NATIONAL OFFICE – BKD CPAs & Advisors inaugural SKY Chair, Wendy Henry, led the charge in helping BKD’s focus on inclusivity and diversity since 2014. The SKY initiative is one of the ways BKD has worked to build a work environment where unique perspectives are valued. With Henry’s May 31 retirement date on the horizon, Kansas City Managing Partner (MP) Rachel Dwiggins has agreed to serve as BKD’s next SKY Chair. Dwiggins will serve a four-year term in this role starting June 1.
Henry and Dwiggins have worked closely together in recent years, and Henry said she is thrilled to pass this opportunity on to Dwiggins. “I’ve admired and respected Rachel for many years. She has supported SKY from the beginning in many ways, including being an office Champion and serving as a Sponsor to a Protégé,” Henry said. “Rachel’s thoughtful determination and strong leadership skills make her a natural fit to take SKY to the next level.”
Dwiggins said she is equally excited to assume the chair role and appreciates the path that Henry has forged to this point. Henry’s success as SKY Chair may be best measured by the significant increase in the number of women leaders in BKD’s partner/managing director pipeline since SKY was unveiled.
“Wendy has done a fabulous job of creating and laying the groundwork for our SKY initiative. We have come a long way and I look forward to continuing and expanding upon what Wendy has built,” said Dwiggins.
CEO-elect Tom Watson emphasizes that, unlike many projects BKD undertakes, “there is not a well-defined ‘end point’ with SKY. Instead, we want to target a mindset of continuous improvement that is focused on the real business case for why this is important for BKD. Rachel is passionate about ensuring the business case for SKY is understood by all and is ready to further enhance our emphasis on inclusion and diversity at BKD.”
Dwiggins will work closely with BKD’s Management Committee to be sure they are appropriately considering SKY concepts as they deliberate key decisions. Dwiggins’ role as MP will give her the important perspective to enable her to provide valuable insights.
“There’s a clear business case for fostering a culture of inclusion and diversity, with research showing better overall performance for companies that live these values. We need to continue to focus on how we can further enhance and expand our current efforts,” said Dwiggins.