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St. Louis Small Business Monthly Honors Bank’s Supplier Diversity Coordinator as Hero of Diversity

Monica Buren shakes hands with a supplier

Monica Buren is one of St. Louis’ greatest champions of business diversity, according to St. Louis Small Business Monthly. The publication featured Buren, the Bank’s supplier diversity coordinator, as one of two Heroes in Diversity for its February issue. With this special section, the publication aims to arm area minority- and women-owned business enterprises (MBEs/WBEs) with valuable resources to help grow awareness and build their businesses.

Read St. Louis Small Business Monthly’s Q&A with Buren.

Each spring and fall, the Bank hosts a supplier diversity workshop to introduce woman- and minority-owned businesses to the Bank and advise them how to become a part of our supplier community. Buren (pictured giving a presentation) and a team from financial management plan the event and arrange for speakers from a variety of disciplines at the Bank. This workshop aims to build relationships and drive economic development in the district.

When asked about advice she gives to vendors, Buren said, “It’s extremely important for vendors to know their value proposition and to be able to clearly articulate that value.” Buren’s work supports the Bank's strategic plan in two ways:

  • supporting the Bank’s external communications and outreach goal by promoting awareness and understanding of the Bank’s services and corporate citizenship; and
  • reinforcing the Bank's preferred employer goal by continuing execution of a comprehensive diversity and inclusion strategy, including operating an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion.

Senior Manager Brian Parsons in Financial Management said: “We are proud of Monica and the work she’s invested in our supplier diversity program. We’ve seen the positive impact from our workshops.”

Parsons added: “To cite an example, we set up an interview session between one of our local minority businesses with Bank business leaders. It led to the vendor participating in a bidding event and ultimately winning the bid.”

The Bank will host the next supplier diversity workshop in May. Contact Buren to learn more.