BNIM Signs the CEO-to-CEO Challenge, Supply Chain Diversity Pledge

BNIM Signs the CEO-to-CEO Challenge, Supply Chain Diversity Pledge

In November 2021, BNIM along with 11 other CEOs from local Kansas City Corporations, took the pledge to join the first cohort of the CEO-to-CEO Challenge. This campaign encourages and empowers business-to-business inclusive purchasing via company leaders making a public commitment to equity, while also helping those leaders develop supplier diversity initiatives for the long haul. “It’s a process meant to showcase action, not just words,” said Neal Sharma, co-chair of KC Rising, the regional initiative leading in the CEO-to-CEO Challenge.

CEOs and executive leaders must pledge to:

  • Buy from small and diverse‐owned businesses when possible.
  • Be an advocate for the cause internally and with peers.
  • Establish an internal accountability framework around intentional, inclusive procurement to include data tracking and reporting of new and existing vendors.
  • Tie inclusive procurement goals to the firm’s strategic priorities.
  • Evaluate sourcing and procurement spend and explore opportunities to grow and expand relationships and innovate processes to include diverse suppliers.
  • Build the diversity of the firm’s supplier pipeline.
  • Spotlight success stories of diverse suppliers.
  • Add resources for development and measurement of these activities.


Architecture and design touch so many industries and people. Our decisions can create a ripple effect far beyond our business. However unlike many companies who take on this initiative who are often large and have significant purchasing power, BNIM is a small business, and our work is more relationship-based rather than procurement-based. BNIM will be putting an emphasis on creating a more diverse pool of consultants and partners in addition to our suppliers that help run our business.

BNIM is committed to continuing our practice of creating a culture that values diversity, equity, and inclusion in our workplace, communities and built environments. The pandemic has exacerbated the struggles that many small businesses encounter and has especially hit minority and women-owned businesses the hardest.

We understand that to contribute to a more equitable community, we must find ways to support these small businesses and be intentional of all aspects of our business. Our responsibility not only includes an effort to diversify our partners and suppliers, but to examine and strategize how to expand our network, knowledge, and use our influence with those who work with us. One of the steps we are taking to diversify our partnerships is asking businesses to fill out our BNIM Partner Diversity form, found on our website. To learn more about BNIM's partner diversity initiatives, please reach out to James Baker.

BNIM Director of Design, Steve McDowell, was interviewed by Fox 4 Kansas City on Tuesday, March 22 to discuss the commitment BNIM has made to the challenge. To watch the news segment, click here.