Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council Announces Aramark as Presenting Sponsor of P.I.P.E. Program

MBE Magazine Staff

Aramark offers sponsorships to 20 minority-owned businesses through the ChicagoMSDC.

The Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc. (ChicagoMSDC), a premier organization for increasing business opportunities between major buying organizations and minority-owned businesses, announced Aramark, the leading U.S.-based food service provider, as the 2020 presenting sponsor of The PIPE Program (Progress, Insight & Performance Education), an advanced business management program for minority-owned businesses. Aramark spends $150 million each year with small and diverse suppliers in Illinois, with about 45 percent based in Chicago. Under the partnership, Aramark will sponsor 20 minority-owned businesses through the ChicagoMSDC — more than doubling the program’s participation.

The PIPE Program is an eight-week, advanced business management program designed to provide participants from diverse owned companies (a diverse business is generally defined as one that is 51 percent owned and controlled by women, ethnic minorities, veterans, LGBTQ+, or disabled person(s)), with the skills and knowledge needed to optimize their business. The course covers strategic planning, managing operational goals, business ethics, project management, and introduction to supply chain management.

Neda Sharp, program manager at the ChicagoMSDC said, “By partnering with ChicagoMSDC, Aramark continues to make strides in reinvesting within diverse communities, by providing necessary tools to help businesses excel. There is no time like the present for minority-owned businesses to experience opportunity, growth and progression. Thanks to Aramark, lives will be enriched through business development, of which I applaud and appreciate. The PIPE Program infuses new life into the participants through thought-provoking concepts that can be immediately incorporated into their business practices. That momentum builds throughout the cohort and business owners complete the program with a renewed perspective that catapults them forward, leaving business-as-usual behind.”

“Our goal is to provide access to opportunities – opportunities for our employees, consumers, communities and people in our supply chain,” said Natily Santos, VP Specialty Supply Chain at Aramark. “By sponsoring ChicagoMSDC, we are giving diverse businesses, especially African American owned businesses in the Chicago area, an opportunity to learn the skills and knowledge needed to optimize and grow their business. As small and diverse businesses scale up, this can result in job growth and broader local economic impact among the communities, consumers and clients we serve.”

Aramark is leveraging its Employee Resource Group network in this initiative. Specifically, members of Aramark LEAD (Leaders and Employees of African Descent), who will have opportunities to engage with these diverse businesses and ChicagoMSDC in various committees and educational sessions throughout the year in support of the PIPE program.

As part of its broader sustainability strategy, Be Well. Do Well., which encompasses ethical and inclusive sourcing, Aramark is committed to increasing overall spend with small and diverse suppliers to 25 percent by 2025. The Company’s robust supply chain already includes more than 6,000 small or diverse suppliers and supports more than 14,000 jobs across the United States, for a total economic impact of $1.9 billion, annually. In January, Aramark announced a partnership with Certify My Company to assist self-classified suppliers in the Company’s supply chain obtain third-party diversity certifications.

To learn about how Aramark is growing with small, local and diverse suppliers, please visit the Nourish Blog. If you are a small or diverse owned company, and would like to work with Aramark, please visit the Aramark ASCEND Supplier Diversity Registration Portal.

Applications are now being accepted for The PIPE Program – Cohort 3, which will take place virtually from September 15, 2020 to November 3, 2020. For more information, visit:




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