LGBT Chamber, City of SA among diversity awardees

The San Antonio LGBT Chamber of Commerce received a DiversityFirst Award on November 10. Present at the awards luncheon were President and EVP National Diversity Council Angeles Valenciano, SA LGBT Chamber of Commerce President Luis Vasquez and Texas Diversity Council Advisory Board President Tina McDaniel Mendler. (Courtesy photos)

The San Antonio LGBT Chamber of Commerce was the recipient of a  DiversityFirst award from the local chapter of the Texas Diversity Council at their awards luncheon on November 10 at the University of the Incarnate Word’s Rosenberg Sky Room.

The Diversity Council’s award program “recognizes individuals, community groups, nonprofit organizations and business establishments across the legal, academic, corporate and health sectors that have demonstrated outstanding achievements and sustained commitment to the pursuit of cultural diversity and inclusion in the community and workplace.”

“We are honored to have received the 2015 Corporate Achievement DiversityFirst Award, in acknowledgment of our chamber’s commitment to the pursuit of cultural diversity and inclusion in the community and workplace,” Luis Vasquez, president of the LGBT Chamber told Out In SA.

The City of San Antonio also received an award in acknowledgement of the creation of the Diversity and Inclusion Office earlier this year. A press release explains:

Created by the City Manager in May 2015, the City of San Antonio’s Diversity and Inclusion Office exists to cultivate an environment of respect and inclusiveness among the diverse populations of San Antonio as a means to advance the growth, stability and strength of the community . . .

“We know we are a stronger, more professional team when we respect and welcome one another’s differences,” City Manager Sheryl Sculley said. “In partnership with stakeholders, we are committed to innovating in the field of diversity and inclusion and building San Antonio as a national leader.”

Awards also were given to SeaWorld and Aquatica Texas. Individual awards were given to representatives from Toyota, Hill Country Bakery, the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and Christus Santa Rosa Health Systems.

Best Practices Panelists: Luis Vasquez (LGBT Chamber), Jennifer Bennet (USAA), Kiran Bains (City of SA Diversity and Inclusion Officer), Robert Salcido (Equality Texas), Chelsie Kramer (Texas Competes), Marco Treinies (LGBT Chamber) and Angeles Valenciano (President and EVP National Diversity Council).

Best Practices Panelists: Luis Vasquez (LGBT Chamber), Jennifer Bennet (USAA), Kiran Bains (City of SA Diversity and Inclusion Officer), Robert Salcido (Equality Texas), Chelsie Kramer (Texas Competes), Marco Treinies (Pride Center SA) and Angeles Valenciano (President and EVP National Diversity Council).

The theme of the luncheon was Promoting Excellence through Diversity & Inclusion. A pre-luncheon program included a “best practices” panel discussion titled, LGBT Best Practices in the Workplace…The Conversation Continues, moderated by Robert Salcido, regional organizer for Equality Texas.

There also was a presentation by Jeri George, the interim vice president of human resources for Goodwill Industries in San Antonio, who addressed the topic of Mixing and Managing a Multigenerational Workforce.

Pride Center board members Eli Garza, Marco Treinies and Robert Salcido at the Texas Diversity Council awards luncheon.

Pride Center board members Eli Garza, Marco Treinies and Robert Salcido at the Texas Diversity Council awards luncheon.

Keynote speaker for the luncheon was Jeffrey Arndt, president and CEO of Via Metropolitan Transit.

The Texas Diversity Council is a non-profit committed to “fostering a learning environment for organizations to grow in their knowledge of diversity. The TXDC is a great opportunity for organizations to learn from some of the top corporate leaders in the area of diversity.”

The TXDC has councils in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, and Corpus Christi.

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