Cheryl Docler apologizes if she ‘smells like salami’
But hey, it’s hard to find employees these days.
Doelker owns nine Jimmy John locations – five in Livonia – and chairs the Livonia Chamber of Commerce. She said she spends most of her afternoon helping her staff through the lunch rush these days.
She said she takes diversity and inclusion very seriously, which is what drives her both personally and professionally. You can see this welcoming spirit in the game. Most walked out of her store at 13453 Middlebelt Road on the afternoon of September 9. The remaining 13 had sandwiches in hand and genuine smiles on their faces.
“As a business owner, it’s important to me that everyone feels welcome, not only in my organization, but with my clients,” she said, adding that she was not speaking on behalf of Jimmy John’s as a whole. “The respect and harmony we try to provide is important to me.”
Doelker advocates for the Chamber of Commerce to help its members demonstrate to customers that they are inclusive businesses, which is now a reality. Business owners attending the Chamber of Commerce’s September meeting. The 22 Western Wayne Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Experience will receive a window sticker that reads “Everyone is welcome.” Participants in November’s 3 inclusive roundtable will also get one.
“‘Everyone is welcome.’ It’s a simple enough concept, but if nothing else, it makes people think about being more inclusive and learning more about others,” Livonia Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Dan West said.
West said his group, which has 960 members, has been promoting inclusion since 2016. Given Livonia’s reputation as a former sunset town, members of the chamber felt it was important to focus on inclusivity, he said. That reputation was recently revisited when a black woman claimed she was discriminated against by a bank in the city when she brought in her casino winnings. The bank denies any wrongdoing.
“Livonia has a history; society has not necessarily been the most inclusive,” West said. “Our business community does want to be seen as inclusive.”
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West said the initiative has nothing to do with the nondiscrimination ordinance proposed by Mayor Maureen Miller Brosnan more than a year ago. The ordinance needs to be approved by the Livonia City Council. But the nonpartisan committee has yet to formally discuss the proposal, but most of its members have expressed concerns about the proposed regulations.
West said the chamber is also nonpartisan, and while it endorses the concept of nondiscrimination ordinances, it does not endorse specific policies. Hospitality is good for business, he said.
“City councils make laws. We encourage best practices,” West said. “Our focus is to encourage our business community to use best practices so their businesses can be the best they can be.”
Dork said she was looking forward to her business putting up the stickers.
“This place is full of signage, right? I recognize the power of signage,” she said. “It’s part of our brand. You can put all this stuff on paper, but unless you put up a sign, the customer can’t see it. I hope it conveys what’s already in our brochure.”
Contact reporter Shelby Tankersley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 248-305-0448.Follow her on Twitter @shelby_tankk.