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Varnum Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council Welcomes Two New Members

June 11, 2019

Varnum recently welcomed two new members to its Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council, which serves as a resource to advance the firm’s goals of recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce.

The two newest members of the council are Chris Martinez and Aaron Turner, who were both appointed to the Council this spring and will serve for two years.

Martinez is currently the chief people officer/CHRO at YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids. He previously served the Y in a number of roles including vice president of Leadership Development and vice president of Youth Development. He has worked for YMCAs across the country for more than 20 years in a variety of roles, including serving as a United States delegate to the Mano a Mano sin Fronteras (hand to hand without borders) conference. His current role includes a strong focus on ensuring that LGBTQ+ staff and staff of color have equal opportunities for professional growth and advancement.

Turner is the development director at WGVU Public Media PBS and NPR, a service of Grand Valley State University. With a background as a fund development and nonprofit operations executive, Turner specializes in fundraising development plans, strategic planning, board governance and nonprofit management. He is also a trailblazer in social responsibility, creating corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies and developing initiatives that address global priorities. He has 17 years of experience managing relationships with statewide regional and local nonprofit organizations.

The Varnum Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council meets quarterly to provide support and insight to the firm’s recruiting and retention efforts, and to bring awareness to issues of diversity and inclusion in the broader community. Council members are also instrumental in the firm’s Community Connectors program, in which they are paired with an associate attorney whom they introduce to various social, business and ethnic communities in West Michigan.

The council was formed in 2007 and is comprised of up to 20 members diverse in age, race, gender, orientation, geography, professional expertise and community involvement.

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