Florida Public Service Commission
Workshop on Economic Development and Small Business
Procurement by Investor-Owned Utilities
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Workshop Summary: April 27, 2006
The Florida Public Service Commission held a workshop on April 12, 2006 on
“Economic Development and Small Business Procurement.” The primary focus of the workshop was on how utilities currently contribute to economic development in Florida, with specific
emphasis on their efforts to procure contracts with small business. During the workshop,
Commissioners heard from various presenters about what Florida’s investor-owned utilities are
doing in the area of small business procurement.
Commissioners also heard how Florida’s utilities continue to play an important role in
Florida’s economic development activities. Their knowledge about their service areas is invaluable to prospective businesses. It is also a factor when a local company expands or
upgrades its operations.
According to Enterprise Florida, Inc., economic development in Florida includes those
activities designed to improve the quality of life for all Floridians by building an economy
characterized by higher personal income, better employment opportunities, and improved
business access to domestic and international markets. Another part of Florida’s economic development is corporate participation in downtown revitalization and rural community
development programs, as well as supporting state and local efforts to promote small business
development. During the workshop, utility presenters discussed how they have been and will
continue to be committed to the development of small business and the procurement of goods
and services from these particular business.
Here is a brief summary of the workshop proceedings with highlights from each
speaker’s presentation. For a full transcript of the workshop, please contact the PSC’s Division
of Commission Clerk and Administrative Services (850/413-6732).
PSC Chairman Lisa Polak Edgar opened the workshop, saying that participants would
hear from utilities about their economic development efforts in Florida, with specific emphasis
on small business procurement. She also said the workshop would focus on the work Florida’s
utilities do in conjunction with and in support of small business and community action
organizations and the effect this has on Florida and its economy.
Commissioner Isilio Arriaga, who helped organize the workshop with the Commission’s
support, welcomed special guests that included Ms. Susan Story, CEO of Gulf Power, who
appeared at the workshop in her role as Vice Chairman of Enterprise Florida, Inc.; Mr. John
Adams, President and CEO of Enterprise Florida, Inc.; and Mr. Windell Paige, Executive
Director, Office of Supplier Diversity for Florida. Commissioner Arriaga recognized
participating utility representatives and told them that he was pleased with their successes in the
area of supplier diversity, while further noting that “there is always potential for improvement.”
Commissioner Arriaga said he planned to present the workshop results to the Utility
Market Access Partnership (UMAP) Board, an organization within the framework of the
National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. After announcing that the
workshop’s closing speaker, Maryland PSC Commissioner Harold Williams, who is also
President of UMAP, could not attend the workshop because of unforeseen work commitments,
Commissioner Arriaga said, “It is my intent, depending on the information that you provide and the good efforts that you will be able to provide in the future, that we showcase the Florida PSC
and the industry that it regulates in the forefront of this important economic activity.” Speaker Highlights
John Adams, President and CEO, Enterprise Florida, Inc.
In his presentation, Mr. Adams explained how small business drives Florida’s economy and plays a vital role in the state’s communities. Small business also provides necessary
products and services, generates new jobs, employs local residents, and bolsters property values.
Mr. Adams said Enterprise Florida, Inc., (EFI), officially formed in July 1996, replaced
the State’s Commerce Department. EFI is the public-private partnership responsible for
Florida’s statewide economic development, international trade, and statewide business marketing
efforts. EFI is headquartered in Orlando and has offices in Tallahassee and Miami; it also has six
Florida field offices that promote international trade, and has representation in 13 international
offices to promote business and trade development in Florida. As a public/private organization,
EFI is mandated to work with the private sector with a board that is appointed by the leadership
and the Governor, as well as individuals from the private sector. EFI’s mission is to diversify Florida’s economy and to create better-paying jobs for its citizens by supporting and attracting
and helping to create businesses, innovation, and high growth industries. He said, “I will point
out to you that some 90 percent of the businesses in this state would qualify as small business.”
Mr. Adams said the targeted sectors for EFI include: Life Sciences, Aviation/Aerospace,
Information Technology, Financial Services, Homeland Security/Defense, and Strategic
According to Mr. Adams’ PowerPoint presentation, for the eighth consecutive year, EFI provided significant return on investment for the State of Florida, generating $5.87 for each
dollar invested in its operations and state economic development incentives. He also said efforts
by EFI resulted in the creation of 44,950 direct, indirect, and induced jobs for Floridians and that
$2.3 billion was added to the state’s labor income due to a higher level of investment and
employment supported by Enterprise Florida activities.
Mr. Adams praised the work done by Florida’s utilities. He also said his organization
continues to work with utility representatives on ways to elevate awareness about Florida as a
business destination, noting that the utilities have been valuable partners with state and local
government economic development. He concluded by saying that Florida’s utilities continue to
be engaged in a wide range of leadership and support activities that help communities with
programs that often support EFI’s overall goals.
