Herman Miller appoints VP of diversity, equity and inclusion

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Cheryl Kern Courtesy Herman Miller

Herman Miller selected a leader in the field of diversity, equity and inclusion to oversee its global diversity, equity and inclusion strategy.

The Zeeland-based furniture company (Nasdaq: HMLR) said Wednesday that it appointed Cheryl Kern to the position of vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

In her new role, Kern will establish Herman Miller Group’s DEI strategy globally and connect DEI initiatives to the company’s purpose and values. She will direct initiatives, programs and communications to infuse DEI throughout Herman Miller’s global operations, including recruitment and talent development strategies, leadership development and planning, supplier diversity, and equity team guidance.

Kern also will work with executive leadership to ensure an enterprise focus on equity and will serve as a member of the Herman Miller Executive Diversity & Inclusion Council, chaired by Andi Owen, the company’s president and CEO.

“Cheryl is a strong and experienced leader in global diversity, equity and inclusion efforts,” Owen said. “I am excited to have her join the team and help guide the next phase of our DEI journey across Herman Miller Group globally.”

Prior to her new position, Kern most recently was the corporate director, global diversity and inclusion at Lockheed Martin, advancing diversity and inclusion as a business and talent imperative. She has years of cross-disciplinary executive expertise in the manufacturing, distribution and consumer packaged goods industries.

Kern has been recognized as a Top Diversity Executive in Corporate America by Black Enterprise, was a Champion of Diversity Award recipient, has been honored with the Diversity Salute Award and was named one of the 10 Top Global Leaders in Diversity and Inclusion by Diversity Global Magazine.

She has partnered on designing in-country inclusion solutions with stakeholders in the Americas, Asia, Europe and Australia. Kern frequently is invited to bring her voice to complex diversity and inclusion challenges, including recently sharing perspectives related to COVID-19 and racial inequity issues by invitation from Forbes.

Kern’s appointment is the latest step in a series of actions Herman Miller is taking to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in its company, across its industry and in the communities it serves. Other actions include signing the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion Pledge, making Election Day a paid day off in the U.S. to empower employees to vote and give back to the community, hosting open-forum employee-led conversations around racial equity, launching the most comprehensive training focused on mitigating bias in the company’s history, redesigning equity teams to align directly with its corporate strategy and leadership team, and aligning corporate giving to support charitable organizations that prioritize equity and justice.

More information about Herman Miller’s DEI commitments is at hermanmiller.com/equity.

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