News - October 2005

GRDC Becomes the New Workforce Diversity Network - Membership Now Open to Companies and Organizations Nationwide

After almost 10 years of continuous growth and success, the Rochester-based Greater Rochester Diversity Council (GRDC) is expanding to become the national Workforce Diversity Network. Membership will now be open to businesses and organizations nationwide.

"The decision to form this new national organization was fueled by our success in presenting some of the nation's largest-attended conferences on workforce diversity and by a growing number of requests from businesses in other parts of the country to join our organization," said Mike Streeter, Executive Director.

"We are very pleased to announce that th e first new council to be formed outside of Rochester will be Atlanta , Georgia. " That council has been initiated by Nimley Bestman, formerly of INROADS in Syracuse and now National Account Manager of INROADS in Atlanta, Georgia.

"We have been discussing expanding nationally for a couple years now," said Clay Osborne, founding member of the GRDC and Vice President, Global Diversity and Workforce Development for Bausch & Lomb. "As our world grows closer and the workplace becomes more diverse, the demand for quality diversity education and networking will only increase."

"There is an interest in other parts of the country for what we have created here in Rochester," noted Osborne. "Our evolvement is not only a testament to the GRDC's success, it is also a tribute to the leadership position Rochester businesses have forged in workforce diversity and which places them among the top in the nation."

"Our regional council model represented by the Greater Rochester Diversity Council is unique and has been very successful," said Alfreda Brown, Chair of the GRDC and Workforce Diversity Network Boards and Chair, Commission for Promoting Pluralism at Rochester Institute of Technology. "Through the new Workforce Diversity Network we will build on that model creating a national structure to connect businesses that share the need for high quality and leading edge diversity education and networking."

The GRDC was established in 1996 in response to the need of businesses in Western New York to gain a better understanding of developing and managing diversity in the workplace, and the skills required to do so. The 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation has grown more than 60% in the past two years and includes more than fifty Fortune 100 multinational corporations, small and medium-sized businesses, educational institutions, health care providers and non-profit organizations.

It has organized some of the nation's largest conferences on workforce diversity. Held every other year the educational events have featured the leading experts in diversity and attracted hundreds of attendees from hundreds of companies all over the country.

Diversity 2006 Conference Scheduled for May 22-24 2006
The Workforce Diversity Network will present the national Diversity 2006 Conference, "The Case for Diversity - It's Everybody's Business." It will be held in Rochester, NY May 22-24, 2006 at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center. Nixon Peabody LLP, one of the largest multipractice law firms in the United States, with offices in fifteen cities, is the principal sponsor.

The conference is expected to draw hundreds of business leaders from across the nation. This is the sixth and largest conference presented by the Workforce Diversity Network, which has organized some of the nation's highest attended workforce diversity conferences. More than 2,500 people representing more than 200 companies and organizations from all over the country attended the previous conferences.

The agenda will be announced in November. It will feature approximately 30 of the nation's most highly regarded diversity experts and keynotes who will present at more than 40 sessions on an extensive range of current workforce diversity issues. The conference will conclude with a half-day symposium on Diversity Issues in the Legal Profession.

The conference will also feature a Diversity Marketplace with exhibits of a wide array of diversity-related products and services.

For More Information
For more information on the Diversity 2006 Conference, sponsorship opportunities, becoming a member of the Workforce Diversity Network, or forming a regional council see or contact Mike Streeter, Executive Director at 585-787-2036.


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