CAMSC Introduces New Export Platform

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CAMSC Export Business Portal helps businesses maximize international market potential.

On October 29th, 2018, in partnership with Magnet, CAMSC launched an online Export Business Portal to match its Certified Suppliers to the export opportunities around the world.

“This September at the 2018 CAMSC Business Achievement Awards Gala, CAMSC recognized its growing number of Aboriginal and minority-owned businesses that exceeded expectations. These businesses are role models and continue to drive the benchmarks even higher,” says Cassandra Dorrington, President & CEO, CAMSC.

“Today, during the Small Business month,” continued Dorrington, “it couldn’t be more timely to introduce the Export Portal that will contribute to the business growth of our Certified Suppliers. Based on your industry sector, the platform will identify relevant funding events, trade missions and resources that will help your certified businesses export products and services globally. It is another key resource in your toolkit of success.”

The Portal was developed by Magnet, a non-profit, digital business-growth platform co-created by Ryerson University in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce in 2014. Through the intelligent matching technology, Magnet Portal is designed to match relevant and timely export events and opportunities to Canadian businesses of all sizes, based on their export-readiness, sector, location and goals.

The CAMSC Export Business Portal is a free service for CAMSC Certified Suppliers and businesses that are in the process of certification. Once it identifies actionable export-related events, programs and resources, it sends you a notification of the business opportunity which is relevant for your business. There are numerous exporting opportunities beyond the Canadian market and their benefits and countless. Learn more about CAMSC Export Business Portal and the ways it can help your business here.


CAMSC (Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council) is a non-profit organization created in 2004 to advance the economic strength of Aboriginal and visible minority communities through business development and employment. CAMSC’s mission is to facilitate business relationships with Canadian corporations and supplier organizations owned by Aboriginals and minorities. Since its inception in 2004, corporate members have spent more than $4 billion with CAMSC certified Aboriginal and minority-owned businesses.



CAMSC Drives Momentum and Highlights Economic Leadership at 14th Annual Business Achievement Awards Gala

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The Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council Recognizes Partners and Sustains Greater Representation for Aboriginal and Diverse Communities.

On September 27th, 2018, at its 14th annual Business Achievement Awards Gala, the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council (CAMSC) recognized North American corporate leaders in supplier diversity and awarded the growing number of successful Canadian Aboriginal and minority business owners who work with them. The event celebrated this year’s triumphs in advancing and advocating for greater diversity and representation in corporate supply chains.

This year’s winners represent first, second and third generation entrepreneurship in diverse owned businesses and corporate leaders across sectors and industries committed to supplier diversity. From leading multinational corporations to local start-up businesses, the evening’s celebration of minority business success had a clear message: diversity is our future.

The Gala event was hosted by Master of Ceremonies Brandon Gomez from CTV’s Your Morning and was highlighted by a keynote speech from Mr. Mohamad Fakih, CEO of Paramount Fine Foods. Mr. Fakih’s success journey as a minority-owned business leader who built a successful global chain of restaurants to become a multimillion-dollar success exemplified attainable possibilities when passion, commitment and opportunity work together. Mr. Fakih emphasized: “Diversity is a fact. Inclusion is a choice.”

MP Jean Yip, from the riding of Scarborough—Agincourt brought greetings from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who commended CAMSC’s ongoing dedication to building strong and inclusive business communities.

CAMSC President and CEO, Cassandra Dorrington reminded all: “We are honoured to recognize these leaders who represent the core foundation of greater representation that is behind CAMSC’s mission. This year’s winners are an impressive group of first, second and third generation Canadians who exemplify the abilities found in so many diverse and minority-owned businesses in the country.”

“We’re living in a rapidly-changing economic landscape where policy changes both in Canada and beyond its borders are having immediate effects on the business community,” continued Dorrington. “Tonight’s awards highlight the resiliency of minority business leaders who are able to rise to any challenges that come their way and to exceed expectations regarding their collective successes.”

2018 Winners and Highlights:

Supplier of the Year was awarded to emergiTEL Inc., a prolific Staffing Agency with a specialization in the placement of Technology and Business Professionals. The company promotes inclusion and diversity within the staffing industry, in the hopes of giving newcomers to Canada a fighting chance to find great employment.

Procurement Business Advocate of Year was awarded to Reggie Humphrey, Senior Manager, Supplier Diversity, GM. Humphrey has been Senior Manager, Supplier Diversity at General Motors (GM) since 2012 and has been with the company for over two decades. Reggie is a key player in ensuring supplier diversity is front and centre at GM.

Small Business of the Year was awarded to AceTronic Industrial Controls Inc. Since 1983, AceTronic has manufactured, distributed and serviced products that plastic manufacturers in Canada, U.S. and Mexico use to create their own products. With $1.5 million in sales over the past year, the company is poised for increased growth in the coming years.

