CBL makes diversity commitment in new partnership

Al Urbanski
Real Estate Editor & Manager
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Former Chattanooga City Attorney Wade Hinton will help CBL crafts its DEI policy.

A major mall owner has taken a bold step toward diversity by hiring a former mayoral candidate from its hometown of Chattanooga, Tenn.

CBL Properties has partnered with Wade Hinton and his Hinton & Company to aid the company’s efforts to help guide its environmental, social, and governance initiatives. In 2021, Hinton, the former City Attorney of Chattanooga, finished third among 15 candidates for the city’s top job. He also served previously as a general counsel for Volkswagen Group of American and held corporate roles directing inclusion and diversity programs.

“At CBL we are always working to enhance our company culture,” said CEO Stephen Lebovitz, “We are excited to partner with Hinton & Company to help us with our efforts to champion inclusion and attract, build, and retain a more diverse team. We are also excited to have made additional progress on our ESG program through this partnership.”

In 2021, the owner-operator of 99 properties across 24 states formed a committee called CBL Community to better define its diversity, equity, and inclusion policies and hired Hinton & Company to conduct one-on-one interviews and focus groups. Hinton now will work with the committee and CBL’s executive leadership on creating a DEI strategy and roadmap.

The Hinton & Company website declares that it is in the business of “helping organizations move beyond words and putting inclusion into action.”

CBL has adopted an enterprise-level ESG policy and formed an ESG Team that reports to and has oversight from the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee of the company’s board of directors.