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Also Featuring ... Adecco’s Front-Runner Lois Cooper • Hispanic Heritage • Catalyst

Volume 8, Number 5 September / October 2006

8.95 U.S.


Leaped for joy when he saw it. Technology meets ecology. What’s not to love? He’d drive one himself if only it came equipped with lower door handles.

©The Muppets Holding Company, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


Summer is an exceptionally busy time for us at the magazine. We have been occupied not only with the current issue but also with the giant, year-ending Women Worth Watching issue that will be available in November. We’ve been poring over mentoring essays, personal and corporate profiles, and portrait photography, all of which will capture the spirit of 100 extraordinary women whose success merits scrutiny. We bill this issue as the biggest diversity event of the year, largely because of the caliber of the women profiled in its pages. You’ll want to read it from cover to cover. That doesn’t mean you should skim this issue. It, too, is packed with good reading that entertains and informs. We begin with a profile of Waste Management’s Larry O’Donnell on page 19. Mr. O’Donnell is a change champion of the highest order, and he has made great strides at Waste Management, a company whose ubiquitous television commercials boast of saving 41 million trees last year because of its recycling programs. There’s plenty to boast about on the diversity front there, too. Our Front-Runner piece profiles Lois Cooper of Adecco. I’ve spoken to Lois several times over the last few weeks, and I can tell you I’d like to meet her in person. Straightforward, down-to-earth, quick to laugh— what more could you ask for? We’ve also got our regular features, Momentum and Catalyst, and a feature on Hispanic Heritage Month. This observance begins on Sept. 15, a date that marks the anniversary of independence for five countries: El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. More than 35 million people identified themselves as Hispanic or Latino in the 2000 census. They come from twenty countries outside America, and we should welcome them and celebrate their contributions. We show you how six organizations do just that. Enjoy the issue. And clear some time on your calendar for the big Women Worth Watching issue in November. You’ll need it. Shell CEO John Hofmeister recently visited with PDJ Publisher James Rector at the City Club in Cleveland, Ohio.



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Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2006

diversityjournaledit@mac.com Photos & Artwork: diversityjournalart@mac.com

On the Cover / Special Feature

19 Larry O’Donnell

President and Chief Operating Officer, Waste Management Here’s an inside look at the diversity legacy Mr. O’Donnell is driving into the organization. The green Waste Management trucks are ubiquitous. Diversity is just as pervasive within this company, and its dynamics are key to operations success.

Front-Runner Lois Cooper, Adecco’s Vice President, Employee Relations and Diversity With her broad smile and positive attitude, Ms. Cooper uses every opportunity to mentor others and infuse them with her own enthusiasm. Take a closer look in this month’s profile.

40 4

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2006


Hispanic Heritage Month If you’re not recognizing this celebration, you’re missing a great opportunity to build your team and advance diversity. Here’s how seven organizations celebrate the 35-million strong American Hispanic community.

departments .

Momentum Diversity Who, What, Where and When

8 Catalyst

54 6

Are Women Reaching the Top? Recent studies paint a bleak picture of women’s progress into top leadership positions. Here are the surprising results and a call to action for CEOs.

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2006

BP Names Carter as General Manager, Diversity & Inclusion – Americas HOUSTON – BP today announced it hired Kevin Carter as general manager, diversity and inclusion – Americas. In this role, Carter will lead the Americas team as the company continues its journey to build a diverse talent base and create an inclusive environment. He will work in partnership with the operating businesses and corporate functions in the Western Hemisphere to identify key diversity and inclusion (D&I) strategic issues and establish actions to create world class D&I capability in those regions. Carter brings to BP 20 years in D&I and strategic planning roles at various companies such as Ernst & Young, McDonald Investments, National City Bank and, most recently, Safeco Insurance Cos. These roles afforded him the opportunity to develop and implement comprehensive strategies focused on workforce inclusion as well as vendor and supplier diversity. According to Emily Deakins, vice president, global diversity and inclusion, “We are excited to have Kevin joining us in BP. His extensive experience in the corporate diversity and inclusion field and with nonprofit organizations will be a great asset to BP as we continue our critical work to create world class capability in this area.” In addition to his past corporate roles, Carter was the first African American to serve on the board of trustees of the Securities Industry Foundation for Economic Education, chaired the Northeast Ohio United Negro College Fund from 1993 to 1998, and is the founder and former chairman of the Consortium of African American Organizations, comprised of 3,000


African American business professionals. He also served as the chairman of Kaleidoscope Magazine from 1993 to 2001, a magazine which serves as a catalyst to bring diverse people together in Greater Cleveland.

Paula A. Price Joins CVS as Senior Vice President, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer WOONSOCKET, Rhode Island - CVS Corporation (NYSE: CVS) announced today that Paula A. Price has joined the company as senior vice president, controller and chief accounting officer. Price will be responsible for financial reporting, accounting systems, internal controls and loss prevention, and will help ensure the effective coordination of strategic plans and budgets. Under the direction of the chief financial officer, she will also be responsible for managing general accounting, planning and analysis of the company’s financial results. Previously, Price was senior vice president and chief financial officer for the institutional trust services division of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Price’s career experience includes senior-level finance positions at Prudential Financial, RJR Nabisco, Diageo/Grandmet, Kraft Foods and Sears. She received her MBA magna cum laude from the University of Chicago and her BS summa cum laude from DePaul University. Price is a certified public accountant. “Paula has demonstrated her effectiveness in accounting, corporate finance, and strategy. Her experience across industries and functions will be an asset to CVS as we continue to grow our business and we welcome her to the CVS team,” said David Rickard, executive vice president, chief financial officer

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2006

and chief administrative officer. CVS is America’s largest retail pharmacy, operating more than 6,100 retail and specialty pharmacy stores in 44 states and the District of Columbia. General information about CVS is available through the Investor Relations portion of the company’s Web site, at http://investor.cvs.com, and through the pressroom portion of the company’s Web site, at www.cvs.com/pressroom.

Mayor of Albany Appoints Nixon Peabody Attorney to “Re-Capitalize Albany Advisory Committee” ALBANY, NY – John E. Higgins, a labor and employment attorney with Nixon Peabody LLP, has been appointed to the “ReCapitalize Albany Advisory Committee” by Mayor Jerry Jennings. The Committee is comprised of business, education, economic development and community leaders. Its mission is to craft a new vision for education, economic growth and neighborhood revitalization throughout the Capital Region. For more than sixteen years, Higgins has counseled employers on how to avoid lawsuits for all kinds of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, employment and traditional labor law problems. Higgins has significant litigation and trial experience representing employers in cases alleging race, age, sex, national origin, disability and other types of discrimination, and defending claims brought against employers and fiduciaries under ERISA and state common laws. In February 2006, he was named one of the best lawyers in America in the areas of labor and employment law based on a peer-review survey. Higgins is president of the Capital

District Black and Hispanic Bar Association, co-chair of the New York State Bar Association Committee on Minorities in the Profession, and a member of the New York State Bar Association’s (NYSBA) statewide Committee on Diversity and Leadership Development. He is also a member of the NYSBA’s House of Delegates and a member of the American Bar Association’s Presidential Advisory Council on Diversity. Nixon Peabody LLP is one of the largest law firms in the United States, with more than 600 attorneys collaborating across 15 major practice areas in 16 office locations. Nixon Peabody has been recognized by FORTUNE magazine as one of the “100 Best Companies To Work For” in 2006.

Bowman Joins DLA Piper as Regional Manager of Diversity NEW YORK – DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US LLP has announced that Edwin Bowman has joined the firm as eastern regional manager of diversity. He will take a leadership role in the development of diversity programs, facilitate training efforts and track the overall progress of diversity programs. Bowman will focus on diversity programs involving the firm’s offices in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Tampa, Fla., Raleigh, N.C., Atlanta, and Northern Virginia. Bowman was previously a diversity manager at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. “DLA Piper has adopted as part of its strategic plan the goal of improving the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women and minority lawyers at the firm and is vigorously pursuing that objective,” said Peter C.B. Bynoe, a senior partner in DLA Piper’s Chicago 10

office and chairman of the firm’s national diversity committee. “Edwin is uniquely qualified to focus on our progress throughout the eastern region and his addition is another important step in our campaign.” At Skadden Arps, Bowman executed strategic diversity initiatives that increased the firm’s recruitment, retention and promotion of minority and women attorneys. He advised the firm’s diversity committee, improved internal communications to provide information about diversity, launched the firm’s voluntary affirmative action plan, and created seminars for associates and partners on diversity issues. Bowman’s human resources experience also includes recruitment, salary administration, economic evaluation, performance management, and policy development. Bowman was also a consultant to the Federal Glass Ceiling Commission that developed published recommendations and guidelines to the White House for driving workforce diversity throughout both the public and private sectors. He is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management. Bowman has a B.A. degree from Fisk University, Nashville, Tenn.

