Michelle Martin Receives 2014 Heros In Diversity Award

Congratulations to ALA Gateway Chapter member, Michelle Martin of Thompson Coburn LLP, for receiving Small Business Monthly's 2014 Heros In Diversity Award.

Michelle Martin - Considering herself blessed to work with some of the best attorneys in the legal profession as the head of professional development and diversity at Thompson Coburn LLP, when Michelle Martin recognized that her 25 years of experience could be used to better the community, she did something about it. “In order to make a difference you have to be that difference,” Martin says. “You can’t wait on someone else to do it or fix it.”

For this reason, along with the joy Martin finds while being active in the community, her list of organizations to which she gives her time is long and includes the St. Louis Minority Development Council, the St. Louis Diversity Job Fair, the National Association of African American Human Resources, Mentor St. Louis, Read Across America and was recently appointed to Governor Nixon’s Missouri Foster and Adoption Board. This is just to name a few of the ways in which Martin gives her time, supporting women, minorities and the underprivileged. “Volunteering is one of the best ways to get involved at a grass roots level to assist underrepresented minority and women-owned businesses,” she says.

Through Martin’s years of volunteering and working in professional development, she has seen more relationships being built to foster diversity in the business community. She believes getting in the door is still a challenge to minority and women business owners though. Networking, making connections and building long-lasting relationships are Martin’s steps to overcoming this obstacle. “Relationships, relationships, relationships,” she says. “Build them, nurture them, and maintain them.”

Motivated to help others achieve their goals, Martin plans to continue giving her time to community improvement. “I enjoy helping move forward a vision, goal or dream,” she says. “We have to support each other and be united to be everything that God created us to be.” 

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