WBEA Events Calendar

Straight Talk: "How to Do Business with CenterPoint Energy and Kelly Services"

August 16, 2011

Learn more about CenterPoint Energy and Kelly Services' commitment to supplier diversity and what they look for in a qualified supplier. Discover how you can prepare your company to do business with them.

Event Details

Event Time:
01:00 PM - 02:00 PM
Event Location:
Online Webinar

 Each month WBEA invites a local corporate member to educate WBEs on their company and any current or upcoming contract opportunities. 



This month WBEA welcomes CenterPoint Energy...




 Steve Dukes

Supplier Diversity Coordinator, CenterPoint Energy

In year 2000, Steve Dukes transitioned within CenterPoint Energy to begin his current work as Supplier Diversity Coordinator.  Prior to that time, Dukes gained over twenty years’ experience in energy materials management, and in contract analysis and development in such places as Colombia, Venezuela, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea and wild‘n wooly Wyoming.  Personal experience along the way as a small business owner gives him empathy with small and MWBE business owners.


In the CenterPoint Energy Supplier Diversity Program, Dukes is responsible for the Second Tier MWBE efforts and tracking.  For the past several years he has organized workshops geared to encourage the company’s prime suppliers to utilize MWBEs in fulfilling their contracts with CenterPoint Energy.   Coordinating the Supplier Diversity effort has also included training and development of MWBE development teams throughout corporate business units and tracking and reporting of the company’s MWBE expenditures.


Dukes also gathers and shares ideas through his working with the Second Tier Committees of both the Houston Minority Development Council and the Women's Business Enterprise Alliance.  A native of Perryton in the Texas Panhandle, he graduated from Texas Tech University with a BBA in Industrial Management and completed an MBA in Finance from University of Houston. Volunteer enjoyment includes singing in the baritone section of the Houston Symphony Chorus.







 Sophia Gaona

Partnered Staff Area Manager, Kelly Services

As we continue to grow and develop in our careers daily, I am so thankful for the wonderful opportunity to be working with Kelly Services, Inc. I am currently Area Manager for Partnered Staffing with Kelly Services, Inc. Prior to that, I worked on site at ExxonMobil. During my tenure, the ExxonMobil account continues to grow by providing not only commercial services, but advancing our professional technical fields. To date, we service 52% commercial orders and 48% PT orders. We have approximately 315 temporary employees at 4 main on site locations. Several accomplishments include our award winning safety program recognized by our Kelly corporate office with an Honorable Mention award in 2009. In addition, I have personally been recognized by Kelly corporate with the “Emerald Key Award” for my support and my team’s support in spearheading the local efforts to engage diverse suppliers in support of ExxonMobil’s initiatives around small disadvantage supplier participation. My work ethic has also blessed me the acknowledgement of my peers with a Leadership award for 2nd Quarter 2010 and an MVP award for 2nd quarter 2009. I have come full circle in my career, and am grateful to have landed with a company that values their people, customers, and product. I have a Bachelors of Arts Degree and a Master’s Degree from University of Houston – Clear Lake. As an educator for 17 years, prior to working with Kelly, I was challenged with teaching and “selling” the educational objectives for each and every elementary child I taught. As a principal for 7 years, the challenge grew to acquiring the success of teachers and students and parents. My people skills are profound, and I value relationships and work very hard to gain the trust and acceptance that are critical and necessary in our world today. My background and my current position give me the flexibility to be the best I can be. My creative spirit and energetic disposition provide me with the positive and always “can do” attitude that I inspire my team and colleagues to share. Everyday is a learning opportunity, and I look forward to that!





WBEA Members: $10

WBENC Members: $20

Non-Members: $30


Registration closes Friday August 12, 2011 at 5:00pm. No exceptions.



a special Thank you to our sponsors


sue pistone & associates


winkler pr





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