Promoting an Inclusive Work Environment

Because our work is devoted to improving communities, Freese and Nichols is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in our business. We support our employees, and we are committed to policies and business practices that recognize individual worth and promote fairness and equality. Additionally, we are here to help our clients reach their goals for serving all their citizens and customers.

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Our Values Drive Our Behaviors

Our company’s LEADS values serve as the foundation of our behaviors. While all of our values encompass an aspect of diversity, equity and inclusion, Engaging as Family, Acting with Integrity, and Serving Always are three critical components of our values and create the base for our civic and corporate responsibility. We value the worth and dignity of all people, and we seek a diversity of skills, talents and viewpoints in our workforce.

We want to be transparent about our diversity and inclusion activities, including our efforts in recruitment, hiring, and promotion of our staff; as well as, mentoring and partnering with small, minority and woman-owned firms.

Our value of Learn Continuously means we embrace ways to better ourselves, our company, and our communities. We enlist employee feedback to understand what we can do to further our diversity and inclusion goals, and how we can best educate our employees and gain input for additional improvement.

Read more in our Equal Opportunity Employer Policy Statement


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Supplier Diversity

Freese and Nichols values our partners, subconsultants and vendors and view them as essential collaborators in delivering successful projects to our clients and their constituents. We choose to work with firms who share our company values: adhering to ethical business practices, providing excellent client service, and committing to long-term, mutually beneficial relationships.

FNI integrates diverse firms into our project teams in a meaningful capacity. We understand and recognize clients’ interest in using Small, M/W/DBE and HUB partners, and we have the experience, resources and local commitment to partner with diverse consultants and suppliers.

We actively build relationships with Small, M/W/DBE and HUB firms partners by participating in local organizations that support, develop and collaborate with small-, woman- and minority-owned businesses. We target firms in the communities that we serve, understanding each firm’s capabilities and developing personal relationships. We then carefully select our project subconsultants to provide quality services for each individual project to meet our client’s specific needs.

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Mentor-Protégé Program

As an experienced business and award-winning mentor since the 1990s, FNI aims to help small and disadvantaged-business protégés develop effective business practices and successful operations. The objective of our program is to build long-term relationships with our protégés, help them grow their business, deepen our contracting opportunities together, and serve our clients successfully.

Over the years, FNI has developed mutually beneficial relationships with Small, M/W/DBE and HUB firms, specifically through our collaborative mentor-protégé partnerships. Some of these relationships have been sponsored by our clients, and others have organically grown through our ongoing relationships. Our partnership starts by entering into an agreement that sets expectations for both parties. We set regular meetings to provide opportunities for collaboration and then work as a team with our protégés to develop a mentor-protégé plan, which can include a variety of activities such as:

  • Coordinating technical and business training with outside organizations or through our own FNUniversity (FNI’s internal training program).
  • Sharing best practices and knowledge of current industry regulations and government requirements.
  • Hosting sessions on topics such as: strategic planning, risk management, human resources, IT, sales and marketing.
  • Recommending accounting efficiencies or guidance on securing financial assistance prior to payment by the client.
  • Advising on effective project delivery, budgeting and scheduling.
  • Positioning together for opportunities that would be mutually beneficial to both parties.
  • Sharing market research or developing joint marketing materials, when appropriate.

Freese and Nichols participates in the federal All Small Mentor Protégé Agreements (ASMPP), which is approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

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