Under Ford’s leadership, Nesco demonstrates significant and meaningful momentum in DEI since 2020

Nesco Resource’s Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Corporate Responsibility, Terri Ford, was selected as one of Crain’s Cleveland Business Notable Executives in DEI for 2022. Ford joins an elite group of 20 leaders from Northeast Ohio who are working tirelessly to promote DEI within their workplace during a time of increasing social change and aspiration for acceptance of all people.

Headshot of Terri Ford, Nesco Resource’s Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Corporate ResponsibilityJust one year ago this month, Nesco announced the promotion of Ford to the newly created DEI leadership role, a move that underscored the nationally recognized workforce solutions company’s commitment to DEI. Prior to, Ford was informally leading Nesco’s DEI work in addition to serving as a Recruitment Development Manager within Nesco’s medical division, Home Care by Callos.

“Terri more than deserves the recognition for her efforts to define Nesco’s commitment to DEI and put it into action,” said Nesco President Mary Beth Gunerra. “Within Nesco, diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the forefront of conversations and central to our overall business strategy. Our clients, too, are interested in learning and sharing what we are doing as individual companies and what we can be doing together as partners. Nesco aims to be an industry leader in this important space, and Terri’s efforts and accomplishments definitely put us on that trajectory.”

Since 2020, Ford – with support from the employee-driven DEI committee, Nesco Forward - has demonstrated meaningful progress in Nesco’s DEI journey:

  • Developed the overarching DEI strategy for Nesco including the mission, values, and DEI policy in alignment with and support of the company’s overall business strategy
  • Created Nesco Forward, which meets twice a month to design, develop, implement, and monitor policies and programs aimed at building a diverse workforce of the future and advancing Nesco’s culture of equity, inclusion, and belonging
  • Implemented five Nesco Forward subcommittees, which meet monthly to strengthen DEI efforts in key business areas: Research & Review, Marketing, Talent Acquisition, Training, Client Outreach/Supplier Diversity, and Accessibility.
  • Helped launch four Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). ERGs aim to: retain, develop, and engage employees and allies of a shared affinity; inform policy to support DEI efforts across the organization; and create a sense of community and belonging through networking, social events, and mentoring opportunities.
    • Valor – Veterans ERG
    • The ROOT – African American ERG
    • Prism - A LGBTQ+ Alliance
    • Latinos Orgullosos – A Hispanic ERG
  • Sponsored inclusive leadership training for Nesco leadership
  • Created a DEI video, “We are Nesco” to best tell Nesco’s story regarding its commitment to – and journey within – DEI
  • Hosts annual Nesco DEI Summit, a gathering of Nesco Forward members and  subcommittee leaders, ERGs, and business departments to discuss DEI accomplishments and define the strategy and goals for the upcoming year
  • Manages Volunteer Time Off (VTO) to bolster the NescoNation Gives Back program, encouraging employees to volunteer and/or give to nonprofit organizations in their communities
  • Developed and oversees Nesco’s Field Advisory Board, a group of high-performing individuals working to enhance client and candidate experience and interaction, and improve overall workplace effectiveness and efficiency
  •  Offers opportunities to learn and dialogue about DEI in the workplace by establishing a Quarterly Book Club that discusses important topics; hosting quarterly Lunch & Learns; and creating an Internal Library of employee resources
  • Ensures DEI is woven into key communications and feedback channels including: Nesco’s annual Employee Engagement Survey, the Intranet, and external website, nescoresource.com/DEI

“It has been an honor to watch Terri become the driving force behind Nesco’s diversity, equity, and inclusion journey,” said Nesco Market Manager Tonya Little, who also serves as a founding member of Nesco Forward. “Passionate, inspiring, empowering, collaborative, and engaging. These are the words I use to describe Terri’s dedication to truly moving Nesco forward.”

Ford credits her success to Nesco leadership and the Nesco Forward team.

“Like anything new, Nesco’s DEI journey – my DEI journey – has been neither easy nor perfect. It’s a journey full of uncertainty and questions, and one that requires acceptance and change. But the support from Nesco leadership and Nesco Forward has been the differentiator," said Ford. "Big achievements like launching an ERG, hosting an annual summit, or earning this humbling recognition validate the work. However, the smallest of things - a conversation between two different people or seeing someone embrace their true self in a meeting - is what makes the work worthwhile.   

“For me, there is nothing better than creating space for all people to be their authentic self. I want to be certain that every person within Nesco uses their voice and understands their value, and is given the opportunity to grow within the organization. That’s why I do this job. But it doesn’t begin and end with me. It takes everyone to create a truly inclusive workplace, and we are on our way,” she said.

Ford has an extensive background in sales and communications and eight years of staffing industry experience. Before joining Nesco in 2018 as a Corporate Recruiter, Ford was Director of Sales & Operations at a minority-owned staffing agency where she managed both the company’s business development and recruiting efforts. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Communications from The Ohio State University and also earned her Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in the Workplace certification from the University of South Florida.

The Notables in DEI special editorial feature ran in Crain's Cleveland Business’s October 24th print issue and online