Klinksiek's business diversity efforts rewarded by councilBy Sabrina L. Miller
When Glenn Klinksiek, Assistant Vice-President for Risk Management and Audit & Safety, received the Outstanding Buying/Contracting Executive Award from the Chicago Minority Business Development Council early last month, it was a sign to University officials that their ongoing efforts to more effectively utilize minority and women-owned businesses was working.
“The University takes pride in doing business with minority and women-owned business enterprises,” said Nadia Quarles, Director of Business Diversity for the University.
Klinksiek was nominated in recognition of his encouragement and utilization of minority and women-owned businesses. He, too, said his efforts to increase diversity in contracting with minority and women-owned businesses were reflective of the University’s overall business philosophy.
“I was surprised and honored to learn that I would receive the award. I have done my best to adhere to the University’s policy of providing enhanced contracting opportunities for minority-owned, women-owned and small business enterprises,” Klinksiek said.
The Chicago Minority Business Development Council is an organization for advocates for increasing business opportunities between major buying organizations and minority-owned businesses.
Klinksiek has been recognized for reaching out broadly to solicit interest from diverse providers. “To do this, I evaluate each contract I handle to make sure that it is structured to provide an opportunity to as many firms as possible. This takes some effort but it’s the right thing to do,” he said.
The University’s efforts to increase business diversity also have included partnering with other University departments and programs to effectively tap into community business resources. For example, the Office of Business Diversity is working with the Graduate School of Business Polsky Center on Entrepreneurship and the Law School’s Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship to promote entrepreneurship within the University’s surrounding South Side communities, Quarles said.
Quarles also noted that the University would target minority and women-owned businesses directly. “In an effort to increase our partnerships with minority and women-owned business enterprises, we are planning on holding several small, industry specific workshops that will allow businesses to directly market their products and services to targeted departments throughout the University,” Quarles said.