Dicky Sykes is the Director of the Office of Diversity in Business Practices for the School District of Palm Beach County. The School District of Palm Beach County is the 10th largest School District in the United States. Dicky is responsible for developing, expanding and monitoring the District’s Diversity in Business Practices Program for both construction and goods and services. Her department analyzes policy and operational guidelines to determine optimal language to foster successful opportunity outcomes for small, minority and women-owned businesses. She works closely with Purchasing in developing RFPs, ITNs and ITBs to ensure maximum opportunities for Small, Minority and Women-owned Businesses.
Dicky has developed initiatives that create more synergy and communication between the small business community, prime vendors, contracting officers, buyers, project managers and the supplier diversity team. She is the creator of the Business Symposiums series: “Shark Tank” and “Chopped” Catering Competitions and the Power Networking series: The Million Dollar Roundtable Town Hall, Best Practices in Supplier Diversity and Sustainability and Meet the Prime Contractors. Under her leadership, the District annually hosts events for Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, Women’s History Month and LGBTQ Pride Month.
Dicky started with the District in August 2017, since then, the Office of Diversity in Business Practices has been nominated for eight awards, winning the prestigious Florida State Minority Supplier Diversity Council Local Corporation of the Year Award, for excellence in Supplier Diversity in September 2019 and the Black Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County’s Ascension Award, Nonprofit /Public Sector of the Year in 2020. The Office of Diversity in Business Practices also received a Proclamation in 2019 from the Commissioners of Palm Beach County, for providing training, outreach, networking and initiatives to help small businesses grow.
Dicky has overseen the total redesign of the department’s website, a dual certification process for SBEs and M/WBEs, certification of over 500 vendors and numerous outreach and networking events. Dicky created a customized platform in which small businesses can meet directly with District staff and prime vendors, based on the commodity they provide.
During her career, Dicky has worked in New England, New York and Atlanta. She has overseen the award of over One Billion dollars to minority and women-owned businesses, which garnered her many awards and recognition in the supplier diversity community. Dicky holds a BA cum laude from CUNY Queens College and a Master’s in Psychology with honors, from Walden University. Dicky is a member of Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council, South Florida Diversity Council and American Contract Compliance Association. She sits on the Board of the Black Chamber of Commerce Palm Beach County and is a nationally recognized Certified Diversity Professional (CDP).Dicky Sykes