Chad Hodde, volunteer and leader in the AVID employee resource group leads “Ramp Up” events and advocates for an inclusive culture
Chad Hodde is a Data Scientist for Integrated Supply Chain at Whirlpool Corporation, and is also a hobbyist and builder who volunteers time with the Awareness for Visible and Invisible Disabilities Employee Resource Group (AVID ERG). Hodde, an employee at Whirlpool Corp. for 18 years, got involved with AVID five years ago. He said he joined AVID because he is a person living with Bi Polar II, a type of bipolar disorder characterized by depressive and hypomanic episodes.
People deserve to be respected and valued, whether they have a visible disability, an invisible disability, or no disability.”
Now, he’s a Community Engagement leader within AVID, focused on the Ramp Up program. The Ramp Up program at Disability Network Southwest Michigan helps people connect to resources to construct ramps for people needing assistance. Ramps provide greater independence and safety for people with mobility disabilities, and enable them to live in their own homes.
“We’ve started something impactful and I want to keep this progress going,” Hodde says. “Our ERGs are one of the things that set our company apart. AVID and the Ramp Up Program in particular are so rewarding for those who volunteer for the program.”
Hodde is passionate about serving the community and also raising awareness for mental well-being. He hopes to build a more inclusive culture that allows people with mental illnesses to be open and supported, without the fear of stigma at work.
“I encourage others to think about what the other person is going through,” Hodde says. “For example, Bi Polar II is something that affects me everyday, but you wouldn’t know it by only looking at me. People deserve to be respected and valued, whether they have a visible disability, an invisible disability, or no disability.”`
In the month of October, the AVID ERG is celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month in support of employees and to continue raising awareness for inclusive employment practices. To learn more about working at Whirlpool Corp. visit whirlpoolcareers.com.