East Coast Conference Workshops and Panelists


2:00pm – 3:00pm Part 1 | 3:15pm – 4:15pm Part 2
Location: Junior Ballroom

Brooke Foley
CEO & Principal Consultant


“Strengthen Your Brand Platform and Take Action With It”


Take some time to work on your brand platform in a high energy, high performance
workshop. Get to collaborate with like-minded businesses as they develop their brand
platform real time in the workshop session!

BROOKE FOLEY (WBENC) is known nationally for having cultivated multiple successful creative digital agencies – Tribal DDB (1996-1999), Ogilvy Interactive (1999 – 2001) and A|Razorfish (2001 – 2007). She started the Jayne Agency in June 2009 to create an environment where highly talented people could deliver customer-centric solutions for clients who really wanted to make a marketing change – and a difference for their customers. Clients enjoy the agency’s proven methodology and commitment to “Smartly Strategic, Wickedly Creative” delivered with insight, powerful ideas and great execution. She has proven over time that solid relationships and good communication with open minded planning can inspire teams across companies to deliver disruptive ideas in nimble ways resulting in award winning innovative solutions.

4:30pm – 5:30pm
Location: Junior Ballroom


The social media landscape is always changing. More corporations, executives, physicians, hospitals, customers and even sales reps are becoming increasingly active on social media.

During this bootcamp, Suppliers will get insightful direction about how to develop a social media strategy that will strengthen your company’s credibility and boost your exposure. Not sure how much to spend on social media or where to allocate your resources? Not sure what kind of content you should be posting or which channels deliver the best bang for your buck? We’re here to help.

For Corporate Members, we will walk you through important information about the latest compliance trends and show you how to mitigate risks while sharing impactful messages through social media.

Eneetra Livings

CEO & Principal Consultant

At Livings Life Science Solutions, our philosophy is to seamlessly integrate into your internal teams to drive complex projects to completion — making us the trusted partner for your most important projects.

Each of our specifically assembled core teams is led by executive-level talent from both Fortune 500 life science corporations and from awardwinning nationally recognized creative agencies. The synergistic effect achieved from this dual prong approach offers a unique ability to “plug and play” quickly — offering streamlined solutions, robust strategies and compelling executions — without lengthy onboarding or multiple rounds of costly revisions.

Unlike other segmented agencies, we combine the best of executive level business consulting with the agility and creativity of a full-service agency to provide end-to-end services for life science organizations.


Vice President, Strategic Services


11:00am – 11:45am
Location: Grand Ballroom


MODERATOR: MONICA KANG, Founder and CEO, InnovatorsBox®
Nedra Dickson
, Managing Director, Accenture
Nish Parikh, CEO and Chief Innovation Officer, Rangam
Rondu Vincent, Director , Supplier Diversity BMS

MONICA KANG is a creative educator who is transforming today’s workforce through the power of creativity. As the Founder and CEO of InnovatorsBox®, Monica teaches creativity in a tangible, practical, and relatable way regardless of industry or job title. She has worked with clients worldwide including Fortune 500 companies, higher education, government, and nonprofits.

Monica’s work has been awarded across numerous platforms, including The White House, Ashoka Changemakers, National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). She is also the author of Rethink Creativity: How to Innovate, Inspire, and Thrive at Work. Driven by her lifelong love of knowledge, she is also an adjunct professor at BAU International University where she teaches entrepreneurship and leadership. Prior to InnovatorsBox®, Monica was a nuclear nonproliferation policy expert in international affairs. She holds an M.A. from SAIS Johns Hopkins University in Strategic Studies and International Economics and a B.A. from Boston University. Creator. Speaker. Creative Educator.

NEDRA DICKSON, Managing Director, leads Accenture Global Supplier Diversity and Sustainability for Accenture.

She is responsible for leading and promoting Accenture’s well established efforts to maximize procurement opportunities with diverse businesses as supplier partners within 18 countries. Nedra has been responsible for growing Accenture’s Mentoring Program of diverse suppliers globally. The Diverse Supplier Development Program (DSDP) in currently operating in six geographies (US, Canada, UKI & South Africa, Mexico and India). Nedra is responsible for growing Accenture’s Supplier Diversity spend to over 31% in the US and 10% in non-us countries.

