I would like to congratulate chairs Donovan Olliff, Teresa Bridges and the entire St. Louis Diversity Task Force (Rebecca Nolan, David Chassin, Julie Donovan, Dianne Brown, Kelly Heet, Penny Malina, Maddy Reigel, Sherita Brown, Ben Wanichkunwiriya, Heather Lentz, Jeff York, Peter Mosanyi) for planning a phenomenal Diversity Week in St Louis! The STL Diversity Task Force is winding down its 2011-2012 Campaign – “Diversity is You!”
To kick off the event, the team started with one of the HOK’s greatest loves – food. The “Taste of Diversity” event included a variety of favorite dishes, comfort food or desserts brought in by individuals. The event was spiced up by adding a bit of competition for those who had the tastiest dish. Connie Light (Jambalaya), Aimee Rowbottom (Watermelon Ice Cream), and Sal Gimbert (Aussie-style Pavlova-Kiwi pie) took home the prizes.
Day 2 begin with the introduction of the “Quilt of HOK.” The Diversity Task Force used a traditional practice of quilting to demonstrate the uniqueness of everyone. The Interiors group donated fabric samples for everyone to use to create their own quilt squares. “Joining small pieces of fabric as a whole, all us to see how each individual square is integral to the completed quilt,” said Penny Malina. The squares will be stitched together to display the different colors and patterns that represent the diversity of everyone in the St. Louis office.
On the third day of Diversity Week, “Speed Mentoring” generated lot of excitement and questions. Organized in a “speed dating”-type setting, this activity presented a great opportunity for HOK leaders and professionals to connect. The short one-on-one meetings allowed leaders to learn more about up-and-coming talent, and our professionals also got the opportunity to learn from the wisdom of our leaders. The all-star list of mentors included Clark Davis, Jan DeWeer, Andrew Gayer, Veronica Kunkemueller, Rebecca Nolan, Ripley Rasmus, Marti Stubblefield, David Ziolkowski, Michael Nolan, Kathy Burstadt, Jeff Davis, Angie Earlywine, Tom Goulden, Mary Ann Lazarus, Joseph Ostafi, Mike Stern, Jason Wandersee and Aimee Rowbottom.
Throughout Diversity Week, the DTF showcased the diversity of talent at HOK in a display that included artwork, photography, news stories and crafts. HOK’s people are certainly talented – in and out of the office!
At the end of the week, the “Lunch Lottery” gave individuals the chance to be paired up with other randomly assigned HOK-ers to go to lunch on a mutually agreeable date. Through this event, we were able to gather a broad spectrum of HOK-ers at the table (literally and figuratively) to get to know one another.
At the end of Diversity Week, the DTF teamed with HOK IMPACT for a two-part volunteer opportunity with Youth In Need. Youth In Need is a nonprofit child and famil services agency, headquartered in St. Charles, Mo. (For additional information visit: http://www.youthinneed.org/.) Outdoor adventurers had a chance to beautify the ground of the main office for Youth in Need. The indoor event – the one for me – allowed volunteers to create a window display based on a sporting theme.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the Diversity Week festivities!