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Our lineup of winners for this year’s — as every year — Power Gala made of truly extraordinary people. Without giving too much away before the party, we decided to sit down and get to know the nominees on a more whimsical level. Enjoy! 

U.S. Bank employees have taken strong leadership positions in the LGBTIQ community, and Denver is no exception. Chris Ross, Vice President of Commercial Banking, is currently serving as co-chair of the GLBT Center Board and has chaired the Center’s development committee for the past four years. He also serves on the U.S. Bank Multicultural & Diversity Advisory Board. Additionally, the HRC has recognized U.S. Bank with a perfect score of 100 in its Corporate Equality Index for the last eight years. The index is a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to LGBTIQ equality in the workplace.

Can you give some examples of how U.S. Bank has benefited the LGBTIQ community?

Specifically speaking in terms of our local presence, U.S. Bank Colorado is committed to its support of and within the LGBTIQ community here. In 2016 alone, U.S. Bank sponsored many events, including this year’s Denver PrideFest by hosting a booth, sponsoring the Latino Stage, and marching in the Parade, U.S. Bank also sponsored One Colorado’s Southern Colorado Ally Awards, the Center’s Jokers, Jewels & Justice Annual Gala, the Center’s 40th Anniversary Gala, DGLCC’s Minority Chamber Business EXPO, and the Power Gala.

Chris Ross, Vice President of Commercial Banking, is currently serving as co-chair of the GLBT Center Board and has chaired the Center’s development committee for the past four years. He also serves on the U.S. Bank Multicultural & Diversity Advisory Board which reviews and approves philanthropic giving to minority organizations (including LGBTIQ) organizations within the Denver Metro area for U.S.Bank. A.J. Shaikh, Business Banking Officer, joined the Denver Gay & Lesbian Chamber this year and he championed U.S. Bank’s involvement in the DGLCC’s Minority Chamber Business EXPO. U.S. Bank has been a longstanding sponsor of the Chamber’s Annual Awards dinner. Susie Roh, SVP & Regional Trust Manager, and Mark Kraft, AVP & Regional Mortgage Production Manager, are also senior level managers at U.S. Bank based here in Colorado that serve “openly” within the organization demonstrating U.S Bank’s understanding and efforts to reflect the diverse customers they serve. They are supported by their Market President Hassan Salem and the entire corporation in our efforts.

Are the needs of the community a part of U.S. Bank’s mission statement?

At U.S. Bank, embracing diversity and fostering inclusion are business imperatives. We view everything we do through a diversity and inclusion lens to deepen our relationships with our stakeholders, our employees, customers, shareholders, and communities. It’s a priority for our leaders and we focus on recruitment and development in the workplace; multicultural business development and marketing strategy in the marketplace; building relationships with diverse businesses including minority, women, LBGTIQ, and veteran-owned businesses within our supplier chains; maintaining affiliations with national minority organizations; and giving and volunteering through community partnerships.

What should the LGBTIQ community take away when they think of U.S. Bank?

I would like people to know that as an employee of U.S. Bank, I can attest first hand that U.S. Bank is an organization lead by a set of core values in action demonstrated by its leadership. Diversity and inclusion including the LBGTIQ community is held in the highest regard from the top down. U.S. Bank has been a welcoming and encouraging environment.

For 2016, OUT FRONT joined forces with the Denver Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce for our annual Power Awards ceremony. Traditionally, we’ve called it our Power Party, but this year’s one-two combo makes it more of a gala, so we’re excited to announce a slight break in tradition to bring our community the Power Gala Awards! We’ll be holding the party at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel in the grand ballroom. (We’re so stoked.) Our musical interludes are provided by none other than Ty Herndon, Alpha the Musical, and Spinphony.

Be sure to reserve your spot today, before all the seats are accounted for!