Under Nedra’s leadership, Accenture has the #1 Supplier Diversity Program in the US and for the 3rd year in a row received A rating from CDP (Carbon Disclosure Program). She holds several board seats within the Supplier Diversity Community.

Nedra was recognized by Atlanta Business Chronicle as one of the Top Diversity and Inclusion Officers of Atlanta, Georgia Top 25 Women in their Female Success Factor Series, WE magazine as one of America’s Top 100 Leaders in Corporate Supplier Diversity, as Top 25 Women in Power Impacting Diversity, WBENC Corporate Mentor of the Year 2017, USAPCC- SE region Mentor of the Year 2017 and most recently as Top 30 Champions in Diversity 2017. Her experiences range from Technology Support, Delivery Center Implementations, Operations Management, Customer Service and Sourcing and Category Management.

Nedra grew up in Arkansas and holds an MBA from University of Southern California, a BS degree from Florida State University and BA degree from California State University @ Northridge.

NISH PARIKH, CEO and Chief Innovation Officer at Rangam, Nish Parikh is a visionary who develops strategic workforce solutions for Rangam and its customers by aligning their disability inclusion strategies with current and future talent acquisition needs. Over the past 15 years, he has built a culture of empathy and innovation, while undertaking key people initiatives both within Rangam and outside. Driven by the philosophy of ‘Employment for Everyone,’ Nish creates rewarding and sustainable career opportunities for individuals with unique abilities and military veterans. Nish is a strong believer in cross-industry collaboration. He continues to partner with forward thinking businesses, workforce game changers and thought leaders, disability support agencies, disability inclusion advocates, transition coaches, and non-profit foundations to do well while doing good.

RONDU VINCENT is currently Director, Supplier Diversity for Bristol-Myers Squibb. In this role, he is responsible for internal & external supplier diversity and small business operations including strategy alignment with Bristol-Myers Squibb Global Procurement Organization.

As a Strategic Sourcing Manager prior to becoming a Supplier Diversity leader, Rondu brings the experience and strategic thinking in procurement to his strategy development to ensure the diverse supplier community understands the keys for successful engagements within corporate America. This sourcing knowledge also allows for broader alignment throughout the Global Procurement Organization and internal stakeholders.

Rondu’s sourcing experience ranges across several indirect categories including travel, meetings and corporate card services, fleet, HR and marketing & sales. Externally, Rondu is involved with key organizations geared toward supplier diversity. Rondu is a member of the Procurement Advisory Council for the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), immediate past Co-Chair of the ISM Supplier Diversity Pharmaceutical Forum former Board of Directors member of the NY/NJ Minority Supplier Development Council where he is also served as chair of the marketing and certification committees. Rondu has also assisted The NY/NJ MSDC Council with establishing a strategic sourcing process for good and services.


2:30pm – 3:30pm
Location: Junior Ballroom


Effective Networking, Getting in the Door, Standing Out from your Competition, and Increasing Your Chances of Winning in this Corporate SPACE… the complicated, competitive, ever-changing NEW WORLD landscape of corporate procurement.

Bring your oxygen and prepare for take-off at warp speed! Today’s life science companies are faced with many challenges — diminishing margins, competition, mergers & acquisitions, globalization, patent expirations, the push for innovation and AI, downsizing, and rationalizing the supply base. In addition, costs of R&D and marketing efforts are rising, while governments and health insurance companies are exerting unprecedented pricing pressures on the industry. An industry which had previously been accustomed to a growth-at-all-costs philosophy is now looking to cost reduction playing a larger role in driving sustained profitability. As a result, procurement groups are getting a seat at the executive table of corporations and charged with very aggressive savings targets. This panel will explore how suppliers can more effectively network, stand out, get included, and win in this changing, competitive, and challenging environment.

MODERATOR: SHERI SHAFIR, Head, Supplier Diversity, Novartis®
Monica Billinger
, Senior Manager, Supplier Diversity & Sustainability, Baxter
Todd Bittiger, Associate Director, Global Marketing Procurement, Teva Pharmaceuticals
Niharika Brahmbhatt, Global Director, Clinical Sourcing, Boston Scientific
Joyce E. Eriksen Eggers,, Associate Director, Supplier Diversity, Global Procurement, Takeda Pharmaceuticals
Anna Hakobyan, Government Compliance & Supplier Diversity Lead, AstraZeneca
Leigh Ann Oravecz, CPA, CIA, Associate Director, Procurement Functional Leadership CSR, Bayer U.S.

