Zag Dining by Sodexo at Gonzaga University Named Employer of the Year by the Arc of Spokane
Zag Dining by Sodexo noted for efforts in Diversity and Inclusion
Spokane, WA. March 2012– Zag Dining by Sodexo, the dining solutions for Gonzaga University, was honored by the Arc of Spokane with the Employer of Year Award for 2011. Noted for a continued commitment to diversity and inclusion, the Arc was quoted saying, ”Rarely do we find an employer who gives so much emphasis to diversity. Each employee is treated with respect and allowed to rise to their full potential. All employees receive the same fair treatment and a clear set of expectations.”
Chuck Faulkinberry, the Resident District Manager for Zag Dining, accepted the award at the Arc of Spokane’s annual meeting in March in front of the Arc’s board of directors, volunteers, members and families. Faulkinberry believes that “Although hiring people with disabilities works within our diversity mission as a corporation, I know at Zag Dining we go beyond this reason to hire people with disabilities.”
Faulkinberry is no stranger to hiring people with disabilities as he also serves as the Chair Person for Sodexo’s National Network Group, SOAR, made up of 542 members nationwide. SOAR’s mission is “To raise awareness, provide education and resources, and proactively provide outreach to create a culture that embraces, values, and fully utilizes persons with disabilities. By achieving the group’s mission, we will enrich the communities and clients we serve and positively contribute to Sodexo’s growth and long-term success.”
But it is not just Faulkinberry who encourages diversity; it is the entire Zag Dining team. The Arc of Spokane noted, “Their managers fiercely believe in inclusion.” That is certainly the case for Kelly Keller, Resident Dining Manager, who plays a large roll in hiring frontline employees. “In Resident Dining alone, 18% of our team includes people with disabilities, among many other demographics. Whether or not someone has any kind of disability is of no consequence to the tasks that are needed to be done, or the excellent customer service that is provided daily,” said Keller.
Ron Hunter, Zag Dining’s Retail Manager adds “Hiring persons with disabilities helps provide opportunities that may not be available by other employers. As a person with an ADA recognized disability, I take great pride in passing along the opportunity for EVERYONE to have gainful employment and most importantly, be an equal part of my team.”
2011 also celebrated Zag Dining’s parent company Sodexo’s #2 ranking on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity® list, affirming its position as a benchmark employer in leveraging diversity and inclusion expertise as a competitive advantage in business. This is sixth consecutive year Sodexo has been recognized on this list.
Zag Dining believes hiring people with disabilities is more than just filling a position. Keller noted, “By systematically creating a diverse workforce, thereby leveraging everyone’s unique strengths, we are able to reach our employees, customers and clients in a special way. This special way is in large part unsaid, as it is the background music to our business, which does indeed send a strong message to all.”