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“We all know that diversity leadership is a business imperative, but it’s important that we pause periodically to shine the spotlight on the impact individuals can have on our world and our workplace,” said Cindy Fiedelman, Vice President People and Diversity.
The 2013 Earl G. Graves Award for Leadership was presented to American Airlines employees Kim Galvin, Noorjehan Javed, and Denise Lynn in a special award ceremony at the C.R. Smith Museum hosted by the Diversity and Talent Development Team. This marks the fifth annual celebration and awards ceremony to recognize employees for their work in advancing diversity and inclusion within the company and in their communities.
American introduced the award in 2008 upon the retirement of Earl G. Graves, Sr., from the AMR Board of Directors and the AMR Board's Diversity Committee. The legendary publisher and founder of Black Enterprise magazine brought his creativity and business acumen to American and the AMR Board for 13 years and helped American to establish a practical, business-minded approach to diversity.
“The award symbolizes and recognizes outstanding achievement in people who are leaders in delivering the message of diversity and inclusion, not only within American, but within their communities,” explained Mike Waldron, Managing Director Diversity and Talent Development. The honorees received recognition for their phenomenal community service and individual work at their locations, as well as exemplifying Mr. Graves’ philosophy that “diversity efforts are not separate and apart from business goals.”
Candidates are nominated by their fellow employees. Honorees are then chosen by a selection committee comprised of senior management and members of the company’s Diversity Advisory Council based upon three primary selection criteria:
Galvin, Javed and Lynn were selected from an impressive list of nominees for their continuous commitment to the company’s diversity mission and for their ability to incorporate diversity into American’s daily operations through their personal spheres of influence.
Kim Galvin joined American in 1994 with American Eagle. In her current role, she is a Senior Administrator with the Safety and Environmental department. Kim was instrumental in establishing American’s seventeenth Employee Resource Group, Living Green, which focuses on environmental initiatives. Kim has accomplished the implementation of several environmental initiatives, such as recycling onboard magazines and collection of used oil. Not only does Kim work on ecofriendly initiatives, she also volunteers her time for numerous community events such as Stand Down for Homeless Veterans, Feed My Starving Children, and volunteered for Oklahoma City Tornado Relief Efforts. Her diversity-related initiatives have included coordinating the participation of employees for World Diversity Day at Chicago O’Hare and serving as a Diversity Advisory Council Representative.
Noorjehan Javed began her career with American in 1992 as a Domestic Sales Representative in Reservations. Currently, her role is that of Customer Sales Representative with the Sales Support Office. Noorjehan has a relentless passion for service and leadership. Her volunteerism efforts have included Fundraising Captain for Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Representative at the Women of Color Annual Conference, and Board Member for the DFW International Community Alliance. Her leadership roles have consisted of serving as Chair of the Muslim Employee Resource Group, Presenter for Muslim Cultural Education for Town Hall Meetings, and Collaborator on Asian Heritage Month Celebrations. Noorjehan has also served as a Diversity Advisory Council Representative.
Denise Lynn, Senior Vice President People, began her career with American in 1989 as a financial analyst and moved up the organizational ladder to serve in numerous leadership roles, including Vice President of Diversity and Leadership Strategies, Vice President of Flight Service, Vice President of Employee Relations, and now serves as Senior Vice President People. Denise has been a consistent and influential champion for equitable benefits for all employees. She worked with other company executives to prepare testimony in support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would extend basic job protections to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans. Denise serves as a member of the board of trustees of Paul Quinn College, an HBCU located in Dallas, Texas.
“It is about appreciating that each and every one of us, as human beings, has our own history and sense of identity, and that we share a common desire to be appreciated and treated with fairness and dignity. Leaders that create this kind of environment for their people, and companies that do the same for their customers, are the ones who bring out the best in people and keep them coming back.”
– Denise Lynn, Senior Vice President People
“We’re not just a melting pot, but when you think of a mosaic of all the parts fitting together, it’s a beautiful picture.”
– Kim Galvin, Senior Administrator Safety & Environmental, Chicago O’Hare International Airport
“Diversity strengthens the bridges between American and employees to know each other better and build a more diversified environment.”
– Noorjehan Javed, Customer Service Sales Representative, Dallas Fort Worth