13 Years of Purdue Partnerships

From left to right:  Karmen Redinbo, Jesse Moore, Amanda Brackett From left to right: Karmen Redinbo, Jesse Moore, Amanda Brackett

The Supplier Diversity Coalition of Greater Lafayette, of which Purdue University is a proud founding member, held its first annual Relationships to Partnerships event (R2P) at the Commandant’s House at the Indiana Soldiers Home in 2005.

Since then this event has grown to include corporate partners from all over the greater Lafayette area and diverse businesses from all over the state of Indiana.

Mike Felix, Fifth Third Bank’s representative on the Coalition, had this to say about R2P, “If you are looking to shorten your sales cycle and have a conduit to decision makers at some of Lafayette’s largest employers, R2P is the place to do it.  You are able to meet directly with folks who impact buying decisions every day at their organization.  Is there a more effective way to utilize your time or that of your sales staff than that?”

When asked about the R2P, Shawn Fee, representing Caterpillar on the Coalition said, “It's my hope that the Supplier Diversity Coalition continues to grow in numbers.  With this, we can do our best to promote these suppliers and help them gain business, publicity, and friendships .”

Every year the Coalition awards the Corporate Handshake Award and the Diverse Business Handshake Award. The Diverse Business Handshake Award goes to an Indiana certified XBE that exemplifies excellence in product and service delivery, and the Corporate Handshake award goes to an organization that demonstrates its commitment to Supplier Diversity through outreach and the utilization of XBEs.

However, special recognition was merited and the Coalition added the New Member Award in recognition of the commitment and participation of the Tippecanoe School Corporation (TSC).
Showing true commitment to the utilization of diverse firms, TSC’s Chief Financial Officer, Amanda Brackett, along with Accounts Payable Processor, Karmen Redinbo, have attended all the coalition’s monthly meetings. Have actively participated in planning committees, and have awarded more than a million dollars in contracts to XBES that presented in front of the Coalition, all in their first year of Coalition membership.


Melvin J. Gravely II, Ph.D. Melvin J. Gravely II, Ph.D.

This year, the thirteenth anniversary of this event, we are very pleased to welcome back an esteemed guest as the keynote speaker for our event, Dr. Melvin Gravely. Dr. Gravely, was the keynote speaker for the Coalition’s first Relationship to Partnership event. The Coalition is even more excited to have him speaking this year than 12 years ago.

Since the last time the Coalition was lucky enough to host Dr. Gravely he has taken on many philanthropic endeavors such as the Board Chair of Spring Grove Funeral Homes, Board of Directors of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce, Society for Marketing Professional Services Foundation (SMPS), African American Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Greater Cincinnati and TriVersity Construction Company, the executive committee for ArtsWave, the advisory board of the Minority Business Accelerator and an Advisor for Glad River Ventures.

Dr. Gravely’s businesses are equally impressive, his most well-known business, Triversity Construction of which he is the majority shareholder and CEO, returned revenues of $86 million in 2016.

The Coalition knows that he will bring these experiences and more to this year’s keynote address!


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