Rochester Diversity Organization Expands to Become the Workforce Diversity Network

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Membership now open to companies nationwide. National Diversity Conference slated for May 22-24, 2006. Nixon Peabody is principal sponsor.

After almost 10 years of continuous growth and success, the Rochester-based Greater Rochester Diversity Council (GRDC) is expanding to become the national Workforce Diversity Network. Membership will now be open to businesses and organizations nationwide.

“The decision to form this new national organization was fueled by our success in presenting some of the nation’s largest-attended conferences on workforce diversity and by a growing number of requests from businesses in other parts of the country to join our organization,” said Mike Streeter, Executive Director.

The first new council to be formed outside of Rochester will be Atlanta, Georgia. That council has been initiated by Nimley Bestman, formerly of INROADS in Syracuse and now National Account Manager of INROADS in Atlanta, Georgia.

“We have been discussing expanding nationally for a couple years now,” said Clay Osborne, founding member of the GRDC and Vice President, Global Diversity and Workforce Development for Bausch & Lomb. “As our world grows closer and the workplace becomes more diverse, the demand for quality diversity education and networking will only increase.”

“There is an interest in other parts of the country for what we have created here in Rochester,” noted Osborne. “Our evolvement is not only a testament to the GRDC’s success, it is also a tribute to the leadership position Rochester businesses have forged in workforce diversity which places them among the top in the nation.”

“Our regional council model represented by the GRDC is unique and has been very successful,” said Alfreda Brown, Chair of the GRDC and Workforce Diversity Network Boards and Chair, Commission for Promoting Pluralism at Rochester Institute of Technology. “Through the new Workforce Diversity Network we will build on that model creating a national structure to connect businesses that share the need for leading edge diversity education and networking.”

The GRDC was established in 1996 in response to the need of businesses in Western New York to gain a better understanding of developing and managing diversity in the workplace. The 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation has grown more than 60% in the past two years and includes more than fifty Fortune 100 multinational corporations, small and medium-sized businesses, educational institutions, health care providers and non-profit organizations.

Diversity 2006 Conference Scheduled for May 22-24, 2006

Nixon Peabody LLP Law Firm is Principal Sponsor

The Workforce Diversity Network will present the national Diversity 2006 Conference, “The Case for Diversity - It's Everybody's Business.” It will be held in Rochester, NY May 22-24, 2006 at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center. Nixon Peabody LLP, one of the largest multipractice law firms in the United States, with offices in sixteen cities, is the principal sponsor.

"Sponsoring the 2006 Diversity Conference is part of our commitment to promoting diversity,” said Harry Trueheart, Chairman, CEO, and Co-managing Partner. “We believe it is vitally important for each employee and partner to increase their understanding of all people. Hosting this conference provides Nixon Peabody the opportunity to take one more step in that direction."

“Nixon Peabody has been a leader in supporting workforce diversity education,” said Alfreda Brown, Chairman of the Workforce Diversity Network. “As one of the nation’s largest law firms, it is also a founding member of the GRDC and Workforce Diversity Network. We are extremely pleased and honored that they have taken the lead in making this major three-day conference possible.”

The conference is expected to draw hundreds of business leaders from across the nation. This is the sixth and largest conference presented by the Workforce Diversity Network, which has organized some of the nation's highest attended workforce diversity conferences. More than 2,500 people representing more than 200 companies and organizations from all over the country attended the previous conferences.

The agenda on extensive range of workforce diversity issues will be announced in November and will feature approximately 30 of the nation's most highly regarded diversity experts and keynotes. The conference will conclude with a half-day symposium on Diversity Issues in the Legal Profession and will also offer a Diversity Marketplace with exhibits of diversity-related products and services.

For More Information

For more information on the Diversity 2006 Conference, Nixon Peabody and its diversity programs, sponsorship opportunities, becoming a member of the Workforce Diversity Network, or forming a regional council see http://www.workforcediversitynetwork.com or contact Mike Streeter, Executive Director at 585-787-2036.

Media Contact

Jean Dalmath, Dalmath Associates, Inc.

585.586.6650 (o), 585.755.6911 (c), jdalmath@dalmath.com

Membership and Conference Information

Barbara Cutrona, Workforce Diversity Network, 150 State Street, Rochester, NY 14614

Telephone: 585-224-2727, Fax: 585-224-2728, bcutrona@workforcediversitynetwork.com

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Jean Dalmath