Bridgestone to receive Corporate Diversity Award at GLBT chamber dinner

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Nashville-based Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc. is the first recipient of the Nashville GLBT Chamber of Commerce’s (NGLBTCC) Corporate Diversity Award, which will be presented to company executives at a Jan. 22, awards ceremony on the Music City Queen.

The award will be one of several given out during the evening, which officials say will become an annual dinner designed to honor local GLBT business leaders. Sam Felker, Maria Salas and Mark Lee Taylor will also be honored as three founding members, in addition to past presidents of the organization which was formally known as the Nashville Association of Professional Persons (NAPP). The organization will mark its tenth year of service in 2008.

John Wade, president of NGLBTCC, said Bridgestone Americas was chosen to receive the Corporate Diversity Award because of their “deliberate efforts to improve and implement diverse policies for their employees and their unwavering support of the GLBT community.”

“We took into account how long they have been supportive of the community and overall financial contribution to the community,” Wade said. “Bridgestone has shown their commitment to insuring diversity in the workforce and marketplace, and we’re proud to honor that type of commitment.”

The company has almost doubled its score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI), moving from a score of 45 to 80; making official what the company says has been an inclusive environment for its employees. Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc., includes all North America manufacturing and retail operations for the Bridgestone group. It is the only tire company that ranked on the list.

"Bridgestone is honored to be the first recipient of this award," said Michael Fluck, advertising and Internet manager for Bridgestone Firestone. "We recognize that we have a diverse workforce serving a diverse customer base with our products and services."

Bridgestone has marketed heavily, locally and nationally, spending millions of dollars in promoting their products to the GLBT community. The company has also provided corporate sponsorships for local events such as Nashville Pride, Unpredictable Fashion Show and the annual Human Rights Campaign Nashville Dinner.

Fluck said the company would continue to strive to improve its corporate diversity. "We continue to look for ways to improve our policies for our teammates," he said.

The event has sold out.

The dinner cruise will board at 2812 Opryland Drive at 6:00 p.m. for a round trip to downtown. It will dock at 9:00 p.m.

The dinner menu: 

  • Caesar Salad Topped with Croutons
  • Chicken Cumberland Plateau
  • Baked Boneless Breast of Chicken Topped with Tomatoes, Mushrooms, Spring Onions and Monterey Jack Cheese
  • Roasted Red Bliss Potatoes
  • Fresh Seasonal Vegetables
  • Freshly Baked Rolls with Butter
  • Chocolate Truffle Cake with Berries and Cream Garnish
  • Coffee, Tea, Decaffeinated Coffee or Milk