Exelon Names Andrea L. Zopp Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Peggy A. Davis Vice President, Diversity CHICAGO – Exelon has announced that Andrea L. Zopp, 49, has been appointed senior vice president, human resources; and Peggy A. Davis, 53, has been appointed vice president, diversity. Zopp joins Exelon from Sears Holding Corporation where she was senior

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2006

vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary. Her responsibilities at Exelon will be human resources strategy and work force planning, compensation, employee health and benefits, and corporate security. Davis joined Exelon in August 2005 as associate general counsel, office of the corporate secretary. In her new role, she will oversee all Exelon diversity and compliance initiatives. These initiatives demonstrate Exelon’s commitment to fostering an environment of inclusion and respect, while ensuring compliance with government requirements. “Andrea brings significant experience, capability and credibility that will support a positive, respectful work environment for our employees and advance Exelon’s efforts to build a high performing organization that delivers exceptional value to our customers and shareholders,” said S. Gary Snodgrass, executive vice president and chief human resources officer. “Peggy has more than 25 years of broad-based legal experience in the public and private sectors. We are excited that she is joining our team and confident that she will drive the company’s diversity and compliance initiatives to the next level.” As senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary at Sears, Zopp had responsibility for legal affairs, public relations, government affairs and compliance. She joined Sears from Sara Lee Corporation where she served as vice president, deputy general counsel and managed senior attorneys at the operating divisions, risk management, and environmental services and safety. Currently, Zopp is a member of the board of directors of Andrew Corporation, where she serves on the compensation and nominating and governance committees. She is involved in national and local community and professional associations, including the

National Urban League, American Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association, Black Women Lawyer’s Association, Leadership Greater Chicago, the Economic Club, the Heartland Alliance, and Chicago Area Project. Zopp holds a bachelor’s degree in history and science as well as a J.D., both from Harvard University. As associate general counsel at Exelon, Davis was responsible for development and implementation of the company’s corporate compliance program, including conducting and monitoring investigations of potential violations of Exelon’s code of business conduct and preparing quarterly reports on these matters for Exelon’s audit committee. She also developed and implemented programs and delivery systems for ethics and compliance case management, training, and communications. Prior to joining Exelon, she was a partner at the law firm Winston & Strawn, where she specialized in labor and employment litigation and counseling, and public law. She also has extensive experience in the public sector, including service as chief of staff to the Chicago Public Schools’ CEO. Davis is a member of the American Bar Association and the Chicago Bar Association. She is the outgoing president of the Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois, treasurer-elect for the National Association of Women Lawyers, and is on the board of directors for the Academy for Urban School Leadership in Chicago. She holds a bachelor’s degree in social welfare and a J.D., both from the University of Wisconsin. Exelon Corporation is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, with approximately 5.2 million customers and more than $15 billion in annual revenues. Exelon is headquartered in Chicago and trades on the NYSE under the ticker EXC.


George Nichols III to Head Office of Governmental Affairs in 2007 NEW YORK – New York Life Insurance Company announced that George Nichols III has been named head of New York Life’s Office of Governmental Affairs, effective January 2007. He will succeed Jessie Colgate, who has led the operation since 1989 and will be retiring in January 2007, after 20 years of service. Sy Sternberg, chairman and chief executive officer, New York Life Insurance Company, said, “Jessie has had a distinguished career at New York Life, contributing enormously to building New York Life’s reputation on both the federal and state levels. We wish her well in her retirement. We are pleased to be turning to another member of our management team, George Nichols, who has a strong background in government and an excellent track record at New York Life.” Nichols is currently senior vice president in charge of the company’s AARP Tampa Operations, where sales growth has exceeded 20 percent annually in the three years he has led the operations. Prior to his current position, Nichols served as senior vice president in New York Life’s Agency Department, which oversees the distribution of products through approximately 10,000 licensed agents in the United States. Before joining New York Life as a senior vice president and assistant to the chairman in 2001, he was commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Insurance. Nichols received a master’s degree from the University of Louisville and a bachelor’s degree from Western Kentucky University. New York Life Insurance Company, a FORTUNE 100 company founded in 1845, is the largest mutual life insurance

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2006

company in the United States and one of the largest life insurers in the world. Headquartered in New York City, New York Life’s family of companies offers life insurance, annuities and long-term care insurance.

La Fonte Nesbitt of Holland & Knight Recognized by the Minority Business & Professionals Network WASHINGTON, D.C. – Holland & Knight LLP is proud to announce that La Fonte Nesbitt, a partner in the firm’s Real Estate Section, has been named one of the Fifty Influential Minorities in Business by the Minority Business & Professionals Network (MBPN). The award honors diverse, dynamic business professionals who have demonstrated strong leadership in their industry and share a commitment to their community, business growth and professional excellence. Nesbitt practices in the commercial real estate development and finance area, with a particular focus on affordable housing and community development, and public-private partnerships and privatization initiatives. He was Holland & Knight’s first diversity partner and currently serves as executive partner of the firm’s Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia and Bethesda, Md. offices. Nesbitt serves as a board member of Street Law, Inc., and is a member of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project Advisory Committee, Pro Bono Institute. “La Fonte is an outstanding attorney whose leadership, professional excellence and commitment to community highly qualify him for this well deserved recognition,” said Holland & Knight’s Managing Partner Howell W. Melton, Jr. “His contributions have enriched our

firm, the community, and the legal profession. We congratulate him on this great achievement.” The Minority Business & Professionals Network is an award-winning organization founded in 1997, with over 2,000 members and a database of over 20,000 minority businesses and organizations. Its mission is to assist and promote the interests of African American, Asian American, Native American and Hispanic American entrepreneurs. Holland & Knight is a global law firm with more than 1,150 lawyers in 17 U.S. offices. Other offices around the world are located in Mexico City, Tokyo and Beijing, with representative offices in Caracas, Helsinki and Tel Aviv. The firm’s Web site is www.hklaw.com.

InterContinental Hotels’ Olivia Brown Honored by NABA ATLANTA – Hotel Manager Olivia Brown of the InterContinental Suites


Cleveland was recently honored by The National Association of Black Accountants Inc. (NABA) with the “Walking the Road Less Traveled” award at the 35th Annual National Convention & Diversity Expo. The award is presented annually to one formally educated and trained accountant who applies From left to right: Gwendolyn Skillern, CPA, president elect, their expertise outside NABA; Olivia Brown, hotel manager, InterContinental of the traditional Suites Cleveland and Cleveland Clinic Guest House; Norman accounting industry and is K. Jenkins, CPA, national president & CEO, NABA. active in professional community organizations. The nomination by her peers for this award also recog140 hotels worldwide and 45 hotels in nizes Brown’s creativity, dedication and the Americas region. For the latest news vision of individuals and businesses that from InterContinental Hotels Group, contribute to the accounting profession. visit the company’s online press office at InterContinental hotels are located www.ihgplc.com/media. in more than 60 countries, operating

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2006

PepsiCo’s Steve Reinemund to Retire as Chairman in May, 2007 / Board of Directors Appoints Indra K. Nooyi as Chief Executive Officer Effective October 1, 2006 PURCHASE, N.Y. – PepsiCo announced today that Steve Reinemund, 58, chairman and CEO, will retire next May. “After 22 years with PepsiCo, more than five of them as chairman and CEO, I have decided that my family is entitled to more time from me than the responsibilities and obligations of continuing as PepsiCo’s CEO requires and deserves,” said Mr. Reinemund. “It was, in many respects, the toughest and easiest decision of my life.” The Board has elected Indra K. Nooyi, 50, as CEO effective October 1, 2006. Mr. Reinemund will serve as Executive Chairman of PepsiCo and will continue to serve as a member of the board of directors until his retirement in May, 2007. In addition, PepsiCo also announced that Ms. Nooyi’s current responsibilities will be divided between two PepsiCo veterans. Richard Goodman, 57, who has 12 years of service with the company and is currently CFO of PepsiCo International, will assume the position of CFO for the corporation. Hugh F. Johnston, 44, currently senior vice president, transformation, has been promoted to the newly created position of executive vice president, operations, and will add global procurement and information technology to his responsibilities. Mr. Johnston has worked at PepsiCo for 17 years. Both executives will report to Ms. Nooyi. Ms. Nooyi joined the $33 billion global convenient foods and beverages company in 1994, serving as president and CFO since 2001, when she was also named to PepsiCo’s board of directors.

As the fifth CEO in PepsiCo’s 41-year history, she brings vast and unique skills to the job. She has directed the company’s global strategy for over a decade and was the primary architect of PepsiCo’s restructuring, including the divestiture of its restaurants into the successful YUM! Brands, Inc., the spin-off and public offering of company-owned bottling operations into anchor bottler Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG), acquiring Tropicana, and the merger with Quaker Oats that brought the vital Quaker and Gatorade businesses to PepsiCo. Speaking for the board, Mr. Allen said, “We are exceedingly fortunate to have a leader of Indra’s caliber, vision and experience take the helm. She has been instrumental to PepsiCo’s solid direction and ongoing success and has the complete endorsement and support of the board. We have seen the difference that Indra has made on the business and the people, and we look forward to working even more closely with her to usher in the next generation of dramatic growth and advancement that has been a hallmark of PepsiCo since its founding.” PepsiCo is one of the world’s largest food and beverage companies, with annual revenues of $33 billion. Its principal businesses include Frito-Lay snacks, PepsiCola beverages, Gatorade sports drinks, Tropicana juices and Quaker foods. Its portfolio includes 17 brands that generate $1 billion or more each in annual sales.

