Put Your Heart Into It: 2018 Bravo Zulu Award Recipient Dawn Gilbert
The VIB Network presented the prestigious Bravo Zulu Award for 2018 to Dawn Gilbert, Director of Strategic Sourcing and Diversity for Frontier Communications. Her professionalism, esteemed reputation and clear passion for her job embody this award’s spirit.
By encouraging suppliers to negotiate contracts for their best fit and to forecast future growth, both business and supplier are able to develop and benefit. Gilbert’s success stems from her understanding that when suppliers develop and grow, it is a win for Frontier. “Give our suppliers the opportunity and they will step up to the challenge,” says Gilbert. Her focus on finding the right suppliers has opened the door for many smaller veteran-owned businesses to rise to the occasion.
While knowing your business is crucial, Gilbert also advises that the person behind the business is just as important. “Build relationships first,” she notes, adding that by maintaining communication and sharing your successes allows her to keep small businesses front of mind when looking for opportunities. And don’t be afraid to put in face time at conferences!
Another aspect Gilbert values is business etiquette. Being able to handle mistakes and miscommunications with professionalism and poise is crucial, both when being yelled at and when you’re calling out a mistake. “The outcome of business can be directly affected by how you treat people,” says Gilbert. It’s this personal side of the business that makes a huge impact.
We can certainly see why Gilbert is so deserving of this award. She is in this business to help others grow and her steady presence at VIBs events has allowed her to get in touch with an ever-growing pool of new veteran-owned businesses. Gilbert reflected on what winning the Bravo Zulu award meant to her, “You do this because it’s in your heart.” It is an absolute honor to have presented Dawn Gilbert the Bravo Zulu award.
Written by Sydney Santiago