The Technology Innovation Award was awarded LA Metal Stamping. Founded in 1976, LA Metal Stamping Co. is a business that designs, patents and manufactures metal stamped parts. The company has continued to grow with Fortune 500 companies such as GE (General Electric) and auto industry leaders like GM, Toyota and Chrysler (FCA).

The Collaboration Award was awarded to City of Toronto. In 2017, the City of Toronto implemented the Social Procurement Program, which uses the organization’s procurement to create positive social and economic outcomes. On average, the City of Toronto spends approximately $1.8 billion in procurement contracts annually. Social procurement is about leveraging a proportion of the City’s procurement spend to create economic opportunities for people from equity-seeking groups.

The Tier 1 Champion of Supplier Diversity Award was awarded to Dana Incorporated. Dana Incorporated provides engineered solutions for improving the efficiency and sustainability of powered vehicles and machinery. Since 2010, Dana Incorporated has been actively supporting diverse suppliers and in the last four years, the development of diverse suppliers has expanded by 76% (57% increase in spend).

Corporation of the Year Award was presented to Toyota. At TOYOTA, their long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion is driven by their founding principles of Respect for People and Continuous Improvement. Their process of diversity and inclusion is ingrained throughout TOYOTA’s business functions and is illustrated every day by their team members, supplier partners and community advocates.

For more information about CAMSC and the awards gala, visit

Supplier Diversity Leaders Shine at the 12th CAMSC Business Achievement Awards

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TORONTO, September 29, 2016 – BMO Financial Group was recognized as the Corporation of the Year at the 12th annual Business Achievement Awards hosted by the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council (CAMSC).  Annually, this awards ceremony celebrates diverse suppliers and the corporations they work with, who are leading the way in supplier diversity.  The awards were presented, including Supplier of the Year, Small Business of the Year, and Procurement Business Advocate of the Year.

“While we celebrate the achievements of our nominees and winners, we know that every one of our certified members are leaders in supplier diversity,” explained Cassandra Dorrington, President and CEO, CAMSC.  “Their effort to drive inclusive procurement opportunities is the reason why over $2 billion has been spent by our corporate members on these suppliers. As this momentum grows, we are committed to supporting each of these leaders every step of the way.”


The keynote this year was David Chartrand, the longest serving President of the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF).  For over two decades, he has advanced the cause of the Métis Nation provincially and nationally, while improving opportunities for all Manitobans.  Under his leadership, the MMF has experienced tremendous growth in self-government capacity, programs and services for the Métis Nation and the Manitoba Métis Community.

List of Awards Winners:

  • Supplier of the Year – mobileLIVE
  • Small Business of the Year – Stratus Plastics International
  • CATA Technology Innovation Award – Triplewell Products Ltd.
  • Corporation of the Year – BMO Financial Group
  • Tier 1 Champion of Supplier Diversity – Sodexo Canada
  • Procurement Business Advocate of Year – Lori Benson, EY
  • Collaboration Award – RBC


Supplier of the Year – mobileLIVE

Awarded to an Aboriginal or Minority-owned business based on growth and development, export sales growth, and major accomplishments during the previous year, the winner is mobileLIVE, a one-stop shop for digital transformation of businesses. Their customized approach of user driven and omni channel experience creation coupled with specialized focus on mobile, cloud, web applications, and automation tools ensure accelerated delivery with enhanced customer experience. They serve some of Canada’s most iconic enterprises, smartphone manufacturers, global network vendors, software houses, and a major hospital. As a Canadian-owned-and-operated company, mobileLIVE has gathered tremendous momentum in a short span of five years with a year-over-year revenue growth of 400% along-with 100% customer retention. Today mobileLIVE has more than 250 team members, serving customers across Canada. mobileLIVE was awarded “Ontario Business Achievement Award” by Ontario Chambers of Commerce in 2015 and “Momentum Company of the Year” by TechConnex Technology Leadership Award for their forward thinking, innovation and service excellence.

CATA Technology Innovation Award – Triplewell Products Ltd.

Awarded to an Aboriginal or Minority-owned business for the most innovative technology-based product or service, the winner is Triplewell Products Ltd. The company is an automotive interior manufacturer of trims, and component parts and producer of apparel and technical outerwear. An end-to-end solution provider, services include product design, prototyping and to plastics extrusion, sub-assembly and welding. Technological capabilities include: conceptualization, design, CNC machining, fabrication, machine assembly, and PLC programming. They have created an innovative foam-injection carousal machine capable of injecting different chemical systems via touch-screen selection and self-locking precision aluminum molds used in the foam injection process of auto head and arm rests. This machine enables standardized settings to ensure product quality consistency. It is a fully scalable machine – all future models can be manufactured using the backbone. Head rest molds developed for each new model program can be designed to encompass many different shapes and contours of head and arm rests. They are one of their clients’ key OEMs of choice.