Ford Names Boeing’s Alan Mulally President & CEO; Bill Ford is Executive Chairman DEARBORN, Mich. – Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) announced today that it has elected Alan Mulally as president and chief executive officer. He has also been elected to the board of directors. Bill Ford will continue his duties as executive chairman.

“One of the three strategic priorities that I’ve focused on this year is company leadership. While I knew we were fortunate to have outstanding leaders driving our operations around the world, I also determined that our turnaround effort required the additional skills of an executive who has led a major manufacturing enterprise through such challenges before,” Bill Ford wrote in an email to Ford employees. “That’s why I’m very pleased to announce that Alan Mulally, who turned around the Commercial Airplanes division of The Boeing Company, will become our president and CEO, effective immediately. Alan has deep experience in customer satisfaction, manufacturing, supplier relations and labor relations. He also has the personality and teambuilding skills that will help guide our Company in the right direction.” Bill Ford, who said he would remain “extremely active” in the business, praised Mulally as “an outstanding leader and a man of great character.” He noted that Mulally had applied many of the lessons from Ford’s success in developing the Taurus to Boeing’s creation of the revolutionary Boeing 777 airliner. That experience, chronicled in the book, Working Together, by James P. Lewis, tells how the leadership principles Mulally learned from Ford and developed at Boeing may be applied to other businesses. Mulally, 61, has spent 37 years at The Boeing Company, most recently as executive vice president. In addition, he has also been president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes since 2001. In that position he was responsible for all of the company’s commercial airplane programs and related services, which in 2005 generated record orders for new business and sales of more than $22.6 billion. Mulally was named president of Commercial Airplanes in September 1998. The responsibility of chief executive officer for the business unit was added in March 2001. Prior to his current position, Mulally served as president of Boeing Information, Space & Defense Systems and senior vice president of The Boeing Company.

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2006


Burger King Corporation Honors Minority Suppliers with Prestigious Supplier of the Year Award Burger King Corporation and its purchasing cooperative, Restaurant Services, Inc. (RSI), have honored Integrated Control Corporation and Clipper Corporation with the prestigious CLIPPER CORPORATION: Left to right: Barry Woon, Clipper Corporation, vice president, operations; BKC-RSI 2006 Supplier of the Javier Rodriguez, Restaurant Services, Inc. (RSI), director, equipment and facilities purchasing; Lina Hu, Year Award. The companies are among only seven distinguished Clipper Corporation, CEO and president; George Hoffman, RSI, CEO; Monica Juhl, Clipper Corporation, executive account manager; John Newcomb, RSI, chairman; Denny Post, Burger King honorees nationwide, each of Corporation, senior vice president and chief concept officer; Jim Hyatt, Burger King Corporation, chief which were selected based on operations officer. their impressive track record and their unwavering commitment to teamwork, dedication and excellence. This is the second consecutive year that Clipper Corporation has received this honor as an outstanding supplier. In presenting the award to Clipper, Javier Rodriguez, RSI director of equipment and facilities purchasing, said, “This is a company that distinguishes itself from others with competitive and proactive service that is unparalleled in the restaurant uniform INTEGRATED CONTROL CORPORATION: Left to right: Javier Rodriguez, Restaurant Services, Inc. industry.” (RSI), director, equipment and facilities purchasing; Roberta Salerno, Integrated Control Corporation, CEO and president; George Hoffman, RSI, CEO; Mark Salerno, Integrated Control Corporation, chief Rodriguez also recognized Integrated Control Corporation technology officer; John Newcomb, RSI, chairman; Phil Salerno, Integrated Control Corporation, national sales manager; Denny Post, Burger King Corporation, senior vice president and chief concept for providing a range of timers and controls for a variety officer; Jim Hyatt, Burger King Corporation, chief operations officer. of Burger King-approved equipment. “Integrated Control’s achievements nation’s largest hospitality providers. The and technologies for the food service company began its relationship with industry. These products are designed have been marked by high quality techBurger King in 1996, initially providing for non-technical personnel that enable nology innovations, quick delivery and caps and visors to restaurants for the operators to control complex equipment creative applications,” said Rodriguez. company’s newly implemented uniform and processes with less error. Founded “As a global brand Burger King program. Clipper Corporation has since in 1987, the company has worked in Corporation is committed to maintainexpanded operations to include addisuch diverse OEM markets as fitness, ing a diverse portfolio of suppliers,” tional uniform items, such as knit and automotive, health, vision, medical, said Cirabel Lardizabal Olson, director, woven shirts, manager ties and scarves. process and food to name a few. diversity and multicultural relations. Integrated Control is a designer, Clipper Corporation has distinguished manufacturer and marketer of products itself as a major supplier to many of the PDJ 16

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2006

Special Feature

Waste Management

Waste Management President and Chief Operating Officer Larry O’Donnell sees diversity and inclusion as dynamic components of a successful business mix. Here’s how his company has grown into that philosophy, and a look at the diversity legacy he’s building into the organization.


arry O’Donnell pulls no punches when talking about Waste Management, himself, or diversity . . . and how each intersects at his company, which is now looking

ahead to daunting growth challenges in an increasingly complex North American society. “I came on board at Waste Management when things were simply a mess. At the end of 1999, the


company was coming out of accounting scandals and a


severely damaged reputation on Wall Street and among


the investment community—the full nightmare deal.


I was the second person hired into the new leadership


group, right after the board of directors brought on the


new chairman, president and CEO, Maury Myers, to


Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2006


Larry O’Donnell President and Chief Operating Officer

“We wanted to create a business where people had pride and their contributions were valued. And we wanted that pride to shine from the inside out, in every nook and cranny of the organization.” Larry O’Donnell, a “hard core” yet good-humored University of Texas fan, accepts his jersey from his WM managment team after an Ohio State game.


turn the company around. There were

ship with our shareholders, employees,

ness where people had pride and their

problems everywhere we turned. For too

customers and communities.

contributions were valued. And we wanted

many days and nights in a row, we

“Maury phrased it simply and suc-

that pride to shine from the inside

addressed a nonstop list of difficulties

cinctly in our leadership meetings: Build

out, in every nook and cranny of the

that could sink the company,” says




Management where people believe in the

A significant part of bridging from a

“But even in that frantic environ-

company’s leadership, business direction,

revitalized, refocused business approach

ment—and maybe especially because it

and financial strength, and create a

to a vibrantly diverse company had to do

was such a challenging time—we agreed

culture where we will operate ethically

with what Larry O’Donnell experienced

with extreme clarity on a few key ideas.

without question in everything we do in

personally along his path to the President

We wanted these to become the core

running our business.

and COO position.





understandings of the business we were

“As we put together the road map

rebuilding. Remember, we had a crisis of

for Waste Management to arise out of the

confidence with virtually all of our stake-

crisis as the industry leader, frankly,

holders. So it was clear to us that the core

diversity was not on the target list per se. “

’ve never thought about what we are

foundation of our plan had to be demon-

What we did have was a management

doing at Waste Management as a

strating integrity, rebuilding trust and

philosophy clearly linked to a focus

diversity initiative or something separate

growing a credible, meaningful relation-

on people. We wanted to create a busi-

from everything else,” says O’Donnell. “It

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2006

A personal journey


Special Feature

Waste Management

is just the way I approach things, I think, because of the value I place on individuals and the importance of teaming together. And I have that view because of my own personal journey in life. “I believe diversity has to be lived, not just observed. How I think and act today reflects how I grew up and the values my father instilled in me. My family had a construction and real estate business, started by my grandfather, and my dad made sure I learned to contribute early on. I was in the second grade when I had my first ‘job’ with him. I began by dusting rows of shelves, sweeping the floors and restocking the trucks, and later I worked on the construction crews. So I worked with lots of people who acted and looked different than my own family. We worked side-by-side, shoulder-toshoulder. It was no big deal to share lunches, stories and jokes. We all took

“When I ask people to give me feedback on how we can continue to improve our company, which I often do,” confides Waste Management President and COO Larry O’Donnell, “I’m sometimes surprised with the vigorous replies I get. People aren’t afraid to give you their opinions if you just ask. Sometimes what they have to say is fairly direct, or even critical, but that’s good. The only way we are going to continue to improve is to have a culture in which people feel like they can speak up, and are willing to bring forward the issues that they feel are important.” Known in the company for early morning garage visits and other hands-on touches, O’Donnell finds that most employees appreciate his approach to work. “‘Be bright, be brief, get going!’ is what one person played back to me. I thought that was pretty condensed, but it’s really right on the money. We want great ideas, presented with tight and clear arguments; to engage in a dialog, make a decision and communicate expectations; and then we want to execute quickly. “I’m a great believer in modeling behavior. So I engage myself with many people throughout the organization; it’s what I hope others do, too. Really listen to what people say, and learn from it. Everything you gain helps in building the diverse teams we need to address the challenging propositions in the marketplace today. And attracting people with varied backgrounds, cultures and ways of thinking helps us see situations through the eyes of the customers and employees we have today. “People tell me I’m also a ‘look-you-in-the-eyes’ communicator. I like to talk one-on-one with everyone I meet. There’s nothing better than engaging in a direct and clear exchange with another person to reach common ground. And, when there are differences of opinion, being up-front helps people respect your point of view. It’s what I try to do, and what I want others to do with me. “‘Your world isn’t everyone’s world’: That’s an important life and style lesson that I learned early and try to pass on to our next generation of managers.”

