From the Publisher

We are excited about this issue of Evolve. “Diversity in Business” is a theme that has allowed us to look beyond Volusia County. We share what’s happening in Central Florida’s Orange County Public Schools in our article, “Learning About Supplier Diversity.” The CEO of the Florida State Minority Supplier Council gives us a statewide perspective in the “Road Ahead;” and we expand our focus nationally with our article, “Diversity Matters.” Our cover story, “Drive for Diversity – ISC & NASCAR” is about their goal of making sure everyone in their organization-from drivers to pit crews to fans-represents the diversity of our nation.

Every five (5) years the Census Bureau conducts a Business Ownership Survey. The last survey was conducted in 2017, but the results haven’t been released. Using 2012’s results, (provided on pages 30 and 31) we find that in Volusia County, 36% of businesses are Women-owned which is very similar to the 38% in Florida and equal to the 36% in the nation. Veteran-owned businesses in Volusia County, at 11%, are 22% higher than in Florida and the nation – both at 9%. Unfortunately, Minority-owned businesses in Volusia County, at 22%, are significantly lower than in the State at 44% and in the nation at 29%. It is apparent that we need to take a closer look at these numbers when the new Business Ownership Survey results are published to determine if this gap has been closed.

Supplier Diversity is an organizational goal for many national, state and local organizations. Earlier this year, I attended an Ideation Workshop on Supplier Diversity hosted by CVS Health in Providence, RI. CVS currently spends over $1B a year with diverse suppliers: women, minority, veteran, LGBT, and disabled business owners. CVS’ goal is to grow that spend to $1.5B by year-end 2020. While there is considerable momentum in this space nationally, and in Florida, we did not find much focus in Volusia County. However, ISC/NASCAR do seem to be leading the way and are providing a perfect local model for other businesses and municipalities to follow. We hope this issue shines a light on “Diversity in Business” and why we need more focus on it within our community.

HOWARD M. HOLLEY Publisher and Editor, EVOLVE