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Ernst & Young LLP strengthens its support of Gay Games 9 as the competitions commence


CLEVELANDAug. 7, 2014 – Ernst & Young LLP will expand its engagement in Gay Games 9 through volunteerism, event participation and more as the largest diverse amateur sporting event in the world takes place from Aug. 9-16, 2014, complementing the firm’s previously-announced Platinum Sponsorship. More than 30,000 visitors from around the world, including nearly 11,000 participants, will convene in Cleveland and Akron, Ohio, for this inclusive global sports and cultural festival.

“EY is proud to participate in so many different aspects of Gay Games 9,” said Karyn Twaronite, EY Global Diversity & Inclusiveness Officer and partner at Ernst & Young LLP. “EY has been recognized as a leader in LGBT inclusion for many years and participating in the Games allows us to further celebrate the value that our LGBT professionals and their allies bring to our business every day. Our investment in the Games also reinforces our global commitment to diversity and inclusiveness in a meaningful way.”

More than 100 EY professionals will volunteer during the Gay Games, providing the sole volunteer support at the DanceSport and 5K Road Race events. EY people will also be present as spectators at every ticketed event, starting with the Opening Ceremony.

Additionally, the firm will host a booth in the accreditation area at the Cleveland Convention Center from Aug. 7-9, 2014. Gay Games 9 attendees and athletes visiting the booth can learn about careers at EY; the organization’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) inclusion efforts; its professional networks, including its LGBT network that recently rebranded globally to Unity; and more. The booth will also offer more information about the EY Women Athletes Business Network, which was launched in 2013 to help elite women athletes transition from success in sport to success in business by offering a one-of-a-kind global network, related research and stories of inspiration.

“We are honored that Gay Games 9 chose Cleveland and Akron as its host cities, and our Northeast Ohio offices are excited to be in the center of the Games,” said Julie Boland, Ernst & Young LLP Cleveland Office Managing Partner. “The strong participation and volunteerism of our people signals how EY is striving to build a better working world in the Northeast Ohio community where we have operated for more than 110 years.”

The host city of Cleveland holds a significant role in the firm’s history because it is where founding partner Alwin C. Ernst opened its first EY office in 1903. Since then, the global EY organization, of which the firm is a member, has become a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services with more than 190,000 professionals in over 150 countries.

Ernst & Young LLP professionals to compete personally in the Games

In addition to these EY-driven efforts, the following Ernst & Young LLP professionals have trained to compete in various events in hopes of reaching the podium:

  • Mark Fox, an Associate Director based in Denver, Colo., will compete in mountain biking
  • Joseph Sims, an Associate Director based in San Diego, Calif., trained for flag football
  • August Jackson, an Associate Director based in McLean, Va., will run the  marathon
  • David Grieser, a Staff 2 based in Miami, Fla., will compete in swimming

Efforts enhance EY history of LGBT inclusion and support of sports

Ernst & Young LLP’s engagement in Gay Games 9 enriches EY’s track record of leading in LGBT inclusion. Through policy and practice, EY promotes a work culture that is welcoming to LGBT and other professionals. EY has been recognized for these efforts with nine consecutive 100% ratings as reported in Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) Corporate Equality Index (CEI), in addition to other accolades. Outside of its own walls, the firm also supports LGBT-related organizations including the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, The Trevor Project, the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and many others. Learn more about EY’s LGBT inclusion efforts at www.ey.com/us/LGBTA.

Additionally, the firm’s sponsorship of Gay Games 9 is another example of how EY and its member firms support a wide range of elite sports initiatives given the leadership potential they unlock. Ernst & Young LLP was also a sponsor of the 2006 Gay Games inChicago, the London bid to host the 2018 Gay Games and the 2013 National Senior Games in Cleveland. To learn more about Gay Games 9, visit www.gg9cle.com, and stay connected on Twitter by following #GG9.

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This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP, a member of the global EY organization that provides services to clients in the US.