse enterprises in the United States since 2000.

Picture of Tara Spann
Director, Global Supplier Diversity, Merck & Company, Inc.

Tara Spann, Director, Global Supplier Diversity, is responsible for the execution of Merck & Company, Inc.’s global supplier diversity strategy and outreach.

Merck’s policy is to "provide maximum practical opportunity to diverse suppliers for the purchase of goods and services as a part of its corporate procurement process." Merck’s use of diverse suppliers is an integral part of its inclusive purchasing process. and the company recognizes that supplier diversity contributes a competitive advantage and positively impacts the global economy.

Previously, Ms. Spann worked with Bristol-Myers Squibb where she oversaw the integration of supplier diversity into the strategic category management process. She was the lead in supporting a transformation of an enterprise-wide program.

Prior to joining Bristol-Myers Squibb, Ms. Spann led the development and management of diversity initiatives for Staples, Inc. as the Executive Director of Diversity Initiatives. There she oversaw the development and execution of strategic alliances that significantly advanced sales and helped Staples Advantage customers reach their supplier diversity purchasing goals.

Ms. Spann has also served as Senior Software Licensing Negotiator at Harvard University where she negotiated the terms and conditions of enterprise licensing software contracts. She was also the Contract Manager of Harvard University’s procurement management department, where she managed the University’s minority procurement program, government compliance regulations and audits for purchasing as well as implementing strategic vendor alliances.

She is a graduate of Northeastern University in Electrical Engineering and Suffolk University Law School in Boston, Massachusetts.

Picture of Leslie Bonds
President, DIR

Ms. Bonds began her career at DIR as the Publications Manager and was appointed President in January 1997. She is responsible for the successful leadership and management of the organization in accordance to the strategic direction set by the Board of Directors. She is a member of the Midwest Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC), the Minnesota Society of Association Executives, and the National Association for Female Executives. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota.

Ms. Bonds has been the recipient of numerous awards for her work in the Supplier Diversity industry. She has volunteered for the Minneapolis Public Schools and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and has mentored students at Humboldt Junior High.