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Joan Benavidez-Sallee

“Be careful.” It’s the one thing I can always count on my Mom to say as we discuss my next work trip.

I grew up in a very open environment and we lived the phrase Celebrate Diversity. As an adult, I struggled to find a like-minded workplace. I vividly remember crying on my first day, 13 years ago, because I realized I had found my work family. Like any family, we have our ups and downs but the one thing I can depend on is being able to tell my Mom, “I don’t have to be careful.”

I know no matter what site I’m headed to or the climate of its community, I will walk through those doors and be amongst my tribe. I’m proud of the fact that we are an organization that allows everyone to be who they are and not just tolerate, but truly celebrate and rely on our difference to be successful. As a leader who works in developing other leaders, I’m humbled to be more than a story. I am Foundever. Don’t worry Mom, I’m good.

At Foundever, we don’t just promote diversity, we embrace it! In honor of International Pride Month, we’re celebrating our uniqueness by sharing stories of pride, inclusiveness and daring to be different.

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