Feedback: August 2014

by Brad Gabel | Manny Molina | Kate Wells

Question: Many companies make a purposeful effort to contact different cultures to build business. What is your company doing to attract diverse cultures to your business?


Brad Gabel
Vice President, Native American Division
Sector: Construction

We made a conscious effort years ago to take our experience to Indian Country, engaging with various Native American communities through very targeted activities. We have been fortunate to hire professionals who are Native American and/or who have fostered deep connections in Tribal communities, leading to work throughout the Southwest that now includes not only hospitality and gaming projects but also justice and education facilities. We long ago learned that every Nation is unique and leadership changes often, but all have in common the desire to enhance the economic security of their People, and we do everything we can to promote and support this effort. We take great pride in our mentorship program that encourages and promotes Native American participation on our construction projects. We have held cultural sensitivity training for the A/E/C industry (architecture, engineering and construction), featuring panelists from Tribal communities discussing best practices and insights from the field. And to foster the growth of future Native American construction professionals, we award scholarships and internships to high-achieving Native American students who are part of NAU’s Construction Management program and ASU’s Del Webb School of Construction.

Brad Gabel is vice president of Kitchell’s Native American Division. The dedicated division was established in 1999 to serve the construction needs of individual Nations, and has built projects totaling more than $800 million for more than 25 Native American communities, with many of those projects achieving close to 90 percent Native American participation during construction.

Manny-Molina Manny Molina
M&M Media, LLC
Sector: Media and Advertising

Attracting a diverse client base takes commitment and a willingness to adjust business practices to meet the unique needs of Hispanics, African Americans, Asians and people from other cultures. While some organizations would prefer that people from diverse cultures simply adjust to us, their cultures are far older and more ingrained than ours.

It starts for us by having the cultural sensitivity to learn the language of our customers, building rapport, developing trusting relationships and understanding cultural beliefs that can impact marketing effectiveness. Recognizing that these individuals have unique qualities that extend beyond elements such as race and valuing these differences through various advertising and communications channels help make marketing campaigns a success. We also ensure that marketing messages to diverse target groups are authentic and accurately reflect cultural norms and traditions. Diversity is important not only from a corporate responsibility standpoint but also for viability in an increasingly heterogeneous market.  

Manny Molina is principally engaged in two fast-growing enterprises in the Arizona marketplace, Molina Management, LLC and M&M Media, LLC, an outdoor billboard company. Active for more than 25 years as a leader of numerous boards and philanthropic groups, he currently serves as Life Director of the Fiesta Bowl and a member of the Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Board and Board of Directors and the Chicanos Por La Causa Board of Directors, among others. 

Kate-Wells Kate Wells
President and CEO
Children’s Museum of Phoenix
Sector: Arts & Culture

The Children’s Museum of Phoenix’s vision is to foster a joy of learning. We do this in a number of ways, which include building cultural understanding, facilitating positive social interaction and celebrating diversity. Currently, there are nine different languages represented among our floor staff, which is identified on their name badges. Our Art Studio is packed with books, stories and projects that reflect multiculturalism. Our child-sized Market exhibit presents a selection of “food” items that reflect languages from other countries. Books are distributed throughout the Museum and in our Book Loft in multiple languages as well. All of this, combined, creates opportunities for our visitors, especially our youngest ones, to think, “Hey, that’s the language I know and speak. They know me here.”

There is also a lot of programming built on teaching visitors about other cultures and the things that make each of us special. So, multiculturalism is not just something that we incorporate into the Museum on a periodic basis, it is something that is integrated within everything we do each day.

Kate Wells is a co-founder of the Children’s Museum of Phoenix, and was its director of development and marketing from 2001 to 2009. The year 2009 saw her traveling the world with her husband and daughters, returning to take up the post of associate general manager at Eight, Arizona PBS from 2010 to 2013. She was named president and CEO of the Children’s Museum of Phoenix in December 2013. 

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