Dear Friends & Clients,
As we come to the end of 2011, the words that come to mind are “thank you.” This has been an amazing year. We turned 22. In a tough economy, our revenues grew by 25% and our staff grew by 50%. We flexed our creative muscles and led transformative trainings, launched powerful new products, worked with extraordinary clients, and gained many new partners.
The commitment of our clients to transform their organizational cultures in order to improve diversity, inclusion, cultural competency, employee engagement, and productivity is the driving force behind our work. We are very aware of how fortunate we are to continue to be able to do the work we care so deeply about with people all around the world. As 2011 comes to a close, we thank you for your ongoing partnership.
Stay tuned in 2012 for the launch of our cutting-edge Unconscious Bias online course and the announcement for our first Unconscious Bias Learning Lab, April 11-13, which will be an opportunity for participants to take a deep dive into a fascinating and critically important subject.
For those of you who are interested, here is a sample of the things we’ve been up to:
As you know, we greatly value our enduring partnerships with our diverse and impressive clients.
- We gave Diversity, Inclusion, and Cultural Competency presentations at Delhaize America/Food Lion, VivaKi, New York Times, U.S. Department of Treasury, Accenture, Freddie Mac, Kaiser Permanente, Fannie Mae, The Home Depot, Association of Newspaper Editors, National Science Foundation, Veterans Administration, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, National Security Agency, Baystate Health, Booz Allen, Prudential Financial, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, FEMA … among the 97 client organizations we worked with this year.
- We facilitated multiple sessions on the Impact of Unconscious Bias on Hiring Practices for the staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which were both live and broadcast across the nation.
- We are very proud of our 21st Century Leadership Academy, which is a cohort leadership development program we conducted with four organizations this year: INOVA (in its seventh year), Wellstar (going on its second year), AARP (just beginning), and the Executive Leadership Institute hosted by Leadership Greater Washington.
- In addition to our annual Diversity and Inclusion presentations for the Applied Physics Lab, we had the pleasure of working on several other projects at The Johns Hopkins University. We facilitated retreats for the University’s Office of Government and Community Affairs and the Urban Health Institute, and Howard Ross gave a presentation on Diversity and Inclusion for JHU’s incoming freshman class and one for a campus wide Diversity and Inclusion Symposium.
- We facilitated presentations on Diversity, Religion, and Spirituality for the staff of Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
- We conducted organizational cultural assessments for AARP, Liberty Bank, and other clients.
- We developed a pilot program for Diversity and Inclusion training for BNY Mellon Corporation.
- At SiriusXM, we facilitated a Diversity and Inclusion training for the staff, and conducted focus groups to develop a more comprehensive organizational transformation program for the radio company.
- We designed a program on Civility & Bullying in collaboration with The George Washington University.
- Our global work includes: ARLA in Denmark, Riksteatern in Sweden, an Executive Female Leadership Program at Novartis in Switzerland, and a presentation at the World Diversity Leadership Summit in Austria.
- We also delivered keynote speeches at clients such as Actelion, Memorial Hermann, Physician Assistants Education Association, and U.S. Securities Exchange Commission. In addition, we headlined presentations at the World Diversity Leadership Summit in New York, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Linkage, the Multicultural Forum, and the Diversity Woman conference.
Highlights of Growth
- We are very proud of the creation of our Advisory Board, which includes a number of highly esteemed professionals from a variety of areas of expertise.
- Leslie Traub changed positions from President to Chair of the Board & Chief Consulting Officer, and our former Executive Vice President of Business Development, Michael Leslie Amilcar (a new mommy in 2011!) is now managing the organization as our Chief Management Officer.
- Armers Moncure joined us as Vice President and Senior Consultant. He brings to Cook Ross and our clients a passion for the intersection of employee engagement and diversity, and over 15 years of experience in training, business development, and organizational transformation.
- Bobby Joe Smith joined us Business Development Associate. He was a 2011 New Leaders Fellow at the Center for Progressive Leadership. He completed a Public Policy and International Affairs & Law fellowship at the University of California at Berkeley and an undergraduate degree from Middlebury College. He is proficient in Lakota, the language of the Lakota Sioux tribe.
- Minjon Tholen joined us as our Training & Development Specialist. She has a Master’s Degree in Gender & Women’s Studies from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and an undergraduate degree in communications from University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. She is currently a Pipeline fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, a new platform for young professionals to advance their big ideas for progressive change. She was born in Sri Lanka and is fluent in Dutch.
- Anne Ferrier joined us as a Coaching Consultant. She is formerly the Cultural and Linguistic Competency Coordinator at Sarasota Partnership for Children’s Mental Health. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and a certified personal and executive coach. A native of Suriname, she has lived in numerous countries and is fluent in four languages.
- Nicole Martin joined us as Office Coordinator and “Chief Fun Officer.” She is formerly a travel agent and a master of paying attention to details. She lives on a farm and is a professional choreographer.
- Robby Gregg, our former Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Alliances, has assumed a new position as Associate Director of Equality & Diversity Partnerships at Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), and also continues to help coordinate our external partnerships and relationships.
- We also had the pleasure of welcoming interns from Maryland, Florida, The Netherlands, Rwanda and Kenya.
- This year was especially exciting for us with the publication of the book Reinventing Diversity: Transforming Organizational Community to Strengthen People, Purpose, and Performance, written by our Founder and Chief Learning Officer, Howard Ross. In his book, Howard presents interviews, personal stories, statistics, and case studies to explain why most diversity programs fail – and how we can make them work by transforming organizational cultures. As he argues, only through challenging our own preconceived notions about diversity can we build a productive and collaborative work environment in which all people thrive.
- We published the Disability Etiquette Guide, which conveys critical information to increase employees’ confidence that they are being courteous, but not condescending when interacting with people with disabilities. The Guide supports readers in identifying key barriers that, when unknown, may compromise inclusion, trust, and cooperation, and in questioning assumptions and judgments about all people—not just people with disabilities.
- We also created the Unconscious Bias Workbook, a transformational tool that engages readers from across the entire workforce spectrum in a process of education, exploration, self-analysis, and action planning. It is designed to help reveal personal and organizational values and norms, where those values come from, and how they impact the quality and effectiveness of our business and talent management decisions.
- We are also happy to announce that Cook Ross’ publications and consulting, organizational assessment, training, and facilitation services are now listed on the GSA schedule.
We thank you again for your continued partnership and shared commitment to diversity efforts in your organization, and wish you joyful and relaxing holidays, and all the best in 2012 and beyond!
Best regards from the entire Cook Ross Team...
Howard Ross, Leslie Traub, Michael Leslie Amilcar, Laura Malinowski, Armers Moncure, Anne Ferrier, Howie Schaffer, Caitlin Saunders, Minjon Tholen, Bobby Joe Smith, and Nicole Martin