In Celebration of Differences – Our Salute to Diversity

Some of the best run organizations today have discovered the real “killer app” goes beyond technology and infrastructure. It’s people. And more to the point, it’s people from diverse backgrounds, cultures and ethnicities. In short, it’s our differences that not only set us apart but make us better. But how do we get there? And more to the point, who are the people who are driving the issue of diversity in the workplace? Corp! asked the question and you gave us the names of individuals-¦and organizations-¦that continue to raise the bar. This issue of Corp!, presented in cooperation with the Michigan Business and Professional Association and the Michigan Food and Beverage Association, is part of a Salute to Diversity that includes a Tuesday, Nov. 13 event at the Michigan State University Management Education Center in Troy, Mich. The event is sponsored by Comcast, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, DTE Energy and Plunkett Cooney. Vivé la difference!

Diversity Focused Companies


Chrysler LLC (the automaker recently unshackled from its former German-based parent) appears to be redoubling its efforts to become even more diverse when it comes to suppliers. The automaker’s strategy now includes not only increasing the number of minority suppliers it has, but the numbers of minority employees who work at those companies. “For us, it’s not just about the ownership of our minority suppliers, but it’s the number of employees that our suppliers use that are minority employees,” said Simon Boag, executive vice president of procurement and supply, speaking at its eighth annual Matchmaker event in September. Chrysler has a strong network of employee resource groups that serve as a platform for networking and mentoring. “We know that diversity isn’t just something mandated from the top,” said Monica Emerson, Chrysler’s executive director of its corporate diversity office. “You have to engage the employees in the process to create a culture of inclusion, where awareness and education continue to grow.” Chrysler has been recognized by numerous organizations, including the Native American Business Alliance, which named it Corporation of the Year, and its naming to the 2007 list of “Top 50 Companies for Diversity” by DiversityInc. magazine. For the last 10 years, Chrysler executives have earned honors in the Black Engineer of the Year awards. Most recently Byron Green, group vice president, truck and activity vehicle assembly, was named one of the Top 100 Blacks in Technology and Richard Owusu, plant manager at Jefferson North Assembly, received the 2007 Professional Achievement in Industry Award.


The bank may be getting a bit of a bad rap by moving its headquarters to the Lone Star state, but Comerica is still very much a presence in Michigan and, as its employees attest, one where diversity is more a way of life than a program. With the company’s chief diversity officer, Linda Forte, having a direct reporting relationship to the CEO and diversity included as a Comerica core value, the bank seems determined to build on its strengths in that area, regardless of where its headquarters may be. Comerica’s National Diversity Roundtable sets strategy and addresses key issues and topics related to diversity and sets direction for 11 local diversity roundtables, each of which is charged with promoting diversity within a divisional or geographic area. On a day-to-day basis, Comerica staffers take mandatory training (Diversity 101 for employees; Diversity 201 for managers), courses which focus on building an understanding and boosting skills required in a multicultural environment. Even beyond the initial training, senior level executives have diversity built into their performance plan and company divisions have a “diversity scorecard” that outlines goals and measures progress in meeting them. Comerica has some 14 diversity or market segmentation groups, with staffers charged with developing strategic plans intended to reach out to their constituencies. The goal: demonstrating that Comerica understands the groups and their financial needs. The company was named as a “Top 50 Companies for Diversity in the U.S.” by DiversityInc. and has a host of other awards related to various cultural groups.

Compuware Corporation

Differences. For the management of Compuware, one of the world’s largest independent software vendors, it’s something to celebrate. And like any good software developer, the company Peter Karmanos Jr. built has incorporated a process whereby it’s able to benefit from the differences the people who work there bring to the table. Training at Compuware includes mandatory courses intended to teach managers and employees alike how to create an inclusive environment. And the performance of recruiters is judged on how well (and widely) they’re able to “cast the net” for diverse candidates. In addition, the company has designed a strategy that includes recruiters partnering with community and professional groups, locally and throughout the U.S., who are aligned with potential Compuware employees. Once on board, Employee Resource Groups help provide networking opportunities as well as a connection to the communities they represent, among them African American, Chinese, Indian and Latin American. Compuware supports the network through formal mentoring, a “Voices Diversity Newsletter” and a high school intern program designed to spur interest in technology among women and minority students. The reward: a $2,000 college scholarship and the prospect of returning throughout their schooling, with possible employment on graduation. Contributions and community relations efforts are also linked to the diversity initiative, notably through diverse organizations such as the New Detroit Race Relations Summit (Compuware was a major sponsor) and the NAACP Fight for Freedom Dinner and Freedom Weekend. Compuware also works with minority vendors as a way to build supplier diversity.


The automotive supplier has had its challenges, but one area where it remains dedicated is that of diversity, especially in the people that make up the Delphi team. The company believes being more diverse produces tangible benefits, now and in the future. “There is always more than one way to solve a problem,” the company notes. “The more different ways we are able to look at a problem, the more likely we are to discover the solution that is best for our customers. So when you look at Delphi’s global workforce, our supplier base, our educational opportunities, or the communities where we work and serve, you will see there is strength in our diversity.” Delphi seeks to build a culture where individual strengths, combined with teamwork, are a recognized source of mutual success. “Delphi is enriched through the representation of diverse experiences, backgrounds, ethnicities, lifestyles, cultural orientations and beliefs,” says the company. Affiliations include the National Society of Black Engineers, the National Black MBA Association, the Society of Mexican-American Engineers and Scientists, the Society of Women Engineers, and the National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science. “All Delphi’s efforts are directed toward creating a workplace environment that enables every team member to contribute fully,” the company says on its Web site. “That requires complete support of the corporation’s policy on diversity and equal opportunity, along with the necessary efforts that ensure all recruitment, employment, training, promotions and other personnel actions comply with these principles.”


