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2021 Business & Community Award Finalists

Business of the Year Finalists

Winner of 13 Golden Chile awards, 2021 Homegrown Partner of FC Dallas, and was the featured product on Good Morning America, June 2021. Behind all the accolades, is a company that reflects the values of its founders—values of giving back, of welcoming and inclusion, and of bringing people together. Casa M is certified by National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) and the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (LGBTBE®).

Certified as one of the only minority and women-owned firms in the state by the National Association of Women and Minority Owned Law Firms, Stewart Law Group PLLC brings a culturally diverse perspective to the legal practice. The organization currently has 22 employees, including 10 attorneys, three paralegals, and seven support staff. Of these employees, 16 are minorities and 18 are women. The firm is 100% minority and woman owned.

March of 2020, uncertain if they would have a season, Dallas Wings knew they would need to pivot and remain active in the community. The Wings participated in virtual fundraising events benefiting The Greg Dollegener Memorial AIDS Fund (GDMAF) and the Coalition for Aging LGBT. More than $5,000 was raised. They also hosted Pride Speaker Series with members from Toyota and League at AT&T, (AT&T’s LGBTQ+ employee resource group). In 2021 the Pride Speakers Series included panel discussions on transgender rights, the Equality Act, and diversity, equity, & inclusion in the workplace.

Corporate Ally Finalists

Ericsson is one of the leading providers of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to service providers. We enable the full value of connectivity by creating game-changing technology and services that are easy to use, adopt, and scale, making our customers successful in a fully connected world. We are a world leader in the rapidly changing environment of communications technology – by providing hardware, software, and services to enable the full value of connectivity.

At Ericsson we are not only committed to equal opportunity in employment, development, compensation and all other personnel actions without discrimination due to race, color, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, pregnancy, parental status, religion, political opinion, nationality, ethnic background, social origin, social status, indigenous status, disability, age or union membership.

Gearbox is an award-winning, independent developer of interactive entertainment founded in 1999 by veterans in the game industry business and is now recognized as one of the most respected independent video game makers in the world. Their diverse and passionate staff share a common identity – to set their time and talent towards bringing joy, fun and happiness to ALL their customers through their craft. Gearbox leadership understands the importance of being a truly inclusive employer. Gearbox recognizes and values the contribution of people with differences in capability, experiences, and perspectives. The company embraces and encourages team members’ differences in age, color, disability, ethnicity, marital status, sex, gender identity or expression, language, national origin, physical and mental ability, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, military, and veteran status and any other characteristics that make their team members unique.

Children’s Health is committed to making life better for children. As one of the largest and most prestigious pediatric health care providers in the country and the leading pediatric health care system in North Texas, Children’s Health cares for children through more than 750,000 patient visits annually. Our employee workgroups, which include a Health Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Commission, women’s empowerment, LGBTQ+ and veterans’ groups, act as champions for equity and inclusion across the organization. We emphasize workforce development through strong community partnerships and structured programs. We help individuals begin or grow their careers at Children’s Health.

Supplier Diversity Champion

Since 2015 Toyota’s Mentorship program has successfully mentored 44 diverse owned suppliers. Each mentee is paired with two Sr Managers from Toyota for a year of learning one relationship at a time. Participants in the program have experienced significant hard benefits through operational savings and mentored execution of growth strategy.

Several of the mentee participants have been vetted by business unit leaders for partnership. The unanticipated benefit came in the form of regional recognition for the program; as most corporate supplier development programs were reserved for contracted suppliers. In addition, Toyota mentors were engaged in their mentee’s growth and were able to exercise innovative and entrepreneurial muscle via the program, further strengthening their own leadership capabilities. The program was so impactful that several mentors asked to participate in subsequent years and became advocates for incorporating diverse suppliers into the supply chain, thus helping Toyota further advocate the importance of supplier diversity.

Vistra Corporation has a long-standing commitment to the economic development of the communities it serves. The supply chain diversity initiative was founded, and continues to be, based in the strength of this commitment. Endorsed and supported by the highest level of Vistra’s management team, this initiative supports the development and utilization of businesses owned by women and minorities and the LGBT community. The commitment is about good business. Vistra recognizes that a successful, progressive and innovative supply chain diversity initiative not only enhances the economic development of communities but strengthens Vistra’s competitive advantage in the marketplace.

It is the policy of Vistra to procure goods and services from qualified suppliers and contractors. This policy ensures that diverse and small businesses have equal opportunities to participate in the procurement process. In supporting the development of such firms, Vistra actively seeks qualified minority, women, and LGBT-owned businesses with which to do business, and endeavors to assist these businesses with their development.

PepsiCo is committed to developing a robust supplier base that includes diverse-owned businesses who provide quality goods and services. Supplier diversity is an integral part of PepsiCo’s goal of being the best in the industry. Certified, diverse suppliers who can bring innovation and value to the supply chain are encouraged to register in the supplier portal. This portal also serves as a way for PepsiCo employees to review the capabilities of registered suppliers and reach out to them directly. In addition, PepsiCo leverages its membership advocacy groups to seek out and meet prospective diverse suppliers.

In 2020, PepsiCo’s diverse supplier spend was more than $1.6 billion in the United States. This includes Tier 2 spend reported by non-diverse suppliers, further demonstrating PepsiCo's commitment to expanding engagement of diverse suppliers in its supply chain.

