Inclusion Diversity and Unity

By: Barbara Holtzapple, Director of Education, ABC Keystone

Based on our merit shop philosophy, ABC Keystone strives to make construction a place where everyone can succeed. The new Inclusion, Diversity and Unity (IDU) Committee has been tasked with doing just that. The IDU committee evaluates the current state of the association as well as developing and supporting initiatives that will grow the Chapter in new ways. This will include outreach, community partnerships, educational initiatives and programming designed to make its members, their teams, and our industry more successful.

At the 2021 Strategic Planning session, Inclusion was identified as a strategic goal imperative to the chapter and its members’ success. By directing and supporting initiatives that build inclusive environments within ABC, the IDU committee will help cultivate innovation, sustainability, and prosperity in the industry. These innovative conditions will then provide hiring and retention advantages, diverse talent, and procurement pools, as well as competitive market advantages for the membership.

How do we define inclusion, diversity and unity?
Inclusion: a feeling of belonging
Diversity: a variety of people
Unity: an intentional space for people to be themselves while working toward common goals for everyone’s benefit

Why should IDU matter to you and your business?
IDU is imperative, not because of social or legal pressures, but because diversity brings organizations new ideas from various backgrounds. This results in greater innovation and creativity.

Organizations that strive to promote IDU principles:

  • Attract the best talent
  • Increase productivity
  • Drive innovation and financial returns
  • Promote Total Human Health

Our IDU Committee is unique in that it is made up of members of each of ABC Keystone’s standing committees as well as at-large members. It is structured this way to allow for dissemination of information as well as for accountability. Initiatives that start in IDU will be implemented in all aspects of the chapter and having liaisons to bring information and reporting both ways will be crucial to its success. Committee members serve as innovators, messengers, and partners for the program.

ABC Keystone’s inaugural IDU committee is led by Co-Chairs: Colleen Gemmill, Vice President of D.E. Gemmill, and Nora Weder, Business Development Director for Warehaus. The Board of Directors Liaison is Jim Stephens, President of 11400, Inc., and the staff liaison is Barbara Holtzapple, Director of Education at ABC Keystone.

Reach out to with any questions or to get involved in the committee. It meets the 4th Wednesday of the month at 7:30 am at the chapter office.