Barbara Sullivan founded Sullivan & Associates, the precursor to Sullivan International, as a sole proprietorship in 1982. The firm was located in Los Angeles, California, and was incorporated in 1986. Sullivan & Associates provided consulting in human resource management with an emphasis on developing equal employment opportunity programs and training.
Prior to Sullivan & Associates, Ms. Sullivan held senior human resource management positions with several business organizations including the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office, Children’s Hospital, West Adams Community Hospital, and Cedars Sinai Medical Center. During her tenure in the corporate sector, Ms. Sullivan also developed a professional practice in human resource management, responding to new business opportunities in the field, and rapidly developed a significant client base. In 1984, Ms. Sullivan served as an associate vice president and member of the 1984 Olympic Organizing Committee, establishing four staffing centers throughout L.A. County that trained and placed more than 70,000 employees for the Olympic Games.
In 1986, the human resource management focus of Sullivan & Associates expanded to include temporary and permanent employment placement. Sullivan & Associates’ principal client during this period was Encore, an employment placement agency owned by Ms. Carole Y. Jones. Ms. Sullivan worked collaboratively with Ms. Jones, sharing space and resources. The business partnership grew, with Ms. Sullivan assuming the role of vice president of Encore while continuing as president of Sullivan & Associates.
In 1988 Sullivan & Associates was awarded a $200,000 project by Xerox Medical Systems to provide complete project outplacement: staffing, training, and administration. In 1992 Sullivan & Associates was awarded a contract by Southern California Edison to provide training for small business firms who were vendors for Southern California Edison. The SCE generated revenues of more than $160,000 for Sullivan & Associates over a two-year period, which provided a proving ground to implement the concept of a “virtual organization.” That project brought together 12 consultants and four consulting firms under the Sullivan umbrella. These firms benefited by the NXG project in two ways: as emerging firms serving as vendors for Southern California Edison and as business consultants.
These combined successes served as a stimulus for the formation of Sullivan International, Inc.
In 1996 Ms. Sullivan successfully collaborated with Mr. W. Barry Nixon and Ms. Jacquelyn Newsom in merging Sullivan & Associates, the National Institute for Workplace Violence, and Service Oriented Solutions as Sullivan International, Inc. Sullivan provided progressive human resource management products and services and continued many of the programs that had been previously established by the three principals independently.
Next, Sullivan International made a name in the supplier diversity and development industry by designing and implementing supplier development programs for the diverse supplier-owners who needed to stay in compliance with government initiatives for their large corporate clients.
Sullivan International Today.
Headquartered in downtown Long Beach, California, Sullivan International is strategically located to provide many potential lucrative training and development opportunities in both public and private sectors based in Southern California. In 2009, Barbara Sullivan decided to use subsidized labor resources available through the City of Long Beach’s Hire Long Beach First initiative. She also uses the city of Long Beach college internship program for additional part-time administrative support.
Sullivan is currently focusing resources heavily on workforce training programs that have received public service grants from federal and state government agencies for community job training. Sullivan offers workforce training programs though West Los Angeles College in sports management; hotel, retail, and restaurant training; and customer service.
Sullivan International uses the “basic collaboration” business model.iii Barbara Sullivan identifies an opportunity in which Sullivan International has expertise, contacts consultants with the appropriate expertise, and forms a project team. She serves in the role of project manager, ensuring that the team writes a proposal. If Sullivan wins the bid, her team goes to work.