It’s a big world out there. And while Deloitte has been formally working toward being more diverse since 1993, the global consulting company is the first to admit the effort is far from over. As the company says in its annual Diversity and Inclusion Report, Deloitte “is determined to lead, not follow, to push the envelope, be original and take risks.” In doing so, the company has developed work-life balance programs, flexible work arrangements and creative responses to the demands of business travel. Clearly, Deloitte sees its strategy as making good business sense. “Just as we have maintained our strength and increased our market share by diversifying our services, so we must also continue to diversify our workforce and equip our people with the necessary skills to work effectively in this increasingly diverse environment.” Deloitte, which has Michigan offices in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing and Midland, has established accountability measures to assess its effectiveness and continues to monitor promotion, turnover and development of minorities and women. “The objective is to lead the way and weave diversity policies into every part of our day-to-day business life.” Deloitte is structuring annual diversity plans and mentoring and networking programs to aid in career development. And for good reason. “Given the changing demographics in the marketplace and projections about the diversity of future labor pools, it’s evident that our success increasingly depends on the full use of the skills, talents and life experiences of all our people,” says Deloitte U.S. Managing Partner Barry Salzberg. “We are committed to fostering a high performance culture and developing our talent so every individual can reach their full potential.”

Detroit Medical Center

One of the key ways the Detroit Medical Center is able to make progress in advancing diversity is through its supplier base. It does so by intentionally cultivating a network of companies that qualify as minority or women-owned businesses. By clearly outlining how companies that qualify should first make contact (and how to continue in the selection process), the DMC has won numerous accolades, including being named five times as Corporation of the Year (health care) by the Michigan Minority Business Development Corporation. The DMC has also been the MMBDC’s Corporate One winner four times and has been named Corporation of the Year by the Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in its non-automotive category. The DMC’s Office of Ombudsman says diversity at the health care provider takes three parts, as a value, as a cultural norm and as a business strategy. As a value, “difference is welcomed and viewed positively,” according to the DMC Web site. “As a cultural norm, we’ve implemented leadership practices and organizational systems that fully utilize our diverse workforce, and as a business strategy, diversity contributes to our overall business success.” With more than 2,000 licensed beds in its hospitals and more than 3,000 affiliated physicians, the DMC continues to build on its reputation for excellence in care. “DMC facilities employ best practices and conduct business in an atmosphere of respect and professionalism,” states the organization. That theme continues with its attention to being even more diverse. “Our recognition of and attention to diversity in our business operations and health care services is unparalleled.”

Group M

Phil Cowdell, who’s been at the helm of Group M’s Ford Media Services unit less than two years, says getting the right people involved is critical to the organization’s success. “Encouraging team diversity is both a key organizing as well as operating principle,” says the British-born Cowdell. “We are global networks, representing clients from mega-marketers to local niche marketers. To cover this range of market conditions and consumer needs we must ensure that we ourselves are diverse and in tune with the marketplaces in which we operate.” Looking to diversity career fairs is part of the recruitment strategy, but so is a tailored internship program for diversity and minority candidates. And the company has introduced telecommuting and flexible work hours to accommodate workers in different stages of life. Cowdell says change and curiosity are two factors that impact a company like Group M. “We must ensure that our team knows what’s going on ‘out there’ and we believe that curiosity is one of their most vital characteristics. Curious to find a better way; curious about how other teams operate; curious about how other people from different backgrounds/circumstances/markets think and behave. Curiosity plus a learning environment are a powerful combination, and a key driver of change.” Cowdell says he’d like to see Group M go even further when it comes to cultural exchange and cross-training. “In Europe, we used to run ‘job swaps’ between teams in different markets on a common client. The more we share, the more we understand, the better we become.”

Johnson Controls

Becoming more diverse is a journey, says the management of Johnson Controls. For Chairman John Barth, that has meant investing the resources required to become more diverse, attributing some $7 billion in new orders directly to its diversity journey. For Barth, who will retire at the end of 2007, supplier diversity initiatives are a way for Johnson Controls to differentiate itself from the competition. No wonder the company was named Corporation of the Year by the National Minority Supplier Development Council. And the World Diversity Council recognized the company with its Corporate Diversity Innovation Award, in part the result of a supplier diversity joint-venture program and for excellence in collaborating with partners in urban, diverse communities. Johnson Controls will have spent more than $1.5 billion with women and minority-owned firms this year, said to be one of only 13 corporations with results at that level. But supplier diversity is only part of the equation. When it comes to people, the view is determinedly global: Johnson Controls continues to focus on the talent development of gender and diverse candidates and advancement at all levels and in all regions of the world. In January 2006, Johnson Controls added a corporate officer-level executive position-”vice president of diversity and public affairs, a post currently held by Charles A. Harvey. Employees at Johnson Controls are active in creating an inclusive workplace through initiatives such as the African American Affinity Network and a Women’s Resource Network, both organized by employees and chartered by the company.


In a company the size of Lear, with some 90,000 employees at 242 locations in 33 countries, you might think the organization was, by definition, diverse. But remember: the supplier of seating systems, electronic products and electrical distribution systems and other interior products has as its corporate tagline “advance relentlessly.” It began doing just that through a Corporate Diversity Council, one of its first priorities being the training of hiring managers in how to manage a diverse workforce. By 2006, Lear had delivered training to management in procurement, financial and program development. The company’s philosophy is clear: “By diversity, we mean an environment where individuals’ similarities and differences are recognized and respected for their contributions to our vision to be the best.” The efforts to leverage Lear’s buying power go back to 2001, with the establishment of the company’s Office of Supplier Diversity; with short-term goals tied to those of its automaker customers and long-term goals that focus on building a diverse supplier base. But all that must make sense from a business perspective, something Lear management knows and understands. “We believe that focusing on diversity and looking at ways to achieve an inclusive environment makes good business sense. A diverse workforce offers greater productivity and innovation as well as the potential for a competitive edge. Our mission is to recognize and value the multiple perspectives, experiences and capabilities of all of our employees in order to achieve our vision and continue to build on the success we enjoy.”

Mill Steel

As Mill Steel’s Director of People Development explains, the Grand-Rapids based company takes a somewhat different approach to diversity in the workplace. “Our goal is to find people who come from diverse cultures and diverse backgrounds but who already share the values of other Mill Steel employees,” says Tom Stanfield. “Some of the things we look for include trust, the importance of family and community. We’re looking for relational, team players.” Among the places Mill Steel looks is Focus: HOPE, the inner city organization that helps with skills training, and the Wayne State Society of Black Engineers, which has a lab in Mill Steel’s Melvindale facility. The company has also reached into the Bosnian community as a source of staff. “We have people in our organization from 13 different countries and a variety of cultures. Once we get people into employment, we find we don’t have to undo the past history they carry with them.”


