Past President Terri Phipps Copeland, our club's program leader for August, introduced Club Members to another of her most excellent friends: Ms. Nedra Dickson. Nedra has traveled the world, actually beginning before and during her college days, and has had experiences ranging from renting jet skis in Australia to working with Martha Stewart. Now in her 18th year at Accenture she leads the Global Supply Diversity and Sustainability Programs, for the international consulting firm. As the Division’s managing partner she enables new, smaller, women and minority led firms with promise to gain access to opportunities necessary to become established. She focuses on firms’ supply chains and all that’s necessary to properly develop and achieve sustainability. Because she and her team of analysts are well versed in government policies, incentives and mandates, her global team is frequently able to seize on specific opportunities benefiting client companies. Her team can prepare new organizations to access opportunities actually tailored to them, but about which they were likely unaware. Accenture’s sheer size - 450,000+ staff and worldwide presence, operating in 120 countries - enables clients to gain connections impossible to know and keep abreast using only their own resources. Further, Accenture’s experience and knowledge base can spot pitfalls and traps allowing clients to stave off potential disruption that undetected could spell doom … but move beyond this vulnerability to actually shape and build futures. Moreover, Accenture’s huge client engagement base enables access to collaboration and knowledge on which her portfolio of companies can seize as appropriate, and apply immediately – and with Accenture expertise to operate and deliver value, propelling growth and advancement. Nedra has watched her client base, as well as business in general, become infused with non-traditional mindsets. She’s responded with ‘innovation hubs’ absorbing and building upon alternative thinking and the onset of millennial mindsets. Nevertheless, virtually no firm, and especially ones starting up and with limited exposure – and with great potential – can compete and survive, let alone thrive without significant levels of breadth of contacts, exposure, and protections. Accenture specializes in enabling this.