New Belgium and Bell’s Brewery hire DEI director

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New Belgium Brewing and Bell’s Brewery have appointed a Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the recently merged company.

New Belgium Brewing, based in Fort Collins, Colorado, and Bell’s Brewery, based in Comstock, both affiliates in Sydney, Australia. Lion after Larry Bell sold Bell’s to Lion last fall – said Wednesday, June 1 – they have selected Courtney Simmons (she/her/her) as Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI ) of the newly merged company.

In his new role, Simmons will serve a company whose workforce spans 1,300 employees across four states.

Prior to joining New Belgium and Bell’s, she held the position of DEI Manager at the company formerly known as Herman Miller in Zeeland (now MillerKnoll), where she worked to embed DEI practices throughout the employee lives, including talent pipelines, learning experiences, and courageous conversations.

She is president of the Equality Michigan Action Network, which advocates and lobbies to ensure LGBTQ+ people can live their best lives in Michigan; volunteers from Make-A-Wish Michigan as a wish-granting volunteer to help children with life-threatening illnesses; and serves on the diversity and inclusion committee of the law firm Varnum.

“DEI presents a huge opportunity for the craft beer industry to evolve and grow in a positive direction, and New Belgium has made significant investments in this work. But it’s no secret that we, like so many breweries, have a long way to go,” said Steve Fechheimer, CEO of New Belgium. “As a central part of our human-powered business model, we will continue to place the well-being of our colleagues and the community at the center of everything we do to ensure that our business reflects all people. , cultures and identities.

Carrie Yunker, executive vice president of Bell’s Brewery and Bell’s employee for more than 18 years, described Simmons as a “phenomenal leader” and “indispensable truth-teller.”

“She is truly well-positioned to help us deal with the harsh realities of where we are failing to champion equity and grow diversity as a company, within our industry and beyond,” Yunker said.

New Belgium and Bell’s have been working for equity and inclusion in the brewing industry over the past few years.

Co-founded by a social worker in 1991, New Belgium has spent the past three decades developing a people-centric business model based on the idea that colleagues drive the business forward and, in turn, the business. puts co-workers and community well-being at the center of everything. The brewery is certified B Corporation; hired a diversity and inclusion specialist in 2019; is an active member of the Human Rights Campaign Business Coalition for the Equality Act; campaigns against discriminatory public policies; and received a perfect score of 100% on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index Best Workplaces for LGBTQ Equality in 2021. New Belgium also has a range of internal affinity groups and has adopted an evolving model of philanthropy that prioritizes investing in marginalized communities.

Bell’s has been the title sponsor of Kalamazoo Pride since 2013, and its team members have sought to amplify underrepresented voices in the industry since the first iteration of their co-worker brewing series in 2019. The bi-annual series celebrates individual experiences and identities of LGBTQ+, veteran, and black and Latinx employees.

Together with New Belgium, the combined company said it is prioritizing DEI’s work in expanding human-centric business practices across the company.

In her new role, Simmons will work to bring underrepresented voices to the table to influence the thinking of the leadership team and how decisions are made. Initial plans include focusing on key areas of the business, including training to embed a culture of inclusion, recruitment, retention and advancement, employee benefits and services, brand marketing and community awareness.

Simmons will also join Human Powered Business Steer Co. with the leadership team and help center equity and inclusion governance within the company.

Reporting to Katie Wallace, Director of Environment, Social Affairs and Governance, Simmons will work to add resources to make it easier for all team members to engage in making Bell and New Belgium inclusive and fair while supporting greater diversity in the industry and beyond.

“At the end of the day, if we don’t engage all of our colleagues and ensure that our workforce reflects all of the people, cultures and identities among potential customers in our global marketplace, well, we won’t. ‘reaching all the people we can, selling all the beer we can, making all the profit we can, or having the biggest positive impact we can,” Simmons said. “I’m inspired by our potential to kick ass in this endeavor.”

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