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Dec 15, 2020

Wayne Shanks is a Leader, planner, military, and diversity advocate who adapts to solve complex issues and strives to keep giving back. With twenty-eight years of military leadership experience, Wayne was a second lieutenant and culminating as a colonel in the U.S. Army. He has seventeen years of experience in the communication field developing and implementing effective strategies to achieve complex goals. Wayne leads the Military Family Supplier Diversity program at USAA. USAA’s unique program focuses on enhancing opportunities for qualified, veteran, or military spouse-owned companies to compete for business as well as other diverse categories of businesses. With our military family focus, USAA’s goal is to facilitate veteran or military spouse-owned business use and aid in establishing veteran and spouse hiring initiatives.

Wayne joins us today to share his perspective on the Supplier Diversity Program at USAA. Wayne reveals some of the difficult areas USAA has for finding suppliers and how to connect with major businesses. He talks about the difficulty of working with larger businesses due to the length of time it can take for decisions to be made, and how to prepare for proposals with companies like USAA. Wayne explains why you want to work with USAA and provides examples of how USAA has helped its partners and suppliers in the past.  Wayne also emphasizes how value creation is key to connecting and establishing meaningful partners with businesses like USAA.

“Really interested to see recent movement within military spouse entrepreneurs out there growing in the section, because I think as a traditional employment standpoint, Military spouses are a vastly underserved community."– Wayne Shanks


“It's not, you know you call me one day and we're going to have a contract the next day. It's a long term process. It takes probably several months.” – Wayne Shanks


“You need to be able to know what you do well. Don't worry about your other revenue streams. Pitch that one revenue stream that value proposition to the corporate, and then you're other revenue streams, the other things you do, your ancillary products and services will come to light as your relationship blossoms.” – Adam Moore


“We're just trying to get the best value for our members. And that's not necessarily the lowest price, it's how can you bring value?” – Wayne Shanks


This week on Breaking Barriers:

  • Building relationships with reciprocal insurance exchanges
  • What Wayne looks for in a new supplier
  • Using strategic partnerships to navigate regulatory requirements
  • The advantages of using a veteran-owned firm
  • Hang-ups for suppliers during the contracting phase
  • How the pandemic has shifted priorities
  • Value creation to create meaningful connections

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With thanks to
University of Georgia Supply Chain Advisory Board

In addition to ensuring the UGA’s supply chain curriculum meets employer’s needs, the board also connects employers with highly qualified students and joins corporate board members like Johnson and Johnson, Home Depot, and Chick-Fil-A to discover and hire tomorrows supply chain innovators today. 

To learn more, go to click on Alumni, and find the Supply Chain Advisory Board there!

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