Outreach & Partnerships Manager Sharla Sullivan Accepts WRMSDC’s Skyrocket Award

WRMSDC honored Outreach & Partnerships Manager Sharla Sullivan's dedication to supplier diversity with the 2023 Skyrocket Award.

December 20, 2023

Awards / Recognition

For Sharla Sullivan, championing supplier diversity is more than just one of the (many) facets of her role as outreach & partnerships manager—it’s a life passion.

“I’m genuinely thrilled whenever a project team asks me for a list of XBEs (term used to describe small/local/diverse Business Enterprises) to include in their bids,” she says. “Diverse suppliers are woven into the fabric of our communities—they spark economic growth and drive local job creation, greatly contributing to our communities’ vibrancy.”

Sharla’s responsible for strategizing, spearheading, and tracking Webcor’s XBE partnership efforts companywide, including establishing measurable processes and procedures. It’s a deeply satisfying role that aligns with Webcor’s core purpose — Building Solutions, Bettering Lives — in a way that’s unique from any other at the company.

XBE session at Alameda office

“When we partner with XBEs, we’re bettering the lives of those working for these local small businesses, minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, veteran-owned businesses, disabled-owned businesses, and all of those small businesses that fit in the XBE category,” she says. “Creating more opportunities for these partners expands our ability to tap into new talent, ideas, and even new markets. Supplier diversity IS innovation – every day presents a chance to expand opportunities through these partnerships.”

Last month, Sharla’s outstanding dedication to championing XBEs’ long-term growth and success was recognized by the Western Regional Minority Supplier Development Council (WRMSDC). WRMSDC is a regional component of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), a nonprofit that certifies minority businesses, advocates for them, provides education and technical training to facilitate their growth, forges business opportunities and valuable connections with its corporate partners, and more. Sharla’s been heavily involved with WRMSDC for two years as Construction Steering Committee co-chair.

Panel discussion at WRMSDC's Construction Day event (February 2023)

“It is exciting to see Sharla’s efforts recognized in this arena,” says Sr. Vice President, Project Planning Allison McCue. “As we’ve learned by working with her, Sharla is incredibly passionate about supplier diversity and supporting our local communities. She’s really opened our eyes to the opportunities we’ve been missing in our projects and communities. We cannot thank her enough for that.

“Her dedication and perseverance reflect in her day-to-day work with us and are now being recognized by others in our industry. I could not be happier to celebrate her accomplishments.”

WRMSDC’s Construction Working Group honored Sharla with the Skyrocket Award at a Super Bowl-themed award ceremony in Las Vegas, where she and McCarthy’s DEI coordinator, Jen Acquino, were recognized for their unwavering commitment to advancing supplier diversity, equipping XBEs for lasting success in our industry, and building economic wealth in communities of color. Four additional leaders within the supplier diversity space were honored in separate categories; represented companies included Siemens Mobility, Inc.; Storyville RD; MFM Resorts International; and S+B James Construction.

“I’m honored and deeply humbled to receive this award alongside my Construction Steering Committee co-chair, Jen Aquino,” Sharla shares. “In the area of inclusion, there are no competitors—only partners in advancing diverse suppliers’ economic needs in the spirit of community, a value I hold close to my heart.

“WRMSDC’s Construction Steering Committee is dedicated to moving the supplier diversity needle forward—addressing gaps in access, increasing opportunities, and strategizing solutions that will cultivate a more inclusive construction trade partner landscape in an inherently inequitable world.”

“I’m grateful for WRMSDC’s partnership, their incredibly dedicated past and present leaders (Cecil Plummer and Donna Ruff), and their staff who work tirelessly to further supplier diversity,” Sharla continues. “Thanks to my mentor for championing me as I’ve held this leadership role, to my family who supports me, to Webcor for maintaining corporate membership with WRMSDC to sustain this important work, and to retiree Kathleen Lassle for her fierce advocacy.

“Thanks as well to fellow GCs, owners, agencies, developers, and community organizations for your partnership as we continue to work toward increased inclusion in the industry, and most importantly, thank you to the diverse businesses for whom we are fiercely advocating! Thank you for this incredible recognition and the opportunity to innovate collaboratively and help drive inclusivity for diverse businesses in construction.”