Perdue celebrates employees, cultures with Diversity Day

MILFORD — Employees at the Perdue facility in Milford enjoyed more than a typical break from work June 10 as they celebrated their co-workers during the sixth annual Diversity Day.

“It’s really a great opportunity to improve teamwork among all of us,” unit leader Edgardo Torres said.

“With such a diverse group, we like to know what everyone is like. This is our main event as a facility.”

The event started inside during its first years, but organizers have since taken the party outside to allow for more participation among employees and community members.

Employees from a variety of cultures created displays, demonstrations and even authentic foods to share with others.

Kenila Pierre, from Haiti, gladly shared information from her home country at her booth during the event, including must- see attractions and a flag party, a celebration to honor the day Haiti gained its independence from France in 1803.

 Jim Perdue enjoys dancing to “Lean on me” with Perdue employees at the Milford facility during its sixth annual Diversity Day held all-day Friday. The Chronicle/Jennifer Antonik

Jim Perdue enjoys dancing to “Lean on me” with Perdue employees at the Milford facility during its sixth annual Diversity Day held all-day Friday. The Chronicle/Jennifer Antonik

She also offered a spread of foods traditionally offered in Haiti, such as black rice.

“I had to bring black rice. If you don’t have black rice at your party, you don’t have a party,” she said joyfully.

Everyone from participants to employees headed into work and other visitors such as Milford’s Mayor Bryan Shupe, City Manager Eric Norenberg and members of the Milford Police Department couldn’t look away as some participants demonstrated dances from their own cultures.

Even Jim Perdue himself was asked to joined the festivities as employees sang, “Lean on me,” “I’m not as talented as them,” Mr. Perdue joked, “ but it’s great. This event gets better every year.”

Perdue COO Randy Day said the event is unique to the Milford facility, but he hopes it expands to other areas in the future.

“I think this is wonderful. I love this. I wish my children were here so they could celebrate and see the diversity. It’s just a great celebration. Not every operation has the diversity this one has,” he said.

At least nine different ethnicities are present within the Milford Perdue facility, according to Derrick Mangum from the human resources department.

Jennifer Antonik can be reached at mc@newszap.com

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