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Meet Pepco’s Manager of Diverse Business Empowerment

Karen DaSilva
Karen DaSilva Manager, Diverse Business Empowerment - PHI

Potomac Electric Power Company, PEPCO), founded in 1896, serves 900,000 plus customers in the District of Columbia, (DC) and Maryland region. Known for its strong customer satisfaction, safety and reliability, PEPCO is the DC region’s most inclusionary company, by way of its employment and social economic engineering spend with diverse suppliers. PEPCO is the engine that keeps our nation’s capital energized for the halls of Congress, Supreme Court, White House, and millions of square feet for offices of various government agencies, including The FBI Building and Smithsonian’s Museums. There is a reason that their spend with diverse suppliers is so strong and that is because the CEO is committed and promoted Karen DaSilva to lead the office of Diverse Business Empowerment. In this article, we feature Ms. DaSilva and her mission to social economic engineering inclusion. Please enjoy it!


My journey to becoming the Manager of Diverse Business Empowerment at Pepco has been one of dedication and growth. I began my career with Pepco in Project Management, where I developed a deep understanding of our contract management and supplier relationships. Over time, I recognized the importance of promoting diversity and inclusion in our supplier base. This realization drove me to take on additional responsibilities related to supplier diversity, eventually leading to my current role where I champion the empowerment of diverse businesses within our organization.


What are your duties and responsibilities?


As the Manager of Diverse Business Empowerment at Pepco, my duties and responsibilities revolve around fostering a diverse supplier ecosystem. I collaborate closely with various departments to identify opportunities for sourcing goods and services from diverse suppliers. I also engage with external organizations to attract and support diverse businesses, ensuring they have the tools and resources necessary to succeed in our supply chain.


What areas or categories does Pepco seek to include or achieve diverse supplier spend?

Pepco 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.


Tell us how Pepco counts or tabulates diverse supplier spend with your vendors?


We employ a meticulous process to count and tabulate diverse supplier spend with our vendors. This involves tracking and verifying expenditures made with certified diverse suppliers. We collaborate closely with our suppliers to ensure accurate reporting and to promote transparency in our supplier diversity efforts.


Must one be registered with Pepco to do business with you? If so, how?


Yes, being registered with Pepco is essential for businesses seeking to do business with us. The registration process can typically be initiated through our procurement or supplier diversity department. This ensures that we have accurate information about potential suppliers and can communicate relevant opportunities effectively.


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


Pepco recognizes a range of central certifying agencies for diverse certification, which may include the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), the Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council (CRMSDC)the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), and the Small Business Administration (SBA), among others. We value certifications from reputable agencies that uphold rigorous standards.


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


Exelon/Pepco does not advertise our supply chain opportunities. You will discover the types of supply chain opportunities through our procurement and supplier diversity departments when invited through our process. While registration with Pepco might be required for more targeted information, some general opportunities might be publicly available. However, registering allows us to tailor information to your business's specific capabilities and offerings.


Please tell us about the importance of workplace safety and how will one’s record play in winning work with you?


Workplace safety is of paramount importance at Pepco. A strong safety record demonstrates a commitment to the well-being of employees, partners, and the community. A positive safety record can certainly play a role in winning work with us, as it reflects a culture of responsibility and reliability.


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 are financially equipped to fulfill their commitments. Specific requirements would be communicated during the procurement process.


Tell about the various regions Pepco serves.


We provide safe and reliable energy to approximately 919,000 customers in the District of Columbia and Maryland. As a member of the Exelon family of companies, we are part of the nation’s largest utility company. Our services extend across residential, commercial, and industrial sectors, providing energy solutions to a diverse range of customers.


Karen DaSilva can be reached

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