Celebrating Diversity: SpeedPro Home OfficeAPRIL 14, 2021| SpeedPro
No matter who you are and what your background is, you deserve to be heard and included.
April is Celebrate Diversity Month, and at SpeedPro, we want to take a moment to recognize and celebrate the differences in each of us. We appreciate and value people from all walks of life, whether it be a difference in identity, ethnicity or perspective.
During Celebrate Diversity Month, we’re sharing what our Home Office team members think about the value of this month, as well as our efforts to encourage diversity and inclusion.
“Diversity, to me, is recognizing how important different views, backgrounds and experiences are,” says Amanda Heupel, Sr. Support Specialist. “Everyone is unique in many ways and we can all bring a different perspective to the table. Our individual differences brought together with collaboration, can lead to some pretty amazing things.”
Diversity and inclusion, while different, can be beautifully intertwined. While we all bring different backgrounds to the table, accomplishing goals and breaking new boundaries is what we strive to do every day at SpeedPro.
“To me, inclusion is recognizing individuals for who they are and what they can accomplish, independently of demographics,” says Danielle Yuthas, Vice President of Marketing.
Not to mention, inclusion can simply be listening to understand where others are coming from.
“I maintain an open, communicative environment for my team members using only one word – listening,” says Accounting Manager David Blackburn. “One of my granddaughters is active in the LGBTQ movement. I speak with her regularly about her challenges and offer suggestions about how best to handle difficult situations within the community in general.”
Steps We’re Taking
In September of 2020, the SpeedPro Home Office team met with a Diversity and Inclusion Consultant to redevelop and champion new equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives. Our main goal was to develop a new strategy that appreciates and practices inclusion, while also diversifying our messaging and recruiting efforts. We first began to dive into these topics by defining what our scope was and how inclusive leadership can be brought into these efforts.
“Being a leader, to me, has nothing to do with what ‘tribe’ you associate yourself with, whether that be race, religion or creed, says Zack Meade, Sr. Director of Training and Business Consultant. “Leaders will naturally lead and if they are good enough, they will have followers. Therefore, defining inclusive leadership is: enabling or removing boundaries on all who wish to lead in some way, regardless of their backgrounds, and providing them an opportunity to do so. But the term also speaks to those in leadership positions currently, and ask them to lead in a way that treats all fairly & justly, and welcomes diverse groups of people to the organization.”
SpeedPro prides itself on being transparent and conducive to open communication. With 97% of workers believing that communication impacts the workspace every day, our team makes sure that we foster an open, communicative environment for all team members.
“All employees are encouraged to actively participate and communicate their opinions, ideas and feelings,” says Vice President and Controller Lori Morris. “We foster an open-door policy where anyone can communicate with anyone else in the organization, not just their department or supervisor. This promotes a collaborative environment for the entire team.”
After working with our Diversity & Inclusion Consultant, the team brainstormed initiatives on how we can be more inclusive and welcoming of diversity. The development of our mission, vision and values transformed the SpeedPro Home Office thought process when it came to opportunity. With the updated diversity and inclusion strategy, the Home Office actively celebrates and encourages the 120+ franchises to embrace diverse holidays, such as Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month and Autism Awareness Month.
“In terms of our marketing and communication efforts, it’s not only a goal, but a promise, to celebrate identities and differences in each other,” says Marketing Specialist Ryan Williamson. “We must increase awareness and encourage acceptance to our followers, colleagues, studios and clients. Everyone has a story, and I feel very lucky to listen, learn, ask the hard questions and share that with our network.”
Reflection and celebration are just two aspects of the new SpeedPro Diversity and Inclusion policy. We will continue to listen and share these stories in our various storytelling vehicles like the SpeedPro blog, our social channels and even local & nationwide media outlets.
The team is also placing emphasis on welcoming diverse thoughts, backgrounds and experiences to the SpeedPro family. We are partnering with diverse organizations like the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Pueblo, Mile High Young Professionals and the National Black Chamber of Commerce to increase awareness of SpeedPro and expand opportunities to those interested in minority-owned business. We are also very excited to be a part of the International Sign Association. This will increase opportunities to various talent in the printing industry.
“I am really looking forward to being very active in the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (National) and in the local Colorado Chapter we joined. This is a first step, and we will continually join other diverse groups in the coming months and years,” says CEO Larry Oberly. “We want to attract more diverse individuals and companies to SpeedPro and also have an opportunity to give back to each organization that we join through event participation and even membership on advisory boards.”
While our organization strives to be inclusive and appreciate diversity during the workday, our team members practice inclusive acts and are a part of different communities outside of the office. Some members attend multicultural festivals, travel & explore different cultures and are active in diverse organizations.
“Last year I completed a two-year stint on the Board of Directors for a national blindness charity based in Denver called B.I.T., Blind Institute of Technology, where we train and educate the business community on how a diverse workforce, in this case, the blind community, is a huge net positive, and help the visually impaired find employment, largely in the IT space,” said Zack Meade. “I look forward to volunteering my time in various forms again once the pandemic is over.”
After taking time to reflect on our new initiatives at the Home Office, our team offers some advice on acceptance and inclusivity.
“Greatness is inherited by each and every conscience; significance can come from anywhere and anyone; excellence is enduring and is engendered when given opportunities. This is why, I believe, it is so important to actively grapple with societal injustice by acknowledging it and choosing inclusion,” says Franchise Development Specialist & Accounting Admin, Tawny Mackey. “A passive attitude, ‘it is what it is,’ changes nothing.”
“Active listening with an open mind is a great first step to being inclusive,” says Josh Buras, Marketing Manager.
Working Towards a Better Future
The SpeedPro Home Office values diversity in thought, experiences, talent and backgrounds. We are excited to make more progress on our diversity and inclusion strategy and are looking forward to spreading the celebration of inclusivity and diversity.
We’ve taken the first of many steps to become a more diverse and accepting company. A trend we can only hope will continue to ripple throughout Corporate America until we can all say that everyone is welcome and are valued members of the corporate world.