Sykes’ Work Benefits College, Community and Business
Dicky Sykes, in her role as Broward College’s director of supplier relations and diversity meets and interacts with business leaders at all levels and in all parts of Broward County, identifying what Broward College can do to help their bottom line.
She recently spoke at the 2015 National Airport Minority Advisory Council Diverse Airport Business Conference Aviation Breakfast at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Resort and Spa. There, she shared ideas and strategies with colleagues from as far away as New York and California about best diverse business practices. The next day, she attended the South Florida Minority Supplier Development Council’s board meeting where the council’s national vice president of field operations, Marquis Miller, presented “Best Practices in Minority Supplier Development.” One best practice jumped out at her because Broward College is so proactive in doing so: “All levels of management are accountable for supplier development.”
At conferences, conventions, expos, workshops and board meetings throughout the year, Sykes discusses programs and initiatives to promote and grow small businesses to scale, through alignment with the College’s Small Disadvantaged Business Program. What she often hears is this: It is not about just giving a small business one job but helping that small business grow to scale.
Here’s just one example of how a business accomplished this with the help of Broward College:
Standing Ovations Catering, who won the College’s “Chopped” catering competition, was guaranteed four catering opportunities for winning the late December competition. However, in fewer than six months, Standing Ovations has catered 17 events throughout the College and have a temporary concessionaire’s contract at Bailey Hall on Central campus. This type of teamwork, from all levels of management at Broward College, made this possible.
A representative from Standing Ovations says it well: “Broward College put our company on the map and because they gave us an opportunity, others have opened up their doors but it started with Broward College.”
Sykes says the luncheons on the road and the long hours pay off handsomely for the college and the businesses. “I think Broward College remains best in class and is a leader in the field of supplier diversity,” says Sykes. “We fundamentally understand the return on investment and we are not afraid to think out of the box and be innovative and creative with our supplier diversity program.”