The Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce is set to present University of the Pacific’s business school with an inaugural award next month for their leadership and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

The GUIDE award was created as an effort for the chamber to recognize inclusive business environments in the region.

Timm Quinn, President and CEO of the chamber, said in an announcement that the awards program was created following a “deep internal look at its practices.”

“We want all businesses to know about the importance of DEI. It is a big journey and there is a lot to learn,” Quinn said. “We wanted to get the conversation going in the business community. Honoring those already doing great work is important.”

The keynote speaker at the awards event will be Sacha Joseph-Mathews, assistant dean for diversity, equity and inclusion and associate professor of marketing for Eberhardt.

She created a program, CEO’s of Color, that allowed diverse business leaders from different industries to interact with students and the community while in residence.

“Being one of the handful of business schools in this area, it is important that we play a role in knowledge development,” Joseph-Mathews said. “This award is recognition that our efforts are making an impact, and we are being seen and heard in the community for our efforts in diversity, equity and inclusion.”

Quinn cited the business school’s Westgate Center Management Certificate program, a center that provides leadership and management development to the community while making diversity, equity and inclusion training, as part of the award recognition.

“It is with great pride that Pacific is honored by the chamber for the business school’s ongoing work promoting DEI leadership in the community,” Mary Lomax-Ghirarduzzi, vice president of diversity equity and inclusion and chief diversity officer said. “Eberhardt is helping managers, business leaders and students do a better job in this very important and ongoing work, which is an essential part of Pacific’s mission.”

Caltrans District 10 and Valley Mountain Regional Center will also receive recognition at the event.

The Growing Unity Inclusion Diversity and Equity award luncheon will be held on Oct. 11 from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at the Stockton Golf & Country Club in Stockton.

Victoria Franco is a reporter based in Stockton covering San Joaquin County for Bay City News Foundation and its nonprofit news site Local News Matters. She is a Report for America corps member.

Victoria Franco is a Stockton-based reporter covering the diverse news around the Central Valley as part of the Report for America program. As a Stockton native, Franco is proud to cover stories within her community and report a variety of coverage. She is a San Jose State University alumna with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism. In her collegiate years she was Managing Editor for the Spartan Daily. From her time at the Spartan Daily she helped lead her staff to California College Media Awards and a General Excellence first place. Victoria encourages readers to email her story tips and ideas at