In November 2017, Vanessa Pennoyer was going strong, working for a MWBE (minority/women-owned) company and on the verge of closing two projects after a stellar third-quarter review. Then in a one-two punch, her husband filed for divorce and her job was eliminated. “They decided to grow through acquisitions and not sales,” she said.
At the time, Pennoyer was serving as vice president for NAWBO Kentucky, but when she lost her job, she also lost that title and the position she was so passionate about.
The future suddenly seemed bleak, but a call from one of her many contacts put the young entrepreneur in motion on a new, more independent and satisfying path. A woman business owner asked Pennoyer to help her navigate the exhausting, time-consuming supplier diversity portal registrations that are key to any certified minority-owned business’s success.
Pennoyer is an expert in navigating the world of supplier diversity. Many companies jump through all the hoops of becoming certified only to discover that’s just the beginning. Getting your business in front of the companies and corporations that will push your business to the next level requires expertise and a lot of legwork.
That’s where Pennoyer comes in.
Pennoyer understands how businesses need to categorize themselves to get noticed and how push for recognition and opportunity within a system that can sometimes seem like it’s engineered to discourage. Corporations want supplier diversity. In fact, they need it, and the future promises that the world of supplier diversity is only going to keep growing.
With her unique experience and eye for the market, Pennoyer understands which corporations are set to welcome new, diverse-owned businesses into their supply chain. She knows how they are looking, what they are looking for, and how to show them that her clients are up to the task. She knows what steps to take, and which order to take them in, helping business owners avoid frustration. “There are hundreds of corporate members of WBENC and NMSDC and its shocking how many do not provide transparency to their supplier diversity portal registration,” she said.
A born multi-tasker, Pennoyer has the ability to deliver results with an attitude that makes it clear her clients are in good hands. “I put people at ease,” she said. “Whatever is happening, I’m going to take care of it.”
As ConnXus’ 2018 Share Your Story winner, which celebrates the impact of diverse-owned businesses in the marketplace, Pennoyer is beginning to receive recognition less than a year after founding her business development firm, Go 2 Girl. She can see now that her resilience is strength – one that helps her impart stability and optimism to her clients along with her considerable knowledge and marketplace savvy.
Knitting her life back together, building a foundation through her passions and expertise has strengthened the connections in her life. In the midst of building community among her business partners, she and her husband have also reconciled.
For diverse suppliers who don’t want to train up a novice full-time employee to handle their critical connections into the marketplace, Pennoyer offers numerous services. Among them are business development, virtual assistant services, diversity spend tracking, supplier diversity portals, trade shows/conference strategizing, special projects and events plus help along the way with certification.