SHERI A. SHAFIR, A.P.P., is Head, Supplier Diversity for Novartis Business Services, Novartis’ shared services organization. In her position, Sheri champions Supplier Diversity by educating Novartis associates about the benefits of utilizing diverse suppliers to help drive innovation. Sheri mentors, coaches and introduces qualified diverse suppliers to Novartis Procurement professionals and internal business partners. She began her career at Novartis 18 years ago as a Senior Procurement Specialist for Marketing Services and Patient Recruitment. Prior to Novartis, Sheri worked at McGraw-Hill Publishing for a decade as an Advertising/Production Manager in the College Textbook division, and for five years at McBee, a checks & forms manufacturer, as the Director of Advertising and Communications. Sheri earned a B.S. in Marketing and International Business from New York University’s Stern School of Business.

MONICA ARMSTRONG BILLINGER has spent her career leading diversity and inclusion business development. As the Senior Manager of Global Supplier Diversity & Sustainability at Baxter Healthcare, Inc., Monica is responsible for creating global strategies for minority-, women-owned, disabled, LGBT and veteran business enterprises across all verticals of the company. Through Monica’s leadership, the company received the Supplier for Success Award from the Puerto Rico Minority Supplier Development Council in 2018.

Prior to her position at Baxter, Monica was the Manager of Multicultural Marketing – Chicago at American Airlines, where she established strategic relationships with targeted diverse organizations both locally and nationally. As the former head of Supplier Diversity at Health Care Service Corporation (BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois), Monica was instrumental in the company receiving the Top 50 Companies for Diversity® by DiversityInc. magazine for six consecutive years (2006-2011); the 2010 CEO Leadership Circle of Excellence Award by the Chicago Minority Business Development Agency; and Chicago United’s Five Forward initiatives highest honor– Platinum Status.

Monica was named the Minority Small Business Champion of the Year by the Illinois Small Business Administration in 2010. In addition, Monica was selected as the 2016 Top 25 Women in Power Impacting Diversity by DiversityPlus Magazine.

NIHARIKA BRAHMBHATT is a Global Director, Clinical Strategic Sourcing at Boston Scientific. She is a healthcare executive with excellence in Project Management, Sourcing & Procurement, Multi-functional Outsourcing & Offshoring and, Operational effectiveness. She is skilled at working with Global, Cross functional teams to lead, develop and implement transformative strategies and change initiatives. With her strong leadership, project management, and analytical capabilities, she has driven multiple cost and process improvement initiatives in Clinical that bring a global change. She has focused on building strategic partnerships and developing a sustainable model to bring operational excellence in Clinical operations.

TODD BITTIGER leads Patient Support Services and Market Access categories globally as part of the Teva Marketing & Sales Procurement organization. Prior to Teva, Todd spent over 8-years at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation where he supported a variety of indirect-spend categories across the Procurement function. Todd additionally led the Novartis Global Procurement Innovation program and was instrumental in designing and implementing tier 1 supplier governance models. Throughout his career, Todd has been recognized for his commitment to Supplier Diversity and has mentored numerous small and diverse business enterprises. In recognition of his contributions to DA4S, he was the first recipient of the Catalyst of the Year award in 2015. Todd earned his MBA with a focus on Supply Chain Management from Rutgers Business School and is a Veteran of the US Navy.

JOYCE E. ERIKSEN EGGERS, Associate Director, Supplier Diversity for Takeda Pharmaceuticals International is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As Takeda’s Supplier Diversity lead within Takeda’s Global Procurement Group, Joyce is an advocate, mentor, and coach of Small and Diverse suppliers. As a champion for diversity within Takeda, Joyce educates internal business stakeholders on supplier diversity and promotes diverse suppliers to Takeda’s Procurement and internal Business Leaders to develop, and maintain partnerships with Small and Diverse Suppliers who meet Takeda requirements for excellence and innovation, and are competitive in their offerings.

