COURSES | In-person

Building Impactful Business Diversity Programs

Inclusive Business and Supplier Diversity Strategies

Learn how business diversity strategies add value to your supplier diversity program.

September 12, 2024

Course Format






Move Your Supplier Diversity Program Forward by Increasing Your Professional Services Opportunities

Our new course, Inclusive Business and Supplier Diversity Strategies, is offered by The University of Chicago’s Office of Business Diversity and presented by its Business Diversity Institute. This one-day course delivers practical solutions to build impactful and sustainable business diversity programs, focusing on strategies to expand professional services with minority and women-owned businesses. Working with minority and women-owned businesses grants your organization the opportunity to access a richer pool of talent that is overflowing with new ways of thinking, helping drive innovation, creativity, and growth, according to research on diversity within the workplace.

Early Bird Discount:

10% off

Earn 10% off this course now. Seats are limited. Use code bd-eb-web at checkout to receive special pricing of 10% off up to one month before start.

Professionals working in procurement; business diversity; supplier diversity; and DEI at corporations, nonprofits, foundations, government agencies, and educational institutions.

Learning Objectives and Expected Outcomes

Through hands-on activities like role-playing, decision-mapping, and strategy development, participants will gain the tools to implement a sustainable, diverse business model within their institution’s procurement or supply chain division. You will learn to set procurement goals for MWBE’s, how business diversity interacts with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) priorities, and how to facilitate contracting opportunities for MWBEs in sectors like financial services, asset management, and information technology.

After completing this course, learners will be able to:

  • Explain best practices around identifying, hiring, and retaining diverse businesses
  • Describe how establishing a business diversity program within their organization could reinforce its efforts to grow the brand, further its mission, and accomplish key objectives
  • Develop a top-down strategy to integrate hiring diverse businesses into their vendor selection and procurement processes
  • Identify performance indicators to monitor progress and measure success
  • Utilize a custom playbook of impactful business diversity strategies, including real-world case studies and a glossary of key terms from relevant sectors.
  • 8:00–8:30 a.m | Registration with Continental Breakfast
  • 8:30–8:45 a.m | Welcome and Overview (Nadia Quarles)
  • 8:45–9:45 a.m | Session 1: DEI and ESG Part 1 (Connie Lindsey, Kim Waller, Aurora Austriaco)
  • 9:45–10:00 a.m | Break
  • 10:00-11:00 a.m | Session 2: DEI and ESG Part 2 (Connie Lindsey and Kim Waller)
  • 11:00–12:00 p.m | Session 3: Sourcing and Procurement Part 1 (Mark Felhberg and John Hillesland)
  • 12:00–12:50 p.m | Lunch and Professional Services Symposium Overview (Nadia Quarles and special guest speaker)
  • 12:50–1:00 p.m | Break and Resume Sessions
  • 1:00–2:00 p.m | Session 4: Sourcing and Procurement Part 1 (Mark Felhberg and John Hillesland)
  • 2:00–2:10 p.m | Break
  • 2:10–3:10 p.m | Session 5: Financial Services (Courtney Davis Curtis)
  • 3:10–3:20 p.m | Break
  • 3:20–4:20 p.m | Session 6: Asset Management (Nadia Quarles and Malik Murray)
  • 4:20–4:30 p.m | Break
  • 4:30–5:00 p.m | Session 7: Leadership Development (Guest Speaker TBD)
  • 5:00–5:15 p.m | Program Evaluations (Nadia Quarles)
  • 5:15-5:30 p.m | Credential Award Ceremony (Nadia Quarles and UCPE)
  • 5:30–5:45 p.m | Closing
  • 5:45–6:45 p.m | Reception

Build Your Custom Business Diversity Playbook

In addition to in-person lecture and activity sessions, the interactive course provides participants with a playbook of strategies and best practices for building impactful and sustainable business diversity programs at corporations, nonprofits, government agencies, and educational institutions. The unique playbook contains a glossary of key terms from relevant sectors—procurement, DEI, ESG, asset management, financial services, and information technology—so participants can better understand how to diversify professional services opportunities and communicate this impact with decision-makers. The playbook also contains real-world case studies drawn from the experiences of the day’s presenters to be used for navigating vendor contracts within the professional services arena.

Learn from recognized leaders in supplier diversity

UChicago’s Associate Vice President of Business Diversity Nadia M. Quarles, a widely regarded thought leader and diversity, equity, and inclusion visionary strategist, consults on effective, inclusive business strategies and leads the business diversity processes at the University of Chicago. Through Quarles’ direction, UChicago has become a model institution for business diversity success that has driven sustainable growth while boosting access to and opportunities for diverse and innovative business relationships.

