Les Haughton, Director of Supplier Diversity
A native of New York, Les worked in the corporate retail world for 28 years. In 2003, he retired as Vice President Divisional Merchandise Manager from Target Stores in Minneapolis where he was responsible for $4.5 billion in annual sales in cosmetics, health and beauty, household chemicals, baby toiletries, and diapers. Following his retirement from Target, Les started the Business Leadership Group focused on developing corporate diversity initiatives and minority and women-owned businesses. For three years, he authored a monthly column called "The Diversity Coach" in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Les and his wife, Evelyn, now live in Charlottesville.
What brought you to UVA and how long have you worked here? I moved my diversity consulting business to Charlottesville ten years ago to be closer to eight of our fourteen grandkids. I've worked here at UVA as the Director of Supplier Diversity for four years. I joined UVA because the travel demands on me for my business travel were backbreaking. For six years, I was traveling two weeks of every month.
What was your very first job ever? My first job was delivering newspapers in my Yonkers, New York neighborhood. The people who are still around in the neighborhood insist that I was the best paperboy they ever had!
In no more than two sentences, tell us a little about what you do in your job. I help state certified Small, Woman-owned, and Minority-owned businesses position themselves to do business with UVA. Additionally, I work with eight other Virginia state universities to develop supplier diversity best practices in the procurement field.
What is your favorite thing to do in the area? My favorite thing that we do in the Charlottesville area is visiting wineries. We were pleasantly surprised with the number of high caliber wineries in the area.
What is your favorite Charlottesville area restaurant? Without a doubt, Mas is our favorite restaurant.
What is something you have always wanted to learn how to do? I've always wanted to learn how to play the piano. I'm a big jazz fan and the piano is my favorite instrument.
Who do you want to learn more about in the EVP-COO Area? Send a note to email@example.com to nominate someone for next month's Employee Profile.