Hall Dining
This letter is in response to Brian Duff’s “Hall Dining” article from April 28, 2006, edition of the Portland Phoenix. We are pleased that in his article, Mr. Duff recognized the quality dining program that Sodexho operates at the University of New England in Biddeford. However, I am compelled to address Mr. Duff’s comments about Sodexho and the company’s diversity efforts.

At Sodexho, diversity is a strategic business imperative and an ethical and social responsibility. Over the past couple of years, Sodexho has received numerous awards from notable organizations and publications that have recognized our successes in the area of diversity. In 2006 alone, Sodexho was named to DiversityInc’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity for 2006 (ranking number 14 on the list of more than 200 respondents) named a Top Company for African-American Graduates by Black Collegian magazine, a Top Employer for People with Disabilities by DiversityInc, a Top Company for Women Executives by DiversityInc, among the Corporate 100 List of Best Places for Latinos to Work by Hispanic magazine, and a Top Company for Asian Americans by Asian Enterprise magazine.

I am proud of Sodexho’s culture of inclusion that embraces and respects the diversity of our workforce, our clientele and the communities in which we live, work, and serve. I invite Mr. Duff to read Sodexho’s most recent annual Diversity & Inclusion report that outlines, in detail, Sodexho’s commitment to diversity and provides demographic data about the diversity of our management population. It is available at www.sodexhousa.com/diversity

Jaya Koilpillai-Bohlmann
Vice president of public relations, Sodexho
Gaithersburg, Maryland


Best Local Politician?
John Eder, our “Best Local Politician”? (See "The Best," April 21.) Hmmm... As you note, John is certainly very likable, but I would be hard-pressed to name anything that he has championed and achieved in Augusta as my representative.

Is likeability all we expect from our elected officials? I think not. Portland faces many challenges and thoughtful, persuasive leadership on issues of importance could make a great difference to the health and vitality of our city.

A recent Al Diamon column also seemed to assume John’s reelection, even though November is months away. (See "Are You Dead Yet?," March 31.)

In fact, Democrat Jon Hinck presents a very strong, viable option to John. I look forward to a spirited race, with a real focus on ideas and accomplishments. Let’s not elect the winner until we have all cast our ballots.

Anne B. Pringle

Editor's note: Eder won his title in our election, by votes from our readers.


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