Minority Business Spotlight - February 2021
We are excited to share our first Minority Business Spotlight! We are highlighting William Barbour and his State Farm business. Please see the attached flyer to learn more about William, his business, and how he got to where he is today.
VA Business Magazine
Our CEO, Warren Thompson, was featured on the cover of VA Business Magazine. Please use the link below to view the cover and read the magazine.
Washington Business Journal Interview with Warren Thompson
Please use the link below to see the Washington Business Journal interview with our CEO, Warren Thompson.
Addressing Diversity, Committing to Change
Addressing Diversity, Committing to Change
by Jim Connor, Duke Realty chairman and CEO & Warren Thompson, Duke Realty board member
December 1, 2020
This is the year that we wish would come to an end. Unfortunately, the end of this year doesn’t mean an end to a deadly global pandemic, politically charged divisions or heightened racial tensions fueled by injustice, disparities and hate speech. While we can’t control a virus, we can control the spread by wearing masks and avoiding large crowds. No matter where we land on the political spectrum, we can bridge differences with civil discourse. We root out racism and injustice by exposing it and calling it out as wrong. When those ugly truths about racial disparities and injustice in our nation were brought to light, we at Duke Realty knew it had to be addressed.
Nearly 20 years ago, Duke Realty made a long-term commitment to foster a diverse and inclusive culture by launching the Duke Realty Diversity and Inclusion Council. The Council is credited with implementing various recruitment and career development initiatives. Our commitment to D&I comes from leadership. One thing that makes us proud is our diverse board of directors. It is with their help and those of our D&I Council members that we launched a series of panel discussions to address the racial inequality and challenges that Americans, our own associates continue to face.
In my career, I have been in the majority in any board room, in any office, in any meeting. So, I knew that I needed the advice of my peers. I cannot pretend to know what it’s like to grow up in a Black community or to feel undervalued or dismissed as lesser than. Unfortunately, some of my peers do. I called on fellow Duke Realty board member Warren Thompson for his perspective.
As a person of color in an industry led predominantly by white males, I know what it’s like to be the ‘only’ in a room. Fortunately, I am not the only person of color in Duke Realty board of director meetings and I know that Jim is doing his part to ensure Duke Realty is a diverse and inclusive company. When he came to me with the idea of immediately and directly addressing the national racial injustices that played out for the world this year, I said “do it.” The best way to expose the issue and affect change is starting with honest conversations.
Duke Realty has now hosted two panel discussions open to all associates and even some colleagues outside the company. In the first discussion, several Black associates from across the country gathered virtually to share their experiences growing up and what it’s like being Black in America today. The second panel discussion included people of color who have risen to executive leadership positions in the commercial real estate industry. These are leaders committed to creating a more diverse workforce at their respective companies and in the industry. Sharing experiences and ideas is just a start.
The truth is discrimination exists and our peers of color are experiencing it in their communities. However, Duke Realty is a company that has embraced cultural and racial diversity and where discrimination is not tolerated. This remains true to our culture. Despite divisions in our communities, the company is a place where all are valued and welcome.
Yes, there is more we can do. In fact, we are striving for a more diverse leadership team through recruitment efforts and internal career development and mentorship programs. Additionally, we will help feed the talent pipeline by partnering with colleges and universities to help create a more diverse pool of applicants for Duke Realty and commercial real estate jobs. Finally, we will continue to have the honest conversations that spark change and pledge to continue to be leaders for that change in our industry.
A Message for Employees
Please follow the link below to view a recording of Warren Thompson sharing a message for all employees:
Thompson Hospitality Acquires Matchbox Food Group
We are proud to announce that Thompson Hospitality has purchased Matchbox Food Group! We look forward to the growth and new opportunities that are to come for the Matchbox brand. Please use the link below to read the full article.
Corporate Plus Distinction
We are honored to have achieved the Corporate Plus distinction from the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC). The accomplishments of the Corporate Plus program will increase the level of recognition that is received by minority businesses to national notability.
YOT Open in Fort Lauderdale
Check out our one of our latest restaurant openings. YOT opened 10/2019 in Fort Lauderdale, FL!