Spring is here and let me tell you I’m ready. It was an especially tough winter here in the Northeast, but not tough enough to keep our Affinity Inc Magazine team down. Before we get into what you will find in this issue, I want to take a minute of personal privilege and share a bit about my personal inspiration for working in the diversity space as a publisher.

After 44 years, my mother, Sherry Robison Holloway, is retiring from the International Business Machines Corp. She has enjoyed a distinguished career working for one of the biggest corporate advocates for equality and diversity on the planet. She has been part of IBM’s procurement organization for 39 years with the majority of that time spent in either a local or a corporate supplier diversity role. As a buyer and later as a program manager, she has been an advocate for small, diverse businesses gaining access to sourcing opportunities with corporate America for most of my life. Because of my mother and IBM, I am a believer in what can happen when a company has di- versity and inclusion as core values and people just like my mother in place to put its policy into action.

Those core values of diversity & inclusion are also part of the mission of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce where Javier Palomarez is president and CEO. He is one of this country’s finest thought leaders and strategists and is focused on issues faced by the His- panic community. Read about how USHCC has been partnering with the LGBT community.

EY’s Chris Crespo, another of corporate America’s preeminent diversity leaders, shares why she chose EY more than 25 years ago and why diversity and inclusion mat- ter. She recently ended her term as chair of the board of directors of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and is proudest of the focus on certification and the growth of the supplier base achieved during her tenure.

Elizabeth Campbell, partner and chief diversity officer at Andrews Kurth LLP, shares how the law firm puts the core values of diversity and inclusion into action. The firm attributes its ability to attract the brightest talent in large part to its strong commitment to diversity and in- clusion. Campbell recently chaired the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund’s Houston Champagne Brunch fundraiser in support of its diverse candidates and other programs.

The Affinity Inc Magazine team was in attendance at the Human Rights Campaign Greater New York Gala to hear U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announce federal advances in LGBT equality. Derrick Brown of NGLCCNY celebrates LGBT community organizations with its Nonprofit Spotlight program. We feel it is a model worth considering across the nation.

These individuals and their organizations, along with my very own mother, make me proud of how far the core values of diversity and inclusion have risen. My challenge to our readers is to do all you can where you are to win freedom, access and opportunity for ALL families. And to my mom, congratulations on your retirement and cheers to a job well done. I love you to pieces.

Keep moving forward,

Robin Dillard, Publisher