Anti-discrimination effort gains momentum with Tech Data, Florida Blue, Cassidy Turley leadership
Written By: Margie Manning
They’ve been named to leadership roles in Florida Businesses for a Competitive Workforce coalition, a group made up of more than a dozen major employers in the state. The organization supports pending legislation that would add anti-discrimination protection based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression to state laws.
Patrick Geraghty, chairman and CEO of Florida Blue in Jacksonville, was named president. John Tonnison, executive vice president and worldwide chief information officer at Tech Data Corp. (NASDAQ: TECD) in Clearwater will serve as secretary and Philip Dinkins, senior vice president of Cassidy Turley in Tampa, is treasurer.
Each of their companies values diversity, the executives said in a statement. The group also cited a link between strong anti-discrimination laws and the ability to draw the best and the brightest workforce, which they said is critical to the state’s long-term business success.
The organization has formed a 501c(4) committee, which allows limited lobbying under IRS rules.
Anti-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation have been controversial. Brenden Eich, formerly CEO of Mozilla Corp., resigned after controversy concerning his support of California’s Proposition 8, banning gay marriage, stirred up employee and outsider backlash, the Silicon Valley Business Journal reported.