Joyce currently represents Takeda with various diversity advocacy groups: as a Corporate Advisory Board Member of USBLN (now known as Disability:IN) and Procurement Council member, Founding Sponsor of MA LGBT Chamber of Commerce, a former board member and active member of Diversity Alliance for Science and former board member and active member of the Greater New England Supplier Development Council, a member of NMSDC Healthcare Industry Group, and active member and 2012-2014 Co-Chair of the ISM Supplier Diversity Pharmaceutical Forum. Takeda is also a Corporate Member and participates in events of WBENC, CWE, Diversity Alliance for Science, GMEMSDC, and Chicago MSDC, and participates various other local and national events such as the US Veterans Administration’s National Veterans Small Business Event. Joyce has been with Takeda for 15 years, previously as Associate Director, Contracts and Supplier Diversity, and prior to that, as Contracts Manager in various industries, including Telco, Software, and Banking. Joyce earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Simmons College in Business Management.

ANNA HAKOBYAN is the Government Compliance and Supplier Diversity Lead in AstraZeneca, a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company with innovative medicines used by millions of patients worldwide.

Anna has joined AstraZeneca in June 2010 as a Government Compliance Manager responsible for MedImmune Government Subcontracts. In that role Anna has been instrumental in developing the company’s compliance framework and strategy for Government contracts to ensure streamlined effective controls are in place.

Being a great supporter of Small Business development and Innovation, Anna has started and launched the robust Supplier Diversity program for MedImmune. In recognition of great accomplishments and results, she has been appointed as the Lead of AstraZeneca Supplier Diversity Program and Government Compliance in 2016. As part of her role, Anna has successfully integrated the MedImmune and AstraZeneca diversity and compliance programs into one. Prior to joining AstraZeneca, Anna served as the Procurement and Contracts Director at Instos Inc., a minority owned company, where she led the company’s sourcing and procurement activities for a large contract with the Department of Defense. Anna has over 20 years of diverse domestic and international experience in Program Management, Compliance, Procurement & Contracting areas, where she held roles across compliance, human rights, hospitality, IT, training and development, and pharmaceutical/biotechnology industries. Anna is a Certified Federal Contracts Manager (CFCM) and a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

LEIGH ANN ORAVECZ is an accomplished Procurement Professional with 15+ years of experience using exceptional communication, influencing and leadership skills to coach, manage, and motivate diverse professionals and suppliers in challenging environments to deliver fiscal value and quality for the supply chain. Industry experience focuses on Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals with a demonstrated focus on Supply Market Analysis, Benchmarking, Procurement Strategic Sourcing and Purchasing and Supply Chain Management including planning, implementing, and executing strategic programs resulting in greater customer confidence and strengthened business results. Leigh Ann embraces diverse environments and is committed to promoting creativity, effective problem solving, and breakthrough results. Her proven foundational leadership success is in the following critical organizational areas:
• Driving team productivity and fiscal responsibility.
• Cultivating an environment of accountability, creative thinking and problem solving.
• Relationship building through excellent interpersonal skills with stakeholders and
• Establishing a culture within Bayer that encourages diversity and breeds innovation.

CONCETTA SAVOVICH joined Abbott in 1988 and is celebrating her 31st year at Abbott. Currently Concetta is responsible for the Supplier Development and Diversity Program with a vision to elevate diverse business enterprises in Abbott’s supply chain and expedite innovation by developing small and diverse businesses.

Concetta has held various roles in Procurement over her tenure ranging from chemical buying to leading and managing both the production and nonproduction procurement of goods and services in both sourcing and operations. She inspires her teams to build shared-value relationships with stakeholders and supplier partners. Concetta has a deep knowledge of Abbott and is committed to building a dynamic supply network. Concetta builds, develops and coaches’ effective teams to assure successful outcomes for Abbott.

Concetta has always had an interest in improving patient and customer outcomes. Prior to joining Abbott, Concetta was a medical technologist at St. Mary’s Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Concetta holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Technology. She is also a member of the Institute of Supply Management and has earned her Certified Purchasing Manager certification.

