Tremayne Terry and Jarvis Brown on Supplier Diversity: Linking Prime Contractors to Small Business to Build Sustainable Communities

Posted by: on July 26th, 2023

Today Tremayne Terry and Jarvis Brown are with us to talk about what they do and why supplier diversity makes sense from every angle, including business, community, economics, sustainability and social governance.

If you are like me, you may question where the path to diversity begins. This episode will change that.

If you have a desire to leverage diversity, you will come away with ideas and a sense that this is a way to go.

Tremayne Terry and Jarvis Brown are innovating in the space of diversity initiatives. They talk about why such initiatives are necessary and vital for economic, social and communal well being. How they leveraged an opportunity at Capital Region Water in Harrisburg Pennsylvania to organically grow this initiative in the community, is remarkable.

Check out the show notes for more details.

Sign up for the PCC Local Time Newsletter HERE to get more resources on this episode and community updates every Friday in your inbox.


Tremayne E. Terry has over 10 years of success in growing a minority business enterprise (MBE) and developing business diversity programs for public and private entities. With a history in state & local government, and public infrastructure, Tremayne is a proven leader when it comes to forging partnerships for businesses and organizations. With demonstrable work in business diversity and strategy development, Tremayne is a proven leader in this field. His goal is to provide clients with cutting-edge solutions while maximizing inclusion for minority-owned, women-owned and other diverse businesses.

Connect with Tremayne on LinkedIn.

Jarvis Brown is Diversity Manager at Capital Region Water in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. You can learn more about him and the supplier diversity management program at the CRW website. HERE


00:00:00 Smaller organizations may be more equipped for supplier diversity programs.

00:05:58 Diversity is essential for success.

00:08:30 Policy in writing vs policy in action.

00:11:38 Disrupting a system.

00:21:28 Supplier diversity is essential.

00:24:54 Building relationships and trust.

00:28:44 Extractive businesses harm community sustainability.

00:35:01 Smaller organizations are more equipped.

00:45:18. Supplier diversity strengthens communities.

00:46:05 Supplier diversity drives project success.

00:49:10 Making business participation easier.

00:52:19 Collaboration is key for diversity.


  • 00:06:39 – “So diversity makes sense socially and it makes sense business wise as well.”
  • 00:09:07 – “The policy as written piece is what our disadvantaged business have historically had complaints about, have not trusted is the policy on paper that no one sees, the policy that it’s there, but no one knows what it really says.”
  • 00:12:02 – “And oftentimes I’ll say it, you’re, you’re disliked by everyone, right?”
  • 00:16:52 – “There was just that disruption on the other end and folks filling out paperwork without putting much effort into it.”
  • 00:19:31 – “It’s so built in organizations, no matter what you’re trying to change.”
  • 00:26:47 – “So that’s what it means for minority businesses is that they feel like they, they know that they have a voice and an extra seat at the table that’s working on their behalf.”
  • 00:30:45 – “And so this supplier diversity and being able to participate on the construction contracts that are happening right in your backyard is important.”
  • 00:33:06 – “So when that customer is mad because their water pressure is down or they’re mad because there’s flooding in the street because of a heavy rainstorm and they want to point the finger at an organization like CRW and their neighbor who works there or their neighbor who has a contract there comes out on behalf of CRW and says, no, we’re doing this and this to invest to make sure that these things don’t happen.”
  • 00:36:50 – “So I think a lot of times our smaller organizations are more equipped to build out these programs and build the foundation and build the capacity, like Jarvis mentioned, that’s needed in an effort to then help propel these smaller businesses so that they can grow and start to do business with some of the larger organization.”
  • 00:42:33 – “Spend your money in your community whenever you can.”
  • 00:44:41 – “It just makes us better. It makes us stronger. It makes us more aware.”
  • 00:46:17 – “So it’s not going to be, it doesn’t necessarily drive up price with, what’s the word I’m looking for Jarvis, where you set up the project mobility, right?”
  • 00:52:50 – “We’re all a part of the solution and that no single particular entity should in any way have to carry the full load period.”
  • 00:54:39 – “So I didn’t want to end without mentioning our veterans or our LGBTQ community.”

About Nancy J. Hess

I help leaders pioneer extraordinary change through high engagement and whole systems approaches that focus on HR and People.