Meet Your Business and Supplier Diversity Instructors

Over a full day of supplier diversity training, Quarles and a team of professionals in procurement, business development, corporate social responsibility, technology, and asset management, will teach you how to implement a business diversity program to empower you with the knowledge and skills to articulate the ROI, while building diverse community partnerships and wealth equity for minority and women-owned businesses.

Aurora Abella-Austriaco

Shareholder at Valentine Austriaco and Bueschel P.C.(VAB)


Aurora Abella-Austriaco is a Shareholder at Valentine Austriaco and Bueschel P.C.(VAB), an all women owned law firm. Prior to VAB, she was the sole shareholder of Austriaco and Associates Ltd. Austriaco has been in practice for 33 years and concentrates her practice in the areas of business transactions and litigation, commercial litigation, real estate transaction and litigation, mechanic’s liens, subrogation actions, guardianship litigation, defense of mortgage foreclosure, title insurance litigation, declaratory judgment actions, partition actions and other special chancery remedy cases. Her clients range from multinational corporations, state and federal credit unions, title insurance companies, hotel and restaurant owners, home health care agencies, lab testing companies, medium to small business owners and individual clients. Prior to owning her own firm, she worked as an associate at Harold I. Levine, Ltd.; as in house counsel for Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund; and subsequently as Of Counsel to Clark Hill PLC.

Learn More about Aurora

Aurora currently serves as Board of Governor for the American Bar Association.  She served as past President and first Asian President of the Chicago Bar Association, one of the largest and oldest metropolitan bar association in the country with over 22,000 attorney members.  She served as Past President of the National Conference of Bar Presidents (NCBP), an organization that provides information and leadership training to state and local bar association leaders from 53 states and territories and served a two-year term as President of the Lawyer’s Trust Fund of Illinois. Aurora served three terms as Illinois State Delegate to the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates until her election to serve on the ABA Board of Governors.  She was elected the first female and minority President of the Illinois Real Estate Lawyers’ Association (IRELA), served on the board of the Chicago Bar Foundation and the Center for Conflict Resolution (CCR). She is a founding board member of the Filipino American Bar Association (Chicago), past board member and current member of the Asian American Bar Association and past member of the ISBA Real Estate Section Council.

In addition to bar association involvement, Aurora is also very active in the community. Aurora served as an elected School Board Member for the Maine Township District 207 High School. She was appointed to the Chicago United Board in March 2022 and in April 2021, Aurora joined the First Women’s Bank Advisory Board.  In May 2020, Aurora was appointed Chair of the DePaul University Law School Diversity Council and serves on the DePaul University Law School Dean’s Advisory Council. She also serves as President of the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce and serves on the board of the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP); on the board of the Asian American Coalition of Chicago (AACC); as an Advisory Board Member of Chinese Mutual Aid Association (CMAA); as Pro Bono Legal Counsel for the Federation of Philippine American Chambers of Commerce (FPACC); and as President of the Filipino Executive Network.

In 2023, Aurora was recognized as one of “Top 50 Women Attorneys in Illinois” and was recognized as one of “2023 Power Lawyers” by The New York Times. From 2012 to present Aurora is recognized as a “Leading Lawyer” in the areas of Real Estate Law and Consumer Law and named one of  the “Top 100 Women Consumer Law” Attorneys in Illinois.

Aurora is fluent in Tagalog. She is married to Dr. Jerome Austriaco and they have two daughters, Danielle and Isabelle.

Courtney Davis Curtis

Assistant Vice President for Risk Management and Resilience Planning…


Courtney Davis Curtis is the Assistant Vice President for Risk Management and Resilience Planning at the University of Chicago, where she provides leadership and direction to senior managers, working to identify, evaluate, and plan strategies for the enterprise-wide insurance programs. Her focus is on maximizing protection of assets at the most economical rates and minimizing the effects of fortuitous loss. She also develops and directs risk management strategies and policies which identify, assess, and mitigate the impact of risks originating from or impacting the enterprise’s portfolio of activities/interests. The enterprise consists of the University of Chicago, UChicago Medicine and its clinically integrated network, UChicago Ingalls Memorial, the Marine Biological Laboratory, University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, UChicago Charter Schools, and several global centers and institutes. She also leads resilience planning across the University to anticipate potential threats, to cope effectively with adverse events, and to adapt to changing conditions.

