Podcast Episode 40: DHG Celebrates Pride Month

At DHG, we celebrate inclusion and diversity everyday, and anytime we have the opportunity to raise awareness around one of our diverse communities, we go full throttle! This month, DHG is celebrating Pride Month. We kicked off the celebration by serving as one of the corporate sponsors of the Capital Pride Festival in Washington, D.C. on June 11. In this podcast, Michele Barron-Resto from DHG's Tysons office joins us to talk about the festival and what it means to be unapologetically proud.

Episode 40 Transcript

AGH: Hello everyone and welcome back to another episode of our DHG podcast series. I’m Alice Grey Harrison, your host, and I love this venue because we get to hear from our people about the things that matter the most to them. At DHG, that’s all about flexibility, careers, and of course, our people. Super excited about the guest I have with me today, as I mentioned in a previous podcast, we celebrate diversity and inclusion every day at DHG. Anytime we have the opportunity to raise awareness around one of our diverse communities, we go out at full throttle, and this month, DHG is celebrating Pride Month. Today, I have with me Michele Barron-Resto who is our administrator for DHG Resource Advisors. She has been a huge advocate for the LGBTQ community at DHG and certainly beyond. This weekend, DHG participated in the Pride Festival in Washington D.C. and Michele’s going to tell us a little bit about that, welcome Michele.

MB: Thank you for having me.

AGH: Okay. I had the opportunity to see some photographs on Facebook from some of my friends who attended the event. Tell me about the vibe of the festival. What stands out most to you about the day?

MB: There’s definitely an energy that’s difficult to describe. When you are bringing thousands and thousands of people of all shapes, all sizes, all sexualities, ethnicities, cultures and you bring them in and they are just all focused on diversity and inclusion, there is an energy that is just amazing. It’s great to see such support and this year was one of the biggest Prides they’ve ever seen.

AGH: That’s fabulous. So, what exactly was our involvement in the Pride Festival? DHG - bronze sponsor for Capital Pride volunteers

MB: This year, DHG was a bronze sponsor for Capital Pride and we had a booth all down Pennsylvania avenue, thousands of companies and nonprofits and different vendors and people just walk all the length of Pennsylvania Avenue. DHG, we had our booth on Pennsylvania Avenue where we had about 25 DHG employees there handing out rainbow sunglasses, rainbow candy, rainbow stickers. Just drawing people in, having conversations, just about diversity. What DHG can do for potential companies who may be looking for services we can give or even potential employees in the future to let them know that Dixon Hughes Goodman is in support of diversity and we do have an amazing, strong community.

AGH: Oh, that’s super cool. I’m so jealous I wasn’t there – I am an advocate for inclusion and diversity. Nobody loves a festival more than me. So why do you think that it’s important for us to celebrate things like Pride month?

MB: I think as a firm, we do really well with reaching out to the different communities. I think that the LGTBQ community outside of our company needs to know that we are inclusive and that we do look to support our employees and potential clients and bringing them in. So to have a face out there and really being able to meet thousands and thousands of people and having a presence there just gives them a sense of “we’re open”.

AGH: That’s awesome.

MB: That’s important both inside and outside of our firm.

AGH: I love that you said, “we’re open”. I think that’s — I’ve never really thought about it in that way, but it is a great way to describe an inclusive environment is to say we’re open.

MB: Indeed.

AGH: Okay, so I love the theme of this year’s pride events in DC. The theme, for those of you who may not be aware was “unapologetically proud”. So I can’t help but ask you, what are you unapologetically proud of?

MB: One of the biggest things that I’m unapologetically proud of when it comes to myself is number one, from day one, when I was hired with DHG, I’ve been out. I’ve been very open about the fact that I’ve been married to my wife, legally, for eight years. I’ve been in a committed relationship with her for almost 17 years. We have raised an amazing child and all along that, we have had to fight for our rights. So I am unapologetically proud that DHG’s always been there and it’s been supportive with me since day one with my career here.

AGH: That is fabulous. Okay, so I’m going to go off script for a minute, don’t get too scared. I can’t help but ask, did you see any celebrities? DHG Pride booth volunteers

MB: I did not, personally. No, I was busy manning our booth. I think when I want to talk about celebrities, I really need to highlight the people from DHG who came out and volunteered and just were really open to being there that day. So for me, I think the celebrity for that day had to be one of our partners here in the Tyson’s office who we actually got in a rainbow tutu handing out candy to people. That to me, he is the celebrity of the day for me.

AGH: I am going to have to 100% agree with you and certainly hope that somebody captured that on film so that we can share that with others.

MB: We absolutely have a photo.

AGH: Awesome. Well, Michelle, thank you so much for sharing with us today and leading the charge at DHG for Pride month and being an example for others and we’re grateful for the spirit that you bring to the team.

MB: And I appreciate the support.

AGH: All right, and for all of our listeners, thank you for being here and listening to our premier podcast series. If you like what you just heard, we hope you’ll tell your friends and colleagues. Be sure to check out our DHG blog for more great stories about our Life Beyond Numbers. Join us next time for another edition of Life at DHG.

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