Procurement Business Advocate of the Year – Lori Benson, EY

Presented to an individual who strongly promotes supplier diversity through outreach efforts/activities and is respected by their peers for advocating supplier diversity in Canada. Lori Benson is dedicated to broadening her organization’s supplier diversity (SD) efforts across North America. Lori networks and develops relationships with diverse suppliers to constantly improve, segment and enhance EY’s SD program. She builds internal relationships across various business units and is able to fully utilize the support of the D&I teams, talent, marketing and executive leadership to drive the value of SD internally and externally. In addition to her work with CAMSC, Lori has advocated for EY to become founding members of WeConnect Canada and CGLCC (Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce). Lori has led a multitude of training sessions for suppliers on how to respond to RFPs, make cold calls and perfect their elevator speech. A regular corporate table host for marketplace meetings, Lori is an ardent promoter of EY’s SD program to expand opportunities for diverse suppliers.

Tier 1 Champion of Supplier Diversity – Sodexo Canada

This award is presented to a business-to-business Tier 1 corporation that actively supports its client’s economic inclusion goals by including certified Aboriginal and minority suppliers in their procurement opportunities.  The winner, Sodexo is a global food service and facilities management company. Its services include foodservices, reception, maintenance and facilities and equipment management. Sodexo has educated current vendors on Tier 1 and Tier 2 spends. Their procurement department has established goals to include diverse suppliers and work regularly with organizations to identify diverse vendors to participate in their RFI/RFPs. Sodexo regularly identifies, mentors and coaches diverse vendors and provides them opportunities to grow. Sodexo has mentored CAMSC suppliers towards becoming Sodexo partners. There has been an equal focus on corporates as well, with introductions to certifying bodies and Supplier Diversity education/mentoring and exposure. Their Supply Chain Inclusion Program leverages best practices from Sodexo operations around the world to develop sustainable relationships with suppliers (SMEs, Aboriginal, women-owned, and minority-owned). Most recently, Sodexo has pledged to spend $1 billion (US) with 5,000 small and medium-sized enterprises.

Collaboration Award – RBC

This award is presented to a company that works collaboratively with CAMSC members, suppliers or other organizations to strengthen Aboriginal and minority business growth and facilitate supplier diversity.  The winner, RBC’s has a value of “Diversity and Inclusion” which is evident in the leadership role it has taken in engaging corporations, government and stakeholders to implement inclusive procurement processes. RBC’s goal is to achieve a truly inclusive supply chain that provides procurement opportunities to qualified suppliers. Their flagship Supplier Diversity Mentorship program launched in 2012 supporting supplier diversity activities. They participate in supplier diversity events and work with other Canadian corporations to cultivate relationships. As a founding member of CAMSC, RBC works closely with stakeholder organizations to promote supplier diversity and support certified suppliers. RBC articulates the benefits and value of utilizing certified suppliers and encourages their Tier 1 suppliers to do the same. The value of Collaboration is also demonstrated as internal teams work together to share insights on building a holistic approach of diversity and their associated impact. This collaboration and partnership approach has led not only to aligned relationships with diverse organizations but also to increased involvement from a number of RBC’s Tier 1 suppliers.

Small Business of the Year – Stratus Plastics International

Awarded to an Aboriginal or Minority-owned business with 50 or fewer employees, based on business growth and development, export sales growth, and major accomplishments during the previous year. The winner, Stratus Plastics International is dedicated to providing high quality injection molded products. This company continues to grow and in the past three years, has achieved ongoing financial and operational growth. A significant investment was made in 2015 on capital equipment. This year, Stratus purchased a 2750 injection moulding press, added four indoor silos and expanded their current facility to 8,400 square feet. Additional commitment for growth includes purchases of two robots, and five machines to help increase capacity for current customers. The addition of a 2750 HPM is an investment towards Stratus’ minority partnership with Flex-N-Gate, which helps with production and overflow. Since 2006, Stratus Plastics has morphed a unique relationship with Flex-N-Gate while maintaining a substantial footprint in the Canadian region. The success with Flex-N-Gate was instrumental in Stratus attaining work from Magna and AP Plasman. Stratus is a company that has worked with many Tier 1 and non-automotive companies to provide excellent services and products.

Corporation of the Year – BMO Financial Group

This award is presented to an organization that actively includes certified Aboriginal and minority suppliers in procurement opportunities and continues to develop and promote these suppliers internally and externally.

