This Veterans Day, we thank all who have served—especially our employees and partners within the MillerKnoll community.
Meet Donna Long, President of GovSolutions and a veteran of the United States Navy. Owned and operated by Long, GovSolutions is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) and Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Certified Dealer. It is located in Virginia Beach, VA, and has been a dealer partner to Herman Miller since 2009.
Long enlisted in the United States Navy at 18 years old as a “Radioman” as part of the Naval Communications department. In this role, she served as a telecommunications specialist who distributed classified and unclassified messages through naval communications systems. During her active duty and reserves, she served in isolated duty stations throughout the world.
In her final location in San Diego, she landed a part-time role at Office Pavilion (OP), and her career in the furniture industry grew from there. She quickly rose from a Government Project Coordinator to Government Account Executive at OP San Diego.
In 2004 she established GovSolutions. Five years later, they became an Authorized Government, Commercial, and Healthcare Herman Miller Dealer. Today, GovSolutions is a part of Herman Miller’s 100+ North American dealers and is also a part of our company's partnership with many diverse-owned dealer partners.
At Herman Miller, we partner with Minority Business Enterprise dealers certified by the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) and Women’s Business Enterprises certified by WBENC.
With diversity and inclusion at the center of all they do, Long and her team at GovSolutions are growing and serving customers around the nation.
Read more about her story:
Q: How did your experience in the military shape you as an individual and business owner?
A: While stationed in Adak, Alaska, we received our first DOS Operated Computer with limited instructions. I was 19 years old, and we had to “figure it out” ourselves. My section was tasked with getting this computer operational and then producing a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). To this day, GovSolutions uses a similar problem-solving approach – we do lots of on-the-job training, and we navigate without perceived notions of how everyone else does it. We are results-oriented with no time to waste. I encourage decision-making – the worst thing in the military and in business is not making a decision.
Q: Why is diversity important?
A: We cannot understand our customers if we do not have a diverse perspective of what our customers’ needs are. If we are going to reach a wide variety of customers, then we need to have a wide variety of perspectives and people on staff to support them.
Q: How do you prioritize inclusion and diversity at GovSolutions?
A: We began as a diverse company and our continued growth is evidence that diversity works. It is part of who we are. We simply look for the best people for the job, keeping our three diversity goals at the forefront of our hiring policy: we are an equal opportunity employer; we hire qualified veterans and military spouses; we strive to hire a minimum of 35% of employees from Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone).
Q: What is one way your company celebrates diversity and inclusion?
A: When Juneteenth was announced as a state and national holiday, we celebrated by hosting a team lunch, and afterward, we wrote on the boardwalk what Juneteenth and freedom meant to us. Shown above is the team in front of our Virginia Beach statue of “King Neptune.”
More on Supplier and Dealer Diversity at Herman Miller
Herman Miller was the first company in the industry to launch a Supplier Diversity Program in 1990. The company remains committed to creating opportunities for innovative suppliers and dealers to drive inclusion in underserved communities within the United States through its Supplier Diversity Program.
The company administers its program and processes by ensuring procurement opportunities and customer partnerships include diverse suppliers and dealers that are certified by the NMSDC as 51% controlled and operated by Black-, Asian Indian-, Asian Pacific-, Hispanic- and Native American-owned certified businesses. These are identified by the Federal Government as Small Business Concerns, Women-Owned Small Businesses, Small Disadvantaged Businesses, Veteran-Owned Small Businesses, and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses.
“We are re-energizing our processes to provide every opportunity for inclusion as we strive to continue to improve our supplier and dealer diversity programs as a company,” said Adriene Bruce, Supplier Diversity Senior Manager at MillerKnoll.
Through the Supplier Diversity Program, Herman Miller is also a member of the Veteran-Owned Business Round Table and maintains a strong relationship with this national organization by providing scholarships to students affiliated with Veteran-owned businesses. This year, the company provided a scholarship to a student attending Alabama A&M University.
More on Veteran Programs and Recognition at Herman Miller
Herman Miller was recognized as a silver-level Certified Veteran-Friendly Employer in 2019 by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency for a commitment to veteran hiring, retention, and development.
The Veterans Equity Team, an employee resource group, focuses on creating community for veteran employees and veteran recruitment and retention. The team implemented a challenge coin program for service members as a mark of camaraderie.
Read more about Herman Miller’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion here and check out career opportunities here.
To all the veterans in the MillerKnoll community and beyond, thank you for your service.