2019 Inclusion Awards Recognizes Leaders in Disability Inclusion 

Microsoft, Amazon, and Strong Tower Consulting among award winners

Chicago, IL. (July 16, 2019) –The 2019 Disability:IN® Inclusion Award winners are recognized as visionary brands and individuals that are advancing disability inclusion. Disability:IN is pleased to recognize these award winners during the 2019 Disability:IN Annual Conference taking place July 16-18 in Chicago.

There are twelve Inclusion Award categories recognizing leaders across the enterprise. See below for the 2019 Inclusion Award winners and award descriptions.

  1. 2019 John D. Kemp Leadership Award: Russell Shaffer, Director, Culture Diversity & Inclusion, Walmart

The John D. Kemp Inclusion Award recognizes an individual who has developed or influenced the development of significant company disability employment programs and/or services that resulted in measurable, tangible and positive outcomes that dramatically improved disability employment opportunities.

  1. 2019 Affiliate of the Year: Disability:IN Connecticut, award accepted by Sharon Denson, Executive Director of Disability:IN Connecticut

The Affiliate of the Year honors a Disability:IN Affiliate that has demonstrated exemplary efforts in promoting the vision, mission and spirit of Disability:IN. This Affiliate helps their territory understand, utilize, and benefit from the valuable resources that people with disabilities present in the workplace, supply chain and marketplace.

  1. 2019 Supplier Diversity Advocate of the Year: Michael K. Robinson, Program Director, Global Supplier Diversity, IBM

The Supplier Diversity Advocate of the Year recognizes a procurement champion who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to the utilization and growth of disability-owned businesses. Robinson has also provided exceptional support for certified Disability-Owned Business Enterprises- DOBE®s, Veteran-Disability Owned Business Enterprises (V-DOBEs™) and Service-Disabled Veteran Disability-Owned Business Enterprises (SDV-DOBEs™).

  1. 2019 ERG/BRG Executive Sponsor of the Year: Don Watson, Vice President, Global Workplace and Enterprise Services, Merck

The ERG/BRG Executive Sponsor of the Year Award recognizes an Executive Sponsor of a company’s disability ERG/BRG who has had a measurable impact on disability inclusion at the company and champions disability inclusion across the enterprise.

  1. 2019 ERG/BRG of the Year: Wells Fargo, award accepted by Patrick T. Stone, VP, Human Resources Consulting Partner

The Employee/Business Resource Group of the Year recognizes a corporate employee resource group (ERG) or business resource group (BRG) as having exemplary programming and practices for its employee group that provides business value to the company and professional growth for its members

  1. 2019 Global Employer of the Year: Bank of America, award accepted by Wil Lewis, Diversity & Inclusion Executive

The Global Employer of the Year recognizes a corporation that is leading disability inclusion efforts within the United States and beyond. This corporation leverages existing tools to advance disability inclusion and aids in developing new tools for future corporations to use.

  1. 2019 Employer of the Year: PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., award accepted by Vicki Henn, Chief Human Resources Officer

The Employer of the Year recognizes exemplary policies, strategies and initiatives that have resulted in measurable results in the areas of disability inclusiveness in the workplace, marketplace and supply chain.

  1. 2019 Marketplace Innovator of the Year, Advertising & Marketing Category: Microsoft, award accepted by Chris Capossela, Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President, Marketing and Consumer Business

The Marketplace Innovator of the Year, Advertising & Marketing Category recognizes a visionary corporation for an advertising or marketing strategy that highlights people with disabilities.

  1. 2019 Marketplace Innovator of the Year, Product Category: Amazon, award accepted by Peter Korn, Director, Accessibility, Amazon Lab126

The Marketplace Innovator of the Year, Product Category recognizes an innovative product(s) that is inclusively designed, to be used for people of all abilities.

  1. 2019 Top Corporation for Disability-Owned Businesses: Bristol-Myers Squibb, award accepted by Ann M. Powell, Chief Human Resources Officer

The Top Corporation for Disability-Owned Business recognizes a corporation that has demonstrated outstanding inclusion of Disability:IN certified disability-owned businesses (including businesses owned by service-disabled veterans), and demonstrated commitment to disability business inclusion in their supply chain processes and corporate supplier diversity programs.

  1. 2019 Supplier of the Year: Strong Tower Consulting, award accepted by Floret Khosa, Strong Tower Consulting partner

The Supplier of the Year recognizes a certified Disability-Owned Business Enterprises- DOBE®s, Veteran-Disability Owned Business Enterprises (V-DOBEs™) or a Service-Disabled Veteran Disability-Owned Business Enterprises (SDV-DOBEs™) supplier that has provided excellent service and serves as a role model for disability business inclusion in the supply chain.

  1. 2019 NextGen Alum of the Year: Bryan Stromer, Product Marketing Manager, Microsoft and Disability:IN NextGen Leader 17’

The NextGen Alum of the Year recognizes an alumnus who has gone above and beyond after participating in Disability:IN’s NextGen Leader Initiatives. This alumnus has not only demonstrated corporate leadership, but has also paid the way forward for future NextGen Leaders.

About Disability:IN®

Disability:IN, formerly known as the US Business Leadership Network, is the leading nonprofit resource for business disability inclusion worldwide. Partnering with more than 185 corporations, Disability:IN expands opportunities for people with disabilities across enterprises. The organization and 31 affiliates raise a collective voice of positive change for people with disabilities in business. Through its programs and services, Disability:IN empowers businesses to achieve disability inclusion and equality, with the goal of advancing inclusion to the point when the organization is no longer necessary.