District Recognized for Diversity Efforts

Axel Griner receiving award from Jack Dangermond

Left: Brenda Kerrick, District senior human resources generalist, displays the Corporate Plus Award presented to the District. Below: Daryl Pokrana, District finance director; David Otto, District buyer; and Dave Moore, District executive director, with the Lorian Williams Award.

The District recently received three top honors for efforts to improve diversity among its employees and vendors.

INROADS Corporate Plus Award

The INROADS organization awarded the Corporate Plus Award to the District. This award recognizes the successful partnership between INROADS and the District’s student internship program.

The INROADS program requires students to demonstrate an ongoing commitment and achievement in academics, workplace skills, a positive work ethic and dedication to community service. The goal is to develop and place talented minority youth in business and industry and prepare them for corporate and community leadership.

Since 2002, the District has hosted 22 INROADS students in several departments, including Communications, Human Resources, Information Resources, Community & Legislative Affairs, Resource Projects, Resource Regulation and Operations.

Brenda Kerrick, a District senior human resources generalist, coordinates the District’s INROADS program.

“There are many positive and rewarding aspects of the District’s participation with INROADS,” said Kerrick. “The students are extremely dedicated and of high caliber. In addition, this program provides us with an avenue to promote diversity initiatives and develop an applicant pool of qualified candidates.”

FMSDC Lorian Williams Award

David Otto, a District buyer, accepted the Florida Minority Supplier Development Council’s (FMSDC) first Lorian Williams Award on the District’s behalf.

The FMSDC is a networking organization for minority businesses in Florida and was responsible for starting several minority business enterprise programs in the state. The District has been an active member in FMSDC for nine years.

Otto was the first to be presented with the award because he is an instrumental part of the District’s efforts to reach out to minority vendors. The award, which is named after Lorian Williams for her work with FMSDC, will be presented each year to an individual who embodies Williams’ spirit and commitment to the FMSDC.

“It has been a privilege to work with this great organization that provides opportunities for small and minority businesses,” said Otto. “I appreciate the District’s participation and commitment to help the local chapters with their outreach goals.”

Otto attends all FMSDC Central and West Coast chapter meetings in addition to always being available to answer the vendors’ questions. Otto has also served as the FMSDC West Coast Chapter’s vice president for the past two years.

Respect of Florida Award

In addition to the other awards, Respect of Florida named the District its Customer of the Year for Services.

Respect of Florida works with nonprofit organizations that employ disabled persons and provide products and services. The District was recognized for its commitment to working with these organizations that provide services.