• Warner Receives 2009 Diversity Visionary Award

07 DVAC AwardWarner Norcross & Judd LLP has received the 2009 Diversity Visionary Award from the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce.

The award, which will be presented at the Chamber’s biennial Diversity Visionary Award  Celebration on March 12, is given to a person or an organization that “demonstrates excellence and commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion” with “innovative and persistent” leadership.  Award recipients also “elevate and encourage ongoing efforts that contribute to a pluralistic and welcoming community.”

“We are honored to be recognized by the Chamber for our Firm’s diversity efforts,” said Douglas E. Wagner, managing partner of Warner Norcross.  “Under the leadership of Rodney Martin, our diversity partner, we have continued to expand our programs and initiatives to create a more welcoming and inclusive workplace for attorneys and staff. 

“We greatly appreciate this acknowledgement of our sustained commitment to increasing diversity within our firm and the profession.  As a firm, we are committed to being a leader in diversity within the communities where we live and work and within the legal profession.”

Warner Norcross, which is the largest law firm in West Michigan, has six offices throughout the state with more than 210 attorneys.  Achievements in its diversity initiatives include:

  • Implementation of programs to increase retention of minority and women attorneys
  • Expanded recruiting of minority and women attorneys at all levels
  • Scholarships and other programs designed to expand the pipeline of minority lawyers
  • Firm-wide diversity education with innovative programming
  • Internal diversity blog to maintain an ongoing discussion of diversity and cultural competence
  • Publication of its third Diversity and Inclusion Annual Report

“The field of nominees was extremely competitive,” said Sonya Hughes, vice president of diversity initiatives and programs for the Chamber.  “So much is going on throughout the business community to improve cultural competency, but the selection committee was particularly impressed with Warner’s systemic diversity effort, and the way it is measured and sustained.”

Past winners of the Diversity Visionary Award have included Cascade Engineering, Steelcase CEO Jim Hackett and Robert Woodrick, former president of D&W Food Centers.