JOHN TAYLOR is the Director of Supplier Diversity at Medtronic, Inc., the global leader in medical device technology. He brings over 18 years of experience in Supplier Diversity, strategic sourcing and insights that span across the agribusiness industry. In this role, he is responsible for increasing alignment and coordinating Supplier Diversity goals among Business Units and Functions. He also works closely with Medtronic Indirect Supply Management, & Procurement colleagues to support small businesses and businesses owned by minorities or other disadvantaged groups when seeking new sources of supplies or services.

Mr. Taylor is an active participant in local and national organizations dedicated to stimulating the growth of minority-owned, woman-owned, veteran, disabled, service disabled, HUB Zone and LGBT businesses. Mr. Taylor also focuses on mentoring activities with the leaders of diverse businesses. His advocacy includes developing and administering the Company’s Supplier Diversity strategies and initiatives.

Prior to joining Medtronic, John served as the director of Supplier Diversity for Cargill and the director of Corporate & Supplier Diversity for the Archer Daniels Midland Co (ADM). In these roles, he was responsible for developing and administering the Company’s diversity strategies and initiatives. He began his career as a grain merchandiser for ADM.


2:30pm – 3:30pm
Location: Columbia/Holland



Every year, companies make millions of purchases that are too small to be handled by Procurement or too infrequent to be included in a single vendor catalog. These purchases – simple renewals, one-off transactions, spot buys, etc. are known as Tail Spend (also called Rogue, Maverick, or Unmanaged Spend).

The Tail usually encompasses 80% of an enterprise’s transactions, equating to roughly 20% of their total spend. So, if you are spending, say, $5 Billion a year, your Tail is $1B. That’s a big number!

At the same time, an effective Tail Spend program can yield 5-20% reduction in cost – also a big number. With the ever-growing pressure to reduce cost, mitigate risk, rationalize your supply base, and grow your diverse spend, you should take a real close look at your Tail. If done correctly, there are incredible benefits to be gained.

Tail Spend Expert, Avis Yates Rivers, will walk you through the process and equip you to take action.


Corporate representatives, this workshop is for you. Show us the numbers! Join us on June 5th at 2:30pm for a workshop on Economic Impact Reporting. In today’s data-driven world, Supplier Diversity programs need actionable information to measure and show progress to key stakeholders, just like any other business unit. So what do you do? Learn the answers at our June conference!

AVIS YATES RIVERS, Technology Concepts, Group International
AVIS YATES RIVERS is the President and CEO of Technology Concepts Group International, LLC. (TCGi), a global asset, expense and procurement management firm. She possesses more than 35 years of general management experience in the information technology industry and has been a successful tech entrepreneur for over 30 years.

Prior to establishing her first company in 1985, Ms. Yates Rivers enjoyed an 11-year career at Exxon Corporation and its subsidiaries. Avis decided to branch out on her own, which led to the founding of her first company. She went on to found several firms over the years, culminating with Technology Concepts Group International.

With its innovative supply chain solutions, TCGi specializes in reducing the cost of IT Asset Management, IT Procurement Management and Tail Spend Management. Her many accolades include Entrepreneur of the Year, Woman of Distinction, the Shirley Chisholm Award for Business, Top 10 Women in Technology and Top 25 Leading Women Entrepreneurs & Business Owners, along with her White House Champion of Change in STEM honor awarded by President Barack Obama. She is a nationally recognized thought-leader and in-demand global speaker. Her first book, ‘Necessary Inclusion: Embracing the Changing Faces of Technology,’ was released in January 2017.


DAVID RICCIARDI’S experience spans 25 years and has led him to build, manage, and utilize large databases in industries as varied as life sciences, health care, automotive, financial, and entertainment. He founded Proximo, an information services company, in 1997, to help clients with data strategy, data warehousing and integration, and predictive analytics and business intelligence. David spends much of his time now as an advisor to clients, helping them to plan and execute on strategies that allow them to leverage data to make better business decisions. Not only does he own and operate a diverse company, but he is on the Executive Committee for the NGLCC New York (having headed Supplier Diversity and now Corporate Engagement), has sat in the NGLCC’s Procurement Council, and his company is a founding member of Titanium Worldwide, a collective of diverse-certified agencies.


