Eric Fuller, President and CEO of U.S. Xpress Enterprises Inc.
As the leader of a large, publicly traded company, it's my responsibility to look out for our nearly 10,000 team members, our investors and the community we call home.
Part of this involves assessing risks both near- and long-term.
In recent months I've become increasingly enlightened that the divisive rhetoric around diversity and inclusion in Chattanooga could significantly affect the growth of U.S. Xpress and other companies in the region.
I'm calling on Chattanooga business leaders, large and small, to begin taking steps toward creating a culture that's more accepting of others from different races, ethnicities, genders and sexual identities. As a larger business community, we'll struggle to attract the type of talent we need to compete in a global economy if we don't start having these conversations and enacting real change. This change won't be easy; it will take uncomfortable conversations and challenging opinions of the past. And we should face the fact that Chattanooga is behind other communities and needs to catch up.
The Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce is spearheading a CEO Pledge for Racial Equity, a commitment by regional CEOs and managing leaders to intentionally enhance efforts to achieve equity of opportunity within organizations and the broader Chattanooga community. The pledge compliments our Chattanooga Climbs' goal of creating an economically inclusive ecosystem which acknowledges and eliminates racial and cultural bias. This is accomplished by dismantling policies that restricts access to capital, prevents wealth creation, promotes incarceration, and limits training and education. We seek to create a diverse and inclusive Chattanooga that drives business development, influences regional competitiveness, and stimulates innovation.
Read more and sign the pledge here. More than 75 CEOs have signed so far!