a drink from the same water jug. That’s

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2006


Larry O’Donnell President and Chief Operating Officer

“With Larry as our most vocal coach, we started from a simple perspective of identifying vulnerabilities and opportunities.” Carlton Yearwood, chief ethics and diversity officer

“When you spend time with and work with a variety of people every day, you begin to see there is an amazingly rich variety to the ways

just the way it was around our place. “Later on, when I was a senior in

other. The crafts were like that. Each

high school, my dad singled out a spe-

seemed to draw talent from a particu-

cial work assignment for me. He gave

lar community, with their own values,

me the job of finishing construction on

language and work ethic.

five houses that were nearing comple-

“So really, early in my work life, I

tion. He told me, ‘Learn the job and

saw that people could make or break

learn the people.’ It was a challenge I

your business, and that learning how to

never forgot.

move a team of varied, talented people

“I had to figure out how to put

you can look at getting things done.” Larry O’Donnell


who were truly different from each

together, motivate and manage work

toward a single, common goal was crucial to being successful.

teams that did different things—

“I found out that our customers

plumbing, cement work, carpentry,

were different, too. Each of the soon-to-

cabinetry—and that had tradespeople

be owners of the homes we were build-

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2006

Special Feature

ing was as unlike the other as could be.

work with a variety of people every day,

I learned quickly that your business

you begin to see there is an amazingly

needs to understand and respond to

rich variety to the ways you can look at

who your customers really are, not to

getting things done.

who you might think they are.

Waste Management

Larry O’Donnell insists on bringing varied Waste Management employees together to cultivate a corporate culture of hearing, learning and considering a range of perspectives on business issues.

“I really saw the value of hearing

“So at key stages in my life, I had

and learning and considering other

the opportunity to spend a lot of time

people’s perspectives on a wide variety

with people who viewed things differ-

of things, from politics, to the way to

ently than me—people who came from

run a business, to what you might do for

backgrounds that were well away from

weekend fun. All of that’s really shaped

my own. I quickly saw that the world

the way I relate to people now, and to

‘out there’ is really different from what

how I expect WM to operate.”

you might experience in your own family. When you spend time with and

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2006


Larry O’Donnell President and Chief Operating Officer

Events throughout the year bring Waste Management employees together to meet each other, share thoughts, be recognized and network more effectively when back on the job. Above, Mary Kay Runyan, vice president, fleet and logistics (second from left) joins the stage with Larry O’Donnell to recognize the key group of fleet operation leaders.



ness. We want to reach a point where,

a core component

frankly, diversity and inclusion are

of Waste Management’s

thought about as the people strategy to

operating platform

achieve breakthrough performance and

hat we are consciously trying


extraordinary results, and not merely as

to do,” says Carlton Year-

overlays; not as separate functions. We

wood, Waste Management’s chief ethics

want diversity and inclusion to simply

and diversity officer, “is to ‘operationalize’

be here, to be an unquestioned and

diversity into everything we do. I know

inherent part of everything we do.”

that word may sound like just more

Yearwood, who was hired into

business jargon. But to our team here, it

Waste Management’s leadership in

carries a powerful message. It means that

2002, has taken a key role in catalyzing

we’re carrying forward Larry’s notions of

actions across the organization. “In the

diverse people working together produc-

past few years,” he observes, “we’ve

tively, of recognizing individuals and

moved ahead with some good strides in

their integrity, of communicating expec-

building a diversity and inclusion infra-

tations clearly into the soul of our busi-

structure. Our core includes a code

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2006

Special Feature

Waste Management

Senior Vice President, Southern Group, Dave Hopkins with Market Area General Manager Denise Gretz.

of conduct, a best practice measurement and engagement process, targeted training, emerging diversity councils, and network groups that will stretch across the company, and outreach and partnership with national diversity groups. “With Larry as our most vocal coach, we started from a simple perspective of identifying vulnerabilities and opportunities. Really basic nuts and bolts. But right from the start, we pledged to take a systems approach, looking at many things at the same time.

“If you want to understand Waste Management’s embrace of a positive diversity philosophy, all you need to know is demographics.” That’s the word from Dave Hopkins, senior vice president, Southern Group. “We are in a race against trends that are reshaping the business markets drastically and fairly quickly.” And that’s what Waste Management does internally: help its people understand the demographic trends overlapping the enterprise. “We usually start with a small group presentation on how the population and society are changing in our local market area. Inevitably, people see a need to change the way

We viewed our behavior from the per-

we did business in the past to help us adapt to the changes around us. Minority

spectives of a FORTUNE 200 company,

populations are increasing quickly and substantially. The demographics of our

of a major federal contractor, of a com-

workers and our customers are changing. There is a significant age shift upward. In many areas, it is absolutely necessary to be able to communicate in

munity citizen, and of a talented person

multiple languages. It’s vital that all our people come to understand this and

who we would want to work with us. We

the implications.

thought about our reputation and what we must do to make careers with us attractive to the many people we need to hire.

“It is awfully important that our employee composition matches our customer base. It’s difficult to serve customers if you don’t understand their needs, sympathize with their wants, and present a familiar and friendly face in interactions,” Hopkins adds. “We have a measurement system from our diversity group that provides us feedback on a quarterly basis of how well we are doing.

Understanding, shaping processes “


It’s great. “With the evaluation system in place and our people challenging us to improve, I think we’re showing substantially better results already in recruiting,

hen you look at our company

training and retaining an employee population more in tune with the changing

right now,” says O’Donnell,

demographic profile we see.”

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2006


Larry O’Donnell President and Chief Operating Officer

“At Waste Management, we seek out a diverse workforce for both apparent and hidden assets. You often don’t know what people can do until they have the chance and the motivation. Letting every individual contribute to the best of her or his ability leads to surprising results.” David Steiner, CEO

“you see a leadership team wrestling

out a diverse workforce for both apparent

locks us in on five stakeholder groups or

mightily to understand people as cus-

and hidden assets. You often don’t know

areas absolutely vital to our future: cus-

tomers and as employees, to shape

what people can do until they have the

tomers, employees, environment, com-

processes to meet diverse expectations

chance and the motivation. Letting every

munity and shareholders. It directs the

and needs, and to work as a team singu-

individual contribute to the best of her

way we build relationships with them. It

larly focused on letting each of our

or his ability leads to surprising results.

helps us understand the powerful societal

people contribute their best toward being

I found that out clearly during a recent

trends that are shaping our business envi-

a successful local enterprise.”



ronment. And it allows us to replicate


exercise. That’s why building effective

local team-focused initiatives from coast-

Management CEO David Steiner, “I aim

teams—and having the personal know-


the company toward a future horizon

how to do so—is such an important

A particularly good illustration of

with a vision and a structured plan of

business tool today. It’s one we are culti-

Waste Management’s style shows in the

how to get there. But more than ever

vating all across our Waste Management

company’s “Think GREEN” initiative.

before, I see that executing flawlessly on


The theme captures the company’s self-







that plan means acquiring and combin-

Larry O’Donnell agrees. “We believe

determined responsibility to use its people,

ing skills and assets in a team that is

in the systems approach and the business

strengths, talents and technologies to better

singularly focused on getting the job

platform we have today,” said O’Donnell.

the communities it serves. It is communi-

done. At Waste Management, we seek

“Our formal strategic business framework

cated internally pervasively, including an

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2006

Special Feature

Waste Management

effort that aligns a goal with each letter of the word GREEN.

Great Operations

On the larger external scale, virtually every market area for Waste Management

Respected Brand

today reflects an operating philosophy built on today’s people and markets that fully incorpo-

Empowered Employees

rates diversity and inclusion. About 25 percent of Waste Management revenues come from urban areas where minorities are the majority right now. And the shrinking U.S. labor pool

Engaged Customers Neighbors of Each Other and Our Environment

will soon grow to be more than 30 percent Hispanic, African American and Asian Pacific. Operating regions that clearly illustrate this market mix for Waste Management today are the West Coast,

market area operations, located in Waste

the Southwest and Florida. Each has

Management’s Western Group, were

an overlapping mix of ethnicities,

plagued with faults and deficiencies that

lifestyles, customer needs and business

seemed to defy solution. There were


never enough drivers for routes. Many

“Let’s be honest,” says O’Donnell,

were late for work, or frequently absent.

“we have to find a way to have people of

Customer service suffered. Local man-

different races and genders, with different

agers felt constantly under pressure.

ideas and approaches, all drive to com-

Not a good situation for employees or

mon successful solutions. Otherwise,


we’re going to fall flat on our face as a

“Our approach is to first seek to

business. It’s that simple. Fortunately, I


believe there’s a lot to point to these days

problems,” explains Duane Woods,

that shows how much better we under-

senior vice president for the Western

stand these dynamics and how we’ve

Group, “so we hosted a series of meetings,

shaped our behavior as managers and

with both drivers and managers. We

leaders accordingly.”

asked questions, and we listened.