Learn More about Courtney

Previously, Courtney was an Account Executive at Arthur J. Gallagher and Vice President of Educational Placement Specialist at Marsh. Courtney is the Immediate Past President of the University Risk Management and Insurance Association (URMIA), a member of the Subscribers’ Advisory Board (Board of Directors) for United Educators, and a member of the Board of Directors for the Trulen Insurance SPC Limited captive. She holds a B.S. in Marketing from Northern Illinois University in addition to having earned the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), Associate in Risk Management (ARM), and Associate in Risk Management-ERM (ARM-E) designations. She is embarking on our Executive MBA journey at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Courtney is recipient of the RIMS Risk Management of the Year 2022, 2020 Business Insurance Women to Watch, 2017 Business Insurance Break Out, and 2015 Risk & Insurance Power Broker awards.

Mark Fehlberg, MBA

Assistant VP, Procurement and Payment Services, University of Chicago


Mark Fehlberg is the Assistant VP, Procurement and Payment Services at the University of Chicago. Mark joined the University of Chicago in 2010 and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the Procure-to-Pay functions for the university. Prior to arriving at the university he served 20 years in a variety of supply chain roles with Motorola, Pfizer and Monsanto. Mark earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Valparaiso University and an MBA from Northwestern University.

In his current role Mark is actively involved in setting the policies and strategic direction for the university’s procure-to-pay functions. This includes the development of robust data-driven goals, dashboards and performance scorecards to help guide the development and evolution of the team.

John Hillesland

Category Lead for HR and Professional Services, University of Chicago


John Hillesland is the Category Lead for HR and Professional Services at the University of Chicago. John holds a master’s degree in Global Supply Chain Management from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Iowa.

In his current role, John leads the University of Chicago’s procurement strategies across an approximate $150M annual expenditure portfolio of professional service and HR supplier relationships. He is passionate about supporting the University’s deep commitment to business diversity and local sourcing initiatives. John has spent his entire career in higher education, he’s been at the University of Chicago for 10 years and prior to that spent 5 years with the University of Iowa’s purchasing department.

Connie L. Lindsey

Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility…


Connie L. Lindsey is a former Executive Vice President at Northern Trust, Chicago. She was the first African-American woman to be named Executive Vice President in the history of the firm. Prior to her retirement in November, 2021, she was responsible for the design and implementation of the global Corporate Social Responsibility, Community Development and Investments, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategy. In addition to the development of goals, policies, and programs appropriate to the brand and business unit strategies; Ms. Lindsey provided oversight and leadership to the firm’s response to environmental matters as well as social issues, within the marketplace, workplace, and the community. Over the course of her Northern Trust career, she held several leadership roles, including Group Head in the Corporate & Institutional Services business, serving public fund and not-for-profit clients, Deputy Business Head in Operations and Technology, Group Head in Wealth Management, Director of Enterprise Relationship Management, and Manager in Treasury Management Consulting.

Learn More about Connie

Ms. Lindsey serves on the following civic and charitable boards; The American Cancer Society, Chicago Urban League, Chicago Community Trust, Leadership Greater Chicago, McCormick Theological Seminary, United Church Funds, Obama Foundation Inclusion Council, and WTTW.

Ms. Lindsey is a former National Board President of Girl Scouts of the USA. She joined the Girl Scouts board in 2005. In 2008 she was elected National Board President, the highest-ranking volunteer of the 2.5-million-member organization. She served two three-year terms as National President from 2008-2014. In this role she provided guidance in three vital areas: policy, fund-raising, and leadership. She was an integral part of the Girl Scout transformation, committed to building and sustaining membership growth and ensuring girls receive a premier leadership development experience.

Ms. Lindsey attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she majored in Business and has completed the Harvard Business School Executive Education Corporate Social Responsibility program. Ms. Lindsey is a licensed Qualified Administrator of The Intercultural Development Inventory®. Ms. Lindsey is a public and motivational speaker on topics of diversity, equity and inclusion, corporate responsibility, leadership, and personal and professional empowerment. She is also an Inroads, Inc. Alumna. Ms. Lindsey has been recognized for her leadership contributions by the Anti-Defamation League with the Woman of Achievement Award, Chicago Defender Women of Excellence Award, Chicago United’s Business Leaders of Color Award, Leadership Greater Chicago’s Distinguished Fellow Award, National Diversity Council’s Most Powerful and Influential Women Award, Women’s Bar Association of Illinois Advocacy Award, YWCA’s Outstanding Leader Award in Community Leadership and the Chicago Urban League Humanitarian Award.

Malik Murray

Senior Vice President, Head of Business Development, Institutional…


Malik joined Ariel in 2004 and focuses on institutional business development and client services. Previously, he spent eight years with Bank One Brokerage, most recently serving as the lead broker on the European shift for its international exchange-traded products group. Outside of Ariel, Malik is a member of the board of trustees of DePaul University and St. Ignatius College Prep, and he serves on the school board of Ariel Community Academy. He is also a director for the National Association of Securities Professionals (NASP), the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and a member of the DePaul University Department of Finance Advisory Board.

