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Kellogg Supplier Diversity: From the U.S. Navy to Veteran Business Owner

As a veteran of the U.S. Navy, I know that freedom is a privilege and not a right. And, as a small-business owner, I’m grateful for the dedication and sacrifices our military men and women make that allow us the freedoms we have today. In honor of Veterans Day, I’m sharing my experience as a veteran, small-business owner.

For more than 15 years, I’ve owned RDS Engineering in Battle Creek, Mich. I’ve found it takes a variety of skills to be a successful business owner, many of which I learned during my time in the service, including the ability to be agile and adapt to changing customer needs. For example, in the 1950s, Rapid Design Service – RDS Engineering’s parent company – began its partnership with Kellogg Company to provide equipment design and engineering assistance.

Nearly 70 years later, we are proud of our longstanding relationship with Kellogg and, while we still provide those original services to the company, we’ve also significantly grown our partnership and capabilities. There are many reasons why we continue to be strong partners today, one of which is Kellogg’s commitment to living its K Values – integrity, accountability, passion, humility, simplicity and a focus on success. The values are part of the company’s DNA, guiding the way they do business among its employees and with customers and partners.  

As a veteran, I’m also proud to work with a company that is committed to creating a positive, supportive and inclusive environment for veteran candidates and employees. The company recognizes the valuable experiences and unique skillsets veterans bring. And, just as the company expects its workforce to mirror its diverse customers, it has the same goal for its supplier community.

Kellogg’s commitment to supplier diversity – inclusive of veteran, women-owned, disability, LGBT and minority-owned businesses – goes beyond the day-to-day business transactions. The company also provides networking events and mentorship opportunities for small-businesses.  

In addition to partnering with a number of veteran-owned suppliers, Kellogg is also making strides to support veterans at every touchpoint throughout the company. Its Business/Employee Resource Group, K Vets & Supporters, is dedicated to celebrating military service, supporting its local active duty service members and even volunteering to accompany veterans on Honor Flights to visit war memorials. The company has a long history of supporting our military, and is committed to recruiting and hiring veterans.

It’s clear to me that Kellogg is more than a business – it’s a company with heart and soul, driven by a diverse and inclusive community of passionate people making a difference. And, as a veteran, I couldn’t be more proud to partner with a company like Kellogg.

This Veterans Day – and every day – I’m honored to join Kellogg in saluting the many military service men and women who fought and sacrificed for our freedom – thank you.