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Nashville Cable Presents 2017 Power of Inclusion Award Recipients

Alliance Synergy Group’s Roxianne Bethune, First Tennessee Bank and Pathway Women’s Business Center recognized for their commitment to diversity and inclusion

On Wednesday, May 10th, Nashville Cable celebrated it’s 12th Annual Power of Inclusion Awards and acknowledged individuals and corporations who “Pay It Forward” with their commitment to diversity and inclusion in the local community. Social justice educator, advocate and mediator Kasar Abdullah was the Keynote speaker and gave a dynamic presentation on global citizenship.

Each year at this luncheon, CABLE provides an award to an individual, a business and a not for profit for enhancing and inclusion in Nashville. The nominees have demonstrated inclusive behavior and actions to support their nominations. These include utilizing unique approaches to enhance business diversity, diverse employee development and retention strategies, creating an inclusive and diverse employee environment that supports and sustains its diversity through strategic initiatives, a record of accomplishments and support for cultural awareness, community and organizational change.

The recipient of the Individual Power of Inclusion award is Roxianne Bethune of Alliance Synergy Group. Bethune was nominated because she is a devoted, tireless promoter of business equity and inclusion through her role as Project Manager of DBE on numerous projects including the Music City Center, Omni Hotel, Country Music Hall of Fame, Bridgestone Arena, Ascend Amphitheater, and the Nissan Renovation Project resulting in DBE, prime and partnerships resulting in more than $250 million to diverse companies and unparalleled opportunities to diverse communities.

The recipient of the Business Power of Inclusion award is First Tennessee Bank because of its long and storied history of diversity and inclusion as exhibited by its awards and recognitions including 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers by Workers Mothers Magazine since1995; 2017 Diversity Leaders Award by profiles in Diversity Journal; 2017 Top LGBT-inclusive business by Human Rights Campaign; and the Top 50 Companies For Executive Women by National Association of Female Executives in 2009 and 2012-2016. In Middle Tennessee the leadership is 66% female.  The bank has relationships with minority and female business and currently spends well over 10% with them.  Through the First Tennessee Foundation they supported non-profit organizations in the community. They have donated more than $70 million and volunteered more than 20,000hours to more than 1000 not for profit organizations. They have a formal diversity programs with employee resource groups, mentoring programs, special women’s initiatives and a diversity networking association.

The Not for Profit Power of Inclusion award recipient is the Pathway Women’s Business Center. This organization is committed to ensuring that women are afforded resources to reach financial empowerment and stability through entrepreneurship.  The center is intentional with its diversity and inclusion initiatives that focus on entrepreneurship education, removal of barriers to enhance participation, providing of tools and flexible programming and cultural competency and inclusive partnerships.  Its partnerships with AARP, AWAKE, Beech Creek Baptist Church, the Oasis Center, and colleges and universities such as Lipscomb, Vanderbilt and Meharry Medical College have help to expand entrepreneurship education for diverse populations including minority medical professions. In 2016, they held 159 classes and delivered 8900+hours of education. In 2016, they originated 153 loans totaling more than 38.1 Million to 144 clients.  Through their clients, they have created 45 new businesses, 59 new jobs and more than $2 million in new capital.

All of the nominees are contributors to a diverse and inclusive Nashville. We would like to recognize them below:

  • The Individual Award recognizes someone whose personal behavior is a model of inclusion and is a catalyst for inclusive relationships among diverse populations in the community.
    • Roxianne Bethune, Alliance Synergy Group
    • Stephen Handy, Pastor, McKendree United Methodist
    • Rita Mitchell, First Tennessee Bank
    • Davita Taylor, Metro Nashville Airport Authority
    • Alisha Wix, Skanska USA
  • The Business Award recognizes a Corporation that ‘walks the talk’ and demonstrates a commitment to diversity and inclusion in their employment practices, programs and community outreach.
    • Advance Financial
    • Bank of America
    • Biscuit Love
    • First Tennessee
  • The Not-for-Profit Award recognizes a Not-for-Profit entity that facilitates understanding and promotes opportunity for underserved communities.
    • Discovery Center
    • Girls to the Moon
    • Interfaith Dental
    • Intrepid College Prep
    • OZ Arts
    • Pathway Women’s Business Center