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FERNDALE – An engaged group of corporate executives and LGBTQ business owners met at Affirmations Sept. 12 to hear Beth Correa, Senior Vice President of Flagstar Bank, talk about that organization’s corporate responsibility strategy, philanthropy, employee recruitment and development, and how the bank positions itself within communities in greater Detroit.
“Our recruiting teams work really hard to assemble a diverse pool of talent for our managers to choose from when positions become available,” Correa said. “It’s also really important for us from a people standpoint to make sure that we create a space that is safe and supportive [for our employees].”
Correa spoke to the gathering of about 40 people at the inaugural On The Menu, a monthly breakfast speakers’ series produced by the Detroit Regional LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce. Chamber President Kevin Heard moderated the event, and breakfast was catered by LGBTQ–owned Kaleidoscope Catering.
Heard and Correa talked for 20 minutes then fielded questions from the audience including whether Flagstar recognizes LGBTQ certified business when tabulating their minority procurement figures.
“We certainly do,” Correa said. “And we’ve done a lot of work with our procurement area to think about how to find diverse suppliers. We’ve joined the Michigan Minority Supplier Diversity Council, and we track our purchasing. We’re also thinking about some of our really large suppliers and asking those suppliers when they subcontract work who are they subcontracting to? Also, what does their workforce look like? We think it is important to hold our suppliers accountable in that way, and we really look at that.”
Participants said they came away with a better appreciation of how a large company like Flagstar Bank interacts with individuals and small businesses.
“Beth and Kevin’s presentation was extremely interesting and informative. I’m looking forward to coming to the next On The Menu,” said Susan Horowitz, owner of Pride Source Media Group.
On The Menu starts at 7 a.m. on the second Thursday of each month at Affirmations and includes a full catered breakfast. The next speaker will be Melissa Smiley, special assistant to the president and strategy officer at The Community Foundation For Southeast Michigan. Smiley also is the point person for The HOPE Fund at CFSEM, the largest funder of LGBTQ projects in southeast Michigan. To Register for the Oct. 10 On The Menu go to detroitlgbtchamber.com.