Session Descriptions

The 2017 Summit & Salute sessions will focus on “The Industry of the Future”. These new sessions will consist of representatives from America's Top Corporations for Women's Business Enterprises, futurists, and special guests. Each session will be two hours long and will vary in format. Attendees will gain insights on where these industries are headed in the future and how WBENC-Certified WBEs can prepare to fit in to their supply chains. 

WEDNESDAY – MARCH 22, 2017 – 2:45pm - 4:45pm


With rapid innovation, disruptive technology, and global expansion the workplace has evolved from a centralized hub of commerce to a collaborative network of professionals from all over the world. In this session, attendees will hear corporate perspectives on several topics around the theme of Office of the Future, including the transformation of office architecture, the advancement of skilled labor, and the changing relationship between co-workers and customers through automation and digitization. This session will feature executives from the following corporations: Accenture, LLP; EY; FedEx; Kelly Services, Inc.; ManpowerGroup; Pitney Bowes, Inc.; and ROBERT HALF.


Transformative change is underway in the automotive industry. Intense global competition and technological advances in the areas of autonomous driving, urban ride-sharing, and connectivity are shaping the future of mobility around the world. Hear from key industry leaders to understand these trends, and learn how you can be best prepared to do business in the automotive supply chain of the future. This session will feature executives from the following corporations: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles; Ford Motor Company; General Motors; Nissan North America, Inc.; and TOYOTA.


Technology, innovation, and disruption are synonymous! The conversation around the revolution of the Internet-of-Things (IoT) is abuzz, and our interconnectedness is more prevalent than ever. In this session, you will hear from visionaries and experts on industry insights, trends and be introduced to the future of artificial intelligence, humanized big data, digital banking, cyber security, automation, and blockchain. This information rich session will provide valuable insights for business owners and their clients. This session will feature executives from the following corporations: Capital One; Dell Technologies; IBM; Intel Corporation; Microsoft; and Wells Fargo & Co.

THURSDAY – MARCH 23, 2017 – 10:45am - 12:45pm


As personal health trends continue to evolve, the technology of today will advance to meet the demands of tomorrow’s self-care consumer. The pharmaceutical industry is challenged to transform in order to overcome the obstacles of a rapidly evolving marketplace as generalized approaches to healthcare become personalized. New market competition, data-driven research & development (R&D), digital innovation, and process automation are sparking conversations on the challenges of business models, speed-to-market, and agility. In this session, corporations will speak to their unique positions and how WBEs can bring value to the supply chain. This session will feature executives from the following corporations: Bristol-Myers Squibb Company; Johnson & Johnson; Merck; and Pfizer Inc.


How will shifts in energy demand and production change the energy landscape of the future? Hear from today’s leading integrated energy companies from a global perspective on the energy outlook. Learn about tools to enhance organizational agility, navigating the changing demands in oil field services, and how new energies will play into the future. This session will feature executives from the following corporations: BP America, Inc.; Chevron; Exxon Mobil Corporation; and Shell Oil Company.


How we communicate is ever-changing.With the rapid advancement of technology, what does the future of the Information Communication Technology (ICT) industry hold for consumers and suppliers? For the leaders in this space, and everyone else, it is about connectivity - what is connected, how it’s connected, the demands placed on that connectivity, and the quality of the connection. In this session, attendees will hear the perspectives of primary service providers, primary solution/product providers, as well as an end customer who must remain heavily engaged in e-commerce to satisfy their consumer base, as they discuss the future of the ICT industry. Understanding who decides what is next, who follows, the challenges this presents for all involved, and how to prepare your business to compete in this fast-paced environment. This session will feature executives from the following corporations: AT&T; Bank of America; Ericsson North America; NOKIA; and Verizon.


The future of supplier diversity will face challenges and opportunities, therefore, today’s best practices will need to evolve to meet the needs of the future.Learn from leading experts from across industries on what the future of supplier diversity looks like within their industry and organization. This session will feature executives from the following corporations: Cargill; DuPont; Monsanto Company; PepsiCo, Inc.; Procter & Gamble; Raytheon; and UPS.

THURSDAY – MARCH 23, 2017 – 3:15 pm – 5:15 pm


As technology rapidly changes the way consumers access capital, the Future of Travel lies in adapting to the next generation of tech-based consumers. Hear from industry leaders as they share how Women’s Business Enterprises can best prepare to do business in an evolving supply chain. This session will feature executives from the following corporations: Avis Budget Group, Inc.; Marriott International, Inc.; MGM Resorts International; United Airlines.


As insurance companies are central to commerce, corporations in the sector are constantly being challenged to evolve. Changing regulations, interest rates, and big data - alongside the changing demographics of the insured - are among the top issues in this industry. Session attendees will hear from top insurance companies speak on the future landscape of the industry and how increasing customer knowledge, technology, and automation are affecting customer relationships through omnichannel experiences. This session will feature executives from the following corporations: Allstate Insurance Company; Kaiser Permanente; MetLife; and Nationwide.


Understanding the changing landscape of consumers has never been more challenging. New technologies, e-commerce, generation-specific purchasing preferences and changing income levels are just a few of the challenges manufacturers and retailers face in staying competitive for consumer dollars. Listen as senior industry experts discuss the importance of predicting these drivers, how they are aligning their supply chains to emerging trends, and how WBEs can partner with them for success. This session will feature executives from the following corporations: CVS Health; Kellogg Company; The Kroger Co.; and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.


Across the utility industry companies are looking toward the future. Power-generation sources are shifting and the digital economy of today requires a modernized grid to support consumer demand. Learn how leading utility companies are preparing for the future to meet the challenges of cyber security, capital project complexity, grid modernization and organizational change. This session will feature executives from the following corporations: DTE Energy Company; Entergy Services; Pacific Gas and Electric Company; and Vistra Energy.