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Chamber of Commerce president honored

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published September 23, 2015

 Ara Toupouzian

Ara Toupouzian


Troy Chamber of Commerce CEO and President Ara Toupouzian was among the businesses and individuals honored with a Corp! Magazine Michigan Salute to Diversity Award Sept. 10 at the MGM Grand Hotel in Detroit.

According to its website, “Corp! is a print and online business-to-business publication that features success stories, best practices and strategies that CEOs, business owners, executives and managers will find useful and relevant.”

“Corp! honors businesses and business leaders who have displayed significant achievements in diversity within their organizations or in the community,” states its website.

“We are diverse in what we are offering,” Toupouzian said. “We’ve got diversity in our membership. Whatever we plan, we plan with that in mind. I think we do a lot of good work here. I look at it as recognition for the chamber. As the only chamber person that won, it speaks volumes to the work that we do.”

Other award winners in the Business Diversity Leader category included Detroit Department of Neighborhoods Manager Rico Razo, Dr. Anil Kumar and General Motors Chief Diversity Officer Ken Barrett.

The Troy companies that were honored in the Diversity Focused Company category were Iconma LLC, which provides staffing and project-based services for a number of industries; HTC Global Services, an information technology provider; and PALS International, which offers language and cross-cultural training.

Jennifer Kluge, publisher of Corp!, said the nominees are vetted by the management team, and the editorial staff selects winners. 

She noted that there were over 600 nominations from across the state and over 60 winners in all categories.

“We put out a large call for submissions,” Kluge said, adding that it’s the ninth year they’ve conducted the Michigan Salute to Diversity Award.

“We want to focus on what’s unique to the state and region. Diversity is one of our greatest assets in the state of Michigan,” she said. “It attracts people to the state and investors. Research has shown the more diverse a community is, the better the economy is. We’re trying to drive positive change in areas of strength.”