Agriculture and Forest Products Industry Leaders Gather at Stoel Rives to Support LGBT Diversity Efforts

Press Release
Attendees included (l-r) Adam Dittman, partner, Stoel Rives;
Peter Daugherty, Oregon State Forester; and Heath Curtiss, General Counsel and Director of Government Affairs, firm client Oregon Forest & Industries Council.

Portland, Ore. – Stoel Rives LLP, an Am Law 200 law firm, hosted the second Portland reception of the Cultivating Change Foundation in its office on Friday, February 2, 2018. In attendance as co-hosts were many key leaders within Oregon’s agriculture and forest products industries, who mingled with guests to celebrate the foundation’s 2017 accomplishments and learn about its goals for 2018.

The mission of the Cultivating Change Foundation, which was formed in 2016, is to value and elevate lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals in the agricultural industry through advocacy, education, and community. The foundation was formed as an extension of the inaugural Cultivating Change Summit in Atlanta – now an annual agricultural industry conference that brings together LGBT individuals and their allies from across the country.

Kirk Maag, who leads Stoel Rives’ Food & Agribusiness Team, serves on the foundation’s board of directors and organized the event. Maag said, “The event encourages a great synergy between agriculture, timber, and diversity and inclusion, and we were thrilled to have so many leaders in Oregon’s ag and timber industries in attendance to co-host it. I am pleased that we are able to contribute to continuing the long-overdue conversation about acknowledging and valuing the presence of LGBT individuals in the agriculture and forest products industries. I believe the foundation can help young people realize that there is a place for them in ag and forest products industry careers, regardless of their sexual orientation.”

Diversity is one of Stoel Rives' values and a key element of the firm's strategic vision. The firm strives to successfully recruit, develop and retain attorneys and staff of diverse backgrounds and characteristics and to foster an inclusive professional environment that respects and values differences among it attorneys and staff and supports professional development and advancement for all. In 2017, 25 percent of the firm’s attorney and summer associate hires were ethnic minorities, LGBT, or individuals with disabilities, and 44 percent were women, including seven women of color.

In November 2017, Stoel Rives received a perfect 100% rating on the Human Rights Campaign 2018 Corporate Equality Index, the national benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices pertinent to LGBT employees. And for the seventh consecutive year, the firm received Gold Standard Certification from the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF). WILEF's Gold Standard Certification is awarded to eligible law firms where women are integrated into the highest leadership positions in the firm. For more information on the firm’s diversity effort, click here.

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