FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 2:00 PM CT, January 26, 2017
NASHVILLE, TN – Tennessee Thrives has exceeded 350 members, demonstrating widespread business support statewide for the organization’s mission of nondiscrimination.
Since Tennessee Thrives launched last December with a mission of promoting an open and prosperous Tennessee, more than 150 businesses from the state’s cities and rural areas have signed the coalition’s pledge — nearly doubling the coalition’s size in a matter of weeks.
Supporters represent a broad array of Tennessee organizations, from leading companies, such as International Paper, Nissan, HCA, FedEx and Radio Systems Corp., to smaller businesses fueling local communities, including Tennessee Cheesecake in Lebanon, Half Hill Farm in Woodbury, Milosi Landscaping in Hendersonville, and Republic Plumbing in Madison.
A few of the coalition’s newest supporters from across Tennessee share their thoughts on the importance of the Tennessee Thrives initiative:
Jacqueline Arthur, General Manager of Three Rivers Market: Born and raised in East Tennessee, Three Rivers Market is a center of sustainable commerce cooperatively-owned by nearly 8,000 Tennesseans. Our business exists to serve our people by creating and nourishing a healthier environment, healthier people, and a healthier community. We value the diverse ideas and perspectives of the community we serve, welcome the innovation that comes with a diverse workforce, and eagerly join the Tennessee Thrives coalition to honor the differences and commonalities of all people.
Dr. Dennis Freeman, CEO of Cherokee Health Systems: At Cherokee Health Systems, we are proud to serve individuals and families from all walks of life, and we think an essential part of serving these folks is having a diverse workforce. When an organization’s staff members have different ideas, viewpoints, experiences, and talents, everybody wins! Diversity is good for business and good for Tennessee, and at Cherokee Health Systems we are proud to support the ideals of Tennessee Thrives by hiring talented staff members, regardless of their race, sex, national origin, ethnicity, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.
Dave Gilboa, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Warby Parker: We’re proud that Warby Parker is an open, welcoming and diverse organization. We can’t wait to establish a bigger presence in Nashville and grow an even bigger team.
Teresa Kingery, Principal of Kingery & Associates: As a small business owner of a recruiting agency, I am fully aware of the need of our businesses to reach out and make it a priority for more diversification within our employee mix. With our fast-paced growth in Tennessee and our desire to continue to be an example — not only to our citizens but to those who will be future residents — we must continue to thrive in these areas of concern and focus.
Scott Pierce, Chief Operating Officer of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee: We are proud to say the members we serve and the people we employ reflect the entirety of Tennessee. We believe Tennessee should always strive to remain a place that offers equal opportunity to everyone.
Dr. David Rudd, President of the University of Memphis: At the University of Memphis, we are passionate about ensuring all students from across Tennessee and beyond feel welcomed, supported and accepted. The Tennessee Thrives pledge underscores our commitment to maintaining an open and welcoming Tennessee for all.
Patrick Sheehy, President of Tennessee Business Roundtable (TBR): Through the Tennessee Business Roundtable, Tennessee businesses work for public policies that enable our state’s economy and all Tennesseans to succeed. As many of TBR’s member companies have also affirmed individually, the Roundtable supports the idea that our state welcomes and values the economic and workforce contributions of all Americans — and must continue to do so in a nondiscriminatory manner if Tennessee’s businesses, communities and people are to realize their full potential.
Charles Starks, President and CEO of the Music City Center: From a job creation and tax revenue standpoint, the convention and meeting industry has been vital to our state’s success. Equal treatment of all people is a cornerstone in our industry and we pride ourselves on our diverse customer base. It is important for us as a business community to stand together on issues that could compromise that — only united can we ensure that all are welcome here in Tennessee.
To learn more about Tennessee Thrives, visit http://tennesseethrives.org/.
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Tennessee Thrives is a nonprofit 501(c)6 coalition of businesses and community leaders committed to promoting an attractive, prosperous, and economically vibrant Tennessee. We believe that when our state is welcoming to all people – regardless of race, sex, national origin, ethnicity, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity – our businesses and our communities win. More information on the coalition and its supporters is available at http://tennesseethrives.org/