Veronica Manuel-Gilbert is currently manager of the supplier diversity program for Johnson & Johnson's (www.jnj.com). She works with supplier diversity team members at 27 operating companies in U.S. and Puerto Rico, as well as with J&J global category leaders to provide collaborative strategies and processes to drive diverse and small-business supplier engagement.
In 2008, her first year in the role, she was instrumental in increasing J&J's spend with minority- and woman-owned businesses by 16 percent (compared to 2 percent growth the previous year), an increase of more than $120 million. For its performance in 2008 Johnson & Johnson was recognized as Diversity Inc. magazine's 2009 “Top Corporation for Diversity,” a 2009 Women's Business Enterprise National Council “Top Corporation for Women's Business Enterprise” and a 2009 DivesityBusiness.com “Top Corporation for Multicultural Business Opportunity.”
Based in Cincinnati, Manuel-Gilbert has been with Johnson & Johnson for over 18 years, previously working at Ethicon Endo-Surgery, one of its medical device companies as strategic sourcing manager. As such, she was responsible for more than $400 million of spend in the procurement of packaging, logistics and capital equipment, in addition to various indirect procurement responsibilities. She also oversaw that subsidary's supplier diversity program.
Manuel-Gilbert started as an equipment engineer supporting operations manufacturing in Cincinnati. In 1996 she assumed management responsibility for the Materials Technology, Tool & Process Engineering and Value Analysis groups, all in the supplier management department. In that role, she was responsible for raw materials consolidation, specification and sourcing, biocompatibility testing, database creation and $4.5 million in supplier cost improvement projects. She championed Ethicon Endo-Surgery's introduction of process excellence into supplier management and its supply base in 1999 and became EES's first certified green belt champion in 2000.
She came to Johnson & Johnson with more than 11 years of experience with Procter & Gamble Co., Phillip Morris USA and NASA in roles supporting design engineering, research and development, and process improvement projects. She holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, and a master's degree in engineering management, both from ClevelandStateUniversity. She is also a certified process excellence black belt and has completed the supplier diversity professional program offered by RutgersUniversity and the National Minority Supplier Development Council Inc.
Johnson Johnson operates more than 250 companies located in 57 countries, and posted sales of $63.7 billion in 2008 — more than one-third of which related to medical devices and diagnostics.