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CVS Health, RWU Celebrate Success of Expanded Professional Development Collaboration

Ten diverse business leaders graduate from executive training program created by the Professional Education Center at Roger Williams University

PROVIDENCE, R.I., – On Monday, Nov. 2, leaders from CVS Health joined Roger Williams University to celebrate the conclusion of the professional development program, CVS Health: Executive Learning Series for Diverse Suppliers and presented certificates to 10 diverse business owners who completed the curriculum.

Created by the Professional Education Center at the Roger Williams University School of Continuing Studies, the Executive Learning Series for Diverse Suppliers is an executive development program that offers training opportunities for diverse business leaders to expand their capacity, skill level and growth potential in areas such as marketing, finance and human resources.

“The Executive Learning Series for Diverse Suppliers has been a great success,” said Raul Suarez-Rodriguez, manager of strategic procurement for CVS Health. “We understand the importance and impact that supplier development provides to our diverse supplier community, which is why it is and will continue to be focus area for our company.”

Cheryl Snead, president and CEO of Banneker Industries, a supply chain management solutions provider based in North Smithfield, is one of the graduates and found the curriculum timely and valuable as she and her company prepare to create their next three-year strategic plan.

“I am a big believer in continual learning to not only assess my own leadership approach but also my company, our strategy and where we are going next,” Snead said. “I thought the Executive Learning Series for Diverse Suppliers program presented a perfect opportunity to take the time, step back from the day-to-day and focus on the things that we could be doing better as we move forward in our strategic planning.”

CVS Health selected and sponsored 10 partners to participate in the training program, which included sessions on finance and budget, leadership, management, technology, human resources and communications.

“The business trends taught in the program were very interesting and required me to be reflective in Banneker’s journey but also in terms of where we are going next as a company and to make sure that I’m asking the right questions of my team – are we doing this and can we do it better?” Snead added. “By asking the right questions and providing the resources I received from the program down through our organization, the training will help us identify the gaps and continually improve.”

The CVS Health: Executive Learning Series for Diverse Suppliers program grew out of the successful pilot program, the CEO Master Series, which helped a group of diverse business owners gain skills and knowledge with customized courses – on purchasing and contracts, team building, sustainability training, performance management and social media marketing – last spring. Created by RWU’s Professional Education Center and CVS Health, the CEO Master Series enhanced participating firms’ résumés and better positioned them to win contracts with large companies.

Based at the University’s Providence campus, the Professional Education Center creates customized educational programs for local corporations, government agencies and community nonprofits that wish to offer specific courses or trainings to help employees build new skills or gain industry knowledge. For CVS Health, the PEC created curriculum that would arm participants with the skills needed for small business success while also providing an opportunity to learn more about CVS Health and the many partner opportunities available with the company.

“We’re pleased to graduate another cohort of professionals in the Executive Learning Series for Diverse Suppliers program with our partner CVS Health,” said Jamie E. Scurry, dean of the School of Continuing Studies. “The Executive Learning Series and all of the customized professional development programs created by the Professional Education Center further demonstrate RWU’s commitment to the greater good. We are truly providing meaningful pathways to workforce development opportunities that lead to new career paths or reach new career successes as business leaders.”

Executives from the following companies graduated on Monday: Five Thousand Forms, California Fragrance Company, Fremin’s Contractor Services, LLC, Soft Stuff Distributors, Inc., Griesing law, LLC, Second to None, The Media Network, ARTEMIA Communications, ASAP Solutions Group LLC, and Banneker Industries, Inc.