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Cultivating Community and Inclusion Through Pride Month

July 29, 2021

Throughout June, Armanino celebrated Pride with a series of events and conversations that reflect our spirit and support of all our team members in the LGBTQ+ community, continuing our Pride traditions from previous years and welcoming new voices to our ongoing conversations surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.

Our IDEAL (Inclusion of Diverse Employees and Leaders) team led the way, affirming Armanino's commitment to ensuring all our people are welcome and comfortable being their true selves at work. We encouraged everyone to join in our Pride activities, whether they're part of the LGBTQ+ community, allies or perhaps unfamiliar with Pride and wanting to learn more.

Raising Funds for Lambert House

We kicked off Pride in style with an Armanino Pride t-shirt sale. All proceeds benefited Lambert House, a Seattle-based community center for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. We sold more than 200 shirts and collected donations to support Lambert House's work to provide programming for LGBTQ+ teens.

Our contributions, combined with partners' matching funds, allowed us to make a $14,114 grant to Lambert House through the Armanino Foundation. We enjoyed seeing so many of our team members wearing their Pride shirts to show support for the LGBTQ+ community not only at our Pride events, but also throughout the month of June.

Our work with Lambert House then continued as we hosted a Pride Impact Conversation. Three inspiring Lambert House youth program participants shared powerful stories about mental health challenges and triumphs as LGBTQ+ youth through a panel discussion facilitated by several Armanino team members.

Stories were an impactful part of our Pride celebration, and we saw an opportunity for everyone to share what Pride means to them. These conversations helped forge a deeper understanding of Pride and respect for our LGBTQ+ colleagues as they shared their own remarkable stories of coming out, community support, decades of challenge and hopes for further understanding and societal change. Many LGBTQ+ allies also shared their own experiences with Pride and how they've actively supported LGBTQ+ people at work, home and in their communities.

Sharing Pride Stories

Armanino also took part in Vault's Pride celebrations, and we were recognized as one of the Top-Ranked Firms for LGBTQ+ Equity. This honor highlights employers with the highest ranking in recruiting, mentoring, supporting and retaining LGBTQ+ individuals. Armanino is one of three firms receiving this distinction in 2021. We're proud of how our people recognize the positive impact of our efforts to improve diversity, equity and inclusion not only within our firm, but also throughout our communities.

As part of this recognition, Carol Ann Nash, Vintage Foster and Brian Mullinax shared an impactful Pride story with Vault. Brian and Vintage, who come from different backgrounds, connected through involvement in our IDEAL Committee and became closer friends and colleagues after discussing their differences and commonalities. Brian described how he had felt uncomfortable being his true self at work in the past, but at Armanino felt the encouragement to be proud of who he is and to stay true to himself. This story exemplifies our goal of learning more about our differences and bridging gaps to build a welcoming and accepting culture at Armanino.

Finally, we closed out our Pride celebrations with the ever-popular Mid-Day Martini Chat & Trivia contest. Attendees learned how to make rainbow-colored "Armajitos" and played an LGBTQ+ history fact-based trivia game, complete with prizes.

While we marked Pride with a flurry of activity, awareness and fun, the celebrations and recognition of our LGBTQ+ team members and community efforts continue throughout the year. We're committed to continuing this vital work to make sure our firm – and our communities – are inclusive, welcoming and caring for everyone, all year long.

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