As one illustration, the San Diego





Managers went on route rides to observe

“Let’s be honest, we have to find a way to have people of different races and genders, with different ideas and approaches, all drive to common successful solutions. Otherwise, we’re going to fall flat on our face as a business. It’s that simple.”

Larry O’Donnell

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2006


Larry O’Donnell President and Chief Operating Officer

“To relate well in this part of the U.S., we have to be experts in Creole cultures and languages, something that reflects the people who come here from the island countries of the Caribbean.”

actual market conditions. Then a team

quickly and markedly reduced, and

there are the relatively prosperous ranch-

formed to look carefully at other work

customer satisfaction soared.”

ers and farmers. There are Native

processes and how managers communi-

Solving the Western Group’s prob-

American tribes. And there are distinct

lem taught Waste Management a lot,

urban centers, with sophisticated urban

“The facts we found amazed us.

according to Woods. “We find a lack of

needs and concerns. Overlaid on this, it’s

Drivers were difficult to attract because

understanding of different cultures at the

an entirely bilingual area, with a good

none could afford to live in the work area.

root of a lot of business tensions,” he

number of local dialects thrown in for

They were late because they had to drive

observed. “If you can move to a state

good measure.

almost unimaginable distances to get to

where everyone involved shares a com-

“To operate a Waste Management

their assignments. What people were

mon understanding, if not a common

facility there successfully, you need to be

labeling as ‘bad attitude’ was really a lack

ground, solutions are fairly straightfor-

sympathetic to different issues, and you

of communication between people who

ward. Our business today places a pre-

need to be able to engage with many dif-

did not share the same language.

mium on communicating in terms all

ferent cultures.”

cated with frontline workers.

“So a team that drew from local peo-


J.C. Casagrande, market area vice president, South Florida

people understand and can respond to.”

Meeting the challenge

ple came together to devise solutions. It

Commenting on differences among

recommended putting bilingual route

customer groups, Woods offers New

in South Florida

managers in place. Appropriate training

Mexico as an interesting example. “Waste

was created. They developed a van pool-

Management’s Western Group is an oper-


ing arrangement so people did not have

ating area with distinct sub-cultures, and

With more than 1,300 Waste Management

to drive to work individually. Everything

we have to understand them all to pro-

employees serving an area stretching from

was communicated clearly in terms the

vide good service. There are agrarian

Ft. Lauderdale to Miami, the daily

drivers could understand. Turnover was

groups, almost subsistence living. Then

hurdles to business operations are many.

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2006

nother market area with great cultural challenge is South Florida.

Special Feature

Waste Management

“We’re trilingual, not bilingual,” explains J.C. Casagrande, Waste Management’s market area vice president, South Florida. “To relate well in this part of the U.S., we have to be experts in Creole cultures and languages, something that reflects the people who come here from the island countries of the Caribbean. That’s in addition to understanding and speaking Spanish and English, too.” “One big challenge in South Florida is maintaining a great workforce. There’s only three percent unemployment here, and we compete with the travel and leisure market for essentially the same people. Success comes with showing clearly that diversity is simply a part of WM in Florida, that inclusiveness is not an add-on, but how we do business here. “We move a lot of people through excellent training here, and will continue

“You know, diversity is just a big part of who I am, of doing what I do,” explains J.C. Casagrande, market area vice president. “I’m a displaced New Yorker here in South Florida, so my background is a great, big melting pot of cultures, tastes and languages. In fact, my grandparents were Ellis Island immigrants, and I remember how important, and sometimes how painfully difficult, it was for my grandfather to find personal respect and dignity in the work he did. “My approach to life is shaped by what I saw my grandparents go through, no question about it. We have an amazing mix of people here in Florida. Many are fairly new to our country, and are trying their best to make it all work. My view is simple: If you can do the job and have a positive attitude, you’re part of my team for a long time. “What I try to do is lead by example. I believe everyone deserves respect as an individual person, no matter what background. I believe, too, that each person has an inherent dignity, and you acknowledge that primarily in the ways you communicate. Because of the vast geography I cover, I’ve become an email and voicemail person—it’s the ‘new technology’ open door policy. I try to quickly respond to whoever sends me a message. But I never forget that face-to-face communication is also important. “We’re blessed in South Florida to have so many quality people from so many different cultures. What happens is that the right people find the right positions Waste Management has in this operating region. It’s absolutely essential that customers feel comfortable in their relationship with you, to build the trust you need as a business. We can build that trust each day because of the effort we put in to matching our people with the cultures in the community.”

Profiles in Diversity Journal

September/October 2006


Larry O’Donnell President and Chief Operating Officer

O’Donnell’s penchant for building relationships routinely engages him in meetings and other events where he helps to ensure that senior leadership is aware of what matters are on the minds of employees throughout the organization. Shown here, Larry O’Donnell enjoys a moment with Erica Siverson, director of employee and customer engagement.

to do so. Especially with the population base in South Florida, it’s important to elevate education on many fronts. It’s an investment in our own business. “I try to lead by respecting what our customers and employees respect. That means expanding your view not only of


how work gets done but also of highly

People continue

sive teams and get people working produc-

personal things like holidays, beliefs and

as the center point

tively together to accomplish the same

family relationships.

“The center point is people,” says

goal. That is what I find most exciting

“My view is that it’s all about

O’Donnell. “Processes, programs and

and gratifying: collecting different skills

establishing a sense of understanding and

philosophies are the add-ons, but unless

and perspectives to solve a problem or

fairness with customers as well as employ-

people are positively touched and

make the most of an opportunity.

ees. It’s important that we have shared

engaged, all the action is without much

trust. That’s my operating philosophy


“At the same time, I tell my people that I can’t do it alone. In fact, I won’t do it alone.”

in action; that’s how I see Waste

“I’ve always considered myself a

Management approaching diversity as an

people person,” he adds, “and I encour-

opportunity on all fronts.”

age everyone on the Waste Management

clear wherever he goes,” observes

team to be the same. I like to build cohe-

Stephanie Valdez, human resources vice

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2006

“Yes, Larry makes his position very

Special Feature

Waste Management

“Larry makes his position very clear wherever he goes. He’s shown us that when you bring a diverse group of people together, treat them with respect and communicate well with everybody, you can really make some progress on hairy issues.” Stephanie Valdez, human resources vice president

“We try on many fronts to engage our people locally around diversity,” says Stephanie Valdez, human resources vice president, “and that certainly includes everyone in local leadership. As a human resource professional, I’ve seen the role of leadership become increasingly more complex. The targeted, focused training we do on diversity highlights the relevancies in each market area and draws on the commonalities we need across the company. That translates to nuanced leadership that’s right for each of our groups. “For example, our Women’s Professional Network is present in each of our market areas. Here in Phoenix, we’re planning two big events this year as a way to tell women that we care about them, their aspirations and their future with us. “I also do a lot of team and individual counseling as part of my job. It’s important to learn to be a good coach at Waste Management because teamwork is one of our top corporate values. So I encourage people to look to the team for answers, to find ways to become a valued part of the group. “Personally, I advise people at the company to learn to see outside themselves and the company, to connect the right dots even if they go into the margins. You have to understand the full complexity of your environment and the agendas of the people involved to really see through to solutions. In our business environment today, you just cannot overestimate the skills you need to manage appropriately around different cultures.”

Profiles in Diversity Journal

September/October 2006


Larry O’Donnell President and Chief Operating Officer

“What Larry’s taught us all to do, through his behavior, is to better understand our people through the looking glass of the culture in the communities we serve.” Senior Vice President Duane Woods with Human Resource Vice President Jenny Gumm.

O’Donnell often finds his peoplefocused style of management leads to candid assessments of his own performance, which he uses to refine his own approach to business opportunities. He is shown here with Jose Flores, manager of safety operations.


president. “He’s shown

female. “We’re losing as a company if we

us that when you bring

don’t have women and minorities at the

a diverse group of peo-

table to help us have a richness of discus-

ple together, treat them

sion about issues to make us a stronger

with respect, and com-

company,” says O’Donnell. “While we



have made tremendous progress, we still

everybody, you can real-

have lots of work to do. We have to

ly make some progress

attract even more minorities and females

on hairy issues. He’s


really helped us advance

management ranks.”






the cause of diversity

“An important element we are

and inclusion in the

adding,” says Yearwood, “is a program of

daily work we do. He’s demanded that





the leadership team across the company

networks (MPNs). As we do with all

does what he does—engages managers

business initiatives, we are taking a

around important issues, clearly outlines

systems approach here, and have been

an action plan, communicates results.”

meticulously planning the launch for

Waste Management’s workforce is

some time.” Waste Management sees

38 percent minority and only 14 percent

MPNs as a crucial step, but one fraught

female. Among managers, the profile is

with sensitive issues. “By recognizing that

17 percent minority and 15 percent

people have a need to belong, we hope to

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2006

Special Feature

Waste Management

inspire them. But we don’t want anyone to have the feeling of being singled out for attention in the process,” explains Yearwood. To encourage the engagement of minority managers around the country, Prof. Chris Metzler of Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations is working closely with the company on the design, introduction and implementation of the program. This and other initiatives complement O’Donnell’s personal style. “I make it a point to spend a lot of time in the field, working directly with people at all levels,” he says. “Some of the best conversations I’ve had are in garages before the sun comes up. People ask me, ‘Why do you do that, Larry? Don’t you waste a lot of time?’ I tell everyone it’s the best use of time I can think of. I