While the logistics conglomerate has achieved recognition for offering innovative services in its industry, NLM management is most proud of the people who work there, a diverse workforce. One that’s becoming more so with a specific recruitment program geared toward military veterans. And that’s in an organization where already more than half the employees are members of a minority, with several holding top leadership positions. NLM and its affiliated companies, including Artisan Associates, Artisan Container Services, NLM Supply Chain Solutions and Top Flite Express, have received numerous honors related to its leadership in issues of diversity. The organization also promotes diversity and inclusion through a two-day “Building Bridges & Making Connections” diversity training course, taught by experts from Schoolcraft College. Employees share a commitment to the company’s inner-city neighborhood, especially through education. NLM supports Detroit’s inner-city schools, educating students about careers in the supply chain by providing logistics curriculum taught by experts as well as participating in computer learning and reading programs. Students are also invited to tour company facilities, educating them in the field of shipment management and logistics. Headquartered in the heart of the city of Detroit since its inception, NLM has employees who work diligently to spearhead and help strengthen a wide range of community organizations including Action on Joy Road, the Adopt-A-School Program Business Initiative at Sherrill School, Cornerstone Schools and Christ Child House. One student, one of the first who participated in the company’s computer training program offered at Sherrill School, later earned a “Most Improved” award from among his classmates.

Pepsi Bottling Group

Yes, Pepsi is ranked very near the top of DiversityInc.’s “Top 50 Companies for Diversity” (No. 2). But getting accolades isn’t the point, says Jennifer Smith, director of multicultural marketing in the company’s Detroit office. “We simply aim to do the right thing by our most prized possessions -¦ our people and our customers.” That means establishing a framework that seeks to build an inclusive culture among employees, then celebrating the diversity that follows. Pepsi works hard to attract, retain, develop and promote the best talent that reflect the demographics of its marketplace. One part of the strategy is partnering with organizations such as the Michigan Food and Beverage Association and supporting events such as the annual Metro Youth Day at Belle Isle Park. Pepsi boasts a strong commitment to diversity at a number of levels, including its board of directors and representation in both its executive ranks and frontline. And the company’s leadership is engaged in the process of strengthening the organization’s diversity, including the diversity of its suppliers. Pepsi’s “We are Involved Neighbors” initiative delivers a combination of matching gifts, individual volunteerism grants, team volunteerism grants and team fundraising grants in the communities in which it operates. The PBG WINS program is funded by the PBG Foundation, which in 2006 paid out more than $2 million in grants. The company also contributed more than $16 million in product and corporate contributions in its market communities last year.

SeDA Consulting

When Sharon Davis would go to conferences focused on IT, one of the first things she noticed was how she stood out, one of the few women and African Americans in a sea of professionals. “I’d ask myself, ‘where is everyone else?’,” says Davis, who leads SeDA Consulting, a Farmington Hills, Mich., firm that has gone beyond IT consulting to focus on what it calls “transformational leadership.” With Davis at the helm, SeDA provides strategies, tools and techniques for leaders, human resource professionals and work teams, the objective being to remove barriers to productivity related to diversity and inclusion. Davis believes having a strong emotional quotient and investing in human capital matter more than IQ. “Our clients rely upon transformational strategies and skills to grow their capacity in diversity/inclusion and conflict resolution to build and retain stronger teams and organizations,” says Davis. “It takes new training approaches and a solid skill set to succeed in leading and managing today’s diverse workforce.” Before SeDA was founded, Davis served as one of nine founding members of the Institutes for Healing Racism. “It was more interesting to see what you could do on the people side of the business.” At SeDA Consulting, Davis is able to combine her know-how of processes related to human resources and IT. “We help companies resolve and get ahead of people issues before they become a problem,” she says. “In doing so, we pay a lot of attention to high touch as well as high tech.”

TAC Automotive

When the automotive unit of TAC Worldwide hears from its customers, among them Ford and Chrysler, that becoming more diverse is an increasingly important business goal, it responds with worldwide resources. TAC’s Supplier Diversity Plan includes goals to award a substantial percentage of total third-party supplier contracts to companies that help meet its clients’ goals in the area of supplier diversity. While providing minority and women-owned businesses the opportunity to do business with more companies, TAC clients are also given the assurance that their stringent operating procedures will be followed. Clearly a win-win for everyone involved, the TAC Automotive staffing process ensures that world-class contracting processes are followed while giving a variety of diverse organizations, including businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business and HubZone business concerns, the maximum opportunity to compete. The goal: to boost and build the capabilities of Minority-Owned Business Enterprises and/or Women-Owned Business Enterprises to world-class levels, enabling them to meet even the most demanding workforce staffing requests. TAC’s Diversity Alliance Program provides mentoring and support services, enabling companies to participate in large scale programs; deliver indirect purchasing services; and provide customers with a team of qualified individuals who will contribute to the success of its clients. In turn, companies looking to honor their commitment to support diversity can now meet this critical objective while obtaining access to state-of-the-art staffing services that larger firms are capable of providing.

Walbridge Aldinger

As an active participant in the Michigan Minority Business Development Council, Walbridge Aldinger puts its philosophy for diversity into action. Add to that the role of management on the corporate advisory board for the Detroit Black Chamber of Commerce (formerly known as the African-American Association of Businesses & Contractors) and it’s clear that the company is one where results count. Walbridge Aldinger is also an active corporate member of the Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and New Detroit. Even with this involvement, the company seeks practical ways to advance the cause of diversity, notably in its forging of a mentoring relationship that began in 1994. Devon Contracting is now a 51 percent partner in Devon Industrial Group, giving Walbridge customers a minority construction organization with the resources, commitment and proven processes to serve its customers. It’s also a platform for spreading the net of diversity supply, which Walbridge Aldinger does with Ford, Toyota, Chrysler and General Motors. Plus the company is involved in minority development programs for non-industrial customer markets, including education and aviation as well as governments at the federal, state and local level. But does the effort produce results? Walbridge has an outstanding track record for meeting or exceeding its annual corporate Minority Business Enterprise goals, achieving its goal of 10 percent business in 2006, or more than $60 million in construction work to Minority Business Enterprises. This year, Walbridge Aldinger has been nominated Corporation of the Year-”Construction by the MMBDC, a repeat from last year.

