A message from PLUS President Todd Greeley
PLUS has a long history of being a forward-looking organization that values all members and different opinions. It has encouraged diverse thoughts and respects all views. It strives to ensure a welcoming environment in all that is does. And it has and remains filled with passionate leaders who care about their fellow members, co-workers and customers. This is being tested even more so today as the spotlight shines brightly on the continued need for change and social justice in the United States and around the world. PLUS is committed to fulfilling its core mission in a way that will help our industry and our communities address these important issues. To that end, I’m excited to outline in this post some recent changes to PLUS’s highly successful Leadership And Mentorship Program (LAMP) that we think will enhance PLUS’s contribution to driving positive change.
Since the formation and adoption of PLUS’s first Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Committee and D&I plan, PLUS has continued to advance its D&I efforts, most notably with its LAMP initiative. LAMP provides members from traditionally underrepresented groups in the PL industry with leadership development, along with mentorships and opportunities to engage with PLUS leaders. Entering its fourth cohort, the program continues to build momentum. One of the successes about which we are most proud is the number of LAMP “alumni” who are now leaders and key contributors to PLUS. This diversity within PLUS’s volunteer leadership makes us even stronger. But again, we know this is just a part of PLUS’s continuing path toward greater equality, and we recently decided to make a change that we believe will move us even further down that path.
You likely have seen that the PLUS Foundation recently changed its mission. The PLUS Foundation has changed to meet the needs of its members and the industry many times in its relatively short lifetime. Now it is changing again to meet our industry’s evolving priorities. Seeing the need for greater workforce development and ensuring opportunities for all, the PLUS Foundation will shift its focus to advancing tomorrow’s workforce through outreach, education, mentoring and giving back. In doing so, it will support individuals and groups that face obstacles to advancing their career and that have been traditionally underrepresented in the PL industry, particularly in senior management roles.
In light of the Foundation’s new mission and focus, and after much deliberation, PLUS has decided to transition LAMP from PLUS to the PLUS Foundation. We believe doing this will better serve the needs and goals of LAMP and its fantastic participants. We also think LAMP fits perfectly alongside the Foundation’s successful Women’s Leadership Network (WLN), which provides thought leadership, mentorship and education to advance women in the PL industry. This will allow the Foundation to utilize its expertise and expand the focus on this already successful program to benefit LAMP. To aid in the LAMP transition, and to provide continued counsel for the Foundation Board, the Foundation is also forming a D&I Advisory Committee. This committee will include several past LAMP participants.
This shift of LAMP to the Foundation does not mean that PLUS is diminishing its effort on equality. In fact, it is quite the opposite. We will be heightening of level of commitment by forming a Board level standing committee that will focus on ensuring PLUS looks through the equity lens in all that it does. We recognize our size in the landscape of this large industry, and that our corporate partners have far more and resources to wield in moving the industry in all matters around diversity and inclusion. As a result, we feel our most impactful option is to focus our resources on the PLUS organization, members, volunteers, staff, events, and offerings. This focus will allow PLUS to lead by example, while also expanding its opportunities for all to be heard, have access to, and participate equally in PLUS.
No doubt these are challenging times, but also opportunities for great leadership. PLUS accepts that challenge and will lead by ensuring broad perspectives are considered in every facet of the organization. This clear focus and the actions that follow will hopefully be a model for others. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you over the last year and I look forward to being a part of this effort to ensure equality and provide inclusive opportunities for all in our industry.