“Exclusion carries a sharp sting,” observes Director of Corporate Communications Carrie Griffiths, “and just about everyone feels that pain at some point during their career. It might be having an idea ignored. Or not being invited to a group outing. But it’s important to realize these things happen, to learn and to keep charging ahead. Sharing that understanding is one of the many benefits of our Women’s Professional Network.” Waste Management’s Women’s Professional Network (WPN) is working to expand its network to include more women at the company. Designed to help women professionals build relationships and increase their visibility, WPN targets the companywide success of women to positively affect company goals. Involving leadership from all geographic areas, WPN is an inclusive network that provides a range of opportunities for personal and professional growth. “Our WPN is a way to channel the collective wisdom of Waste Management’s diverse women,” adds Griffiths. “Things like negotiating a raise, creating a presentation and handling a conflict are all fair game. And the highly visible support the company gives WPN carries a strong message to women that we’re serious about helping each person achieve her full potential.” Corporate funding for WPN includes money, time and personal involvement. This substantial investment supports an array of meetings, events and communications at the local level, as well as occasions when it all comes together corporately. For example, national leadership meetings now bring together the WPN and Minority Professional Networks where, over several days, there’s in-depth discussion of business initiatives. Altogether, the stream of activities is accessible, varied and pertinent. “WPN’s goal is to accelerate women’s professional development and make women more visible to senior management. And we know how important it is to link that to the business and profitability. But what’s even more satisfying is understanding that Waste Management really wants to embed a sense of inclusion in our company.”

Profiles in Diversity Journal

September/October 2006


Larry O’Donnell President and Chief Operating Officer

Through roundtables and other participatory gatherings, Waste Management encourages growing both formal and informal networks, extending through all levels of the company. For board member Pastora San Juan Cafferty and Senior Vice President Barry Caldwell (bottom right), full participation is an expected leadership behavior.

learn a heck of a lot about what’s working

and we used the occasion to talk about

and what’s not. And I meet loads of

how processes have improved. We didn’t

people who are ready to move on to other

think much about how to advance a

positions in our company. You have to

diverse employee population not so long

make the effort to spend lots of time with

ago. Now it’s among the first things our

people, and not just look at their ‘per-

people consider.”

formance scorecard.’ You have to dig deeper than that.


Duane Woods, senior vice president, puts another view on the table. “What

“Local visits with office teams also let

Larry’s taught us all to do, through his

me personalize and further embed our

behavior, is to better understand our peo-

diversity philosophy. At one meeting, a

ple through the looking glass of the cul-

senior manager talked about a personnel

ture in the communities we serve. He’s

change that was planned, asking the

sensitizing leaders to understanding dif-

group for candidates. I was pleased to see

ferent values, to helping us gauge the dif-

that there were women being considered,

ferences among people.”

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2006

Special Feature

Waste Management

Always more to do


believe some really good things have crystallized in my time with

Waste Management. As much as I can right now, I consider that to be a good legacy to grow on,” observes O’Donnell. “But we do have some notable things yet to do.” “For one, we need to continue

“I’m on six corporate boards,” says Jack Pope, chairman of Waste

to refine and edit our systems

Management’s board of directors, “and each one focuses quite intently on

approach in business. I’m a great

maximizing shareholder return through ethical behavior.

believer that our own people can help us find the solutions to making us a better company. You just have to engage them and listen to them, look for best practices that already exist, develop a plan, communicate the

“Encouraging management to provide an ethical, inclusive environment is one of the most important things a board can do, I believe. It drives instantly to attracting and retaining the best possible talent, the very lifeblood of every business. “It’s essential that any board ‘walk the talk’ on diversity and inclusion. At Waste Management today, the outside board is 25 percent minority and 13 percent female, and we always are looking for ways to improve our performance.

plan and expectations, and then

“An important thing to remember is that a board’s role is oversight—the

execute it. We see that, I hope, in

company’s management is responsible for actually reaching business goals,

much of what we do in diversity—

and that includes diversity and inclusion as well. As chairman of the board,

addressing specific challenges, letting

I’m pleased to note that Waste Management’s leaders have no debate on this subject. They pick up accountability readily. I’m confident with manage-

the best solutions rise to the top,

ment’s direction, and can keep my finger on the ‘diversity pulse’ through

and then sharing success across the

periodic reports on Waste Management’s progress, both on ethics and


diversity. This clarity and specificity of communication to the board and to business leaders is invaluable.”

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2006


Larry O’Donnell President and Chief Operating Officer

Looking at all that’s happened during Larry O’Donnell’s tenure at Waste Management,

• A systems approach to identifying business problems and opportunities works harmoniously to advance diversity. • The complex interactions of today’s business world, workplace and workforce, clearly lead to solutions best drawn from a framework of diversity. • Company leadership must be visibly engaged around every aspect of diversity. • Clear, concise, frequent and open communication provides an essential framework for increasing understanding in today’s diverse environment. • Knowing how to identify, build, motivate and reward teams that bring together the assets of differing skill sets, perspectives and opinions is essential to business success.

“I’m also very interested in attracting

networking diversity and inclusion at

frequently, thanks in large measure to the

and keeping women and minority

Waste Management. I am very engaged

many ways it is embedded in the enterprise.

individuals in our market area general

with our Women’s Professional Network

“The board’s attention is always to

manager jobs. These positions are the key

(WPN), and I want to expand that into

maximize shareholder value,” says Pope,

leadership positions of the company. I’m

other networks to help us attract and

“and the people implications of that view

convinced as well that we need to focus

grow our talent.”

are the most important thing we do.

on building diversity into our field

What has happened to diversity

People are truly the most valuable

positions—route managers and district

at Waste Management under Larry

asset any company has. With the

managers—so we have a pipeline of

O’Donnell’s tenure has attracted the

portfolio of activities and philosophy

talent for our leadership level.

attention of the company’s board, in

Waste Management has evolved, we have

“And I want to participate more

quite a positive way. Chairman Jack Pope

ample evidence that a diverse company is

in communicating the importance of

notes that the directors discuss diversity

a stronger company.”

PDJ 38

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2006

Raymond T. Roe, president, Adecco Group North America, and Lois Cooper at Adecco’s North American Headquarters.

Lois Cooper, vice president, employee relations and diversity at Adecco, lets us glimpse the diversity efforts of this giant among temporary staffing companies. GLOBAL / MARKET / INDUSTRY ISSUES Describe Adecco’s global presence: Our global headquarters are in Zurich, Switzerland. We are the largest staffing company worldwide with 6,600 offices in 70 countries. We employ 33,000 colleagues worldwide and nearly 700,000 temporary employees on a daily basis. We also employ 3,400 U.S. colleagues and approximately 130,000 temporary employees each week in the United States.

Please give us your definition of diversity and inclusion, as it relates to the efforts within your organization. Diversity means valuing our similarities and differences. Inclusion means inviting all colleagues to contribute to their full potential, which, in turn, contributes to global success.

Company name: Adecco Headquarters: Melville, New York Web site: www.AdeccoUSA.com Primary business: Temporary staffing and human resources solution provider Industry ranking: 265 in the FORTUNE Global 500 list

What are the main components of your D&I program? Is the management of D&I programs largely U.S.-based or present throughout the worldwide organization? There are four primary components of the Adecco Dimensions diversity initiative: recruitment, education/awareness, community relations and communication. Diversity is a key focus in both the United States as well as around the world. We have been recognized for global diversity efforts. For example, we were awarded the Diversity Innovations Award at the World Diversity Leadership Summit in Prague in March 2006.

2005 revenues: $23.4 billion with $578 million net income

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2006



Lois Cooper Adecco

Lois Cooper with members of her team.

In today’s marketplace, does your company have any particular cultural, socioeconomic, or demographic challenges to selling, producing, or delivering services? What particular challenges do you face in hiring and retaining good people? We are constantly faced with the shrinking labor pool and are tapping into new sources of talent to grow and maintain our business and to meet client needs.

Are there specific programs you can tell us about that address this worker shortage? Actually, there are several. Adecco has developed the Renaissance Program which is geared toward recruiting workers 55 and older, and we have been recognized by AARP for these efforts. In addition, we have developed a Career Accelerator Program which employs military spouses. This is an exciting program through which we have been


able to employ over 20,000 individuals. We have also developed job-readiness training and employment programs for Olympic athletes to provide them with part-time employment while training and to ease them into the mainstream workforce when they retire from their athletic careers.

CORPORATE LEADERSHIP What resources (financial and manpower) are allocated on diversity? How do these reflect your company’s leadership commitment to diversity? Joyce Russell, chief operating officer, is on the C-suite advisory board of Cornell University’s chief diversity officer’s (CDO) roundtable. Adecco is currently participating in a diversity audit to determine our long-term diversity strategy. The President and COO formally recognize diversity contributions of colleagues on a quarterly basis. All members of the corporate senior management team participate as mentors to assist in retaining top performers.

