Over 45 community leaders gathered on Tuesday, June 12 from 7:30 – 8:30 am for the quarterly Ann Arbor Area Business Leadership (A3BLN) to learn about best practices in promoting disability and diversity in employment in the Ann Arbor Area. The A3BLN was formed by the Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living just over 2 years ago to help change the landscape of hiring practices and to create a positive dialogue in regards to the many benefits for hiring a person with a disability and has now grown to 100 members.
A special thanks to NuStep for hosting the event at their facility and offering an impressive tour shortly following for those interested. Also, a special thanks to Great Harvest for providing a wonderful breakfast assortment and coffee.
Steve Sarns, Vice President of Marketing and Sales at NuStep, educated guests on the many ways that they are leading an all-inclusive model for their business from hiring practices to building accessibility to nationwide fitness for all abilities and walks of life. NuStep has had much success with building a positive teamwork environment by offering “Bootcamp” as seen in the famous TV Series “The Biggest Loser.” Steve states, “By incorporating all-inclusive fitness at work, we have been able to see productivity and positive energy increase at NuStep.”
Vicky Mitroi, HR Manager of NuStep, shared her success story about hiring a staff member with a significant traumatic brain injury. She gave this individual a chance to work at NuStep and truly transformed his life through the experience. The staff member calls Vicky his mentor and is grateful for the opportunity to give back to the community. This is just one example of the accommodations that NuStep has made to be all-inclusive. NuStep also has adjustable workstations available and a wellness program to keep them living a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
Demond Johnson, Celebrity Fitness Trainer for NuStep’s Bootcamp, led guests in a stretching and relaxation routine to give people a glimpse into the wellness program that the organization offers employees. Demond is famous for helping many of the celebrity participants on the TV Series “The Biggest Loser” reach their goal of losing over 100 pounds!
Linda Perry, Manager of Operations at The Health and Fitness Center at Washtenaw Community College, provided insight on their new WISD program to help high school students with a disability gain professional experience in a work setting to build their resume. She shared information on their ADA building compliance, Transitional Programs, and all-inclusive fitness opportunities which ultimately increase the bottom line for the Center.
Stephanie Branham, Manager of Sales at The Health and Fitness Center at Washtenaw Community College, spoke on the many programs that they are pioneering and now offering at the Center to promote an all-inclusive atmosphere.
Tom Hoatlin, Vice President of the Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living, inspired the A3BLN members with his personal story with his work journey after his disability. Tom wanted to give back to the community and be a part of the working world. ”When people with disabilities are given an opportunity, they shine to prove themselves at an organization. What most people don’t know is that making a work accommodation for people with disabilities is often under $500 and one can typically get tax credits for making their building more accessible or providing an adjustable desk.”
Thanks to everyone that joined us at an early hour to learn about well renowned best practices happening in the Ann Arbor area. We look forward to seeing you in the fall!
View Photos From the Event
To view photos from the event, CLICK HERE.
Upcoming A3BLN Details
Wednesday, September 12 at Sandler Training located at 501 Avis Drive in Ann Arbor
7:30 am – 8:30 am
To get involved or for more information, e-mail Stephanie Stiles at Stephanie@aacil.org or call 734-971-0277 x21.
About the A3BLN
The A3BLN is a business-to-business networking and training initiative fostering positive dialogue about diversity and disability in the Ann Arbor business community. It is lead by Stephanie Stiles and part of the USBLN, a vibrant national network of over 5,000 companies promoting disability in business, both in hiring practices and in customer service and marketing practices. Through these efforts, more economic opportunity is created for people with disabilities, and more people are able to access the consumer marketplace. The USBLN has over 60 BLN affiliates across North America. If you are a member of the Ann Arbor area business community, A3BLN events are a great opportunity to connect your company with one of the leading diversity initiatives in the country and stay in the know about positive happenings in our local business community.