Skip to main content


A guest visits at booth at the Supplier Diversity Summit

Working in Partnership

TVA Programs Court Small, Diverse Businesses

Landing a business contract with an organization of any size can feel intimidating if you don’t have the right resources or know the right person to contact.

 And as enterprises go, Tennessee Valley Authority is large.  

 It employs 10,000 people and provides electricity for 153 local power companies serving 10 million people in Tennessee and parts of six surrounding states. It provides power directly to 58 large industrial customers and federal installations.

 It's a steward of the environment, too, with specialists maintaining some 293,000 acres of public lands. 

 For owners and employees of small and diverse businesses interested in developing a relationship with TVA, it can sometimes feel overwhelming to make those first connections.

 The good news? TVA's leaders are working to help small and diverse businesses build strong relationships with the right TVA specialists.

 TVA's Supplier Diversity team strives for inclusion through programs such as the Diversity Alliance, the new Ready Now initiative and the Supplier Diversity Summit, TVA manager of supplier diversity Jan Cable said.

 These efforts and others have proven beneficial for the region and for businesses.

 In FY 2022, TVA’s spend with diverse businesses was more than half a billion dollars. With small businesses, $1.1 billion. 

 And while numbers tell a story, TVA's supplier diversity efforts are more than just dollars and cents.

 “TVA’s supplier diversity program improves our performance while also supporting our community," TVA vice president of supply chain Laura Campbell said. "It brings improved value to our stakeholders and it delivers on our mission to enhance economic development opportunities in the Valley.”

Attendees seated at a table during the 2023 Supplier Diversity Summit

Opening New Doors 

Each year, TVA hosts the annual Supplier Diversity Summit.

It connects TVA with small and diverse businesses in the Valley region, helping owners and employees from these organizations learn about TVA's commitment to supplier diversity.

The event also provides key insights on how to compete for TVA business.

Whether it’s figuring out how the purchasing process operates or how to negotiate the right steps, support is vital.

It's all about making the right connections and learning the right processes.

LaTonia Hardin, president and CEO of LH Global Resources, attended the summit for the first time and found new doors opening.

“As a supplier, I am connecting with entities who manufacture products, as well as contacts from different departments at TVA so that I have a better idea of what they need,” Hardin said.

“It has been awesome to meet people from all levels within TVA. They took the time to welcome us and to talk about how important diversity and inclusion in its supply base are to TVA."

A man and woman enjoy a conversation at the Supplier Diversity Summit

New Horizons 

This year’s summit theme, “Launching Powerful Partnerships Through Supplier Diversity," served as a nod to Huntsville’s space and rocket industry—and to the possibility of new horizons for participants.

Summit attendees listened to insights from TVA leaders such as President and CEO Jeff Lyash and Board Member Joe Ritch, of Huntsville.

They heard supply chain panels on elevator pitches and learned how to do business at TVA. They discovered ways to position their business for success.

Networking, however, proved to be the most valuable component.

A rich diversity of representatives from small businesses stopped by dozens of TVA booths and vendor booths, gaining valuable information about becoming a vendor.

They learned about strengthening relationships with key team members.

Dan Anderson, owner of Diversified Supply Inc., a 35-year vendor with TVA, always looks forward to the summit.

The COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult in recent years to stay connected with people and build relationships, so this year's summit was especially meaningful as it gave guests the ability to meet face to face.

"We have an opportunity to do that during this meeting,” Anderson said. “Today I’ve shared our value proposition with TVA executives and leaders that I wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to connect with."

TVA's team members have long valued the ability to connect with businesses and suppliers of all backgrounds, always with a goal of advancing TVA's mission throughout the Tennessee Valley.

By offering events like the Supplier Diversity Summit, the Supplier Diversity team—in alignment with enterprise leaders—works to promote an inclusive environment from the inside out.

“TVA was created to serve the people of the Tennessee Valley region—all the people," Lyash said. "And we accomplish nothing alone.

"We succeed only when we work in partnership with small and diverse businesses, customers, employees, community organizations and our prime suppliers.”

Three attendees chat during the Supplier Diversity Summit earlier this year

2023 TVA Supplier Diversity Winners 

Each year, the Supplier Diversity team selects businesses and individuals to receive the TVA Supplier Diversity awards, recognizing exceptional commitment to supplier diversity.

This year’s winners:

Diverse Supplier of the Year
Tennessee Valley Archaeological Research

Prime Supplier of the Year
Holtec International

TVA Supplier Diversity Champion of the Year
John Houdasheldt, Senior Contract Manager, TVA

Electric plug icon


Visit the Supplier Diversity page to learn more about TVA’s supplier diversity resources. 

Share this story: