American Airlines on Thursday recognized four employees with the 2016 Earl G. Graves Award for Leadership in Diversity and Inclusion.
“American has a long-standing commitment to inclusion and diversity, and these employees are stalwart examples in the workplace, serve as role models in their local communities, and are seen as leaders and advocates of diversity,” said Loral Blinde, vice president – People. “These employees have championed diversity by serving as leaders of Employee Business Resource Groups (EBRG), challenging the ideas of local civic leaders to bring about change and raised significant funds to help those in need throughout the world.”
- Priyanka Arora, senior specialist – IT Vendor Relations, Headquarters
Priyanka says “Diversity is in my DNA” and her actions exemplify her words. She has volunteered in a variety of capacities including interpreter at the Phoenix Municipal Court, facilitating bone marrow drives, and raising funds for the American Diabetes Association, Tarrant Area Food Bank and Junior Achievement. Additionally, she actively participates in supplier diversity fairs to ensure equal representation across all sectors, serves as the president of the Indian Employee Business Resource Group (IEBRG), and in 2016 arranged to have a Sikh priest attend World Prayer Day to add greater diversity and participation to the event.
- Faythe Clark, home-based representative – Elite Desk Reservations
For more than 25 years Faythe has volunteered with several non-profit agencies as a director, consultant and chair with special emphasis on juvenile delinquency, homelessness and children with disabilities. She was the first woman and the first African American chair of the board for Triangle Workforce Development in North Carolina. Faythe personally mentored a young woman with developmental disabilities for five years from homelessness to a sustainable living. She currently serves as president of the Professional Women in Aviation EBRG and has recruited the most diverse group of women in the history of the group.
- Victor Escalante, manager – Customer Experience Reservations, DFW Reservations
Victor serves as the Latin Diversity Network EBRG president, this spring he arranged one of the most successful mission trips to date. Members of the EBRG raised $3,500 to bring toys, hygiene kits and provide meals to Fundacion Jonathon, an organization that provides free food and medical care to children in need. More than 45 mission trip attendees also brought 74 bags full of earthquake relief items to the people of Quito. Under his leadership the Latin Diversity Network EBRG was recognized by the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as one of the top five resource groups in the country.
- Todd Rice, manager – Purchasing Administration & Supply Development, Headquarters
As the leader of the Purchasing recruiting team, Todd looks for diversity, bringing different backgrounds and perspectives to the team, making American stronger. He seeks out the best and most diverse candidates by attending conferences like the National Society of Hispanic MBAs, National Black recruiting, and LGBT career fairs. Todd serves as a mentor to certified LBGT suppliers through his work with the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.
Earl G. Graves was a successful businessman, entrepreneur and former board member of previous American Airlines parent company AMR Corp., who showed us that respecting and appreciating each other’s differences is the right thing to do and is key to our continued success.
American’s long-standing commitment to diversity is part of the company’s culture of coordinated, collaborative teamwork and mutual respect and has been recognized by the Human Rights Campaign, the Association of ERGs & Councils, US Business Leadership Network® and the American Association of People with Disabilities.