10th Annual Professional Services Symposium – UChicago Office of Business Diversity

10th Annual Professional Services Symposium – UChicago Office of Business Diversity

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[MUSIC] [ROGERS] You can just feel the support
building year after year, people are excited and confident about the kind
of success we’re all having together. [QUARLES] It’s been a remarkable 10 years.
Just amazing how much this has grown from 80 people
the first year to over 200 now. [ZIMMER] The concept of this
program is amazingly simple and it’s just based on the
observation and belief that there’s an enormous amount of talent and that
that talent has two features. First that it’s not getting enough
opportunity to express itself and second it’s a huge advantage for us
if we can tap into this talent. [McCLUSKEY] When you get started you believe that you have a value proposition. You believe
you have something unique but there’s also a fear that you won’t
have the opportunity to show that. [SINANTHA] The genuine
interest is huge. And wanting to know us and figure out
if it’s a good fit to partner with. [McCONNELL] This is all about
relationships being able to turn to the right person at the right
time with the right question and get that creative thinking back. We meet the people at the symposium
like this, we maintain the relationship sooner or later we’ll call on that
person to help us consider the future. [COOK] It helps us, we
help them, we grow talent, opportunities become available,
economies shift. There’s all kinds of things that happen
when these relationships come together. [HUDSON] It’s not necessarily always
about getting that deal, right? The relationship building piece is what
we really like to focus on and once we do that usually things fall into place.
Being in front of folks that we thought would like to hear what we we’re
talking about is definitely beneficial. [QUARLES] So this year we
have an award that is our John Rogers Jr. Business
Diversity Impact Award and this award is going to Mark Schmid. We have 22 minority and women-owned
firms investing in our endowment because of Mark and his team. And if you know about endowments across the country that’s
pretty extraordinary. [SCHMID] I fortunately learned at a
pretty young age in my career the importance of working with
minority and women-owned firms. One insightful comment that that
John made, he said “Well, what if Jackie Robinson never
played Major League Baseball.” And that’s stuck with me as you
have to give everybody a chance to excel and make the whole better. [ZIMMER] This has been great
for the University, it brings an enormous amount to us. I want to thank you for participating
in this and I look forward to lots of good results this year and to
many more years of success. [APPLAUSE] [MUSIC]

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