Diversity & Inclusion Top of Mind During Roundtable Discussion

Executives from South Bend – Elkhart Region Talk Inclusive Action

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (September 25, 2019) — On Thursday, September 19th, the Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership hosted its first roundtable event. Centered around implementation and execution of diversity programs, the roundtables were comprised of key leaders from across the region’s private and public sector. 
The event, Driving Diversity: A Roundtable Discussion, featured guest speaker, Reginald E. Humphrey, senior manager of supplier diversity at General Motors – Global Purchasing & Supply Chain. Humphrey shared insights on GM’s development of their supplier diversity program and internal inclusion efforts, noting that GM was the first automotive OEM to establish a formal supplier diversity program in 1968. The purpose of this discussion was to present a model that works on a global scale so that employers in the South Bend – Elkhart Region can apply it within their respective entities.

Diversity & Inclusion Committee Co-Chairs, Tracy Graham, founder and CEO of Graham Allen Partners, a private investment firm which owns the largest technology based company in the region, and Amish Shah, CEO of Kem Krest, a Tier 1 supplier to GM and certified Minority Business Enterprise by the National Minority Supplier Development Council, compelled the executives in the room to take action as it relates to diversity and inclusion. 

“The next generation is going to be more diverse and by acting with inclusive intentions our region can gain a competitive advantage in the talent war,” said Graham. “It’s imperative to understand that everyone matters.”

As the Diversity & Inclusion Committee for the Regional Partnership continues to build out a scalable and sustainable collective impact model, more programmatic opportunities will become available. 

“We, as a committee, are focused on the economic impact of engaging the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs, and to do that we need the current generation to take action,” said Shah. “We need everyone to commit to engaging with the strategies we as a region have defined around diversity and inclusion.” 
About South Bend – Elkhart Regional PartnershipThe South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership is a collaboration of the economic development partners from 47, smart connected communities in Northern Indiana and Southwest Michigan. The Regional Partnership focuses on a long-term systemic approach to advance the region’s economy by aligning the efforts of various stakeholders around five key areas: Educating a world-class WORKFORCE, Recruiting and retaining great TALENT, Attracting and growing new economy companies in complement to our remarkably strong manufacturing INDUSTRIES, Promoting INCLUSION and sparking opportunities for minorities and Helping ENTREPRENEURS thrive. The Regional Partnership seeks to unify and collaborate so that together, the communities across the region work together to achieve what cannot be done individually. For more information about the Regional Partnership, visit SouthBendElkhart.org.


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