Why is this important? It’s important because we have to embrace and look at implementing changes in our businesses to prepare for our future. In this issue of Evolve, you will see several examples of businesses that have realized the importance of diversity and inclusion. We applaud them for their efforts and know there is much work to do.
Most often we think of diversity as gender and ethnicity. We also need to think about this in terms of generations and those who are not part of the traditional workforce. As we plan our programs every year, we are forced to think about multiple value statements for our very diverse membership. We have typically used the word diversity as it relates to business size, product and service, and geographic location. Now we need to expand upon the word diversity and ask ourselves very important questions such as how do we look as an organization to varying groups based on age, gender and ethnicity. Are we taking into account the diversity of our members workforces? Are we understanding the demographics of our voting population? All of this plays into a well-rounded chamber of commerce.
From the standpoint of the millennial generation, we are very proud of the Volusia Young Professionals Group, an affiliate of the Chamber. Often branded with a strong stereotype of being too social, our VYPG has done incredible things for our community from hosting clothing drives and food drives to cleaning our beaches and providing a platform for lifelong learning. Their commitment to developing emerging leaders is helping to groom our young professionals as our future community leaders. They are truly setting a great example of blending social needs with community involvement.
When it comes down to it, an important job of the Chamber is to continue to collaborate and lead the conversation of diversity and inclusion with the end result being shared prosperity for all. We are open to your ideas to make sure we are prepared to meet the needs of our changing demographics.
Skip Lilly Chairman Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce Vision H.R., Inc.
Nancy P. Keefer CCE President & CEO Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce