There was much to celebrate at the sold-out 13th annual Chicago Association of Minority Recruiters (CAMR) scholarship awards dinner held at the posh Hyatt Regency Chicago.
The Chicago Association of Minority Recruiters is a non-profit organization composed of Human Resource professionals.
Warriors for change were recognized for their efforts to diversify workplaces and boardrooms at the glitzy affair.
Among the honorees were Leonard McLaughlin, president of Aon Cornerstone Innovative Solutions (Executive of the Year); Bernarda “Bernie” Wong’s Chinese American Service League, (Institute of the Year); and the unstoppable Sandra Finley of the League of Black Women was recognized at Network of the Year.
Longtime CAMR supporter photographer/visionary Eric Werner received the Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously; the award was accepted on his behalf by his children, and sister, Toya, also a sought-after photographer.
Gregory T. Hinton, Founder and President of CAMR, recognized the “warriors” for diversity, and told the audience of the continuing challenge to diversify corporate boardrooms.
Hinton told of the change A. Barry Rand, a corporate board member, made at Abbott Laboratories.
Rand reported the lack of diversity in management positions, and produced a study that reflected the slow matriculation of minorities and women into management positions — at the time, women, 1 percent per year; minorities at half-percent a year, with tangible solutions to close the gap.
“It would take seven years for females to reach the level of representation that they should have; and 10 years for minorities.
“Miles D. White put together a plan and tied all of this to every leader’s performance bonus and said we’re going to double what we’re doing now. Because of that individual, A. Barry Rand, Abbott Laboratories joined with Miles D. White and moved that forward in three years, which is an indication of the power of the board seat when it comes to an initiative,” Hinton said.
With that, Hinton introduced Cindy Burrell, president of Diversity in Boardrooms, formed this year.
“We are exclusively focused on getting women and minorities on corporate boards,” Burrell said. “Creating inclusive advisory boards for companies, our firm will recruit and refer women and minorities to existing boards creating inclusive advisory boards.
Courage is one of the important qualities that we look for. We expect board directors to listen to their conscience and to make decisions to benefit all of the stakeholders, the employees, the investors, and the community. Courage and talent and diversity are all qualities that illustrate our American strengths.”
On a bittersweet note, Hinton, U.S. Cellular chief diversity strategist, has supported the dreams and community service initiatives for many minority organizations in Chicago, (including rolling out’s Female Success Factor), and is headed to D.C. for a new high-profile appointment.
On that note, he was presented with The Gregory T. Hinton Civic Leadership Award, an honor that will be bestowed on future civic and community leaders.
For more information about CAMR, visit the website, www.camrchicago.org.