Feedback: May 2023

by Jill Chasson, Leila Gimino, Ivan Royal 

Q: What have you found to be the highlight of your DEI/DEIB efforts in terms of implementation and/or results? 

Jill Chasson 

Coppersmith Brockelman
Sector: Law 

When Andy Gordon and Sam Coppersmith started Coppersmith Brockelman in 1995, no one used the term “DEI.” Back then, traditional law firm recruiting typically meant hiring candidates who looked, acted and thought like everyone else at the firm. But Coppersmith recognized that traditional recruiting would make the firm both less interesting and less capable. It would be more engaging and better suited to help clients if it recruited people who did not have the same blind spots as everyone else at the firm. 

Ever since, Coppersmith has welcomed diverse viewpoints and experiences and offered the flexibility to accommodate that diversity. Its commitment to DEI, however, extends beyond recruitment and to every aspect of the firm, especially attorney development. Coppersmith does not apply a one-size-fits-all approach to attorney success. Instead, it supports its attorneys as they build unique practices based on their individual experiences and capabilities. This commitment to DEI from recruitment to development has allowed Coppersmith to retain diverse attorneys and staff, attract additional diverse talent and serve diverse clients.  

Jill Chasson is partner and chair of Coppersmith Brockelman’s governance committee. She focuses on helping businesses of all sizes in a variety of industries with their employment law needs. She provides practical advice to employers regarding compliance with the many federal and state laws that govern the workplace and regularly provides training for supervisors and human resource professionals.

Leila Gimino

Legal & Compliance Lead – West Region
Vice Chair of MMA West DE&I Council
Lovitt & Touché, A Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC Company
Sector: Insurance

One of the things that we work on with our DE&I initiatives, especially in terms of allyship — which refers to the process of building and nurturing supportive relationships with underrepresented, marginalized or discriminated individuals or groups with the aim of advancing inclusion — is listening. When we’re in a group of people or participating in one of our colleague resource groups, we focus on not centering the discussion on ourselves and our experiences. 

There is so much noise out there around what privilege is and isn’t. But in our initiatives and discussions with our colleagues, we’re learning to cut out all that noise and truly listen to each other. Another huge benefit of these efforts around intentional listening is that colleagues from all walks of life and backgrounds are embracing the space and opportunity to speak up and share their voices with the understanding that they will be heard and respected.  

An experienced paralegal with a demonstrated history of working in the insurance and legal industries, Leila Gimino serves as the Legal & Compliance lead for Lovitt & Touché, A Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC Company. She also serves as vice chair of the MMA West DE&I Council, working with colleagues to elevate and implement DE&I initiatives.

Ivan Royal 

OMEX in Arizona
Sector: Janitorial Service

OMEX’s DEI/DEIB efforts have had a significant impact on the company’s workforce, particularly with the recent formation of an all-female Operations Management team that includes Hispanic, Black and White members. This diverse leadership team is a first for our Arizona-based commercial cleaning company in six years and has helped to increase the level of comfort and connection among employees from different backgrounds.

One example is the hiring of a female Hispanic leader, who has been able to communicate effectively in both English and Spanish, making it easier for employees from similar backgrounds to connect with her and feel heard. This has helped to foster a sense of inclusivity and belonging within the workforce.

With 40% of OMEX’s workforce being Hispanic, the company’s commitment to DEI/DEIB initiatives has been critical in ensuring that all employees feel valued and supported. By prioritizing diversity and inclusivity, OMEX has created a workplace culture that encourages innovation, collaboration and growth for all employees, regardless of their background or identity.  

Ivan Royal is president of OMEX in Arizona, a Tempe-based commercial cleaning company. In addition to providing strategic direction, Royal oversees all operations, including business development, technological initiatives and customer service practices. A thoughtful and established leader with a 21-year distinguished career in the United States Army, he has curated a team of 80 professionals who are trusted to maintain governmental, educational and corporate institutions.

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