Diversity and Inclusion in the Corridor

Diversity and Inclusion in the Corridor

CEDAR RAPIDS — Anthony Arrington, Karl Cassell, Nick Ford and Reggie Ward are four hometown guys trying to make a difference in their community.

While their careers and lives took them in different directions over the years, the four Cedar Rapids natives converged in July when they founded Top Rank Staffing, an executive job search and recruitment agency that focuses on diversity and inclusion.

Arrington, who has experience in the fields of not-for-profit fundraising and human-resources recruiting, was working for a national staffing agency when he observed the lack of diversity in the leadership ranks of the companies he supported.

“At every company I go talk to, nobody looks like me,” said Arrington, who is black. “There aren’t a lot of women, either, unless they’re in HR roles.”

Cassell, whose has spent his professional life working with underrepresented communities in Iowa and Maryland, most recently as president and CEO of Horizons in Cedar Rapids, shared similar concerns.

“One thing that always resonated with me serving on boards where I was the only African-American in the room was how to get more minorities on boards and engaged in the community,” he said. “It starts with having leadership roles in their companies.”

Last June, Arrington and Cassell discussed their shared concerns and what they could do to increase the representation of minorities and women in leadership positions. A few days later, Arrington got a call from Ford, a retired Navy officer, who said he was thinking about starting a recruiting firm.

Read the full article here. Thanks to Deborah Neyens and the Gazette.

Photo credit: Nick Ford (from left), Anthony Arrington and Karl Cassell of Top Rank Staffing meet at the NAACP offices in Cedar Rapids on Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. Together with Reggie Ward, the four men founded the company to attempt to fill a gap in representation of minorities and women in the nation’s workforce. They offer diversity-focused staffing and consulting services for any size of business. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)