The Chamber Minority Business Council hosted its inaugural Business Diversity Luncheon on Tuesday, September 15 at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center. Pamela Sutton-Wallace, CEO of the University of Virginia Medical Center, was the keynote speaker and did a fantastic job speaking on business/workplace diversity and inclusion. She challenged us to
recognize and embrace the importance of diversity and, as a leader, boldly expressed that diversity in the workplace needs the support of those at the top-senior management, directors and C-suite executives- to work. Pamela’s most tweeted and posted quote from her speech was: “Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.”
The brand new John F. Bell Sr. Vanguard Award was also introduced at the Business Diversity Luncheon. Named for Mr. John F. Bell, the founder of JF Bell Funeral Home, the award recognizes an
outstanding business person who promotes diversity within the business community in the greater Charlottesville community. Of the many nominees that were received, Kaye Monroe with Seedplanters Dream Builders Academy was selected as the award’s first recipient by a committee of CMBC and chamber board members.
We are appreciative of chamber members and community support for our first diversity event. We exceeded our goal attendance! This is indicative of the importance of the topic at hand-workplace diversity. Hopefully we got people thinking about how to make diversity a regular part of their business or organization efforts from hiring to recruiting board members. We also say a big thank you to all of our sponsors for their support in making our inaugural event successful one. Click here to listen to Pamela’s speech and Kaye’s award presentation.