Over the past several weeks, the leadership team and employees of Swisher International have engaged in honest and difficult conversations about the devastating effects of systemic racism and social injustice throughout the country.
Company leaders also took time to consult with Black business leaders to identify the actions Swisher could take to create meaningful and lasting social change.
“It’s abundantly clear that our country and corporate America are long overdue in addressing racial inequality,” stated John J. Miller, President of Swisher International. “We’re going to do our part at Swisher by redefining the work we do in three core areas: business, education, and civic participation. Additionally, we’re creating a new Inclusion, Diversity & Transformation strategy that builds sustainable plans to help the community and the brand within each of the three
One of the first steps taken by Swisher in supporting this new initiative was appointing Alexandria Deal to the newly created role of Manager of Inclusion, Diversity & Transformation. Deal will be responsible for recognizing, creating and implementing plans to promote diversity as well as co-developing programs to support each of the core areas of focus. In her new permanent role, Deal will report directly to Miller.
“I’m thrilled to be taking on this new responsibility at Swisher,” said Deal. “With the support of our leadership team, I look forward to helping create change within our business as well as within the communities where we live and work.”
Swisher is also expanding its current relationship with NIMBUS, a multicultural strategic and communications firm, known for their diversity, equity and inclusion expertise and diverse marketing experience. For more than five years, NIMBUS has supported Swisher on multiple brands to enhance their consumer activations and expand audience reach. Deal will work directly with NIMBUS to develop a comprehensive strategy for the short-term, medium-term and long-term initiatives.
Launching this month, Swisher’s Inclusion, Diversity & Transformation strategy will:
- Increase awareness about diversity and inclusion to ensure Swisher provides an open and
welcoming environment for all employees,
- Partner with multicultural groups and organizations who can help advance the initiatives of the
core program goals,
- Create opportunities for Black-owned businesses,
- Develop a talent pipeline with Historically Black Colleges and Universities,
- And create sustainable corporate and field career opportunities for minorities within Swisher International.
A particularly innovative element of Swisher’s strategy is the development of their business incubator for Black-owned companies. Targeted to launch in 2021, the program will offer business development resources.
“Through our research and discussions, we learned that while new Black-owned businesses encounter similar problems to all start-ups, they also face their own unique challenges including a need for mentorship, capital access, research, and product distribution,” said Miller. “The goal of the incubator project is to provide unique solutions and opportunities to Black entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small business owners.”
“I applaud John and the Swisher team for engaging our agency right away on this important initiative,” said Stacey Wade, NIMBUS CEO and Executive Creative Director. “They’re being bold about taking strong steps forward while remaining authentic to their brand promise. We’re confident that together we will implement an inclusion and diversity strategy that generates positive social impact, both internally and externally, for their company.”