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Diversity Champions

EDuardo Nunez.jpeg

Corporate Diversity Champion


Eduardo R. Nunez

Co-Founder and Co-President

Blue Wave

Mission – Commitment to Diversity.

Blue Wave is a certified minority-owned corporation that helps diverse suppliers understand the international standards required by major corporations and government entities using the Blue Wave Supplier Development Program which is a suite of proprietary methodologies, technologies, training curriculum, and document library. Blue Wave’s mantra is very inspirational, and it reflects the company’s purpose: Changing the World, One Supplier at a Time!


Intellectual Excellent and Commitment to Diversity.

The Blue Wave Supplier Development Program helps diverse suppliers perform a self-assessment against international standards and business requirements used by major corporations and governmental organizations in their supplier selection process.  The Blue Wave platform provides diverse suppliers with the training, processes, tools, and KPI’s required to close their gaps, reach compliance, and be ready for prime time. The standards and business requirements are cross-industry, apply to all diverse suppliers (classes I to IV), and are organized across seven pillars, including HSSE (Health, Safety, Security, and Environmental), Cyber Security, Quality, Corporate Policies, Financials, Technical Capabilities and ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance). The international standards are complex and very comprehensive, making it almost impossible for small and medium size suppliers to understand all the complex requirements. For example, the HSSE international standard includes thousands of expectations, or best practices. Blue Wave has selected those expectations or best practices that are applicable to small and medium size businesses and consolidated them in the Blue Wave engine that runs in the Amazon cloud. In this manner, in less than 2 hours, small and medium size businesses complete their initial self-assessment by responding to the 650 questions of the Blue Wave questionnaire across the seven pillars. The Blue Wave system automatically produces gap reports by supplier and pillar in priority order, as well as the mitigation plans recommended to close gaps.


Efforts to Increase Coverage of Diverse Businesses across the USA and Internationally. Since Blue Wave was launched in 2019, the Blue Wave Supplier Development Program has been deployed to more than 600 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by major corporations, governments, and non-profit organizations across the USA, Mexico, South America and Africa, including:

  • American Petroleum Institute (API)

  • City of Houston and Houston Airport System

  • US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

  • Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

  • Houston Minority Supplier Development Council (HMSDC)

  • Dallas Fort Worth Minority Supplier Development Council (DFWMSDC)

  • Western Regional Supplier Development Council

  • MGM Resorts International

  • BHP (Billiton Petroleum), now Woodside

  • Staatsolie (National Oil Company of Surinam, based in Paramaribo)

  • Murphy Oil Corporation

  • CenterPoint Energy

  • Hokchi (BP joint venture in Mexico)

  • The governments of Tamaulipas, Veracruz, and Nuevo Leon in Mexico

  • Tridealhouse, European NGO building affordable and sustainable housing in Africa.


Willingness to Serve as Mentors to Others.

There are two mechanisms that improve supplier compliance and readiness: 1) The Blue Wave Document Library provides copies of all the policies, procedures, best practices, tools, and metrics that the diverse suppliers need to close their gaps with the international standards. 2) one-on-one mentorship services to help suppliers understand how to customize the document templates provided by Blue Wave and properly reflect their business purpose and scope in those documents. 

Efforts to bring about Equity in our Society.

The effectiveness of the Blue Wave Supplier Development Program is measured by a suite of key metrics during the program deployment and 1 year after graduation from the program.

Metrics During Program Deployment.

At the program kick-off, the diverse suppliers typically have 10 to 40% compliance with the international standards, depending on their level of maturity and number of years in business. At the program closing, the diverse suppliers need to show a minimum of 80% compliance with the international standards to qualify for graduation. On average, the graduating suppliers reach 90% compliance. Blue Wave graduates between 70 and 80% of the program participants, having a significant impact on the communities where we operate.

