2015 Robert Phillips – Regional Diversity Award Winner
CITY OF PORTLAND, PROCUREMENT SERVICES
Procurement Services, a division of the Office of Management and Finance, Bureau of Revenue and Financial Services is responsible for procurement processes that are fair, efficient, effective and accountable. As a nationally recognized agency, the Division strives for forward thinking leadership, expertise, and professionalism and staff are proud of their contributions toward a socially just, environmentally sound, economically vibrant and diverse community.
With 37 uniquely diverse staff members, Procurement staff work independently and as a unit to champion diversity and equity in the City’s purchasing and contracting processes. Through the years, the City of Portland, Procurement Services have been a leader in diversity/equity initiatives. Working as a team, Division staff and leadership have actively listened to the contracting and vending communities, assimilated these conversations into possibilities, identified new ideas, transformed the ideas to reality, and have found better ways to achieve goals and garner success. Some of these new and/or improved programs include:
- Professional, Technical and Expert Services minority, women and emerging small business initiatives, including direct contracting
- Minority Evaluator Program (MEP)
- Updates to the Prequalification Program
- Prime Contractor Development Program
- Workforce Training and Hiring
By developing outreach opportunities unique to specific projects, providing project information and building relationships, staff is able to share aspects of the City’s Social Equity Contracting Initiatives focusing on building Portland businesses. All programs engage members of the community, Minority, Women and Emerging Small Businesses, City staff and project managers. Procurement staff have worked to be effective in developing and providing various training classes specifically for contractors. They have recognized that providing additional knowledge, networking opportunities and technical assistance help to empower businesses and in this way, staff is better able to assist and meet the needs of both internal and external partners.
Always a work in progress, Procurement Services continues to lead with staff members sitting on diverse community and chamber boards and its leadership team is involved in minority, small contractor and professional organizations where the City’s policies and goals have and continue to be identified and MWESB firms are connected to project managers throughout the City in support of the firms services. By updating, modifying and fine-tuning existing programs, identifying new and better programmatic possibilities and incorporating them with the amount of available purchasing power, Procurement Services will continue to search out new possibilities surrounding diversity and seeking new opportunities for inclusion in the purchasing and contracting process.
Diversity, equity and Inclusion are not concepts new to the City; they are embedded in all of the work undertaken by the Procurement Services Division, seen in the program information and training provided to both external and internal customers, provided as part of City programs that serve the contracting community, and in partnering with Minority, Women and Emerging Small Businesses.
Among the well deserving nominees:
Portland City Attorney’s Office, City of Portland
Health Equity Policy Committee of Oregon Health Authority
Diverse and Empowered Employees of Portland (DEEP), City of Portland
Inclusion Council for Home Forward
Workplace Improvement Program Employee Work Teams, Clark County
Office of Equity and Inclusion, Oregon Health Authority
Adrienne Edwards, City of Portland
Harold Rains, Clark County Department of Community Services
Reason for the Award
This award is named in recognition of Robert Phillips, Multnomah County Affirmative Action Officer, who has worked in the area of equal employment opportunity for over 25 years and has a long history of involvement in the civil rights field. As Director of Multnomah County’s Affirmative Action Office, Robert was responsible for the development of policy initiatives, plans and programs that promoted respectful work environments for diverse employees and assisted the organization in meeting its equal employment opportunity and affirmative action obligations. Additionally, Robert served as a commissioner for the Port of Portland’s Civil Service Commission where he has served for 10 years. His community service includes appointments to the Nike Corporation’s Minority Affairs Advisory Board; Gubernatorial appointments to the State Commission on Black Affairs and the State Board to Register Clinical Social Workers; and service on the Oregon State Bar Affirmative Action Committee.
In 1996, the diversity program he managed for the City of Portland was recognized as a best practice model by People Management Resources, a division of Watson Wyatt Worldwide. Robert was also responsible for initiating the first national conference on performance measures for diversity programs, sponsored by the National Quality Institute. In addition, Robert was a recipient of the 2009 Arthur Flemming Award by the Multnomah County Managers of Color, the Oregon assembly for Black Affairs Political Development Award, the Northwest Conference of Black Elected Officials Leadership Award and the 2009 Northwest Public Employees Diversity Conference Robert Phillips Regional Diversity Award. He was the first public sector African American graduate of the Center of Creative Leadership’s African American Leadership Program.
The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners proclaimed February 28, 2012, as Robert Phillips Appreciation Day in Multnomah County, Oregon. In retirement from Multnomah County, Robert has an encore career during which he will serve as a member of the NW Renal Patients Advisory Board; the Oregon Assembly for Black Affairs Political Convention Planning Committee and the Port of Portland Fire Department Civil Service Board.
This award was created to honor his many contributions in the field of equity for all.
2015 Partnering Agencies: Multnomah County, City of Portland, Clackamas County, City of Hillsboro, Portland Development Commission, Washington County, Metro, Clark County, Portland Public Schools, Home Forward, Department of Environmental Quality, Port of Portland, City of Beaverton, Oregon Health Authority, TriMet, Portland State University, Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District, City of Gresham, Oregon Department of Transportation.
2014 – Victoria Cross: 2014 Award Insert
2013 – Carole Smith: 2013 Award Insert
2012 – Loretta Young: 2012 Award Insert
2011 – Donny Adair: 2011 Award Insert
2010 – Vera Pool: 2010 Award Insert
2009 – Robert Phillips: 2009 Award Insert