Williams Acosta PLLC

When Ruben Acosta and Avery Williams connected in 1992, the result was the first African-American Hispanic law firm partnership in the Metro Detroit area. Today, Williams Acosta PLLC, founded on the principles of diversity, advocacy and professionalism, continues to serve with distinction. It does so as an extension of the partners’ belief: that Hispanic and African-American lawyers have greater opportunities for advancement by empowering themselves through independence and self-reliance. While relatively small in size (there are nine attorneys on staff), the cases they handle have allowed minority lawyers to gain the skill, expertise and experience necessary for greater career advancement. Acosta and Williams work with numerous minority businesses to promote economic opportunities for minority business people. Acosta and his team have worked extensively at the local, state and national level on Hispanic issues ranging from immigration reform to business development, with initiatives that have included financing and building new housing developments in Southwest Detroit and renovating old, dilapidated buildings that were a magnet for drug dealers. Williams is a nationally recognized expert in the area of eminent domain litigation and has authored numerous briefs on the subject. Williams Acosta has an internship program targeted toward minority high school and college students where they work in the firm for a semester, shadowing lawyers and gaining valuable insight and experience in the law profession. Practice areas include commercial litigation, real estate and development, environmental law and regulation, municipal law and eminent domain, corporate and commercial transaction, and employment and labor law.

Diversity Business Leaders

Ismael Ahmed
Director, Michigan Department
of Human Services

To call Ismael Ahmed an activist would be too simplistic. The longtime community organizer who headed the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services, and who now serves as director of the Michigan Department of Human Services, is the penultimate people person. And he intends to make a difference, as he has done for so many years already. In a newspaper interview after accepting the appointment, Ahmed made it clear that results are what counts. “If I can leave and say that I made some difference in the lives of people, then I’ll feel good about it.” Ahmed, who played a key role in the creation of the Arab American National Museum that opened in 2005, has been an autoworker, broadcaster and band manager. He is also a veteran of the U.S. Army. Ahmed is a graduate of Henry Ford Community College and the University of Michigan, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education.

John Akouri
Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce

A lifelong Michigan resident, John Akouri has been involved with politics nearly all his life, one notable role being the press secretary for Michigan Congressman Joe Knollenberg. Back at home, Akouri is making his own mark now as a member of the city council in Farmington Hills, Mich., and continues his role as an influential leader in the American Lebanese community. A member of numerous organizations related to his Lebanese heritage, Akouri, at the request of prominent national Lebanese American business leaders, is heading the formation of the Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce, a national business organization based in Michigan, but with offices in Washington, D.C., Houston, New York and Chicago. The Chamber will serve to actively develop, promote and advance Lebanese American business and to enhance the economic, social, educational, trade and cultural interests by providing leadership, legislative advocacy and the exchange of business and information.

Dennis Archer
Chairman, Dickinson Wright

His name is nearly synonymous with the city of Detroit, Dennis Archer having served as mayor of the city from 1994 to 2001. But Archer is no mere politician. He is acknowledged as having one of the finest legal minds in the nation (in April 1990, when he was associate judge of the Michigan Supreme Court, Michigan Lawyers Weekly named him the “Most Respected Judge in Michigan”) and was elected by his peers as president of the American Bar Association (2003-2004). Archer served as board chair of the Detroit Regional Chamber (2006-2007). Even as he has advanced in his profession, Archer has done much to help train a new generation of attorneys, including stints as an associate professor at Detroit College of Law and adjunct professor at Wayne State University Law School. Today, Archer remains at the top of his game, as chairman of Dickinson Wright, a blue chip law firm in downtown Detroit.

Sarah J. Bates
President/CEO, New Technology Steel

Strong as steel? Few would argue that Sarah Bates, whose mission was to build a world class minority-owned enterprise, doesn’t fit the bill. Having purchased the assets of a failed company in 2000, Bates has since acquired two additional facilities, but she’s also reaching out with a supplier diversity program designed to increase business growth initiatives for women, minorities and small business owners, all while building mutually beneficial relationships for New Technology Steel and its customers. Bates found her success by rebuilding the original company’s physical structure and replacing or repairing malfunctioning or obsolete equipment. But the people part of the equation is just as important; Bates worked hard in improving the attitudes and work ethics of those around her, regaining the confidence of existing customers while developing new ones. Her now-legendary mantra to coworkers is catching on: “Just do it right and make it happen.”

Sharon Cannarsa
CEO, Systrand Manufacturing

Since she launched Systrand in 1982, Sharon Cannarsa has made it the mission of the Native American and woman-owned minority business to become a dependable supplier of parts to a growing list of customers. She’s doing just that, growing out of the original 3,800-square-foot facility to the current 220,000-square-foot, state of the art complex in Brownstown, Mich. Under her leadership, subsidiaries and joint ventures in South Korea and Danville, Ill., have underscored that reputation. Producing components for engine, chassis and transmissions on both a short term emergency and long term production basis, Systrand serves clients such as Chrysler, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Volkswagen, ZF Industries, Freudenberg-NOK, along with other Tier I suppliers. Cannarsa believes there is an obligation to grow not only personally, but to support the growth of the community and others in the business community. She is widely recognized for her involvement in various organizations that help achieve those goals.

Thomas Clarkson
Field Vice President,
Allstate Insurance Company

As a career employee at Allstate Insurance (he began in 1978 as a management trainee), Thomas Clarkson knows and understands what it takes to succeed: persistence, commitment and consistency being among the most desirable traits. Over a career that has taken Clarkson to a number of communities throughout Michigan, Indiana and Ohio (his area of responsibility), investing in education and raising awareness of African-American history have been recurring themes. He did so as a board member for the Cleveland chapter of Facing History and Ourselves, a nonprofit educational organization that promotes tolerance. Clarkson’s commitment to diversity awareness is well known, notably at a recent luncheon for the National Conference of the NAACP (where he was a guest speaker). At Allstate, Clarkson has spearheaded the recruitment of exclusive agents and exclusive financial representatives, with a particular attention to raising the level of diversity in the organization.

Paula D. Cunningham
President, Capitol National Bank

Paula Cunningham is the first woman and African American to be president of Capitol National Bank, which was founded some 25 years ago. She came to the post in 2006, after having served in various positions at Lansing Community College (LCC), including vice president of planning and college relations, executive director of marketing, community, and board relations; director of professional development; and associate professor in the management and marketing department, and finally, as president when she joined Capitol National Bank. At the bank, she oversees all operations, including business development, human resources and training. Before working at LCC, she owned and managed the Mason Hills Golf Course. She has served as a keynote speaker, panel member and facilitator for a variety of local and national organizations and hosted a weekly talk radio program for more than six years. Cunningham earned a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University.