Employee Group of the Year Finalists

Ally’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is not just a thing we do at Ally. It’s something we strive to intertwine into every single facet of our business. Whether it be our interactions with our employees, our engagement with our customers, or our involvement with our communities, we know that the only way to be truly successful is to execute with excellence in the area of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. We are pleased to announce that 2020 is the first year we’ve cracked Diversity Inc’s Top 50 companies for Diversity list, landing at #40. Diversity Inc also recognized Ally as having the 10th best ERG program in the U.S. We believe that reward and recognition is direct tribute to the passion, efforts, and courage of our 4,000 ERG members (40% of the total organization). Not to be lost in that, is our Pride ALLYs ERG, Ally’s LGBTQ+ employee resource group. The below is a summary and testament to the innovative, people-first work they’ve contributed to their teams and our Company.

PRIDE in Celanese focuses on LGBTQ+ inclusion at its offices and sites, while also being dedicated to community engagement. We promote LGBTQ+ initiatives in many ways, which include promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion at work, engaging in volunteering activities in the community, supporting philanthropic efforts, and promoting the development of leaders in our community. Celanese is proud to be recognized as one of HRC’s Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality and to have achieved a perfect score on the HRC Corporate Equality Index (CEI) for the past three years. We are committed to achieving a score of 100 in the years to come.

Our PRIDE ERG strives to make a positive difference in our communities by donating our time and resources to meet the needs of our community one person, and one project at a time.

In 2018, Celanese celebrated its 100-year anniversary and our vision expanded to include the PRIDE ERG globally and we are well on this journey. We are also engaged with our new supplier diversity leader and their program to focus our efforts on LGBTQ+-owned businesses

EY’s Dallas Unity (LGBT+ Professional Network) Chapter had a banner year as we shifted to a fully virtual environment during these unusual times. We focused our efforts on areas that would continue to engage and inspire our members while encouraging a sense of community and sharing opportunities to support non-profits, in the spirit of “Building a Better Working World.

Some of UNITY’s activities include:

  • Developing a mentorship program with local high school and/or colleges to encourage LGBT+ Youth
  • Sharing LGBT+ and cultural events as well as opportunities for civic mindedness, including:
    • Hosting a Virtual March on Washington watch party
    • Supporting Human Rights Campaign events throughout the year
    • Sponsoring Upstander Speaker series from the Dallas Holocaust & Human Rights
    • Museum and encouraging participation
    • Supporting the Equality Act
    • Speaking out against anti-LGBT+ legislation in Texas, etc.

ExtrAA Mile (Community Service) Finalists

Sandy Anderson

[Coalition for Aging LGBT]

Sandy Anderson is a graduate of Missouri State University (BS Accounting), the University of Texas at Dallas (MS Finance), and Southern Methodist University (Certificate in Financial Planning) as well as a US Army Veteran. She has an extensive corporate finance background supporting all aspects of business operations, IT, accounting, and finance.  During her 38 years at Texas Instruments, she worked internationally as well as throughout Texas, supporting multiple roles.  In 2012, she was awarded D CEO Magazine’s Financial Executives Award for “Outstanding Chief Accounting Officer, Controller, or Treasurer - Public Company”.

After retiring from TI, Sandy ramped up her personal financial planning business (Anderson & Associates Financial), and her consulting business (Anderson & Associates Consulting); and, began working more extensively in the nonprofit arena.  She is the current Board Chair of the Coalition for Aging LGBT (her 6th year on the board); a member of the North Texas LGBT Chamber of Commerce; and serves on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters Collin County. She is a CPA, Certified Financial Planner™, Accredited Domestic Partnership Advisor® (ADPR®), and a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA).

Ahmad Goree

[Abounding Prosperity]

Ahmad has served as a volunteer with Dallas Southern Pride (DSP) and Abounding Prosperity, Inc. (APInc) for more than three years. The scope of his volunteer duties includes the management of all public affairs matters. After the arson of the AP, Inc. community center in July 2017, Ahmad organized and activated community and business outreach initiatives, which led to the center's rebuilding efforts. He secured significant contributions from major business partners such as Wells Fargo, Lowe’s, The Home Depot Foundation, Target, and others. Ahmad has helped secure sponsors and support for DSP’s annual Juneteenth Unity Festival, including letters of support from U.S. Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, and former Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings.

In addition to his work at APInc, Ahmad is a member of the City of Dallas Business Diversity Taskforce, Texas Pride Impact Fund Catalyst Committee and representing the LGBTQ community to submit a plan to bring the 2026 FIFA World Cup to Dallas. He previously served as commissioner on the City DeSoto Building and Standards Commission, member of the North Texas Affordable Care Act Coalition, and as an adjunct professor of government at Mountain View College.

Shannon Walker

[Nu Trans Movement]

Shannon Walker is founder and CEO of Nu Transgender Movement, Inc. She was born & transitioned in Dallas, Texas where she attended El Centro College. Shannon is an advocate for the transgender non-conforming population and works within Texas communities to change policy and facilitate training to ensure anti-transphobic and inclusive environments. Shannon is the first Transgender Woman of Color to develop and implement a Diversity Training on Gender Identity and Gender Expression for the Dallas Police Academy.

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