Livonia Chamber Unveils Inclusive Stickers

Livonia Chamber Unveils Inclusive Stickers

Mehdi Sassine, General Manager of Jimmy Jones on Middlebelt Road in Livonia, receives a customer's order on September 13th.

Cheryl Doekler apologizes if she “smells like salami”.

But hey, it’s hard to find employees nowadays.

Doelker owns nine Jimmy John locations – five in Livonia – and chairs the Board of Directors of the Livonia Chamber of Commerce. She said she spends most afternoons these days helping her employees beat the lunch rush.

She says she’s big on diversity and inclusivity, something she drives personally and professionally. You can see the welcoming spirit at play. Most of the people who walked out of her 13453 Middlebelt Road store on the afternoon of September 13 left with a sandwich in hand that had an actual smile on their face.

“It is important to me as a business owner that everyone feels welcome, not only in my organization but also in my clients,” she said, adding that she was not speaking on behalf of Jimmy Jones as a whole. “The level of respect and harmony that we are trying to provide is something that is important to me.”

Doelker called on the chamber to help its members show clients that they are inclusive companies, and now that’s a reality. Business owners who attend the Diversity, Equity and Experience Inclusion event in Western Wayne on September 22, will receive a window sticker that says “Hello everyone” for their business. On November 3, attendees will also receive a roundtable for inclusion.

A (we) welcome everyone poster.

“We welcome everyone.” It’s a simple enough concept, but if nothing else, it makes people think about being more inclusive and more aware of others,” said Dan West, president and CEO of the Livonia Chamber of Commerce.

West said his organization, which has 960 members, has been promoting inclusion since 2016. He said chamber members feel it is important to focus on inclusion given Livonia’s reputation as a former sunset city. This reputation was recently revisited when a black woman alleged that she was discriminated against by a city bank when she brought in casino winnings. The bank denied any wrongdoing.

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