Windell Paige, Executive Director, Florida’s Office of Supplier Diversity
Mr. Paige explained how business matchmaking events often bring together small
business owners and managers with procurement representatives from federal, state, and local
governments, as well as major corporations, including utilities. These type of face-to-face events,
which utilities may participate in, are beneficial for small-to medium-sized businesses,
particularly for contracting opportunities.
The mission of the Office of Supplier Diversity is to promote equity in contracting for
vendors who are certified as minority or women business enterprises. Mr. Paige explained that
the criteria set forth for certification is set by the Florida Legislature. There are size standards
and other criteria that entities must meet in order to be certified by the state.
Mr. Paige also said that there is a process vendors must go through in order to determine
and verify that they are in effect 51 percent or more owned, operated, and controlled by a woman
or an ethnic minority, and that is what his office does on behalf of the State of Florida. He
reported that his office has about 5,000-plus vendors who are in the Office of Supplier Diversity
database who have gone through the process and who are certified.
The Office of Supplier Diversity creates strategic alliances between women and
minorities who want to do business with Florida. He said “Strategic Alliances” with major
corporations are encouraged as a part of the Office of Supplier Diversity’s “Matchmaking”
efforts. Vendors certified by the State of Florida have “first stop” status as the Office of Supplier
Diversity strives to assist in developing business relationships, which will lead to potential
contract opportunities. Additionally, the Office of Supplier Diversity works on the Governor’s
Mentor Protégé Program, a program created to pair minority and women-owned businesses with
corporations having revenues in excess of $1 million. Another program Mr. Paige mentioned
was the Loan Mobilization Program. This program was created to assist Certified Minority
Business Enterprises (MBE) in obtaining funding when starting a state-funded project. The loan
is made through participating banks. In order to ensure that MBE’s have an equitable
opportunity to compete for contracts and subcontracts, Mr. Paige said the State will take steps to
facilitate their involvement.
In the last fiscal year, the Office of Supplier Diversity participated in 60 special events
around Florida with chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, and special
entities that address minority and women business enterprises. At the conclusion of his
presentation, Mr. Paige distributed information about the “Matchmaker Program,” Florida’s
conference/trade show for Minority Business Enterprises to be held November 15-17, 2006, in
Orlando at the Orange County Convention Center.
Deborah Mullins, Manager of Supplier Diversity, Verizon
[Note: Ms. Mullins requested to be the first speaker because of her travel schedule.]
Last year, Verizon spent $2.17 billion nationwide with businesses owned by women,
minorities, and service-disabled veterans. In her PowerPoint presentation, Ms. Mullins showed
that for a five-year period, from 2001 to 2005, Verizon spent $9.14 billion nationwide on
According to Ms. Mullins, Verizon spent a little over $107 million with Florida small
businesses in 2005. She also said that in pursuing relationships with small businesses, one of the
areas that she uses is the State of Florida database, the National Minority Suppliers Development
Council, and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. These databases, as well as others, make it easy for Verizon to find companies they need and want to do business with.
Verizon also follows a strategic sourcing process that offers a level playing field to all
suppliers; the company’s Sourcing Process Leaders (SPLs) facilitate this process. Supplier Diversity managers work with the SPLs as part of cross functional teams (CFTs) charged with
selecting suppliers through a competitive request for proposal (RFP) and selection process. The
supplier diversity managers serve as advocates for MWDVBEs.
Ms. Mullins said Verizon is also expanding its 2
nd Tier program in partnership with its
prime suppliers in order to develop Minority and Women-owned firms across all product lines.
ndFor Verizon’s 2 Tier program, the company encourages its prime suppliers to “spend” with
minority-, women-, persons with disabilities, Vietnam-era, and service disabled veteran-owned
business enterprises. The company has a Supplier Excellence Award Program that recognizes
those suppliers of products and services who achieved overall performance excellence during the
Verizon’s external Web site enables suppliers to participate in the company’s web-based
registration process. The Web site registration places interested suppliers in the supplier
Verizon was recognized at the White House as one of the top American corporations for
women’s business enterprises, as well as being a charter member of the billion dollar roundtable.
For entry into the roundtable, Ms. Mullins said, annually, a company had to do more than a
billion dollars with minority-owned businesses. Other awards for Verizon include being named
corporation of the year last year by the U.S. Pan-Asian Chamber, and Fortune Magazine naming
Verizon as one of the 50 best companies for minorities.
Susan Clark, Esquire—Radey, Thomas, Yon, and Clark
Ms. Clark provided some brief comments as a preface to the presentations made by
Florida Power & Light, Progress Energy, Tampa Electric Company, and Gulf Power Company.
