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Sodexo Wins 'Business Pathfinder' Award

Company provides university's food service.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office Announcement, 1-10-2014

Mankato, Minn. -- Sodexo Inc., the company that provides food service at Minnesota State University, Mankato, was announced Thursday, Jan. 9 as the recipient of the 2014 Business Pathfinder Award that is presented annually by the Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Board in the Mankato area.

According to a Greater Mankato Growth news release, the Business Pathfinder Award was established in 2003 and is presented by Greater Mankato Growth to recognize businesses that strive for equal treatment, human rights and non-violence in the workplace.

Sodexo Inc., according to the news release, has been a leader in promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace. With a footprint in over 80 countries, Sodexo has a long commitment to diversity in its workplace and its philanthropic endeavors. Sodexo sees diversity and inclusion as a central management challenge in today’s global marketplace and that understanding how to best leverage a multicultural workforce is imperative for companies across all industries. As a result of this commitment, in 2013 Sodexo placed #1 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity List for 2013.

This dedication to diversity and inclusivity extends to Sodexo’s operations in the Greater Mankato region as well. Sodexo provides dining services at Minnesota State Mankato and also caters food for various business and community meetings and events throughout the area. Sodexo practices the ideals of King through hiring and promoting diverse individuals. In the past two years and again this year, Sodexo will donate all the food served to attendees at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration.

Perhaps the greatest testament to Sodexo’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity, according to the news release, is reflected by those who nominated them for the award – Bukata Hayes, executive director of the Greater Mankato Diversity Council and Michael Fagin, ethnic studies faculty at Minnesota State Mankato.

“A major emphasis in the fabric of Sodexo’s organization is the value of inclusion and diversity,” said Fagin. “The company has distinguished itself by hiring people with disabilities and ensuring equal opportunities for all people.”

Hayes agreed, noting, “The ideals of Dr. King are best exemplified in practice and not rhetoric. Sodexo acts on their belief that all contribute to the workplace and should be valued.”

The Business Pathfinder Award is one of three Pathfinder Awards presented annually by the Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Board.

Pathfinder Award recipients will be honored at the 30th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration, which will be held on Monday, Jan. 20 in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom on the campus of Minnesota State University, Mankato. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres and a social, followed by the presentation of the Pathfinder Awards at 6:15 p.m., entertainment by Nuer Dance group at 6:30 p.m. and a presentation at 6:40 p.m. by South Central College President Dr. Annette Parker on how the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday has impacted her life and leadership.

Tickets are $10 (10 and under free) and may be purchased in advance at: Greater Mankato Diversity Council, 10 Civic Center Plaza (507-385-6653), Minnesota State Mankato's Office of Institutional Diversity, Morris Hall #265 (507-389-6125), South Central College Bookstore, 1920 Lee Blvd., North Mankato (507-389-7221) or The Coffee Hag, 329 N. Riverfront Dr. (507-387-5533). Only a limited number of tickets will be available at the door.

More information is available here.

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