Facebook pixel Kurniawan Strives to Ensure Inclusiveness, Diversity in STLCC Vendor Pool

Kurniawan Strives to Ensure Inclusiveness, Diversity in STLCC Vendor Pool

Wednesday, February 7, 2024


How do you build a great place to work? Start with employees who feel inspired, connected and valued.

For Ann Kurniawan, the College’s supplier diversity manager, the inspiration comes from working in an environment that embraces diversity.

“STLCC is a melting pot of cultures from all around the world,” said Kurniawan, who is Vietnamese American. “I have learned so much from talking to my colleagues and students, and they are just as excited when I share with them a piece from my culture such as homemade food.”

Ann KurniawanKurniawan has been an STLCC employee for nearly five years. She previously worked as a business services specialist, accounting specialist/interim bursar, and business services supervisor.

Kurniawan works closely with the purchasing and engineering and design departments to help them understand the goals and objectives for supplier diversity. She interacts with administrators, faculty, staff and vendors to advocate meaningful business opportunities for Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises. She clarifies and acts as a resource person for inquiries relating to the College's supplier diversity efforts.

“The challenges associated with supplier diversity keep me determined and energetic,” Kurnaiwan said. “The internal knowledge I have from business services and bursar departments, combined with my experience with the chambers of commerce, made me feel very equipped to tackle the challenges of this job. I love being able to tap into new mindsets, perspectives and ideas. I know that providing more sourcing options through inclusiveness can help our supply chain to be more resilient and agile.”

Another significant part of her job is outreach and networking with outside organizations and vendors to continuously build strong connections, with the end goal being enriching STLCC’s pool of diverse vendors and process improvement. She collects data and composes reports on M/WBE utilization for the College. She also works with small businesses to provide helpful information related to M/WBE laws and regulations.

Kurniawan’s favorite activity outside of her job duties is volunteering with the Asian American & Pacific Islander Employee Resource Group. She started volunteering in 2020-21 while serving as the business services supervisor at Forest Park.

“I've always taken part in similar organizations since I was a college student, from international student groups to local Asian communities,” she said. “I genuinely enjoy seeing people getting together, sharing memories, and becoming friends outside of school and work.”

Through her ERG, Kurniawan collaborated with the OCA STL to organize a women’s empowerment seminar at Forest Park Nov. 11. Mayor Tishaura Jones and other regional leaders were among more than 100 attendees that also included 27 College representatives. She also organized a table on behalf of the College at the Asian American Chamber of Commerce Dinner on Nov. 15.

“Ann continues to go above and beyond to support employee engagement and inclusion, and her efforts are greatly appreciated,” said D’Andre Braddix, EdD, STLCC’s executive director of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Kurniawan said occasionally she receives feedback from colleagues who wish there were ways to better connect with coworkers.

“And that was where my inspiration comes from,” she said. “We try to celebrate traditional holidays, organize gatherings and seminars, basically to create a comfortable and safe zone for members to network, voice their opinions, or relax after a hard day/week at work.”  

Five years have passed quickly, and Kurniawan is still excited to come to work every day.

“It’s exciting to be able to dedicate myself to a job that I wholeheartedly believe in the mission,” she said. “I’m grateful for the managers and administrators who were so kind to help train and guide me. We all have mentors to whom we can look up. On top of that, being able to give back to the community that supports St. Louis Community College from the start has been such an honor and inspiration for me.”

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