4:00pm – 5:00pm
Location: Junior Ballroom


Scaling business development efforts and consistently finding new sales revenue is the most difficult and frustrating part of business, bar none. For the last 20 years Caryn has owned an outsourced business development company whose Door Opener® Service not only gets doors opened for their clients at the highest levels in major corporations, but also guides clients on the fastest path to the closed sale. Caryn speaks from experience and provides practical, actionable information on what works (and what doesn’t) to accelerate sales results. Business leaders often report moments of clarity after attending Caryn’s seminars regarding blind spots in the sales process that have kept them from the success they deserve. When Business Development is done right, there is no limit to what can be accomplished.

You will learn:
· What could be missing from your door opening efforts and what you can do about it
· Structuring prospect meetings so optimal outcomes are achieved
· The #1 reason why sales which should close don’t close and what you can do about it

Caryn is the Chief Door Opener® at Kopp Consulting whose Door Opener® Service has helped thousands of business owners and sales people secure initial meetings with high level decision makers in almost every major company including Pfizer, Sanofi, Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Abbott, Bayer and the list goes on.

A best-selling author, nationally recognized speaker, and an expert in Business Development, Caryn can be seen in Inc., Fortune Magazine, Forbes and Newsweek. Her latest book, co-authored with Carl Gould is Biz Dev Done Right, which helps business leaders and their sales people understand the blind spots in the sales process and gives critical strategies for getting Business Development right. Caryn and her company have received numerous awards including Sales Outsourcing Provider of the Year and has been recognized on the Inc. 5000 for two consecutive years.


4:00pm – 5:00pm
Location: hotel Restaurant

Sometimes securing a top client means mixing things up. What unique technique have you used to land business? Come to MIXology and share how you have mixed it up in the past! Everyone has something special to bring to the mix. Maybe it’s your innovation or your execution… or was it a perfectly phrased voicemail that finally lead to a return phone call or email? Learn from others and share your special ingredient while developing your network of corporations.

KATHLEEN CASTORE is currently Head of Supplier Diversity & Sustainability, NA Procurement. She is responsible for the strategy for increasing opportunities within her organization to buy locally, regionally, and nationally to ensure a good source of supply while developing mutually profitable business relationships with small, minority, LGBT, disability owned, women and veteran owned businesses among others to assure their participation in Sanofi’s total purchases.

Kathleen is a constant advocate for supplier development and utilization of small and diverse business owners. Kathleen has been a mentor in diversity mentoring initiatives with NJAWBO, NMSDC, USBLN and Diversity Alliance for Science, as well as, board member of NaVOBA, Diversity Alliance for Science, NMSDC Healthcare Industry Group, NMSDC NY. She is a current member and former co-chair of The ISM Supplier Diversity Pharmaceutical Forum, an industry group whose main goal is to expand supply base diversity and development in the pharmaceutical industry. She has also been a contributor, panelist, developer and facilitator for various workshops and organizations on supplier development. She holds a Master’s Degree from Seton Hall University.

SONJA HENDERSON is a qualified professional with 25+ years of experience in for profit and non-profit industries. She has progressive lifecycle experiences in project management, purchasing/procurement, integrated marketing, and communications expertise.

She is known for her ability to link strategies to execution while guiding teams to innovate, research, learn and adapt tactics to address customer needs. Sonja is currently working as a Category Manager at AbbVie, Inc. She serves on AbbVie’s Diversity Advisory Council and Black Business Network.

Sonja holds a MBA and Bachelor of Science from Old Dominion University and a Masters in Biblical Studies from Moody Bible Institute. She is also a certified Project Management Professional.

Sonja is an avid dog lover and lives in the northern suburbs of Chicago with her husband, Larry and dog, Toussaint.


11:45am – 12:05pm
Location: Grand Ballroom

EIGHT THAT INNOVATE is a unique opportunity to demonstrate how your organization is using novel ideas to drive value. Eight finalists will have the chance to pitch their innovations to a trio of judges. You have the chance to showcase your company’s most innovative offering in the “Eight That Innovate” session.

This year the stakes are higher than ever, as the top three innovators will take the Main Stage, present their innovative idea in front of all our conference attendees and receive live feedback!

Six judges and a live audience poll will determine who is selected as the DA4S 2019 Innovator of the Year.








CONGRATULATIONS to the companies who made the TOP EIGHT!