Workforce Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Working Group

We believe our region absolutely must attract, retain, and develop diverse talent.

In 2017, we designed and implemented four strategies to help West Michigan employers make measurable progress in workforce diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I). The strategies are intended to act in support of one another and will continue to be implemented in 2018:

  1. CEO Commitment – Visible and genuine leadership results in successful DE&I efforts. Progress toward this commitment is measured by the index/benchmarking survey.
  2. Benchmarking Survey – A practical tool for measuring the impact of a company's efforts, offering comparability by industry and company size data. Fundamentally, it provides community progress measurements, while preserving confidential company details and scores.
  3. Employer Toolkit – In spring 2018 we will launch a dynamic, searchable website of leading practices and West Michigan resources for organizations of every size, segmented by categories found in the benchmarking survey.
  4. Inclusive Leadership Development Events – Events for CEOs and their leadership teams that offer practical methods to advance their organization’s DE&I efforts in hiring, retention, development, and culture. 

  • CEO Commitments Signed

    Wg Data Dei 1
  • Benchmarking Survey Score

    Wg Data Dei 2
  • Dan Barcheski, Axios HR
  • Jim Brooks, Brooks Capital Management
  • Doug Dozeman, Warner, Norcross & Judd
  • Tina Freese-Decker, Spectrum Health
  • Bing Goei, Eastern Floral
  • Amy Heisser, Arconic
  • Rhonda Huismann, Crowe Horwath LLP
  • John Irwin, Huntington Bank
  • Win Irwin, Irwin Seating Company
  • Aaron Jonker, Wolverine Building Group
  • Bill Manns, St. Mary's
  • Larry Murphy, Varnum LLP
  • Dale Nesbary, Muskegon Community College
  • Jeff Padnos, Padnos
  • Kent Riddle, Mary Free Bed
  • Brad Thomas, Progressive AE
  • Shelleye Yaklin, North Ottawa Community Health System
Project Manager
  • Blythe Kazmierczak, Axios HR
  • Robyn Afrik, Meijer
  • Laurent Benard, Steelcase
  • Abe Carillo, Herman Miller
  • Rebecca Chabot, Feyen Zylstra
  • Jim Fisher, Second Act LLC
  • Jennifer Jackson, Spectrum Health
  • Jackie Lillie, EY
  • Brad Mathis, Rockford Construction
  • Courtney Simmons, Herman Miller
  • Dave Veneklase, Davenport University