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Meet BGE’s New Manager of Diverse Business Empowerment

Joseph Woodson
Joseph Woodson, Manager, BGE Diverse Business Empowerment

1. Please tell us about your journey to become Manager Diverse Business Empowerment-BGE?


My journey started with BGE 20 years ago and in that time, I’ve acquired diverse and progressive experience starting in the field as an Overhead Mechanic and Gas Mechanic in construction. I went back to college while working in construction, finishing a bachelor’s degree, and moved to Design & Engineering. While in Design & Engineering I finished my MBA from Loyola University in Baltimore and became a Project Manager. At that time, I was introduced to the Diverse Business Empowerment program, when and I met Frank Kelly, the previous BGE DBE Manager. In our partnership, we had plenty of discussions that resonated through my following leadership roles as a Supervisor in Commercial & Industrial New Business, Supervisor in OH Construction and Manager Electric Operations Business Planning & Support. Those leadership roles gave me a solid understanding of the utility business, broad and clear perspective, and the vision to develop strategy and drive the business to execute our plans. These experiences laid the foundation for where I am now. When the opportunity became available there was no hesitation in applying for this role as I am at a point of my career where I want to make the greatest community impact for Exelon/BGE and Baltimore; this role provides a space to do both.


2. What are your duties and responsibilities?


Through our Diverse Business Empowerment Program, I’m dedicated to identifying diversity certified suppliers that offer high-quality, cost-competitive goods and services, and matching them with the needs of BGE. I accomplish this through partnerships and active participation in trade shows and working with business and advocacy groups such as MWMCA. I am the primary representative for the BGE Supplier Diversity program with internal and external stakeholders such as business unit stakeholders, Supply leadership and key management, legislative and regulatory agencies, and supplier diversity advocacy groups. I govern and oversee the supplier diversity process that reflects BGE’s diverse customer base and reflects the communities we serve; while ensuring compliance with Federal legislation; and city and state requirements.


3. What areas or categories does BGE seek to include or achieve diverse supplier spend?


BGE is committed to including and achieving diverse supplier spend across a wide range of areas and categories. This includes but is not limited to construction, professional services, energy-related products, information technology, and facilities management. Our goal is to have a diverse supplier base that reflects the rich tapestry of the communities we serve.


4. Tell us how BGE counts or tabulates diverse supplier spend with tier one and two vendors?


The 2nd Tier spend consists of payments made from a prime supplier to a diversity certified supplier for the purchase of products or services used directly in support of a contract with BGE. Due to the nature of the utility business, many procurement opportunities may limit participation by small businesses. BGE's 2nd Tier Spend Program increases the opportunities available to diversity certified suppliers in our business and ensures a diversity certified supplier pool across the supply chain. We believe these efforts will stimulate the local economy by creating jobs. We collaborate closely with our suppliers to ensure accurate reporting and to promote transparency in our supplier diversity efforts.


5. Must one be registered with BGE to do business with you? If so, how?


If a company would like to be considered for future solicitations, they must be registered in the Exelon Diverse Supplier portal. Potential suppliers can register through BGE or Exelon Supplier Diversity website. For questions about the Supplier Diversity at BGE please contact me.


6. What central certifying agencies do you accept as diverse certified suppliers?


National Minority Supplier Development Council including the Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council, Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, Small Business Administration, Maryland Department of Transportation, The Baltimore City Minority and Women’s Business Opportunity Office. The following diverse certifications are recognized in alignment with the Maryland PSC, MBE, WBE, LGBTQ, Veterans, Veterans Service Disable Owned and HUBZone certified businesses.


7. How can one discover the types of supply chain opportunities and does one have to be registered with you to get this information?


Exelon/BGE supplier opportunities are not published publicly but are solicited through our supplier portal. You will discover the types of supply chain opportunities through our procurement and supplier diversity departments when invited through our process. Registration and approval are required for this information. Registering allows us to tailor information to your business's specific capabilities and offerings.


8. Please tell us about the importance of workplace safety and one’s safety record in doing business with BGE?


Safety is always the first priority for BGE, and a supplier will need to demonstrate their commitment to safety through evaluation of their safety program. Supplier safety plans must be aligned with BGE, and expectations are communicated with the supplier’s Safety Officer. Suppliers will actively participate in Safety Meetings, immediately report a safety incident, and provide thorough documentation, including risk mitigation, strategy, and actionable follow up items to prevent an incident from happening again.


9. Does one need commercial liability insurance and or surety bonding and bank line of credit in place to do business with you?


The need for commercial liability insurance, surety bonding, and a bank line of credit can vary depending on the nature of the business engagement. These requirements ensure that businesses financially positioned to fulfill their commitments. Specific requirements would be communicated during the procurement process.


10. What regional geographic areas does BGE cover?


BGE serves more than 1.3 million electric customers and more than 700,000 gas customers in a diverse, 2,300-square-mile area encompassing Baltimore City and all or part of 10 central Maryland counties.

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