CRN logo of the Inclusive Channel Leaders Winner 2023Seeing efforts around diversity and inclusion promoted and recognized in the industry is exciting. I am proud and grateful to be among CRN’s 2023 Inclusive Channel Leaders award winners.  This recognition results from our collective work to foster diversity and inclusion within Cisco, the channel, and our communities. It reflects our commitment to empowering all voices and embracing different perspectives.

Working in Cisco’s Global Partner and Routes to Market Sales Organization, I have the pleasure of leading a team that promotes diversity and inclusion through the African American Cisco Partner Community (AACPC) to accelerate the growth and success of diverse Cisco partners while increasing the hiring of diverse candidates. We are in the middle of a five-year plan to grow the business by focusing on the AACPC. Many people across Cisco work tirelessly to drive our purpose to power an Inclusive future for all.  We don’t simply measure our impact yearly; we strive to make an impact every day. We’ve had many impactful days this past month, and I would like to highlight a few examples:


This U.S. national holiday offers a time to remind, reflect, and celebrate. Through great timing, I could participate in St. Louis, MO, and Atlanta, GA, with Cisco employees, our partners, and the local community.

In Atlanta, we showcased the Cisco Talent Bridge platform that connects candidates to career opportunities within Cisco and Cisco global channel ecosystem. The Juneteenth parade from the State Capitol to Centennial Park had an awesome turnout, and it was great to see the families supporting the celebration with such energy and excitement!

Bridge 2 Technologies (B2T)

Cisco and our AACPC partner OT Global Technologies participated in the B2T Global Intellect Summit (BGIS) and the Opening Bell of the Nasdaq.  At the Summit, we highlighted the comprehensive social justice work Cisco is doing to power an inclusive future.

Image of a large group of people at Nasdaq ringing the opening bell for Bridge to technologies

We all understand a need to bridge this divide; it takes a village, including Cisco, our channel, and the communities we serve. Technology platforms like B2T accelerate these efforts. Cisco is a sponsor of the B2T platform and participates in the BGIS to unite customers and the AACPC.

All AACPC Accelerate partners were on full display during the NASDAQ opening bell and on the Times Square big screen as we unveiled our new AACPC Video to highlight the partnership and efforts it takes to bridge the digital and diversity divide.


Leaders of Tomorrow

I volunteered time to coach a set of rising St. Louis high schoolers in the Leaders of Tomorrow (LOT) program that promotes leadership, financial literacy, college readiness, and career preparation. In my coaching capacity, I had the honor to help our team to a 2nd place win in the 2023 LOT National Business Case Competition in late June.  Over the past few months, these young leaders worked extremely hard researching, practicing, and preparing themselves to deliver a fantastic presentation to the audience.

Their solution of focusing on skills-based hiring through innovation challenges and leveraging the OneTen initiative to drive increased workplace diversity and impact in the black community was a highlight for the competition and directly addressed bridging the diversity divide.

Image of Andrico and the students he helped

I am proud to be in the right place at the right time to see how we can go beyond what any of us could achieve alone. Together, we will continue to make a positive impact through efforts like these.

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Andrico Spates

Sr Manager, Sales Business Development

Global Partner Routes to Market and Sales