Yvette Mouton wears two hats, yet she has one ultimate goal—to make the corporate vendor and supplier base across the region multi-chromatic.
As the recently appointed president of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Supplier Diversity Development Council (SDDC), Mouton is at the forefront of uniting minority and women owned business enterprises (M/WBE’s) with utilities across the region. Mouton is also the manager of supplier diversity for telecommunications giant AT&T.
The success of any corporation, mid-size or small business, depends on how it aligns itself with diverse suppliers, Mouton said in a recent interview with TNJ.com. As the head of the SDDCa role she assumed in May, Mouton represents utilities across the regionthat generate at least $10 million in annual revenues. Among other things, Mouton is responsible for matching contract hungry small business-owners with multi-million dollar enterprises. In addition, Mouton said matchmaking and providing access for small business owners with corporate supplier diversity managers is the key to substantially increasing the number of M/WBE’s across the state and the region.
It’s essential for organizations and corporations to frequently provide forums for business owners and supplier diversity decision makers to network, Mouton said. Generating contracts and business is about entrepreneurs having access to the decision makers. For example, Mouton said the SDDC is sponsoring an event in mid-September that will match certified M/WBE’s with officials from Rutgers University. The initiative will provide business owners with unfettered access to procurement officers from New Jersey’s largest institution of higher learning. Rutgers does an enormous amount of business with public utilities so there lies the nexus between our organization, a major institution and diverse small businesses,’ she said.
Finally, in her role as supplier diversity manager for AT&T, Mouton was instrumental in bringing former senior executive and now small business-owner Michael Dennis on board as a supplier. Dennis is the CEO of the Big Green Group (BGG)–an environmentally friendly telecommunications company based in Chester, NJ., that among other things, specializes in wireless services; broadband construction services and IT support. It was through Mouton’s efforts, as well as Dennis’ niche marketing strategy that eventually led his company to become AT&T’s primary supplier. His company was initially a tier 2 supplier and now he is a primary supplier to AT&T, she said.
Lastly, Mouton offers a simple, yet pervasive piece of advice to M/WBE’s hoping to land a contract with AT&T or other multinational companies–Do your due diligence, follow the process to become certified and promise and deliver the best products and services to your client, she concludes.