Seattle waterfront

A Letter From Our CEO


More than ever before, people across the country have been standing up in the face of injustice and systemic racism afflicting our nation. I felt compelled to write on this subject because I am deeply saddened by these unacceptable acts of violence that occurred. My heartfelt condolences go out to their families, and every other family that has had to endure the pain from similar acts of violence, discrimination, and hatred.

Columbia Hospitality has been guided by our values of accountability, creativity, enthusiasm, honesty, inclusion, and respect for over 25 years. Our principles of acceptance and understanding have helped us create a culture of inclusiveness within our organization, and racism has no place within our team or with any customer or partner with whom we work. We stand in solidarity and support of the Black Lives Matter movement and Stop Asian Hate with everyone who is uniting through peaceful protests, education, and action across the nation.

We are proud that our company represents a wide range of cultural backgrounds from countries all over the world and every continent except Antarctica, but we know we can and need to do better. We honor and respect varied viewpoints coming from people of different circumstances and backgrounds in our company and communities we serve.

Throughout our history, we have been focused on diversity and inclusion and feel compelled by recent events to renew our emphasis on this important subject. To that end, we have immediately formed a diversity and inclusion task force to advance specific plans outlined below. These are the first of many actions we are taking to better include people of Color in our workplace and to help end discrimination, racial injustice, and systemic racism in our community:

  1. Surveying our team members to better understand how they are doing and engage them in conversations related to discrimination, racial injustice, and systematic racism.
  2. Establishing specific demographic goals in every region in which we operate to ensure our workforce reflects the makeup of the communities we serve.
  3. Committing our Columbia Cares giving program to initiatives that support combating social injustice and systemic racism.
  4. Engaging in scholarship funding opportunities in hospitality for communities of Color.
  5. Doing our part to influence positive change in the communities we serve, such as advocating for funding initiatives to support the BIPOC community and other related programs.
  6. Enhancing our unconscious bias and anti-harassment training program for all team members.
  7. Intensifying our efforts to partner with BIPOC vendors who reflect the strength and diversity of the communities in which we serve.
  8. Recruiting more people of Color to the leadership teams of our company and properties while expanding our recruiting efforts at historically Black colleges and universities.

These are just a few first steps and many more must follow. Our actions for change will be continuous and evolving. We are committed to listening, learning, and reflecting on how we can continue to evolve in support of one another.

Thank you,

John signature

John Oppenheimer,
Founder and CEO

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