Tarik Daoud
Automotive dealer

Now a Detroit business leader and one of Michigan’s most active philanthropists, Tarik Daoud is a testament to what a new immigrant to the country can accomplish. The owner of both Al Long Ford and Clinton Tecumseh Ford Lincoln-Mercury came to America from his native Iraq in 1956, attending the former Detroit Institute of technology (now part of Lawrence Tech). Since arriving and not only learning the language, but the culture of his adopted home, Daoud and his wife Helen have made advancing education one of their causes, initiating scholarships and endowment funds totaling more than $1 million. Daoud has been justifiably honored for his contributions, including having received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, authorized by the U. S. Congress to recognize achievements of this nation’s foreign-born citizens. Daoud continues to make a difference in improving the quality of life in the state, helping to raise $50 million each for Madonna University and the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center on Detroit’s east side.

William Davidson
President and CEO, Guardian Industries

The majority owner of the NBA Pistons, WNBA Shock and NHL Tampa Bay Lightning may not care for the publicity, but Bill Davidson is, in fact, one of the most recognized figures when it comes to philanthropic causes, many of them related to his Jewish heritage. A graduate of the University of Michigan business school, he earned a law degree (from Wayne State University), then transformed a failing windshield business. Today, privately held Guardian Industries is a leader in architectural and automotive glass, with 19,000 employees in 21 countries. Davidson chooses to share his wealth in a number of causes, including religious education (among them the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education at New York’s Jewish Theological Seminary of America and the Wexner Foundation, which gives grants to post-undergrad students of Jewish studies). He has also made generous donations to excavations at the southern wall of the temple mount in Jerusalem.

Deborah Dolman
President, Midwest Catalyst Group, Inc.

Deborah Dolman’s reputation as a Lansing-based entrepreneur is growing -” and for good reason. Her first career was as a court reporter (she launched her company in 1979); 12 years later she was developing technology to help attorneys and those in the legal system capture video and audio testimony. The Greater Lansing Business Monthly recognized her as its “Entrepreneur of the Year,” but even selling the company didn’t slow Dolman down. She put her skills in relationship building and collaboration to work at Lansing Community College, helping with several projects involving technology development. Today she’s applying her relationship-building skills in an entirely different direction, as vice president of business development and co-owner (with her daughter Cerese Dolman) of Cerese D Jewelry, Inc., which makes items sold in upscale boutiques and marketed directly nationwide. Deborah Dolman has been profiled in publications such as Entrepreneur magazine, Nation’s Business and Black Enterprise.

Frederick Feliciano
Hispanic Business Alliance

It might be easier to describe what Frederick Feliciano hasn’t done when it comes to helping advance the stature and health of the Hispanic community in metro Detroit. Born in southwest Detroit and raised in a strong family atmosphere, Feliciano went to work for the Catholic Youth Organization, where he saw creation of the Youth Athletic Enrichment Program, the Southwest Detroit Recreation League and the Annual Hispanic Youth Leadership Conference. He has served as manager of community relations for the Detroit Tigers, implementing the team’s first strategic plan to penetrate the Hispanic market (which led to a similar plan for the Arab American market). And for four years, Feliciano served as multicultural liaison to the mayor of Detroit. Feliciano is president of the Hispanic Business Alliance, which has seen a 300 percent growth in membership in his tenure, and was the driving force behind the annual Hispanic Business Expo and Economic Summit.

Joel I. Ferguson
President, Ferguson Development L.L.C.

Joel Ferguson must be used to hearing the word “first.” In 1967, he was the first African American elected to Lansing City Council (and the youngest) and was the first African American elected to the Ingham County Board. Ferguson served on the Democratic National Committee and helped Jesse Jackson’s 1988 victory in Michigan. In 1995, President Clinton appointed him to the board of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. But politics is not the only thing that keeps Ferguson energized; he founded two television stations and was instrumental in the startup of Capitol National Bank. Ferguson also co-founded F&S Development Company, which owns and develops major commercial buildings, including the Michigan House of Representatives building and residential complexes in 16 cities. He chairs the Michigan State University board of trustees and is vice chair of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation. In 2007, Ferguson received the NAACP Freedom and Justice Award.

V. Diane Freeman
GM Senior Manager,
Supplier Diversity Program

General Motors is one big place. But when it comes to supplier diversity with an emphasis on women, few would argue that Diane Freeman has been one of the most influential individuals in transforming the automaker as a place where opportunities abound for women business owners. Freeman has done so in many ways, including having one-on-one conversations with executives and hosting facilitated workshops that help share best practices in supplier diversity. Freeman mentors women business owners as well, partly through her membership on numerous boards (among them, the National Minority Supplier Development Council, Michigan Minority Business Development Council, Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Native American Business Alliance and the Michigan Women’s Business Council). She is also on the board of the Center for Empowerment and Economic Development. She says a key to building supplier diversity is performance. “We want to make sure we are building strong performing minority suppliers that are positioned for growth.”

Jane C. Garcia
Chair, Latin Americans for
Social and Economic Development

Formed in 1965 as a means to better meet the needs of the Hispanic community in southwest Detroit, Latin Americans for Social and Economic Development, chaired by Jane Garcia, was the first Latino agency in the city. Today it serves seniors and youth as well as offering continued information and referral services in an area where some 45 percent of the population is Hispanic (and where continued growth has helped to balance the declining population in other areas of the city). In its early days, a key purpose of the agency was to help immigrants with language and cultural barriers receive needed services. LASED, a United Way agency, now has a meals program and helps organize chore services for seniors, the intention being to help the elderly stay in their homes as long as possible. LASED also networks with other agencies and schools, encouraging educators to become role models for a future generation.[PAGE[

Yousif Ghafari

Born in southern Lebanon, Yousif Ghafari became a U.S. citizen in 1978, four years after earning the first of several degrees, three of them from Wayne State University. A licensed professional engineer, Ghafari heads the architectural, engineering and staffing firm that bears his name, an organization he founded based on responsive customer service and the latest in technology. But Ghafari, a Lebanese Christian who immigrated to the U.S. in the mid 1970s, is passionate about more than designing great buildings (although the firm has received numerous awards for doing so). He has a well-deserved reputation as one of the area’s leading philanthropists and is a member of the Institute of Metropolitan Detroit’s “Hall of Fame.” Ghafari is a board member for several organizations, including the College for Creative Studies, Oakwood Healthcare, Inc., the Automobile Club of Michigan, Dura Automotive Systems, Inc., the Economic Club of Detroit and the Wayne State University Foundation.