Nadia M. Quarles

AVP of Business Diversity, University of Chicago


Nadia Quarles is a thought leader and visionary diversity, equity, and inclusion strategist with a bold vision and mission to advance opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses. As the Assistant Vice President for Business Diversity at the University of Chicago, Nadia is responsible for implementing procedures throughout the University to help increase the University’s contractual relationships with qualified minority and women-owned businesses, primarily within the professional services and goods and services industries. Nadia advises University leadership on effective strategies to partner with local and national business leaders, civic leaders, and elected officials to ensure that the University has access to the most diverse and innovative talent in the marketplace.

Learn More About Nadia

Nadia has devised an extraordinary approach to diversify the University’s contract opportunities, by targeting the hiring of minority and women-owned firms within the difficult to penetrate professional services industries. In 2009, she instituted a first-of-its-kind Symposium designed to connect local and national MWBE’s within the communications, legal, human resources, money management, financial services, information technology and architecture/engineering industries to the Vice Presidents and other senior decision makers at UChicago and UChicago Medicine. As a result of the Professional Services Symposium, over the past 14 years, UChicago’s spend has increased from $7M to $200M paid to more than 100 MWBE’s. Nadia’s efforts influenced the historical hiring of first African American asset management firms to invest Endowment funds. Her laser focus on diversifying UChicago’s Endowment managers has led to the hiring of 28 minority and women-owned asset management firms currently investing funds. Similarly, over the past 8 years, Nadia’s efforts to diversity UChicago’s legal relationships have led to the hiring of 25 minority and women-owned law firms and partners.

Nadia’s approach has truly revolutionized “supplier diversity” practices. She is viewed nationally as a diversity, equity, and inclusion influencer and successful organizational change agent. The University’s Professional Services Symposium is viewed as a national model for which other educational institutions, corporations, foundations, and nonprofits seek to emulate.

Nadia serves on the Obama Foundation Inclusion Council, PAWS Chicago’s Development Board, and the City of Chicago Casino Advisory Council. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Nadia is formerly a member of the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago Board and she also served on Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Business, Neighborhood, and Economic Development Transition Committee. In 2022, Nadia was recognized by Crain’s Chicago Business as one of its Notable Black Executives in HR and DEI, and in 2021, as a Crain’s Notable Black Leader and Executive. Nadia is also a 2021 Chicago United Business Leader of Color. In 2019 Nadia received the Chicago Defender Women of Excellence Award. Nadia has also been featured in Who’s Who in Black Chicago and was named to Diversity MBA Magazine’s top 100 Under 50 Diverse Executives & Emerging Leaders.

Previously, Nadia worked for the City of Chicago Department of Procurement Services, where she managed the City’s target market and professional service contracts. She was also an adjunct professor at Northeastern Illinois University, where she taught courses in Criminal Justice Studies, and Race and the Law. Nadia holds a Juris Doctorate from Mitchell Hamline School of Law, in St. Paul, Minnesota, and has several years of legal experience. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and Public Policy from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.

Kim Waller, MS

Senior Client Partner, Organizational Strategy and Diversity Equity…


Kim Waller serves Korn Ferry clients by bringing strategic enterprise-wide solutions that deliver high impact. Her approach is to help organizations move from theory to action through the power of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Learn More About Kim

Ms. Waller has built talent and risk management strategies for Fortune 500 companies with an industry focus that includes; tech,  financial institutions, construction, manufacturing, retail and large governmental entities across North America. She is a skilled advisor across diversity and inclusion, risk management, organizational change management, HR process, team coaching, and skills development.

Ms. Waller has over thirty-years of leadership experience. She joins Korn Ferry from a global advisory firm, where, as an executive vice president she developed industry leading solutions on how to build strategic partnerships with high-performing women and minority owned firms across the United States. Previously, she was a chief operating officer of new business development for a multinational professional services firm.

Ms. Waller is also a thought leader on cross industry discussions related to the power of DEI. She has received numerous awards for her work in creating innovative market leading solutions in this space.

In addition, she is a leader in national and global organizations that include:

  • Gamma Iota Sigma Board of Directors
  • Global Council member, Racial Justice Working Group – ISC
  • Society of Insurance Research – VP – Diversity Inclusion

Ms. Waller holds a master’s degree in Learning and Organizational Change from Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Leadership Roles in Procurement and Supplier Diversity

These titles cover a range of roles that impact business and supplier diversity, from managing supply chains and distribution to strategic sourcing positions. Depending on the organization and its specific needs, job titles may vary, but these are common positions in the field that can benefit from our supplier diversity program.

