Fostering an Inclusive Climate

Employees often see themselves as passive recipients of a work climate, as if it is something that is created by the organization for which they work. But the reality is that employees co-create the climate, along with the manager/leader of the department. This is a fascinating topic to explore, and a continuous challenge. I recently discussed this topic with another HR professional as we delved into three different departments within the same organization. In all three departments, employees have complained about low morale, gossiping, lack of respect for one another, and low trust. This has been an ongoing theme for […]

Meet Our Pride Festival Host, Ashley ‘Bam-Bam’ Harris

Born and raised in the inner city of Baltimore, Bam has enjoyed an official reign as “Crazy Girl on the Mic,” shutting down every night club in the city of Baltimore. In an entertainment world of superficiality and inflated egos, Bam has a youthful, energetic, and ambitious aura radiating in her hometown of Baltimore, of course, and extending to Atlanta, DC, New York, and other East Coast locations where she performs. Her intro into radio came in college at University of Maryland, Eastern Shore’s Hawk Radio. She quickly advanced and soon was hosting Shay Star radio. Bam was influenced by […]

Getting to Know Our 2019 Pride Grand Marshals

Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting Senator Mary Washington at a Maryland LGBT Chamber of Commerce Champions event. Mary was gracious, taking time to snap pictures with our table group. I am now pleased to inform the readers that Mary is one of our Grand Marshals. More about Senator Mary Washington: She is an advocate for Maryland’s 43rd District as a legislator, professor, ally, public policy leader, and trail-blazer. In 2010, she made history becoming the first openly LGBT African-American elected official in Maryland – and only the second such state legislator in the country. As a current state […]

In the Heat of the Moment

Let’s face it, the workplace can often times prove challenging. It’s not always easy to put your best foot forward. And when caught in the act, we are often confronted with feedback, whether we ask for it or not. In the heat of the moment, sometimes the feedback comes across as criticism rather than helpful; as a personal dig rather than a valuable piece of advice. As you can likely imagine, working in healthcare provides many “feedback” opportunities. Working in an industry where customer service is measured constantly, the pressure of financial loss hangs in the background if we don’t […]

Getting to Know LaKesha Davis, Pride Coordinator

LaKesha Davis, a native Baltimorian, is a student at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore pursuing a PhD in organizational leadership. She holds a master’s degree in human services administration and associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice. In addition to being a lifelong learner, LaKesha is a full-time mother, employee, and part-time radio personality and entrepreneur. She gives back to her community by serving underprivileged youth, providing training and mentorship. Checkout her many ventures by going to her website Richard Finger: How long have you been the Pride coordinator? LaKesha Davis: This is my second year as the […]

What Kind of Manager Are You?

I’ve had occasion to watch managers in action over my career. I think we can all agree that managers display many different styles, from completely hands-off to overly involved, and somewhere in between. What is most interesting for me as an HR practitioner is to monitor the impact the varying styles have on employees. When I say “management style,” I’m referring to the way a manager makes decisions relating to their subordinates. The wrong management style demotivates employees, kills productivity, and causes employees to disengage and leave. One successful management style is known as the “democratic” manager. These managers are […]

Pride’s NUTS & BOLTS

As a first time Baltimore Pride volunteer myself, I thought it would be interesting for our readers to get to know some of the other volunteers who’ve been working since November to put on a fantastic Pride this year. Let’s be honest, for most of us who’ve attended Pride recently or in the past, we don’t think about those giving their time and effort to make it happen. One of those volunteers is Carly Saunders. Carly moved to Baltimore last year and quickly became involved in the 2018 Pride planning. Besides her volunteering, she’s a foodie and loves travel, music, […]

Proactive HR

There is a big difference between good HR and proactive HR – the difference between HR being important versus worth its weight in gold. We tend to think of HR as practical and reactive to standard issues. Recruitment, retention, employee relations issues (discipline, grievances), pay and benefits, all spring to mind. Certainly, getting these fundamentals right is always critical. But proactive HR requires a deeper level of understanding and a more collaborative approach to these issues. The positive impact it can have on your business is significant. HR policies and procedures often times seem fairly black-and-white, while business certainly is […]

Meet the Emcee

Monty Howard is a gay Episcopalian partnered graphic designer and community activist. Monty was born in California, as a military brat, and moved with his family 29 times. He’s lived and worked in Virginia, Minnesota, Texas, and Delaware before coming to Baltimore and feeling “right at home” from the start. We asked Monty a few questions about his gig as Baltimore Pride Parade emcee… Richard Finger: Have you been an emcee at events prior to Baltimore Pride? Monty Howard: Oh yes, folks from Bolton Hill and the church community know me as the “Quiz Master” for an annual dinner fund-raiser […]

The Equality Act Comes Closer to Reality

The Equality Act is an important topic for our readers. Over the course of the last four years, there has been a significant increase of Congressional support, jumping from 178 members to 239. In addition to this support, some large corporations have publically come on board as well. When first introduced in 2015, only Apple, Levi-Strauss, and Dow Chemical had supported the Equality Act. Joining this group are Google, Facebook, General Mills, and American Airlines. As of now, there are over 150 companies that support this bill. The Human Rights Campaign organized this corporate push with its Business Coalition for […]