The winner, BMO Financial Group goes beyond their comfort zone to draw from the wide range of experiences of their colleagues, customers and suppliers. BMO is a pioneer and leader in diversity. They demonstrate progressive commitment to improving the diversity of their workforce and suppliers. Supplier Diversity has become a key component of the bank’s overall diversity strategy. Using diverse suppliers is an integral part of BMO’s commitment to meeting the needs of its customers and the communities it serves. Internally, BMO’s Supplier Diversity Team works closely with colleagues to foster an inclusive procurement process. Externally, BMO’s Supplier Diversity Program has a focus on expanding the program to include more Tier II suppliers.  BMO is looking to formalize its commitment to supplier diversity by introducing a supplier diversity commitment statement this year.  BMO’s participation in CAMSC’s business value case studies is aimed to engage and inspire Canadian organizations to develop and implement inclusive procurement programs is authentication of BMO’s commitment to advancing supplier diversity in Canada.

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Seminar at CAMSC Diversity Procurement Fair looks at trends and opportunities in IT

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Note to suppliers in the IT field: to help you succeed, find out what your customers’ pain points are, then offer them specific solutions. And if you deliver on a particular job, the message gets passed around not only within the organization but also to potential clients outside of the organization as well.

That was some of the advice during an educational panel session at the Diversity Procurement Fair 2016, hosted by the Canadian Aboriginal & Minority Supplier Council, held April 12-13 in Toronto. The event provides networking, learning and business building opportunities for global corporations and Aboriginal and minority owned businesses.

The session, entitled Trends & Opportunities in IT, featured Kuriba Sankar, director of IT consulting and professional services, RBC Financial Group and Jahan Ali, CEO of mobileLIVE. Forood Malekzadeh, senior partner and CEO of VTRAC Consulting, moderated the session.

At the conversation’s beginning, Ali discussed the trends towards digitization, or the application of technology across functions within an organization. He noted three drivers of this trend: a search for revenue or new revenue streams; as a way to increase productivity and to make business operations more efficient; and as a way to improve the end-user experience.

There are four areas that organizations are investing in: the Internet of Things; Big Data; artificial intelligence; and omni-channel delivery. These trends are connected, Ali noted, and all relate to improving the customer experience. The workforce is therefore changing and organizations are looking to hire millennials due to the different mindset they bring to the job.

Sankar also saw shifts—brought by technology—in the way businesses operate. Just as the video stores of past decades have given way to online streaming services, other fields like banking face shifts, he noted. The key, he said, was to move into where the transformation lies while also keeping an eye on the customer and where their needs are.

Advice to suppliers

Be specific regarding what you can do for organizations, advised Sankar. He suggested that suppliers not pitch too many services at once but to continue to follow up with potential clients. Dealing with a large enterprise requires a long-term approach, he said. Rather than trying to sell something immediately, build relationships that may lead to doing business together in the future.

“Organizations will take the time to make the decisions,” he said. “You may be able to pitch yourself today but the demand might come in a year or two. You have to have patience.”

The size of the business or operation is irrelevant when searching for new suppliers, Sankar said. In some instances, he has brought in one-person operations for specific partnerships. If the organization provides innovation and the pitch is interesting, a partnership may be possible.

A supplier should offer continuous improvement in order to keep the partnership going, Sankar said. There is competition everywhere, he noted, and suppliers must ask themselves constantly how they can improve a client’s experience. “If we’re able to find another supplier who is investing more than you, it’s difficult for you,” he said. “If you’re proactive in finding solutions you’ll be a superstar.”

Doing exceptional work and delivering results will earn a supplier a great reputation within an organization, Sankar noted. As well, that reputation will spread to other companies and organizations. Within banking IT, for instance, while buyers may be competitors, they still talk and a referral to another interested buyer may be a phone call away, he said. “If you’ve done a good job in one bank it’s likely it will spread to others,” he told the audience. “If you do a good job for a VP in one bank, go pitch the same to other VPs in other banks.”

“Deliver, but exceed expectations.  If you get a thank you without asking then you’ve done your job.”— Jahan Ali

Ali agreed on many of the points offered by Sankar. He also recommended looking at what an organization’s pain points are and presenting specific ways to solve those challenges. It can also pay for a supplier to start with small projects to show how they can provide value, then build upon those successes. Ali also agreed that doing a great job is an excellent way to create future business. “Deliver, but exceed expectations,” he counseled. Companies aren’t small or big. It’s about being faster and better. Don’t think about your company as small, it’s all in your mind. It’s about what value you’re delivering.”

To conclude, business is changing because of the changes in technology. From the comments of the panel participants, organizations and suppliers alike would do well to adjust to the new normal that these advances bring.

-Published in Purchasing B2B Magazine, June 2016

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