Introducing our eighth Hero of Pride!

In celebration of the NYC arrival of WorldPride 2019, The Mixx is honoring 12 individuals who are making a difference in the lives of the LGBTQ community. Our eighth Pride Hero is Rondu Vincent, Supplier Diversity Director at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), and LGBTQ ally. Read the interview below!

As an Ally, how do you get involved to support the LGBTQ community?

RONDU: Simply, it is an inclusive mindset combined with respect. Being an ally requires you to be internally tuned in and treat others as you wish to be treated. Diversity is not a buzzword for me; it is a way of life. As Supplier Diversity Director at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), I have a robust platform to not only promote diverse and small business communities daily, but also help them grow their business while helping our patient community. With this said, it does not stop at the business impact, it’s also personal. Disease does not discriminate, and the patients served by Bristol-Myers Squibb cross all boundaries. That’s why we place great emphasis on our goal to be powerfully diverse and broadly inclusive. This in turn enables us to better meet patients’ needs and achieve our business objectives, because diverse employees and suppliers help us better connect with our patients and communities.

While promoting our various internal people business resource groups such as Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & Allies (LGBTA), I also sit on various advocacy organization boards such as National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, participate in many policymaker engagements supporting LGBT employees and suppliers, along with other diverse groups, through a corporate culture of inclusion and collaboration, operating at the highest standards of quality, uncompromised ethics, compliance and integrity. Taking personal responsibility also is key. I am honored to have many opportunities to work with teams that hire and mentor LGBT, differently-abled suppliers and employees, including veterans. I am also passionate about mentoring and coaching activities that not only help grow businesses within BMS, but across industries as well.

Outside of advocacy and partnering, at the end of the day, the biggest thing you can do for any community is – be open minded, be respectful! Once you get past the differences, you can achieve greatness. Lastly, and most importantly, my chosen family inspires me. Some of the closest people in my life are members of the LGBT community and I could not imagine my life without them.

Who do you admire whose work has positively impacted the LGBTQ community?

RONDU: One of the many heroes of present day I admire is Ellen DeGeneres. She has been at the forefront of impacting the LGBTQ community ever since she first came out over two decades ago, changing pop culture forever. Through her many challenges of wanting to live authentically, Ellen has pushed through and inspired many people since then to come out and not be afraid of being his/her self. I admire how she strives to make the world a better place for everyone, continues to be a role model, an activist – all through humor and kindness. Her tenacity to find herself and her voice amidst her challenges and her success story over the years is what makes Ellen DeGeneres inspirational. We need more people like Ellen today. Let’s face it, she is simply everyone’s best friend in their own heads. 

Where is your favorite place to have a beautiful meal and then a nightcap in NYC?

RONDU: One of my favorite places to have a great meal in New York City is Wolfgang’s Steakhouse. The service is great, the décor strong in tones and the steaks are pretty delicious. Later on in the night, to top it off, I usually head to Casa de Montecristo, a favorite lounge for a cigar. I’ve had a locker there for years stocked with whiskey and bourbon.

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As a partner to the LGBTQ Community, The Mixx is thrilled to be able to put the spotlight on some of our personal heroes all year long. Stay tuned for the next installment, and reach out for more on how YOU can get involved with WorldPride 2019!

Lisa Chernin