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May 24, 2018

Department of Revenue Highlights New Diversity and Inclusion Employee Council

JEFFERSON CITY

The Missouri Department of Revenue is highlighting its recently created Diversity and Inclusion Employee Council. The Council’s mission is to identify and create inclusion initiatives, enhance recruitment efforts, and build diversity strategies that will make the Department’s day-to-day operations different, stronger and better and also result in improved service to Missouri citizens.

“The entire Department is incredibly excited about the new Diversity and Inclusion Employee Council,” said Ken Zellers, the Department’s chief operating officer. “Getting this Council up and running is something we’ve worked very hard to do. It also wouldn’t have been possible without the enthusiastic support of Director Joel Walters and the Office of Administration, Office of Equal Opportunity, whom we’re partnering with on this journey.”

The Department of Revenue’s 15-member Diversity and Inclusion Employee Council is one of a few such councils within the executive branch departments. Each of the Department’s divisions are represented, and all employees were nominated by their peers. Additionally, the Department’s director of Human Resources and Total Rewards, as well as representatives from the DOR leadership team and the OEO are also regular members.

Manager Corey Bolton, from the OEO, had this to say about the Council: “This Council means a great deal to not only me, but the citizens of Missouri and state government as a whole. It starts the conversations that’ve been avoided for far too long. Now is the time that we embrace the differences in each other and become inclusive of everyone. After all, we are a collection of differences, and those individual differences can help make us great collectively.”

“This Council isn’t just going to meet for the sake of meeting. Our Council members have been charged with having the tough conversations that are necessary in order to truly move forward as a diverse and inclusive organization,” added Zellers. “Some of the things the Council will be tackling include recruiting, retention, promotional opportunities, community involvement and community partnerships as they specifically relate to diversity and inclusion.”

During the Council’s inaugural meeting on April 3, 2018, members met with the Department’s leadership team and key members of the OEO. The Council has had two meetings since then and plans to hold monthly meetings going forward.

Zellers concluded: “At the end of the day, diversity and inclusion shouldn’t just be something we do; it should be a part of who we are as individuals and as a unified Department serving the people of Missouri. Because when we consider, value and respect the myriad unique qualities that a diverse workforce brings to the table, we enable ourselves to make the best, soundest business decisions on behalf of the customers we serve.

“So while this Council’s work will lead to positive changes within the Department, it is our customers who will ultimately benefit the most. As reflected in the Department’s Strategic Management Priorities placemat, we’re working to improve every day so that we can ‘assist the citizens and businesses of Missouri to meet their obligations.’”

Asked to describe the Council in one word, DOR employee Lisa Earnest said: “Opportunity. It is an opportunity for us all to grow together, learn together and talk to one another.”

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