She told Commissioners that while methods and techniques may differ, each company is doing
an excellent job of increasing their use of goods and services from small businesses and
increasing opportunities for small businesses, including diverse business enterprises (minority
and women-owned businesses, and also veterans, those owned by veterans and service-disabled
She said within each company there is a commitment to small business development
toward the end of increasing the pool of high quality suppliers with whom they do business.
Companies are using the Internet and company Web sites to educate small businesses on the
utilities’ purchasing policies and also using the Web sites to make it easier for small businesses
to do business with those utilities.
Paul Seiler, Manager, Contract Labor, Florida Power & Light Company
Mr. Seiler said the 2006 supplier diversity spend goals for Florida Power & Light
Company’s (FPL) Integrated Supply Chain is 10 percent of the company’s expenditures for
Capital and Operating & Maintenance goods and services (excluding fuel and other federal
General Services Agreement exemptions). This goal includes SBA certified suppliers, suppliers
certified through local and other councils, and diversity classified suppliers (e.g. African-
American, Hispanic, etc).
Mr. Seiler said that a key role for Integrated Supply Chain’s procurement managers is to
ensure that their procurement agents are aware of the need to seek diverse and small business
suppliers for goods and services purchases. In addition, these managers are responsible for
properly recognizing key accomplishments of their agents and FPL’s suppliers in the area of
The Integrated Supply Chain’s responsibility in meeting their goals also includes
fostering an environment that maintains a supplier diversity database, as well as ensuring that
procurement files are properly documented to verify that FPL has adequately searched for
minority and diversity suppliers.
In his presentation, Mr. Seiler said FPL has implemented improvements to the company’s
Web site to make it easier for suppliers to do business with FPL. A supplier section allows
potential suppliers the ability to view procurement policies and standard terms and conditions.
Suppliers can register on-line to be considered for doing business with FPL. The company Web
site also offers updated access to lists of procurement agents and their respective commodities.
Mr. Seiler said that 100 percent of the procurement managers will participate in at least one diversity business related event during 2006. The company will participate in this year’s
matchmaker session (mentioned earlier by Mr. Paige) in Orlando. At least 50 percent of the professional procurement staff will participate in a company-sponsored event during 2006 (e.g., Vendor in the Spotlight, Supplier Diversity BRB events), and one or more individuals from each procurement group will participate in external events (e.g., FRMBC Conference and Trade Show, FMSDC of Florida Trade Fair). FPL also sponsors an annual event called “Supplier in the
Spotlight” where the company hosts a luncheon inviting a large number of diversity suppliers and recognition awards are given to various companies. A majority of FPL company procurement staff representatives attend this event and make themselves accessible to these suppliers.
When asked about storm contracts (as a result of the recent hurricane activity in Florida), Mr. Seiler stated that FPL does have contracts in place for catering, trucking, and other segments of storm restoration for which minority contractors have been identified. Mr. Seiler also presented examples of other current successful areas of small or diverse suppliers’ commerce with FPL, such as underground line construction (which has large growth potential), HVAC services, civil and transportation services, temporary labor, computer services, and environmental services.
Mr. Seiler said FPL is active in supplier diversity community outreach, and company representatives serve on boards and are active in several diversity councils. FPL received the Corporate Sponsorship Award from the FRMBC in December 2005 and the Outstanding Support Award from the FRMBC in March 2006.
Mr. Hudson Oliveira, Supply Chain Management, Progress Energy
Mr. Hudson said Progress Energy recognizes the importance of supplier diversity in all
aspects of the company’s business and procurement practices. Through the company’s supplier
diversity and business development program, Progress Energy is committed to the development,
utilization, and growth of minority-owned, women-owned, and small businesses.
Mr. Oliveira said Progress has a supplier diversity operating plan, and there are strategies
within that plan. He said the company sets and reports supplier diversity goals and actual goals;
he also provides supplier diversity training to all of the company’s supply chain management personnel or anyone else who works with a contractor or a supplier.
Progress Energy continues to develop new ways to increase Small/Diverse Business
Utilization. The company identifies small and minority-owned businesses, and the company has
a Web site for company registration. If company representatives do not find a company on the
Progress Energy’s Web site, they will use another database, such as the United States Central Contractor Registration (CCR) and State of Florida’s Office of Supplier Diversity’s Web site.
Progress Energy attracts businesses through the “matchmaking” process and also through
one-on-one meetings. The company sponsors the University of South Florida’s small business
trade fair and is a member of the Florida Minority Supplier Development Council. The
company also is a sponsor of the Orlando-Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Business and
MEDWeek, an event sponsored by the federal government, for Minority Enterprise Development
In addition to the Progress Energy’s many initiatives in its supplier diversity program, the
company also has a Tier 2 Program that encourages subcontracting opportunities for minority-,
women-, persons with disabilities, Vietnam era-, and service disabled veteran-owned business