Metrics 1 Year After Graduation

One year after graduating from the Blue Wave program, the graduates show more than 60% revenue growth, which is typically supported by 50% growth of their own staffing, and more than 50% growth of third-party services.  This is not a theoretical program. This is a reality that triggers business growth and enables small and medium size diverse suppliers grow their revenues significantly by being able to compete for more complex, higher value(spend), and higher-added value business opportunities with large corporations and government entities.

p them thrive.


Community Diversity Champion


Alison Chen

Partner in Charge – Houston



Akin's Partner in Charge of Houston, Alison Chen, is a recognized leader within the firm—serving in a variety of leadership roles, including as head of its Houston office—and throughout the industry—regularly leading the highly complex tax aspects of multibillion- and multimillion-dollar deals.


Beyond helming Akin’s Houston office, Alison chairs the office’s women’s initiative efforts, serves on its diversity committee, and previously served as its hiring partner. She also serves on the firmwide DEI Council and Asian and Women’s FRGs. By earning these positions, Alison has firmly established herself as a devoted advocate for advancing the next generation of diverse lawyers.  Alison’s deep commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) throughout the legal industry, along with her significant efforts toward mentorship and professional excellence, has been recognized across myriad publications and bar associations, including:

  • Texas Lawyer, Diversity and Inclusion Champion.

  • Houston Business Journal, Outstanding Diversity Champion; Women Who Mean Business.

  • State Bar of Texas Asian Pacific Interest Section, Champion of Diversity.

  • Diversity Journal, Asian Leaders Worth Watching.

  • Texas Diversity & Leadership Conference, Most Powerful and Influential Women.

A first-generation immigrant herself, Alison has overcome significant challenges on her journey to success, and, through her unwavering drive, she has become one of the most successful chambers-ranked tax lawyers in Texas, regularly handling blockbuster deals for clients, including industry giants like 7-Eleven and Diamondback Energy.

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Community Diversity Champion

People Operations Team

Goodwill Industries of Houston


Goodwill Houston, founded in 1945 as a nonprofit, is mission focused on empowering individuals to achieve their fullest potential through free education, training, and employment opportunities. By prioritizing awareness of, respect for, and attention to the diversity of the people with whom they include in their Goodwill Houston team, they aim to foster economic independence and self-sufficiency among diverse communities in the Greater Houston area.

One of Goodwill Houston’s greatest achievements in fostering a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) begins with their personnel and transcends into the community through workforce development initiatives. Goodwill Houston presented an average workplace of 1,888 team members at the end of 2023, making up a minority ratio of 67.73%, of which 43% are female. Goodwill Houston continued to integrate DEI efforts into recruiting and onboarding, that by February 2024, their workforce makeup was comprised of 56.4% women and a sustained minority ratio of 67.7%, with a headcount of 2,108 team members. 

Goodwill Houston continued DEI efforts into 2024 to include “It’s Well Wednesdays,” quarterly and annual trainings, and monthly manager integration meetings. These platforms are focused on building a speak freely culture where knowledge is gained through a celebration of success stories across an array of diverse candidates who enrich the employment experience.  They also developed an internal talent pipeline called the Retail Operations Specialist Apprenticeship (ROSA) program to develop retail team members into assistant store managers and store managers.  This program has skilled up to 50-100 workforce members each year since 2022 which led to store management promotions. 

Goodwill Houston's work extends to providing holistic and innovative workforce development programs to the community free of charge in the clean energy and skilled trades industries, to equip individuals with the skills needed for meaningful employment and career advancement. In 2023, Goodwill Houston provided workforce intensive services to 15,206 people in the Greater Houston Area, as well as graduated over 200 people with credentialed training. Additional program offerings provide workforce members with an opportunity for a fresh start with resume writing, digital skills training, and background expunctions. Goodwill Houston is well-positioned to undertake their vision of being a positive change agent due to their extensive experience and longstanding commitment to educate, train, and hire individuals with barriers to employment to help them thrive.

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