This year was a big one for us as we continued to support our clients in making change in the areas of supplier diversity consulting, public policy consulting, and mindful life and work coaching and consulting. Before we turn the page to 2024, our team took a bit of time to reflect on the work we did this year.
DiversiFind, a new way for us to support supplier diversity
In January 2023, we launched our sister company, DiversiFind. DiversiFind is a business-to-business software as a service platform ("B2B SaaS platform") that allows diverse companies to market themselves to companies that want to diversify their spend, an often overlooked part of organizations' DEI strategy. It was born out of the supplier diversity work we do to support diverse suppliers in growing their businesses when they can't afford the expense of consultants and other professionals to help them. DiversiFind supports diverse suppliers, as well as supporting the growth of partners that want to find and do business with them.
After the launch of our minimum viable product (MVP), we participated in gene8tor's gBETA incubator, pitched to individual investors and at conferences in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Birmingham, Alabama, and Indianapolis, and were one of the Top 9 women entrepreneurs at The Start Up Ladies second annual #InvestInWomenFoundersSummit.
In January, we are headed to GrowthX's Revenue Accelerator and are looking forward to continuing to grow in 2024 by facilitating diverse suppliers and organizations that want to do business with them in discovering, connecting, and engaging with each other.
We supported a number of clients by advising them on doing business with the State of Indiana. Some we supported through the procurement process to execute contracts with various state executive branch agencies. We also told the story of another client at the General Assembly, which resulted in $4M over the biennium in new funding appropriated to the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired to introduce refreshable Braille and tactile graphics tablets to their students. This improves the literacy rate, educational opportunities, and standard of living for these students while also supporting economic development of a Lafayette, Indiana company.
In addition, Lesley also served as an adjunct faculty member of IU Paul H. O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs during the Fall 2023 semester. Her students not only had the opportunity to learn from Lesley's decades of public policy experience but also from a number of guest speakers from around the state, including a current member of the General Assembly as well as a former justice of the Indiana Supreme Court.
Education & Outreach
We presented at statewide conferences, national conferences, offered continuing legal education programming, as well as updating our website to enable us to offer online learning opportunities. Some of the statewide and national conferences highlights include:
Lesley co-presenting at the Indiana Chamber of Commerce's 59th Annual Human Resources Conference in May and presenting at the Chamber's Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Summit in October
Loretta and me co-presenting at the Indiana Office of Court Services Training and Education Division's Juvenile & Family Court Judicial Officer Conference in June and Trial Court & Clerk Employee Conference in July as well as the Indiana Civil Legal Assistance Conference in October
Loretta presenting two sessions at the Continuing Education Regulators Association Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas in August
Loretta and me co-presenting a session at the 2023 National Association of State Judicial Educators Annual Conference in Columbus, Ohio in August
Me presenting a session at the National Association of Women Judges Annual Conference in Indianapolis in October
We partnered with the Evansville Bar Association, IndyBar, and Indiana State Bar Association this year to provide continuing legal education ("CLE") programming on topics of supplier diversity and lawyer, law student, and judicial officer well-being. In addition, we offered three of our own one-hour ethics CLEs, which are also available here, here, and here. Did I mention they're are on-demand and freely-offered?
We also debuted two Small Bite offerings, which are meant to be tastes of some of the topics we present and coach on in our mindful life and work offerings. These include Kitchen Essentials and Saying No.
And finally, two of my favorite projects of the year, which keep getting better and better. The first is our continuing partnership with Firefly Children & Family Alliance's Sexual Assault Survivor Advocacy team, which allows Loretta and me the opportunity to continue supporting the team's professional renewal during monthly workshop and chillshop (gentle yoga + sound bath) sessions. We finished our first year with them in the autumn, and we are honored to continue this work into 2024 and beyond. (And stay tuned for more about how we can bring this workshop series to your organization as we have opened availability for two more partners in 2024!)
The second project is an offering that Loretta and I co-created, The Inner Work of Judging. The first cohort of five judicial officers completed our work together in the program earlier this month, and we are in the process of tabulating data, feedback, and outcomes, which we'll share after the first of the year. This is an offering that Loretta and I have been working on for years, so it was such a pleasure to see it come to fruition and share it with the members of Cohort 1.
Thank you to everyone who is part of our Thought Kitchen community for being here, supporting us, and trusting us to work on projects with you. On behalf of Lesley, Loretta, and Megan, I wish you a very happy and healthy 2024!