2017 US MSDMP Class: Kenny Loyd, South Coast Paper of Columbia, SC; Melissa Lackey, Standing Partnership of St. Louis, MO; April Koenig, Creatives On Call, Inc of St. Louis, MO; Joseph Davis, Custom Engineering of Kansas City, MO; Julie Steininger, Standing Partnership of St. Louis, MO; Philip Markuson, Guy Brown, of Nashville, TN; Lillian Wu, Kingchem Life Sciences, LLC, of Allendale,  NJ; Ade (Adenuga) Solaru, SupplierGATEWAY of Santa Ana, CA; Tina VonderHaar, Brighton Agency, Inc of St. Louis, MO.

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2017 US MSDMP Class: Kenny Loyd, South Coast Paper of Columbia, SC; Melissa Lackey, Standing Partnership of St. Louis, MO; April Koenig, Creatives On Call, Inc of St. Louis, MO; Joseph Davis, Custom Engineering of Kansas City, MO; Julie Steininger, Standing Partnership of St. Louis, MO; Philip Markuson, Guy Brown, of Nashville, TN; Lillian Wu, Kingchem Life Sciences, LLC, of Allendale,  NJ; Ade (Adenuga) Solaru, SupplierGATEWAY of Santa Ana, CA; Tina VonderHaar, Brighton Agency, Inc of St. Louis, MO.

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Business leaders from eight U.S companies will participate in the 2017 Monsanto Supplier Diversity Mentoring Program (MSDMP). This is the third year of the initiative which launched on September 25 at Monsanto Company’s world headquarters in St. Louis, Mo.

The MSDMP is an extensive 12-month mentoring program designed to assist in the growth and sustainability of diverse suppliers that could provide goods and services to Monsanto. All companies selected for the program must be certified minority, women, people with disabilities, veteran and disabled-veteran, or LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) owned businesses.

Monsanto received more than 85 applications from interested suppliers for eight available slots. Those chosen to participate in the year-long program are:  Tina VonderHaar, Brighton Agency, St. Louis, Mo.; April Koenig, Creatives on Call, Inc., St. Louis, Mo.; Joseph Davis, Custom Engineering, Kansas City, Mo.; Phillip Markuson, Guy Brown, Nashville, Tenn.; Lillian Wu, Kingchem Life Sciences, LLC, Allendale, NJ; Kenny Lloyd, South Coast Paper, Columbia, S.C.; Julie Steininger, Standing Partnership, St. Louis, Mo. and Ade (Adenuga) Solaru, SupplierGATEWAY, Santa Ana, Cal.

“Working with diverse suppliers both in the U.S. and abroad is important for Monsanto. We see that working proactively to partner with our diverse suppliers brings endless opportunities to meet the needs of our customers,” said Peter Stoynoff, Monsanto Chief Procurement Officer.

Monsanto is focused on reflecting a diverse supply chain while connecting to the values, ideas and principles of the company’s inclusive culture. The goal of the MSDMP is to develop diverse suppliers who have the ability, capacity and skills necessary to grow, develop and manage their businesses profitably. The program will also help Monsanto identify long-term supplier partners and reinforce its commitment to improve lives in communities where its business partners live, work and serve.

Over the next year, program participants will work with a volunteer from the Monsanto Inclusion & Diversity Council who will act as their executive sponsor and serve as a strategic thought partner. Additionally, one-on-one mentoring is incorporated into the curriculum.

Suppliers will also have access to an external coach and will learn from Monsanto subject matter experts during on-site class sessions about industry best practices and effective business methodologies in the areas of change management, environmental, safety & health, finance, human resources, information technology, marketing & social media, media training, presentation training, process improvement, procurement, sales and sustainability.

To learn more about Monsanto’s Supplier Diversity program, visit Monsanto.com/procurement.