CINCINNATI—Fifth Third Bank today hosted its sixth Supplier Diversity Summit, providing an opportunity for suppliers to explore innovative best practices, as well as connect with Fifth Third representatives and other corporate and community partners.
The summit, the first since the outbreak of the pandemic, gathered more than 150 individuals representing 75 companies from 15 states, connecting the supplier diversity ecosystems to strategic business opportunities, increasing 1st and 2nd tier spending for corporations attending.
"Our actions, not just our words, continue to reflect our commitment to equality, equity and inclusion, and inspiring positive change for our suppliers," said Tim Spence, President and CEO of Fifth Third Bank. "We are proud to reengage diverse business owners and create a platform through this summit that showcases new approaches to doing business and highlights the resources suppliers need to successfully compete in the marketplace."
Awarding more contracts to diverse businesses has been a major focus of the Bank.
"We believe that doing business with certified M/WBEs is the right thing to do. It benefits all, improving the vibrancy of our communities and the banking experience for our customers for years to come," said Stephanie Smith, chief inclusion & diversity officer. "In addition to the services we receive, this mutual partnership enables us to provide continued support, guidance, and direction to these businesses."
The program featured remarks from Tim Spence, Stephanie Smith and Corporate Responsibility Officer Kala Gibson. In addition, business owners with existing business relationships with Fifth Third Bank shared their experiences and provided insight on how to navigate earning contracts.
Alysia Lee of VMG Studios, a minority/women-owned business enterprise (M/WBE) with a contract with Fifth Third Bank to provide video production for its youth financial literacy program, Young Bankers Club®, spoke during the event about attending a previous summit, connecting with some Fifth Third Bank representatives, and sharing her audio-visual company’s capabilities. She subsequently won a future contract. She also shared that her company came to Fifth Third with challenges during the project and the parties worked together to come up with a solution.
Mayor Aftab Pureval, who attended the summit, spoke about the City of Cincinnati’s supplier diversity initiatives and applauded the Bank for its efforts.
"It takes public-private partnership to truly make a difference in this space," said Mayor Pureval. "Under my leadership, we will work directly with companies like Fifth Third Bank to ensure best-in-case procurement practices."
Diverse-owned suppliers benefit from Fifth Third’s small business-related investments including technical assistance for small business development, as well as helping sustain the ecosystem for small business lending. The Bank is fulfilling its $2.8 billion investment under its Executive Diversity Leadership Council’s Accelerating Racial Equality, Equity and Inclusion initiative. The initiative is part of the Bank’s ongoing commitment to inclusion and diversity, which is focused on creating equitable outcomes for all, including for small businesses.
In partnership with the National Minority Supplier Development Council, Fifth Third Bank launched the NMSDC Centers of Excellence Certificate Program (COECP) last year. This nine-month program involves selected minority-owned private businesses that are NMSDC-certified Class II businesses, with annual sales between $1 million and $10 million and that have a minimum of five employees. The program features virtual program from Rutgers University’s Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, as well as coaching, mentoring, meetings, and access to NMSDC executives and NMSDC-certified minority business owners.
Through the years, Fifth Third has developed many partnerships with additional organizations that focus on enhancing supplier diversity efforts, including the U.S. Small Business Administration (sba.gov), the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs (va.gov) and the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (wbenc.org). In 2021, Fifth Third was recognized by NMSDC as the Local Corporation of the Year for its supplier diversity efforts.
To learn more about Fifth Third’s Supplier Diversity activities, please visit: www.53.com/supplierdiversity.
About Fifth Third
Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the indirect parent company of Fifth Third Bank, National Association, a federally chartered institution. As of June 30, 2022, the Company had $207 billion in assets and operates 1,080 full-service Banking Centers, and 2,153 Fifth Third branded ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. In total, Fifth Third provides its customers with access to approximately 56,000 fee-free ATMs across the United States. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending, and Wealth & Asset Management. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of June 30, 2022, had $512 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $54 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations through its Trust and Registered Investment Advisory businesses. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at www.53.com. Fifth Third’s common stock is traded on the NASDAQ® Global Select Market under the symbol "FITB."