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2006

Does your company address diversity in its annual report? Is it important to talk about diversity with shareholders? Diversity, changing demographics, attraction of a diverse workforce and corporate social responsibility are themes that are threaded throughout the annual report. We look forward to developing a diversity annual report in the future.

How are decisions about diversity made in your organization? Is there a diversity council and who heads it up? Who participates? Diversity is the responsibility of all colleagues. Every business decision should consider any potential diversity impact before it is made. Adecco has two diversity councils—one made up of field colleagues and one which consists of corporate colleagues at all levels within the organization. Each council consists of three sub-committees which focus on specific goals.


Lois Cooper Adecco

The New Freedom Initiative Circle of Champions Information Exchange was held at the U.S. Department of Labor in April 2006. Sue Meisinger, who is President and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), facilitated a dialogue between Lois Cooper (center) and other corporate leaders on effective practices and innovative strategies for advancing employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

EMPLOYEE INCLUSIVENESS How does Adecco gauge inclusion of employees? What are the tests, measurements and benchmarks that indicate where the company is on the inclusion graph? Adecco uses employee surveys to track employees’ perceptions of progress on diversity and inclusion. We also conduct an ongoing review of employee demographics as compared with the marketplace.

How did you get to your present position? What was your career path? After college graduation, I began a job in NYC and decided to go back to graduate school for marketing. I had an opportunity to develop a training program for new account executives and changed my concentration to management/ human resources. I have been fortunate to have been given opportunities in the financial services, advertising and entertainment industries before joining Adecco.

Who were/are your mentors? What about their business skill or style influenced you?

How did they help in your professional and personal life? Are you mentoring anyone today?

“We salute Adecco for its dedicated efforts in increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities and for their willingness to share their successes and lessons learned with other businesses,” said Dr. W. Roy Grizzard Jr., Assistant Secretary of the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). The first-ever exchange, hosted by ODEP, marks the beginning of a movement to realize ODEP’s vision—a world in which people with disabilities have unlimited employment opportunities—by working directly with corporate leaders.

I believe in mentoring. I have been fortunate to have had senior African American leaders mentor me across various organizations. These individuals are extremely professional and understand the politics of corporate life. This is critical in navigating through an organization. I tried to use each interaction with my staff at work as an opportunity for mentoring.

What are your specific responsibilities for advancing diversity and inclusion in your organization? What are the strategies you employ to move inclusion forward? I am responsible for driving Adecco’s diversity strategy. This includes strategies for inclusion as well as strategies to leverage diversity to drive organizational profit.

How are you (as a manager) measured in terms of performance? Is your compensation related to diversity performance? My compensation is directly related to Adecco’s diversity initiative. We measure the effectiveness of our diversity partnerships, for example, by the number of referrals for colleague and temporary positions.

Are there particular areas/employee sectors you feel still need improvement? I don’t believe that there is ever a final goal where diversity is concerned. We have to keep raising the bar in all areas of diversity. The ultimate goal is to drive the bottom line of the organization.

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2006


Personal Profile

Lois Cooper Adecco

Company: Title:


Vice President, Employee Relations and Diversity

Years in current position:

7 1/2 years with Adecco;

vice president since 2003

Education: MBA from Baruch College First job:

Editorial assistant for a magazine publishing



Enjoy Life!

What I’m reading: I just finished The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. I am currently re-reading some classics by great African American authors. Family: Married for 20 years to Joseph, a 17-year-old daughter who is a college freshman

Interests: Reading, spending time with family and friends, eating out! 44

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2006


Louis Quijas, Assistant Director, Law Enforcement Coordination Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)


hy is it important to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month? As the oldest of ten children with grandparents who came from Mexico, I see our country as a mixture of immigrants who sought a better life and—in finding one—made great contributions to our history and culture. Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations, like all ethnic and cultural celebrations, give Americans from all backgrounds time to reflect on our rich culture and history. Just as importantly, they are a chance for us to appreciate the diversity of our society that makes the United States one of the

greatest countries in the world. Because we value diversity, I am able to serve at the highest level in our nation’s premier law enforcement agency. I cannot think of another country where I could have achieved such an honor. It is our collective responsibility as a society to teach young immigrants and Americans alike— Hispanic, and all nationalities—about their rich background, heritage, and the contributions we collectively make to American culture. We need to remember that without this richness of diversity, our country would not be the great melting pot it is.

Stephen F. Bollenbach, Co-chairman and CEO Hilton Hotels Corporation


ispanic Heritage Month is an excellent time to celebrate the richness and many contributions of Latino cultures to our workforce, our supplier community and our owners and shareholders. The Hispanic community is an integral part of Hilton’s success in the hospitality industry. Our country’s strength is built on the foundation of the diversity of our people, a diversity that blends different values, visions and ethics. Hilton Hotels Corporation builds off a similar foundation. Each of our facilities and its team members welcome Hispanics—our largest and fastest growing minority population—from around the world, just as our

many Latino team members, suppliers, owners and shareholders take pride in welcoming all travelers to our properties. Long before diversity became a cornerstone of progressive companies, Conrad Hilton noted: “A hotel is a focal point for all people to come together, get to know each other and trade and live together in peace.” Mr. Hilton’s vision goes to the very heart, soul and spirit of our organization. It’s who we are and what we stand for. We embrace diversity for its rich gifts, just as we are enriched by Hispanics and their culture.

Amina Dickerson, Senior Director, Global Community Involvement Kraft Foods Inc.


besity has emerged as a major public health concern across the nation, and Latino children have been reported by the Centers for Disease Control to have among the highest rates of obesity and the lowest fitness rates of any group of children. At Kraft Foods, we have a deep commitment to help people around the world eat and live better and, out of that vision, Salsa, Sabor y Salud was born. A collaboration between Kraft Foods and the National Latino Children’s Institute (NLCI), with input from the National Recreation and Park Association and Latino Health Communications, Salsa, Sabor y Salud is a dynamic and interactive eight-week program that empowers Latino children and their families to make healthy lifestyle choices in community-based settings.


Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2006

Since 2002, Kraft Foods’ $4 million commitment has supported the development, implementation and evaluation of Salsa, Sabor y Salud with local community partners at 78 sites in six states across the country. Parents have embraced the principles of the program in their daily lives as they share recipes with each other, recruit other parents and family members to practice healthy lifestyle choices, and reap the psychological benefits of setting healthy goals as a family The Salsa, Sabor y Salud program represents a vital collaboration with the NLCI to instill realworld solutions that parents and children can put to work right away. For more information on the program, please contact NLCI at 210-228-9997.

Steve Lessing, Managing Director, Head of Client Relationship Management & Executive Sponsor of The Latin American Council (TLAC) Lehman Brothers


ehman Brothers celebrates diversity in a variety of ways. Our employee networks are one of the avenues we use to encourage our people to embrace cultural differences and to learn about the unique perspectives diverse employees bring to the Firm. The Latin American Council (TLAC) will honor Hispanic Heritage Month this year by showcasing the contribution of Hispanics to our society and hosting a series of events. Not only will these events be educational in nature, such as the Dominicans on Wall Street panel or the Latinas in the Workplace seminar we held last year in partnership with Working Mother Media, they will also introduce Latino culture to the Firm. Our main event this year will feature a performance by world-acclaimed artist Tito Nieves at Latin Quarter’s in New York City.

In addition we have partnered with American Ballroom Theater (ABT) to screen the award-winning documentary “Mad Hot Ballroom” with commentary by the director, as well as have students featured in the film and trained by ABT come to Lehman offices to perform for and teach our employees several ballroom dances. Biographies of influential Hispanics will be displayed throughout the firm, various Latino foods will be highlighted in the cafeteria, and information regarding events occurring at the Firm and in the cities where we have offices will be distributed via newsletter and a Web page. Our Hispanic Heritage Month events are just one of the many ways we choose to educate and inspire at Lehman Brothers.

Pedro Lichtinger, Area President Pfizer Pharmaceutical Operations, Europe


t Pfizer, we have a number of exciting activities planned to recognize Hispanic Heritage Month. Our Latino Leadership Council will host a day-long conference in October, bringing together over 100 top Pfizer Latino leaders from across the United States and Puerto Rico. This is not only a forum for learning and networking, but also allows our top management to meet participants. It clearly signals Pfizer’s commitment to developing Latinos in our organization. Conference participants will also join our New York colleagues in celebrating Hispanic Heritage

Month at one of our popular lunchtime “Heritage and Health” events. This event, one of five this year celebrating various heritage months, allows colleagues to learn about Latino cultures and how to prevent and treat diseases prevalent in the Hispanic population, in a fun and festive atmosphere. Similar activities organized by our local Latino networks will also take place at various work sites across the country. Pfizer is also co-sponsoring a corporate summit and gala with the National Hispanic Corporate Achievers.

