August 25, 2017
USBLN Recognizes leaders in disability inclusion with 2017 Leadership Awards

Microsoft, Northrop Grumman, and IBM among Fortune 500 winning disability inclusion awards 

Washington, D.C. (August 25, 2017) – On Wednesday, the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN®) presented top awards during the annual conference Leadership Awards Dinner in Orlando, Florida. The Leadership Awards celebrate outstanding commitment and leading disability inclusion practices.  

The eleven 2017 USBLN Leadership Award categories and winners are: 

  • The John D. Kemp Leadership Award – Steve Howe, U.S Chairman and Americas Managing Partner, EY  
  • Affiliate of the Year – DC Metro Business Leadership Network 
  • Advocate of the Year– Tim Ruddell, Manager, Supplier Diversity & Sustainable Procurement, KPMG  
  • Employee/Business Resource Group of the Year – Northrop Grumman Corporation 
  • Employer of the Year (Over 100,000 employees) – IBM 
  • Employer of the Year (Under 100,000 employees) – Florida Blue 
  • Global Disability Leadership Award – Justin Nelson and Chance Mitchell, Co-Founders, National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce 
  • Marketplace Innovator of the Year, Disability Inclusive Advertising/Marketing – ESPN 
  • Marketplace Innovator of the Year, Disability Inclusive Product– Microsoft 
  • Supplier of the Year – Tic Toc 
  • Top Corporation for Disability-Owned Businesses – Comcast 

The John D. Kemp Leadership Award goes to Steve Howe, U.S Chairman and Americas Managing Partner, EY as an individual who has developed or influenced the development of significant company disability employment programs and/or services that resulted in measurable, tangible and positive outcomes that dramatically improved disability employment opportunities. 

The Affiliate of the Year Leadership Award honors the DC Metro Business Leadership Network as having demonstrated exemplary efforts in promoting the vision, mission and spirit of the USBLN. The DC Metro BLN has helped the local DC area understand, utilize, and benefit from the valuable resources that people with disabilities present in the workplace, supply chain and marketplace.  

The Advocate of the Year Leadership Award recognizes Tim Ruddell, Manager, Supplier Diversity & Sustainable Procurement, KPMGas a procurement champion who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to the utilization and growth of disability-owned businesses. Ruddell has also provided exceptional support for certified Disability-Owned Business Enterprises- DOBE®s, Veteran-Disability Owned Business Enterprises (V-DOBEs™) and Service-Disabled Veteran Disability-Owned Business Enterprises (SDV-DOBEs™).  

The Employee/Business Resource Group of the Year Leadership Award recognizes Northrop Grumman Corporation as having an employee group that most exemplifies programs, strategies, and initiatives that have resulted in measurable results for disability inclusion in the workplace, marketplace, and supply chain. 

The Employer of the Year (Over 100,000 employees) is awarded to IBM and The Employer of the Year (Under 100,000 employees) is awarded to Florida Blue. These two companies are recognized for their exemplary policies, strategies and initiatives that have resulted in measurable results in the areas of disability inclusiveness in the workplace, marketplace and supply chain. 

Global Disability Leadership Award honors Justin Nelson and Chance Mitchell, co-founders of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and recognizes their leadership in disability inclusion and for championing inclusion policies and practices for all diverse groups.

The Marketplace Innovator of the Year Leadership Award, for the Disability Inclusive Advertising/Marketing category, goes to ESPN for their marketing initiatives that proactively includes people with disabilities. The Marketplace Innovator of the Year Leadership Award, for the Disability Inclusive Product category, goes to Microsoft for developing products that are designed to be used for people of all abilities.  

The Supplier of the Year Leadership Award recognizes Tic Toc, a disability supplier that has provided excellent service and distinguished itself and its business through its business practices and serves as a role model for disability business inclusion in the supply chain.


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