William Hardiman
Michigan State Senator

The list of organizations to which Republican State Senator Bill Hardiman has contributed his leadership skills is a long one. But that doesn’t mean the Michigan State Senator isn’t focused. Indeed, the recurring theme for the long-time resident of Kentwood (where he served as mayor from 1992-2002) is bettering the human condition. Hardiman, who according to his Web site is “exceptionally active” in his church, gained national attention as one of the founders and current chairman of Healthy Marriages Grand Rapids, formerly known as the Greater Grand Rapids Community Marriage Policy, a broad-based program to promote strong marriages and family life. Hardiman was elected in November 2002 to represent the 29th State Senate district, which includes the cities of Grand Rapids, Kentwood and Lowell and the townships of Cascade, Lowell, Vergennes and Grattan.

Darryl Hart
Commodity Sourcing Group

Growing up in the state of Washington and earning a degree in business administration from the University of Washington, Darryl Hart first went into the banking industry before taking a sharp right turn -” as owner of an Adventures in Advertising franchise, which he developed over five years to become a successful enterprise. Selling the company in 1999, today he is smoothing the road for health care clients. As co-founder of Commodity Sourcing Group, Hart is providing commodity sourcing, commodity integration and supply chain management services. He’s also a firm believer in the power of minority owned businesses and how they can effect change in society. “We have written into our policies and procedures, explicitly, our desire and intention to engage in all areas of socially responsible behavior including proactively engaging in diversity programs with an emphasis on minority reciprocity within our own community.” Hart and his wife Lori have two children and are active in their community.

Gregory Jackson
Jackson Automotive Management

One might think running the first black-owned dealership to surpass $1 billion in sales would be enough achievement for one person. But they wouldn’t know Gregory Jackson, whose Prestige Automotive now includes six dealerships representing Pontiac, Saturn, Lincoln, Mercedes, Ford, GMC, Buick and Mercury. Jackson, who two years ago served as president of the GM Minority Dealers Association, was also named Dealer of the Year by Black Enterprise magazine. In an industry where competition is clearly keen, Jackson continues to hold a leadership role, something that Rick Wagoner, the head of GM, would attest: “Greg Jackson is the advantage that Prestige Automotive has over other dealerships. Greg recognizes that an integral part of running a successful business requires a commitment to his customers and their complete satisfaction, and being an active member of the community in which the dealership operates.” Today, Jackson Automotive Management is considering several non-automotive ventures as part of a growth strategy.

Vinnie Johnson
Chairman, Piston Group

When he was playing for the NBA Detroit Pistons (from 1981-1994), Vinnie Johnson was known as the Microwave -” for his ability to instantly heat up the offense. Thirteen years later, Johnson is in a different game altogether, this one the highly competitive auto supply business. The arena is an area of the city that’s seen to have its own set of challenges, but Johnson is no quitter; he’s attracted training grants to improve the productivity of employees (absenteeism and turnover were early problems) and brought together a team he expects will not only survive, but excel in the future. Diversity is part of the equation, reflected in the company’s values: “Piston Group will create an atmosphere that attracts and retains top talent by embracing, encouraging and respecting our differences.” The company, located in Detroit’s Empowerment Zone, is working on growing its business and has established joint ventures with other suppliers including Lear, Continental Teves and others.

Joyce Keller
Executive Director, JARC

Joyce Keller is executive director of JARC, a nonprofit whose mission it is to provide residential and independent-living services to people with developmental disabilities. A former teacher, Keller was introduced to JARC and knew right away that it was what she was looking for. “It just felt right,” Keller once told a writer from the Chronicle of Philanthropy. “You know how some people have a theme in their dreams? For my whole life, the theme has been houses: redesigning them, knocking down walls, going street to street, looking for houses.” She finds the work at JARC immensely rewarding. “Taking people with mental retardation and developmental disabilities out of the shadows, out of the closet, and helping them be part of this community just like you and I are. That they’re not ashamed, that they have names and faces, that’s the greatest legacy we leave.”

Daniel Oglesby
Senior Vice President, HR, Spectrum Health

For the last six years, Daniel Oglesby has provided leadership for the human resources function at Spectrum Health. But Oglesby is no newcomer to the field; he previously worked as director of performance, compensation and development for Alticor Corporation (formerly known as Amway), where he redesigned the human resources department, managed the HR business products group and initiated major human capital change programs. Oglesby has also worked at Corporate Express, as VP of human resources for the delivery systems division, consolidating the company’s HR functions, defining a compensation structure for employee job groups, and introducing standard policies and procedures. Oglesby was also director of human resources and labor relations for Dow Chemical Company’s operating engineers and prior to that, diversity development director at Dow’s corporate headquarters. He earned a bachelor’s degree in health science from Grand Valley State University and a master’s degree in public administration from Western Michigan University.

Nikki S. Olyai
President, Innovision Technologies, Inc.

A pioneer, not only in her profession (Innovision focuses on advanced sciences, engineering and information technology) but in furthering the role of women as entrepreneurs, Nikki Olyai was quick to recognize the value of obtaining Women’s Business Enterprise certification. Just six years after its founding in 1993, Innovision was named one of Fortune magazine’s fastest-growing privately held companies. The recognition was quickly followed by others: Innovision was one of 11 companies in a 2000 Salute to Women’s Business Enterprises and Olyai has been recognized by a Congressional Committee for outstanding leadership. She has also been recognized with an Outstanding Women Entrepreneur Award. Olyai earned a bachelor of science degree and a master of science degree in computer science from Oregon State University. She continues to be active in groups promoting the growth of women-owned businesses and serving as a role model for others, believing that supplier diversity is a smart business imperative.

Dominic Pangborn
Founder, President,
CEO, Pangborn Design, Ltd.

Born in war-torn Korea, at the age of 10, Dominic Pangborn found himself adopted into an American family in Jackson, Mich. After his adopted father recommended a career in art, Pangborn studied at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, eventually returning to Michigan to found his namesake design firm. And while business ventures are forefront, so is a keen sense of giving back to the community, especially through initiatives that embrace inclusion. While his design awards now number in the hundreds, the passion he exhibits is seemingly limitless: Pangborn’s business endeavors range from information technologies and securities to building materials and custom digital media networks. He’s also a passionate supporter of causes and events such as Ebony Fashion Fair, Museum of African American History’s African World Festival and the United Negro College Fund Annual Mayor’s Ball. Pangborn has also given his time to a number of well known organizations, among them the Detroit Science Center, the Children’s Center of Michigan and the Michigan Humanities Council.

