Jose Espinoza, California Water Service, Edward Simon, California American Water, and Emma Maxie, Golden State Water graciously received 2018’s Corporation of the Year award. Not only were they recognized for achieving their goal of 1.5% with DVBEs, but all three companies collectively and consistently make efforts to reach out to the veteran business community.
Their hard work and efforts to network with large and small veteran-owned businesses have created a recipe for success. “We all want them to have an opportunity,” says Maxie, “what I enjoy the most is taking someone that’s never worked with us before and increasing their revenue.” Finding the right contractor to the right purchase order has allowed burgeoning businesses to get their foot in the door.
Collaboration and communication have allowed not only each of these powerhouses to thrive but created a fluid relationship to share information and recommendations on veteran-owned businesses they each use. “When a vendor gets with any of us…it’s easy to get to the next company,” Espinoza notes. What made them winners in the eyes of the VIB is their constant growing list of contacts that allow both the water business and numerous veteran’s businesses to be successful.
Espinoza, Simon, and Maxie all shared their top tips for a veteran business trying to work with any corporation:
- Understand Your Qualifications – “Our project engineers utilizes our internal Marketplace to search for qualified diverse vendors and will likely visit your website and understand who you are, understand your past performance,” advises Simon.
- Always attend events – Put in the effort to be present and have face time with these connections.
- Focus on your core – “What is it you really do?” asks Maxine, “That’s where you need to stay…You can always expand but it’s just to get your foot in the door…And that way, you’re not all over the map.
- Be prepared – Have a plan! “Come prepared with not only [that] you want to work with us, but this is how you can help us solve our challenges and issues.” says Espinoza.
- Be responsive – Be ready to work when the corporation gives the go-ahead.
Be patient – Contracts, connections, and deals don’t happen overnight!
The VIB Network is proud to have California Water Service, California American Water and Golden State Water as 2018 Above & Beyond Award Winners for Corporation of the Year.
Are you a Corporation that goes Above & Beyond for the Veteran business community? Apply for 2019 Corporation of the Year, for more information and the application visit www.vibconference.com. Application deadline September 30, 2019.
Article by Sydney Santiago