DOBE Spotlight Series: Artura Taylor
Disability:IN highlights various disability-owned business enterprises (DOBEs) through the DOBE Spotlight Series. If you’d like more information about USBLN’s Disability Supplier Diversity Program, please contact Cami@disabilityin.org.
Taylor Distribution Group, a USBLN® Certified DOBE™, is a wholesale distributor. It serves government agencies, educational institutions, and national corporations with laboratory supply sales and service, specifically chemical instrumental, safely PPE, industrial and janitorial supplies, forensics supplies, and pharmaceuticals.
Artura Taylor initially did not set out to become a key player in wholesale distribution of lab equipment. Artura is a former regional vice president for a Fortune 100 company, and retired in 2004. However, with the economic downturn, she was prompted to re-enter the workforce. Based on the recommendation of a friend who was in local government, Artura decided to sell commodities to the government. She teamed up with a young, female buyer with the City of Dallas and entered government contracting. The landscape of the industry proved to be very competitive, so Artura and her partner tapped into their business acumen and experience to forge strategic partnerships with manufacturers. Their strategy payed off and enabled Taylor Distribution Group to get into a group purchasing organization (GPO). Soon after, Taylor Distribution Group was winning multi-million-dollar contracts. That set the foundation for Artura’s company to become a key player in laboratory equipment industry.
The Taylor Distribution Group has eight different national and regional certifications. Yet, it took her a while to become interested in a DOBE certification.
Artura never identified as someone with a disability. “Because of my ADHD and partial deafness, I know I have my own challenges. But I didn’t know I would qualify.”
Through her belief in learning, and her certainty that leveraging one’s uniqueness opens people up for new opportunities, she found the USBLN. Becoming certified through the USBLN’s Disability Supplier Diversity Program has established Artura as a diverse industry leader and afforded her the opportunity to set herself apart from the competition. “Being part of this organization, as a whole, has helped me come to terms with some of my own challenges. This has been such a relief for me on a personal level.”
Artura is not just involved with the Supplier Diversity program, she also participates in the Disability:IN Annual Conference. Regarding the Conference, Artura states “It is very safe here; you can come and be your whole self. There is no stigma, no need to put on a different face to fit in. The level of access we have been granted to various corporate leaders has been truly phenomenal and influential in helping us to strategically grow our business and achieve our mission.”
Disability:IN offers a host of opportunities and unprecedented exposure. Since becoming a USBLN® Certified DOBE™, Taylor Distribution Group has been able to participate in various Disability:IN initiatives. The company teamed up with American Airlines through the Supplier Mentoring Program. The relationship has been vital in helping Artura and her management team sharpen their business pitches, as well as instrumental in providing invaluable insight in order to position the company as an industry, value-driven leader.
Personally, Artura has received two Disability:IN scholarships to attend the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College for their Minority Entrepreneur program. In addition, Artura participates in the USBLN’s monthly calls, providing practical ways to do business with major corporate partners, and 1-on-1 access to key players. Artura has also been a part of the Billion Dollar Roundtable, an initiative that promotes and shares best practices in supply chain diversity excellence. “That was a very rare opportunity I know I would not have had access to if it wasn’t for USBLN.”
Artura credits Disability:IN certification and the Disability:IN Conference for building the type of relationships that have helped her grow as a business owner and a leader. “After attending the Disability:IN conference last year, I’ve been able to secure calls with companies I would never have been placed in front of.” Artura strongly believes the Disability:IN conference “brings together some of the brightest and best diversity advocates, industry-leading diversity leaders, influential stakeholders, and other decision makers, resulting in rare opportunities.”
The USBLN’s Disability Supplier Diversity Program was designed to help certified DOBEs advance contract opportunities with corporations as well as government agencies. By having a procurement model based on diversity and inclusion, corporations and DOBEs achieve greater economic self-sufficiency, positive community impact, and strengthen the American economy. For more information about this certification program and others we provide, please contact Cami@disabilityin.org.
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