David H. Segura
CEO, Vision IT

A decade after envisioning a reliable and reputable information technology firm, David Segura’s Vision IT is one of the largest diversity-owned IT staffing, outsourcing and vendor management firms in the nation. Acknowledged by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest growing privately held companies in North America, it is also one of the fastest growing and largest Hispanic businesses in the United States. Segura is not only committed to growth in the business, but in the community in which he lives and serves. It was his involvement in the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers that the idea for Vision IT was born and Segura continues to give back, having created a Vision IT summer internship program in partnership with Wayne State University, providing Detroit high school students with valuable exposure to the growing information technology field. A college-level student scholarship and interning program, Second Step, provides students with additional opportunities.

Salman Sesi
Attorney, Sesi & Sesi

As a young man, Salman Sesi understood what it was like to be a minority, having been raised in Iraq as a Chaldean Christian. Already a lawyer in Baghdad in 1948, he immigrated to the U.S. in 1950 and went back to school to earn a law degree at Wayne State University. In the early days of living in the Detroit area, Sesi says being a part of a very small minority (fewer than 65 families) meant having to work together with other minorities. And while the numbers have grown (there are some 160,000 Chaldeans in the area), Salman Sesi has made it a point to stay connected with a growing Arab and Chaldean community, including serving as chair of the Iraqi American Association of Michigan. At the same time, he has distinguished himself as an advocate for small business (a specialty of his law firm) and serves on the advisory board of the Michigan Food and Beverage Association.

Ron Shahani
Acro Service Corp.

Growing up in northern India, Ravinder “Ron” Shahani recalls seeing Neil Armstrong walk on the moon, an event that he says had him first dreaming of a life in the United States. Completing a degree in finance in India, he came to the U.S. in 1975, first earning a Master’s in Business Administration before joining Ford Motor Company. It was in 1982 that he saw the need for a professional staffing firm and launched Acro Service as a result. “I immediately perceived an opportunity as initiatives for outsourcing engineering and design projects became the key concept to eliminate high-end costs and yet remain competitive.” Part of Shahani’s strategy was to recognize the financial lure of joining a staffing company like Acro. In doing so, he offered engineers more than they could make elsewhere. He has since diversified into other industries and now automotive accounts for just 30 percent of Acro’s business.

Herb Strather
Strather Developments

Herb Strather emerged from an economically deprived southwest Detroit community to become one of the nation’s leading African American entrepreneurs. But all great things have small beginnings and Strather’s came with the purchase of a single property, the result of a decision he made after attending his first class at Wayne County Community College to become a real estate investor. Since then, communities that were once challenged and seemingly beyond their prime have blossomed, the result of Strather’s vision of creating safe and welcoming places where families and small businesses could grow and prosper. He was an early investor in the Motor City Casino, one of three gaming sites in Detroit. Strather’s personal passion for education and community building led to his support for the work of Optimist International. He has personally donated more than $1 million to the organization and is responsible for founding some 115 chapters of Optimist International.

Jeff Styers
Arrow Strategies, LLC

In the five years since Jeff Styers, a Native American, founded staffing company Arrow Strategies LLC, the staffing firm has earned a reputation for excellence, first exemplified by its selection a year later as one of “Metropolitan Detroit’s Best and Brightest Places to Work For.” A series of acquisitions quickly positioned Arrow Strategies as a force to be reckoned with in the staffing industry. The company has been a repeat “101” winner in subsequent years and in 2005 was nominated as “Minority Supplier of the Year” by the Michigan Minority Business Development Council. Styers, who also owns a specialty staffing service -” Computer and Engineering Services -” is very much a “people person” as evidenced by one of his hard and fast rules, one which not all staffing companies adhere to. “We are adamant about meeting our candidates. I don’t know how you can compete without knowing your product and our product is our people.”

Denise Yee
Executive Director, Asian Pacific
American Chamber of Commerce

The Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce, formed in 2000 to provide a structured environment facilitating cooperation, support and mentoring among all Asian Pacific American businesses and professionals, is headed by Denise Yee, whose entrepreneurial spirit helps when it comes to interacting with businesses, building networks and enhancing communications. Yee’s years of experience in both private and public sectors and her skills in public relations, community relations, event planning, marketing and fundraising are all part of what makes APACC such a vibrant organization. Yee’s experience includes working for the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber, Michigan Department of Career Development and Michigan Jobs Commission. She also served as director of the Office of the First Lady when Michelle Engler held that post. Yee’s enthusiasm and unwavering spirit are well known, as are her core strengths and capabilities, all of which demonstrate a desire to take a leadership role to advance the causes of APACC. Yee earned a degree in organizational leadership and management from Regent University.

Diversity Champions

Arab-American and Chaldean Council

Founded in 1979 as a one-person office (head-quartered in the Inter-national Institute in Detroit), the Arab-American and Chaldean Council served just 421 clients; a decade later it had opened 12 outreach centers and was reaching more than 5,000, a growth in stature and predominance due to the simple desire to serve. The organization remains central to the fabric of culture for thousands and a fulcrum for development in one of the city of Detroit’s more challenging areas, the 7 Mile Neighborhood. It’s there where a revitalization effort that began in 1995 has since become part of the city of Detroit’s Community and Neighborhood Development Initiative. Today, the ACC -” how it refers to itself -” continues to support the community, serving more than 78,000 clients a year.

