New Professional Development Program for Diverse Businesses Kicks Off at Roger Williams University

PROVIDENCE, RI – National Grid and CVS Caremark are each sponsoring three organizations for participation in Roger Williams University’s CEO Master Series, a unique program that trains diverse supply chain participants on essential skills for small business success. The program was created in partnership with the Professional Education Center at the University’s School of Continuing Studies to help diverse suppliers gain critical management skills and industry knowledge that better position them to secure contracts with companies like National Grid and CVS Caremark.

CVS Caremark will sponsor the following suppliers: Capital City Construction Inc., a commercial general contractor; Peachtree Supplies, an office and business product dealer; and Heroica’s Painting, Inc., a professional painting company. Raul Suarez-Rodriguez, CVS Caremark manager of supplier diversity shares his enthusiasm for selecting the awarded organizations. “We’re thrilled to help our supplier partners take part in RWU’s specialized training courses so that they are able to expand their skills and incorporate new knowledge and best practices into their long-term business goals.”

National Grid has selected the following suppliers for the sponsored program: SAK Environmental, an environmental consulting and engineering services firm; Minuteman Trucks, Inc., a commercial truck dealership; and Evelyn Audet Lighting Company, lightening design for residential, commercial, and exterior areas. Carla Hunter Ramsey, National Grid director of supplier diversity commented on the value of sending the organizations through the CEO Master Series program. “It is so important that corporations like National Grid and CVS Caremark take an active role in developing a diverse pool of business leaders so that both organizations can create new opportunities for jobs growth and economic expansion.”

The collaboration between RWU, CVS Caremark and National Grid to create the CEO Master Series program was announced at the ”Rhode Island Power of Connections 2014” event in April. Alongside CVS Caremark and National Grid, the University’s Outreach and Engagement division played an instrumental role in identifying the gap in professional development for diverse suppliers that partner with large organizations like CVS Caremark and National Grid. Through the School of Continuing Studies, RWU customized a specific professional development program that’s uniquely suited to meet the specific needs of diverse supply chain participants.

The program will send a representative from each diverse business (primarily women-, minority- or veteran-owned) organization – all of whom are vendors or potential vendors in the supply chains of National Grid or CVS Caremark – to the two-part “CEO Master Series” curriculum designed and offered by the Professional Education Center.

The CEO Master Series will focus on the essential skills that position executives for success and will be comprised of two modules: (1) “Maximizing Employee Performance and Learning the Secrets to Submit a Successful Proposal,” which will include sessions on purchasing and contracts, team building and performance management; and (2) “Critical Development Areas to be Competitive,” which will include sessions on sustainability training, safety plans, HIPAA requirements and social media marketing.

The courses will begin in early August and will be offered through a blend of in-class and online learning, to allow for flexibility. Registration is now open for the CEO Master Series and interested business owners can learn more about this course offering and the Professional Education Center at:

About RWU: Roger Williams University, located in Bristol, R.I., is a leading independent, coeducational university with programs in the liberal arts and the professions, where students become community- and globally-minded citizens through project-based, experiential learning. Offering 43 majors and a plethora of co-curricular activities as well as study abroad options, RWU is dedicated to the success of students, commitment to a set of core values, the pursuit of affordable excellence and to providing a relevant, world-class education above all else. In the last decade, the University has achieved unprecedented successes including recognition as one of the best colleges in the nation by Forbes, a College of Distinction by Student Horizons, Inc. and as both a best college in the Northeast and one of the nation’s greenest universities by The Princeton Review.

About National Grid: National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE:NGG) is an electricity and gas company that connects consumers to energy sources through its networks. The company is at the heart of one of the greatest challenges facing our society – to create new, sustainable energy solutions for the future and develop an energy system that underpins economic prosperity in the 21st century. National Grid holds a vital position at the center of the energy system and it ‘joins everything up’.
In the northeast U.S., we connect more than seven million gas and electric customers to vital energy sources, essential for our modern lifestyles. In Great Britain, we run the gas and electricity systems that our society is built on, delivering gas and electricity across the country.

National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

About CVS Caremark : CVS Caremark is dedicated to helping people on their path to better health as the largest integrated pharmacy company in the United States. Through the company’s more than 7,600 CVS/pharmacy stores; its leading pharmacy benefit manager serving more than 64 million plan members; and its retail health clinic system, the largest in the nation with more than 800 MinuteClinic locations, it is a market leader in mail order, retail and specialty pharmacy, retail clinics, and Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans. As a pharmacy innovation company with an unmatched breadth of capabilities, CVS Caremark continually strives to improve health and lower costs by developing new approaches such as its unique Pharmacy Advisor program that helps people with chronic diseases such as diabetes obtain and stay on their medications. Find more information about how CVS Caremark is reinventing pharmacy for better health at

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Avatar About the Author: The Rhode Island Small Business Journal is a printed monthly magazine and an online resource for the aspiring and start-up entrepreneur and small business owner.

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