  • Chief Procurement Officer
  • Sr. Manager Procurement
  • Procurement Managers
  • Director of Procurement and Business Diversity
  • Officer of Procurement and DEI
  • Procurement Specialist
  • Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion
  • Director of Diversity and Inclusion
  • Business Development Manager
  • Supplier Diversity Manager
  • Strategic Sourcing Manager

How to Enroll

Please follow these steps to ensure that you successfully register for the course:

  1. Log into UChicago’s course registration portal by creating an account using a valid username and password.
  2. Navigate to the “Course search” tab and search for “Inclusive Business and Supplier Diversity Strategies” or by Course ID “BUSD11001A.”
  3. Once you locate the course, click on “Add to Cart” to include it in your course selection. Make sure to check the course schedule, prerequisites, and class capacity before proceeding.
  4. Review your course selections and click on “Proceed to Checkout” to complete the registration process.

Note: that registration for courses opens during specific periods. Ensure you check the schedule on our website for upcoming deadlines, especially if you want to secure a spot in this high-demand class.

Train. Diversify. Grow.

Sign up now and earn up to 10% off tuition for our business diversity course. Seats are limited. Reserve your spot today.

  • 10% off tuition with early bird registration for the last month before program launch. Use code bd-eb-web at checkout
  • 15% off tuition for attendees of the upcoming course information session (TBD).
  • 15% off tuition for federal and state, educational institution, and nonprofit employees.
  • 15% off tuition for group enrollments of 2 or more.

Our discount policy ensures fairness and simplicity for all participants. Please note that discounts cannot be combined, and only one code can be applied per checkout.

Our programs require advance preparation and demand often exceeds capacity, so it is important that you contact us in a timely manner if you must cancel your attendance. To receive a full refund, notice of cancellation must be received more than 30 days in advance of the program start date. Cancellations received between 30 and 14 days in advance are eligible for a 50% refund. Cancellations received less than 14 days in advance of the program are not eligible for a refund.

The University of Chicago reserves the right to cancel a program at any time for any reason. In the unlikely event of a program cancellation, paid program fees will be refunded, but the university is not responsible for any travel or other related expenses accrued by the program registrant. For more information, please contact us today.


The Study at University of Chicago
1227 E 60th St., Chicago, IL 60637

Room and Lodging
  • Room block available $219/night
  • Check-in: 3:00 p.m.
  • Check-out: 12:00 p.m.

Call: 1-773-643-1600

Book online: The Study at University of Chicago

Why Hiring Diverse Businesses Matters

Seeking training for how to diversify your business management processes is much more than a socially conscious move. It can build value for your organization in many ways, including:

  • Improved job performance. Training in business diversity can help individuals improve their job performance by developing a deeper understanding of concepts, methods, and best practices to a sustainable business diversity program. This can lead to more efficient and effective processes and better decision-making.
  • Career advancement: Training in business diversity can help individuals advance their careers by demonstrating their knowledge and skills in the field. Employers often value employees who have demonstrated a commitment to professional development and have acquired relevant certifications and training.
  • Increased efficiency and cost savings: Training in business diversity can help organizations improve their business management processes, resulting in increased efficiency and cost savings. By learning how to negotiate better contracts, evaluate suppliers, and manage relationships with vendors, individuals can help their organizations save money and operate more effectively.
  • Compliance with regulations and standards: Many industries and government agencies have regulations and standards that govern procurement processes. Training in business diversity can help individuals and organizations understand these regulations and standards, ensuring that they are in compliance and avoiding potential legal or financial penalties.
  • Enhanced vendor relationships: Good vendor relationships are essential for successful procurement. Training in business diversity can help individuals develop the skills to manage these relationships effectively, improving communication, reducing conflicts, and fostering long-term partnerships.


A recent survey found 52 percent of respondents saying they’d prefer working for a company that has a supplier diversity and inclusion program. See the full report.

Immersive Course Format

The in-person course format will help drive understanding and take-away skills as you actively learn from and share knowledge with professional peers. The course will be held on the Hyde Park campus at the David Rubenstein Forum, a facility designed specifically for UChicago students as a physical expression of UChicago’s academic character and representative in quality and quantity of student spacing and design needs. No prerequisites or application submission is required to enroll. Connect with an advisor today to reserve a spot in our course this summer.

Procure the Playbook for Business Diversity

“Partnering with the best talent in the marketplace means that we must look with a broad lense and seek the innovation and expertise that comes from minority and women-owned businesses.”

Nadia M. Quarles | UChicago AVP of Business Diversity