By: Connie Reuther, Bay Corrugated
Hispanic Heritage Month – observed each Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 – recognizes and celebrates the many contributions, diverse cultures, and extensive histories of the American Latino community. At Kellogg Company, we’re firmly committed to equity and inclusion and, just as we expect our workforce to mirror our diverse customers, we have the same goal for our supplier community.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re proud to highlight one of our valuable, diverse suppliers, Connie Reuther, CEO and Chairman of Bay Corrugated. Connie shares more about her business and why we recognize Hispanic Heritage Month.
What is Bay Corrugated and how do you partner with Kellogg?
Located in Monroe, Mich., Bay Corrugated is a family-owned business with more than 50 years of corrugated packaging experience. We are a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) that proudly supplies Kellogg with custom corrugated packaging. We’ve been in business since 1964 and pride ourselves in our ability to adapt to change, create new and efficient solutions, and deliver outstanding customer service. We’re honored to have Kellogg as one of our top customers. In addition to providing them with our quality product, we collaborate with them on their many efforts to recognize small, diverse, and woman-owned businesses.
Why do you like partnering with Kellogg?
We’re proud to partner with a Michigan-based, global company like Kellogg – one that embraces its heritage and truly lives its founder’s values. The company knows people must be its competitive advantage, and it truly shows. The people we correspond with are top-notch individuals and are true partners. And, of course, our team loves being a part of Kellogg’s iconic brands.
Can you tell us about your dual certification?
Bay Corrugated is both a minority-owned and woman-owned company. As a Hispanic, woman-owned organization, we understand the importance of connecting with other diverse companies. By being certified, it has given us the opportunity to attend and present our company at local, regional and national networking events, allowing us many benefits we wouldn’t otherwise receive.
Why do you think it’s important to recognize Hispanic Heritage Month?
Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to reflect on the history and contributions Hispanic groups have made to our great country. As our population continues to grow in the United States, it’s important to recognize how the Latino culture impacts all businesses. By working together as a diverse community, different viewpoints add value to our company. A variety of perspectives help us analyze the ever-changing market and challenges that we face daily.
Our theme for Hispanic Heritage Month is inclusion. What does this mean to you and why is it important to you as a minority business owner?
Inclusion provides opportunities to those who might be considered the “little guy”. In our industry, it can be difficult to be noticed and therefore compete. We realize that being a certified minority business does not guarantee us business, but it has provided us inclusion opportunities in business proposals we may not have otherwise had access to. We also work hard to include other diverse companies in our procurement process. As my children, Kimberlee and Warren, continue to learn the business to one day lead the company, I’m proud that we’ll continue to be an inclusive, family-owned, Minority Business Enterprise.