Powering Progress by Powering Lives – a Conversation with Shell Support Services Manager of Supplier Diversity and Diversity Advocacy, Donovan Casanave

Global energy company Shell may be known as an industry leader for its commitment to transitioning its business to net-zero emissions, but it’s the company’s focus on powering lives that gets Donovan Casanave out of bed every day.

“As the liaison between the small, diverse business community and the internal procurement pipeline, I connect Shell’s resources to the communities where we live, work and serve,” said the Houston-based support service manager of Shell’s supplier diversity and diversity advocacy portfolio.

The Compass Group and Thompson Hospitality joint-venture client’s commitment to powering lives is a pillar of their forward-looking initiative called Powering Progress. It’s a strategy designed to create value for society, a mandate Casanave takes seriously. He glows when he talks about serving his community, and he is downright joyful about how collaboration with diversity advocacy partners like Compass Group and Thompson Hospitality improves lives in measurable ways. But to Casanave and to Shell, supplier diversity is more than a numbers game. True supplier diversity and diversity advocacy is about behavioral and cultural change.

“We want to be seen as an extension of the community. We want to power progress in the community. We want the community to be better because Shell exists, and because our partners exist.”

It’s a people-centered philosophy that has won the support of his partners at Compass Group and Thompson Hospitality, who, together with Shell as an extension of their organization, go out into the community and work with historically under-represented businesses to help them grow into the partners the energy industry needs to be sustainable.

Learn more about Shell and Compass + Thompson here.

“We strive to be very proactive in how we show up in a community, and one of the things I love about the Compass and Thompson partnership is wherever we go, there they are, too,” said Casanave. “Not only are they creating jobs in our communities and raising the profile of the food industry, they’re also proactively working with us to uplift women- and minority-owned companies who want to do business with Shell.”

“They walk the walk – and it’s very amazing,” he added. “I use our relationship with Compass Group and Thompson Hospitality all the time when I talk about what true partnership means to an organization. Sometimes people or organizations get their shine because of something that’s in the moment, but this partnership has been so consistent – it is not contained to just a moment. That shows you their level of commitment to Shell and the community.”

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