University wins prestigious diversity award

The University’s efforts to diversify its contractors are paying off.

At MOKAN’s 30th annual awards dinner June 22 at the Renaissance Grand Hotel, the University was presented with the Diversity and Inclusion Award as the Institution of the Year.

It’s the second time the University has won this award from St. Louis-based MOKAN; the first time was two years ago.

Arthur Milton Porter III, a senior consultant with Marks & Associates, accepted the award on behalf of the University.

“The University appreciates the recognition of our efforts that this award brings,” said Sandra Marks, director of the WUSTL Supplier Diversity Initiative and owner of Marks & Associates. “However, we have to realize that it’s important to maintain long-term relationships to ensure the viability of minority contractors in this region.

“To that end, we have a long way to go, and we encourage collaboration among others who share our commitment.”

The award recognized the dedication and commitment to diversity and inclusion of minority- and women-owned businesses.

MOKAN assists small and/or minority contractors in the building construction industry or related field with trade, technical assistance and training programs in the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area.

MOKAN also works to improve business and economic development opportunities by providing financial and technical assistance through business training, contract negotiations and loan and bond procurement programs.

The awards dinner honored and recognized various contractors for their efforts in minority- and women-owned business inclusion and participation, and individuals their commitment to the community as it relates to inclusion and development.

A portion of the proceeds is slated to go to minority scholarships for students pursuing engineering degrees.