Raquel Rivera, General Manager, Process and Product Integrity Pratt & Whitney


f I told you I use my engineering degrees to build jet engines that make airplanes safer, quieter and more fuel-efficient than they’ve ever been, would you expect me to be proud? You bet I am. “Dependable engines” is a Pratt & Whitney trademark, and I’m also proud to be a woman and a Latina who has worked her way to a leadership role in aerospace manufacturing. After 15 years with this 39,000-employee division of United Technologies Corp., I am now General Manager, process and product integrity. That means I’m responsible for boosting the quality of jet engines that are the size of a king-cab pickup truck and weigh six tons or more. Driving down costs in all aspects of manufacturing engineering is another goal—something we work at continuously to remain competitive. I also take pride in serving as executive champion


Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2006

of Pratt & Whitney’s Hispanic Leadership Forum, which plans our Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations. We’ve scheduled a career-development workshop where leaders like me will tell employees how they can advance. To celebrate our ethnic heritage, we’re serving typical dishes from Latin America and holding dance exhibitions and domino tournaments. Pratt & Whitney is developing business in Latin America. We are partnering with LAN Airlines of Chile to launch our new PW6000 jet engine on the 107-seat Airbus A318 jetliner. These strong and longterm relationships are in place because of our longstanding commitment to delighting our customers. With a workforce in 47 nations, Pratt & Whitney draws strength not only from our history but from our diversity.

Julian Romeu, Principal, Web Services The Vanguard Group


was once asked: “What is so great about being Hispanic?� I was surprised at the question, since it came from a Latina teenager who lived in a traditional, Spanish-speaking home. I told her how our shared values, such as the importance of family, combined with the rich cultural diversity that exists among Hispanics, have enabled Latinos to make significant contributions in a wide range of fields, including education, law, government, business, science, sports, the arts and the armed forces. Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month

provides a great opportunity to create awareness of the contributions so many Latinos have made over the years. We cannot afford to assume that even our own children are familiar with these contributions and how they have influenced our society. My hope is that learning about the achievements of the past will, in turn, inspire many others in the future. As I recall, it wasn’t too difficult for me to convince this young woman of what is great about being Latino. Now we just need to make sure that we pass the word around.



Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2006

Are Women Reaching the Top? Censuses of Women Board Directors and Corporate Officers Show Little Growth for Women. By Catalyst


he 2005 editions of Catalyst’s hallmark censuses of FORTUNE 500

leadership paint a bleak picture of women’s progress into the highest echelons of corporate leadership in the past few years. While the 2005 Catalyst Census

Key Findings Women Board Directors • Women held 14.7 percent of all FORTUNE 500 board seats, compared with 13.6 percent in 2003, and 9.6 percent in 1995.

of Women Board Directors of the

• Women of color held 3.4 percent of board seats.

FORTUNE 500 and the 2005 Catalyst

• Sixty-four companies had 25 percent or more women board directors, compared with

Census of Women Corporate Officers and Top Earners of the FORTUNE 500 both show growth in the key areas, the growth increased at a dramatically slower rate than in previous years. This finding was particularly surprising, because we had expected the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, demographic

54 companies in 2003. • Women were underrepresented as chairs of auditing, compensation, and nominating/governance committees.

Women Corporate Officers and Top Earners • In 2005, women held 16.4 percent of corporate officer positions, compared with 15.7 percent in 2002, and 8.7 percent in 1995. • Women held 6.4 percent of top earner positions, up from 5.2 percent in 2002.

trends, and the pressures of globalization to lead to higher rates of growth. At this point, it will take 70 years for women and men to hold an equal number of seats on FORTUNE 500 boards, and 40 years for

• Women of color held 1.7 percent of corporate officer positions. • Women of color were 1.0 percent of FORTUNE 500 top earners. • Women were almost two and one-half times as likely to hold staff positions (71 percent) as they were to hold line positions (29 percent).

women and men to hold an equal number

• Women held 9.4 percent of clout titles, up from 7.9 percent in 2002.

of corporate officer positions.

• In 2005, eight FORTUNE 500 companies were led by a woman CEO, up from six in 2002.

continued 54

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2006

To ensure long-term sustainability and to represent all company stakeholders, corporate leadership must adapt to today’s realities and anticipate tomorrow’s workplace. Companies must position their leadership in the same way they position their businesses. Diverse leadership yields a crucial breadth of perspective and expertise, provides role models for future talent, and promotes good governance.

Ten Years of Slow Growth The key findings show that in ten years, FORTUNE 500 companies have not doubled women’s share of board seats or corporate officer positions. The situation is far worse for women of color. Furthermore, even among the highest levels of leadership, women are segregated into less powerful and prestigious positions—they hold proportionately fewer board committee chairs, clout titles, and line positions. These factors contribute to the dearth of women CEOs—only eight FORTUNE 500 companies were led by a woman in 2005.

Diversity is Key to Long-Term Sustainability The Catalyst Pyramid and Census findings show that many barriers to women’s advancement are still firmly in place. But there are many business reasons for organ-


izations to increase diversity at all levels. As Catalyst President Ilene H. Lang explains, “Increased globalization and shifting demographics dictate that diversity and the advancement of women in corporate leadership are strategic business imperatives that 21st-century companies cannot afford to ignore.” In addition, our study, The Bottom Line: Connecting Corporate Performance and Gender Diversity (Catalyst, 2004), has shown that the FORTUNE 500 companies with the highest percentages of women corporate officers experienced, on average, a 35.1 percent higher return on equity (ROE) and 34 percent higher total return to shareholders (TRS) than those with the lowest percentages of women corporate officers did. While this study did not prove causation, it showed a strong correlation between companies that have diversified their senior management and companies that performed well financially.

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2006

Catalyst President Ilene H. Lang

Nevertheless, women struggle more than men as they climb the corporate ladder. Why? Our research has found that women face three significant barriers that men rarely face: gender-based stereotyping, exclusion from informal networks, and a lack of role models. These obstacles combine to restrain women from top positions by pigeonholing their talents, restricting access to essential information, and discouraging their ambitions. The Catalyst Censuses are evidence that there is a considerable amount of work that needs to be done before FORTUNE 500 companies will reap the extraordinary benefits of diversity. Across all FORTUNE 500 quintiles and industries, companies that harbor barriers to the retention and promotion of women will miss opportunities that women’s expertise, skills, and knowledge could bring to decision-making processes. continued


CEOs Must Take the Lead Gender diversity in the workplace is supported by a compelling business case that argues for the health and sustainability of the organization. CEOs, board members, and senior leadership know they can create tremendous change in their organizations by modeling and demanding desired behaviors. It’s up to them to take the next steps. 1. Define the Business Case for Diversity and Inclusion

In the United States, demographics in the marketplace and employee base are changing dramatically. In order to be successful, companies need to be an employer of choice. Companies that can attract, retain, and promote diverse employees will expand the talent pool available to them at all levels and have a greater likelihood of success in the marketplace. At the same time, new customers, employees, and suppliers now come from all parts of the world, and it is important that leadership at companies with global presence reflect this reality. Breaking into new markets, understanding different employee cultures, and

negotiating with non-U.S. suppliers often requires a deep knowledge of country-specific work styles, expectations, and practices. A diverse leadership team is more likely to have this knowledge, and therefore success, than a homogeneous team. 2. Demand Diversity Organizational change will only come when it is clear that CEOs, boards, and senior leadership believe that diversity is integral to the achievement of key business goals. They must demand diversity and lead with actions that demonstrate the business importance of diversity. 3. Break Through Stereotypes Become aware of the existence and impact of stereotypes in your workplace. Don’t insist that women spend their valuable energies on disproving stereotypes. Alternatively, don’t penalize women whose behaviors don’t fit stereotypes. Most importantly, don’t let assumptions based on stereotypes limit your expectations of women and what they can contribute to your organization.

women to prove what they can do. Have high expectations for their contributions, and challenge them with meaningful work. Have equally high expectations for what your organization can do to advance women. 5. Hold Everyone Accountable Senior leadership must insist on accountability mechanisms that will induce behavioral change. Measure hard data and tie success or failure in achieving goals to major incentives that will kindle the transformation you demand. 6. Communicate A diversity strategy will only succeed if it is communicated as part of the business strategy. Publicly celebrate successes. Catalyst is the leading research and advisory organization working with businesses and the professions to build inclusive environments and expand opportunities for women at work. To download free copies of Catalyst research reports, visit www.catalyst.org. You may also sign up to receive our issue-specific newsletter, Perspective, and our monthly email updates at news@catalyst.org.

4. Expect the Best Instead of assuming what women can’t do at work, provide opportunities for

PDJ 58

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2006

Bank of the West www.bankofthewest.com


Bausch & Lomb www.bausch.com


BellSouth www.bellsouth.com


The Boeing Company www.boeing.com


Credit Suisse www.credit-suisse.com


DaimlerChrysler Corporation www.daimlerchrysler.com


Dell, Inc. www.dell.com


Eastman Kodak Company www.kodak.com


Ford Motor Company www.ford.com

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Georgia Power www.southernco.com/gapower Halliburton www.halliburton.com


Ivy Planning www.ivygroupllc.com


Lockheed Martin www.lockheedmartin.com

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2006


MFHA www.mfha.net


MGM Mirage www.mgmmirage.com


Nationwide Insurance www.nationwide.com


PepsiCo, Inc. www.pepsico.com




Sodexho www.sodexhousa.com

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WellPoint www.wellpoint.com


The Winters Group www.wintersgroup.com


Whirlpool Corp. www.whirlpoolcorp.com


Waste Management www.wastemanagement.com

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