Living it: Opening doors for small business
April Harley is passionate about supporting small and diverse businesses. As supplier diversity and business development specialist in St. Petersburg, Fla., she has what it takes to help small and diverse enterprises succeed as suppliers.
“We do not give away contracts,” Harley says. “Supplier diversity opens the door.”
And once that door is open, suppliers find an expert resource in Harley. She leads workshops, roundtables and site visits so new suppliers have an understanding of the utility industry.
“Educating suppliers about our business is vital,” says Harley. “Our unique needs, from power plant operations to vegetation management, can be difficult for small or minority-owned businesses to navigate.”
She helped coordinate outreach and vendor fairs with local suppliers in North Florida that led to approximately $500,000 in contracts for small and minority-owned businesses in Madison County and four economically challenged counties nearby.
Harley’s work earned recognition as Supplier Diversity Advocate of the Year in 2012 from the Central North Florida Minority Supplier Development Council.
To Harley, it’s more than a job — it’s a commitment to the future of small business: “I want my children and the next generation to know that if you have a drive to build a small business, there will be opportunities as long as you put in the necessary work.”
- Maintain strong financial performance despite a sluggish economy and limited growth in energy demand
- Achieve timely and constructive regulatory recovery of our investments
- Maintain strong corporate governance ratings
- Continue to collaborate with suppliers
- Deliver promised merger benefits and complete effective integration
- Achieved adjusted diluted earnings per share near the top of our earnings guidance to Wall Street
- Increased the quarterly dividend by approximately 2 percent in 2012
- Outperformed both the Philadelphia Utility Index and the S&P 500 in total shareholder return, from the merger announcement in early January 2011 through the end of 2012