Band of Angels

After Cynthia Kidder’s son Jordan was born with Down Syndrome in 1989, she was told how “different” he would be. Instead, Kidder began to realize that Jordan was more the same than different. In 1994, she formed Band of Angels to share that realization with others, her intention being to bring this inspiring and hopeful message to other families. Private donations and publishing revenue account for more than half the organization’s budget; an annual Starry Night Gala and other grants and donations also help support families of children with Down syndrome with accurate information, advocacy and educational scholarships. Kidder worked with Joseph Rubenstein of Aurum jewelers in Rochester, Mich., to create an international symbol for Down syndrome, available as a sterling silver charm at

Center for Empowerment
and Economic Development

An organization dedicated to producing results for women entrepreneurs for nearly 20 years, the Center for Empowerment and Economic Development (CEED) is by nature a leader. “Our guiding principle-¦has always been to be first in the market,” says Michelle Richards, executive director of CEED. “If we cannot be leaders and provide the program or service then we do not provide it. We do not want to compete with other assistance-oriented organizations; instead we wish to cost-effectively complement what the others provide.” Richards’ focus for CEED is to provide emerging and established women business owners with counseling, training, financing, loan packaging, certification and procurement assistance. It accomplishes the mission primarily through two annual events -” an October “Women in Procurement” conference and its “Breakthrough” breakfast, held every April. CEED boasts more than 500 paid members, making it the largest such organization in the state. Clearly, the future is bright for women entrepreneurs.

The Children’s Center

While the Wayne County organization works with children and families in addressing a wide range of areas that impact their quality of life, the issue of diversity is never far from the focus. Indeed, CEO Debora Matthews, an accountant by profession who returned to the Children’s Center in 2005 (she once served as finance director), has been clear in spreading the diversity message. Her “Leading Diversity from the Inside Out” presentation made to the Council of Accreditation last year and a conscious promotion of staff training and education continues to resound as a theme for promoting diversity as a driving force. A Diversity Inclusion Art Show (scheduled for October 2007) showcased local area youth efforts, with a particular emphasis on diversity concepts.

Focus: HOPE

Intelligent and practical action. Those words were in the original mission statement co-written by Eleanor Josaitis and Father William Cunningham when Focus: HOPE was launched in 1968, a year after the infamous Detroit riots had left the area sharply divided among racial lines. Josaitis remains committed to the effort (Father Cunningham died in 1997) and Focus: HOPE has received national and international recognition for its efforts. While one of its first initiatives was providing evidence of inner-city residents (principally black and poor) paying more for food and prescription drugs than those in the suburbs, Focus: HOPE has gone on to provide tangible means to provide skills development, notably through its successful Machinist Training Institute (founded in 1981). Success is measured one individual at a time.


Originally called the Women’s Economic Club, Inforum is one of the largest and most prestigious business forums in the nation, with more than 2,200 members from a broad cross-section of Michigan’s business community. Its mission -” to strengthen the business environment by creating opportunities for women to lead and succeed -” is achieved through the forging of alliances, discussion of vital civic and business issues and establishing connections that help accelerate careers. The organization’s leadership training program (offered through the Inforum Center for Leadership) is a well-respected initiative that continues to grow in stature. Monthly events in southeast, central and west parts of the state are important ways for Inforum members to network. The 2007 version of its Michigan Women’s Leadership Index was released in October.

Jewish Federation of Metro Detroit

Positioning itself as the major instrument of Jewish philanthropy and volunteerism in the Detroit area, the Jewish Federation of Metro Detroit sees as its mission the promotion of health, education, spiritual and cultural identity of the Jewish people worldwide. The organization teams up with others for raising and allocating funds to provide life-saving and life-enhancing humanitarian assistance, translating Jewish values into social action on behalf of the nearly 100,000 Jews in the Detroit area. Locally, a family of 19 social service agencies and schools are instrumental in meeting that need. Worldwide, funding impacts the lives of thousands of Jews throughout Israel, in the former Soviet Union, and in 60 countries around the world. Numerous initiatives include the Alliance for Jewish Education and ElderLink, a network of services for older adults.

Mexicantown Community Development Corporation

Founded in 1989, the nonprofit organization seeks to foster economic development in the Hispanic community of southwest Detroit. The job includes helping to eliminate blight, creating skilled positions for residents and providing opportunities for small business development by local entrepreneurs. Mexicantown Developments promotes the area’s restaurant, shopping and cultural district to audiences across southeastern Michigan and cultural programs and activities that educate and enrich the lives of residents of the neighborhood and the southeast Michigan region. It also provides entrepreneurial training and incubation to increase the economic self-sufficiency of neighborhood residents and advocates for physical improvements and maintenance in the Mexicantown district, including parks and streetscapes. It has also spearheaded the use of vacant land, notably with the Mexicantown International Welcome Center and an area for specialist merchants–Mexicantown Mercado. Its Mexicantown Hubbard Communities has been designated a district by Detroit’s Office of Neighborhood Commercial Revitalization Re$tore Detroit! Program.

New Horizons Rehabilitation
Services, Inc.

Persons with disabilities come from a broad spectrum of ethnicities, something of which New Horizons is keenly aware. An active Diversity Team is part of the strategy to more effectively serve different cultures. Last year New Horizons hosted a successful National Association of Multicultural Rehabilitation Concerns Conference, joining several hundred rehabilitation professionals in celebrating diversity while collaborating to achieve professional excellence. The organization boasts a 98 percent satisfaction rate, an 80 percent placement rate for people referred to New Horizons for employment and a 10 percent increase in the number of persons served. Of those who began a vocational evaluation, 93 percent completed the program. CEO Stan Gramke received the 2006 Management Excellence Award from the National Industries for the Severely Handicapped.

On Wheels Incorporated

Since launching its African Americans On Wheels magazine in 1995, the organization has had a leadership role in promoting diversity within the automotive industry. It’s an effort that has produced real fruit, including the development of diversity councils at such brand name multinationals as Jaguar and Land Rover. The organization, led by Randi Payton, also lays claim to having spurred the creation of diversity advertising departments at many of the nation’s largest automakers. Only after On Wheels publications (among them Asians On Wheels and Latinos On Wheels) targeted the audience did others begin to follow suit. On Wheels’ annual Urban Wheel Awards program, held in conjunction with the North American International Auto Show, showcases those who embrace the tenets of diversity in their business practices.

Presbyterian Villages of Michigan

Its name aside, Presbyterian Villages of Michigan sees its role as serving older adults of all faiths. Further, the organization, founded in 1945, seeks to “create new possibilities for quality senior living.” It does so primarily through a network that includes apartments (some of which are subsidized), assisted living centers, nursing homes, continuing care and Savior’s Grace home care services, among others. Services provided by the organization’s foundation include assisting those whose financial resources may be depleted. One of Presbyterian Villages of Michigan’s “behavioral values” is being inclusive, demonstrated by its welcoming of all residents-¦without discrimination. The organization continues to expand both the scope and depth of its mission by working with various partners and affiliates, including health care providers and organizations that advocate for seniors.