November 21, 2008 — The University of Virginia's Facilities Management Division received an award for its efforts to involve small, women and minority-owned businesses in University construction projects.
The SWaM awards were given Nov. 18 at the 20th Virginia Public Procurement Forum in Hampton.
In nominating the Facilities Management Division, Bill Cooper, director of supplier diversity for U.Va., noted that in fiscal 2008, $5.6 million was spent with minority-owned construction companies. In fiscal 2005, there was no such spending, he wrote.
In fiscal 2008, total construction spending with SWaM firms topped $108.7 million or 56.8 percent of all construction.
"We have learned how to incorporate supplier diversity as part of our construction processes rather than to leave it as something else that we must do in the process," Cooper said.
Don Sundgren, chief facilities officer, and Charles "Sack" Johannesmeyer, facilities planner and construction manager, led the effort from the top, he said. "They have a strong supporting cast that includes many, but these members of the management team stand out: Jeff Moore, Patricia Clifton, Martin Best, George Southwell, Earl Ward and Ernie Barber," he said. He also recognized Lorie Strother, SWaM contract administrator, who works in supplier diversity.