A Message from Jill Houghton USBLN Executive Director

Keith Wiedenkeller Joins the USBLN as Chief Strategy Officer of the Disability Equality Index (DEI)

We are so pleased to announce that Keith Wiedenkeller, formerly Chief People Officer for AMC Theatres, currently serves in a strategy and consulting role on behalf of the USBLN in its work developing and promoting the ground-breaking Disability Equality IndexSM (DEISM). During his 29-year tenure with AMC, Mr. Wiedenkeller helped develop several cutting-edge diversity initiatives, including the AMC FOCUS program, an outreach program designed to proactively employ hundreds youth with disabilities at AMC’s theatres across the country.

Under Mr. Wiedenkeller’s leadership, the USBLN created its first full-blown, formal strategic plan, enhanced its disability supplier certification program, grew its annual conference by more than 50%, and affected a complete rebranding initiative. As immediate past chair of the USBLN and former Co-chair of the DEI Advisory Committee, Mr. Wiedenkeller was instrumental in the DEI’s design, development, and implementation. A nationally ranked speaker, writer and facilitator known for his practical, win-win approach to disability inclusion, he currently resides in Kansas City, Missouri, with his wife of 32 years and “way too many” dogs.

I am highly honored to have Keith join us. He is incredibly talented and driven by the mission of our organization and we are very pleased that he has chosen to work with us.

The DEI is a joint initiative of the USBLN and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). Developed by the DEI Advisory Committee, a diverse group of business leaders, policy experts, and disability advocates, the DEI is a national, transparent benchmarking tool that offers businesses an opportunity to receive an objective score, on a scale of zero to 100, on their disability inclusion policies and practices. It is an aspirational, educational, recognition tool that is intended to help companies identify opportunities for continued improvement and help build a company’s reputation as an employer of choice.

After the successful completion of the DEI Pilot with 48 Fortune 1000 scope companies in March 2014, the USBLN and AAPD launched the 1st Annual DEI to Fortune 1000 companies in October 2014. The 1st Annual DEI is currently under way. Learn more about DEI at www.disabilityequalityindex.org.

To read this month’s full newsletter please go here.

Juntos Podemos (Together We Can)!
Jill Houghton

The 2015 DiversityInc Top 10 Companies for People with Disabilities are All USBLN Members

WASHINGTON, DC (April 28, 2015) – The USBLN is delighted to announce that all the DiversityInc Top 10 Companies for People with Disabilities are USBLN member companies. Number One on the list is EY. EY, along with Number Three Procter & Gamble and Number Seven AT&T are represented on the USBLN Board of Directors. Four of the top 10 companies, Comcast, IBM, KPMG, and Kaiser Permanente, serve on the USBLN Corporate Advisory Board.

The following is the list in rank order.

  1. EY
  2. Prudential Financial
  3. Procter & Gamble
  4. IBM
  5. KPMG
  6. Merck & Co.
  7. AT&T
  8. Sodexo
  9. Kaiser Permanente
  10. Comcast

The USBLN also applauds the seven USBLN member companies that were selected for the 2015 DiversityInc Top 10 Companies for Veterans. Number One on the list is Northrop Grumman Corporation. The additional USBLN member companies are AT&T, CSX, CVS Health, Lockheed Martin, Prudential and Wells Fargo.

About the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN)

The US Business Leadership Network (USBLN) is a national non-profit that helps business drive performance by leveraging disability inclusion in the workplace, supply chain, and marketplace. The USBLN serves as the collective voice of nearly 50 Business Leadership Network affiliates across the United States, representing over 5,000 businesses. Additionally, the USBLN Disability Supplier Diversity Program® (DSDP) is the nation’s leading third party certification program for disability-owned businesses, including businesses owned by service-disabled veterans. www.usbln.org

About DiversityInc

The core of DiversityInc is The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity competition. Now in its 15th year, more than 1,000 companies participated in 2014. It is a metrics-driven evaluation that is independent of business done with our company. We have spent millions of dollars incorporating our methodology into SAS and can positively correlate best practices, like senior-executive accountability, diversity councils, resource groups and mentoring with specific results as expressed by human-capital and supplier-diversity results. Our Benchmarking product can guide a company with absolute precision to a plan that will produce results when executed. We have more than 60 Benchmarking clients; almost all renew every year. www.diversityinc.com

Business Lessons from Emerald City Comicon

By: Cheri Baker – President – Emergence Consulting

My husband pointed through the crows towards a small seating area at the rear of the Washington State Convention Center. Along the back wall there was a long stage. On the stage were two people dressed as My Little Ponies. The song “Happy” began blasting out of nearby speakers and the costumed duo began an energetic dance off. The crowd roared.

Emerald City Comicon is an annual tradition for us. It’s a three-day love fest for the weird, the geeky, and the socially awkward. And I always come away with a stronger sense of what it means to be inclusive and welcoming.
Please go here to read the full article.