CLEVELAND - March 26, 2012 - Thompson Hine is pleased to announce that the firm is an inaugural recipient of two Diversity & Inclusion Innovation Awards presented by the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (CMBA). The awards were developed to recognize and celebrate individuals and organizations that are building genuine cultures of inclusion within their respective spheres of influence.
Managing partner David J. Hooker was awarded the Diversity & Inclusion Pioneer Award, given to a lawyer who has pioneered and/or championed diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. Thompson Hine received the Diversity & Inclusion Trailblazer Award, awarded to a law firm or corporate legal department that contributes to an inclusive culture for its workforce, with its clients and/or within the community.
Hooker was nominated by Paul N. Harris, secretary and general counsel of KeyCorp, who said, "David has long been a champion of diversity and inclusion, both in the community and at Thompson Hine. As managing partner of a major Cleveland-based law firm, he recognizes that he must lead by example and be a pacesetter, challenging others to adopt standards and policies to promote and advance these ideals."
While Thompson Hine has a long history of commitment to diversity and inclusion, during Hooker's tenure as managing partner a formal, firmwide diversity program and a women's initiative were established to ensure sustained and meaningful results. The firm's Diversity & Inclusion Initiative, with more than 95 lawyer and staff members across the firm, is comprised of firmwide partner-level chairs that set strategy and guide progress, local committees in each of the firm's seven offices and firmwide subcommittees that address particular areas of focus, including recruiting, retention, LGBT needs, outreach, communications and parenting needs.
The firm's women's initiative, Spotlight on Women, has been and continues to be a pacesetter in the advancement and promotion of women within Thompson Hine, the legal profession and the broader business community. With partner-level chairs in each office and lawyer and staff members, Spotlight on Women brings together professional women in the communities in which the firm has offices and continues to support the personal and professional development of the firm's women to facilitate their advancement and promotion.
As further evidence of the firm's success in developing an inclusive culture that acknowledges all individuals' achievements and leadership potential, Deborah Z. Read will succeed Hooker as the firm's managing partner on May 1, 2012, becoming Thompson Hine's first female managing partner and the first woman in this position at any large Cleveland-headquartered firm. Read will be one of only 10 women leading the country's 200 biggest law firms.
"As pleased as we are with this special recognition, we understand that building and sustaining a firm that embraces diversity and inclusion and that attracts, retains, mentors and promotes women and people of color is an ongoing challenge," said Hooker. "It is a testament to our commitment that Debbie is succeeding me; she is a champion for our diversity initiatives and will continue to elevate them as she assumes the role of managing partner in May. Of course, she will have my full support; my focus on diversity efforts will remain strong as I return to the full-time practice of law," Hooker stated.
As one of the largest business law firms in the country, Thompson Hine recognizes it has both a responsibility and opportunity to promote the value of diversity and inclusion. It participates in a variety of diversity and inclusion programs and serves as a resource for clients and other businesses wishing to develop their own diversity initiatives. Recently, the firm partnered with Forest City Enterprises and the Greater Cleveland Partnership's Commission on Economic Inclusion to develop a unique series of programs offering C-level executives tools to create and expand successful diversity initiatives in their organizations. The firm also partnered with KeyBank, Meaden & Moore and Springboard Enterprises to create the Build it Big program, which provided women business owners in Ohio strategic support and effective growth strategies.
Thompson Hine consistently receives national recognition for leadership in promoting diversity and inclusion and in advancing women and minorities in the legal profession. In 2011, the firm was for a third time named to MultiCultural Law magazine's rankings of the Top 100 Law Firms for Diversity and the Top 100 Law Firms for Women. The National Association for Female Executives and Flex-Time Lawyers recognized Thompson Hine as a 2011 NAFE/Flex-Time Lawyers Best Law Firm for Women, and The Women in Law Empowerment Forum selected it as one of only 32 law firms in the country to qualify for its new Gold Standard Certification, a designation recognizing firms that demonstrate they value women as leaders in the workplace. The firm also was named by the Law and Leadership Institute as the first law firm to receive its Law Firm Volunteer Award.
About Thompson Hine LLP
Established in 1911, Thompson Hine is a business law firm dedicated to providing superior client service. The firm has been recognized for ten consecutive years as a top law firm in the country for client service excellence in The BTI Client Service A-Team: Survey of Law Firm Client Service Performance. With offices in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, New York and Washington, D.C., Thompson Hine serves premier businesses worldwide.