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The Growing Trend of Working on the Road

January 27th, 2022 by ashleyv


One of the outcomes of confronting a global pandemic has been the realization that for many, alternative ways of working and living are possible. For others, a remote lifestyle is even preferable to achieving a better work-life balance.

For those with the ability and desire to go fully remote, a growing number are deciding to hit the road full time. Read on to learn about this shift, why many newcomers are choosing to explore the nomadic lifestyle, and how it has impacted the RV industry.

Changing Attitudes

As of 2021, only 1.5% of all RVers lead a full-time RV lifestyle, but advancements in tools, shifts in remote work attitudes, and changing family goals across the country indicate that this number will soon be on the rise.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, less than 10% of the U.S. labor force worked entirely remotely, but over the course of the lockdown, nearly half of all workers made the switch to work from home. Looking ahead, projections estimate up to a quarter of our country’s workforce plans to remain fully remote in the long term with many more expecting to work remotely for a significant portion of their time.

These shifts not only create new possibilities for workers and families in the RV community, but they’re broadening the perception of full-time RVers beyond the traditional workamping and seasonal roles that have been a predominant income source for these individuals.

The demand for remote work in graphic design, marketing, writing, customer service, and other knowledge industries is at an all-time high. Globally, 16% of companies operate fully remotely as of 2021, while over 4.7 million people work from home at least half of their week in hybrid arrangements.

As of April 2021, over 60% of working parents want to work remotely full-time, and 32% prefer a hybrid work model. For many parents, the idea of working from the road is both appealing and possible when it previously hadn’t been an option.

With more parents choosing to work from the road, we’ve also seen a rise in remote schooling, or “roadschooling.” For some, what began as a temporary fix when districts opted for virtual learning has become a long-term arrangement with families enjoying the flexibility and benefits of fully remote schooling while hitting the road for adventure-learning, too.

Benefits to Living and Working from an RV

Many families choosing to go fully remote hope to achieve a healthier work-life balance and expand their family’s experiences and educational opportunities. Beyond these goals, there are many other factors driving the decision to live and work from an RV.

Reduced bills and more financial freedom
For those looking to lower their monthly spending, embracing the full-time RV lifestyle can be more affordable than traditional lodging arrangements. Selling off unnecessary possessions and a personal residence, or completing the end of a lease, will reduce the number of bills one is responsible for each month. Without a mortgage or rent payment and monthly utilities like gas and electric, full-timers can begin a mobile lifestyle with only a few recurring bills.

Travel the country while earning a living
One of the most desirable perks to the fully remote RV life is the opportunity to travel more than is possible with a traditional 9-5 career. Additionally, full time RVers love the flexibility of a day-to-day remote schedule and find it offers a higher quality of life and overall work-life balance.

Travel the country in order to earn a living
Beyond merely gaining the ability to work and travel simultaneously, many Americans are finding ways to incorporate RVing and the nomadic lifestyle into their work directly. The expansion of the RV industry and lifestyle over the last several years has cultivated an ever-growing network of professional writers, bloggers, photographers, and content creators, all devoted to documenting the RV life and helping others get started.

Broadened worldview
Adding travel to homeschooling or virtual learning creates opportunities for students to live a life of limitless field trips. Full-time RVers with families feel that road life allows children to make connections between what they’re reading about and what they’re seeing on visits to national parks, museums, and historical sites. They also find it offers a more flexible learning schedule and lets students move at a faster or slower pace fit for their individual needs.

Finding support in a growing community
As remote work and roadschooling increases in popularity, the community and resources continue to diversify. There’s a growing support network of families sharing their stories, lessons, and tips across blogs and social media, most of which have no plans to return to traditional schooling or in-person work any time soon.

Impacts on RV Products & New Features 

The growing Work from the Road movement has rippled across the RV industry as workers adapt to a new lifestyle. Because RVs can have restricted spaces, manufacturers are introducing new products and features to help families and remote workers capitalize on the layout inside a mobile office and living space.

Here are just a few examples of new and changing products across the industry:

  • ITC’s new MOD Leg Table System allows customers to mount their table in multiple positions. It can act as a dining table, desk, or workspace, seamlessly changing positions to make space for a variety of needs.
  • RV manufacturers are creating models and adaptations specifically outfitted for the full-time RV worker. Features in these mobile home offices include ergonomic seating options, improved WiFi, and soundproofing.
  • For workers who still have a “homebase” but are embracing their RVs as mobile offices, converted camper vans are increasing in popularity, allowing customers to take off for a week at a time while maintaining their work schedule and needs.

Many RV manufacturers were exploring more extensive remote-work options prior to Covid-19, but the pandemic expedited these plans across the industry. With trends in remote work projected to maintain relevance as workers continue to work from home, the RV home office market is expected to continue evolving with these customer needs.

2021 In Review: How Recreational Activities Continue to Evolve

January 3rd, 2022 by ashleyv

2021 presented new and ongoing challenges as we continued to weather the storm of the COVID-19 pandemic, navigate the resulting global supply chain disruptions which caused product shortages across the board, and grappled with the seemingly perpetual uncertainty of what the future holds.

Through the ups and downs of the last year, there’s no denying that things are changing—and that goes for where we work and how we spend our leisure time, too. Let’s take a look at some of the ways our work and recreational behaviors have continued to evolve across the country during 2021.

Notable RV Industry Statistics for 2021

  • 11.2 million households own an RV, evenly split between individuals under and over the age of 55.
  • There has been significant growth in ownership amongst 18-to-34-year-olds who now make up 22% of the market.
  • A staggering 9.6 million households have plans to purchase an RV within the next five years.
  • Those intending to purchase an RV plan to use it a median of 25 days each year, representing the changing views towards remote and non-traditional workspaces.

Notable Boat Industry Statistics for 2021

  • The boating industry has been in growth mode since 2012, hitting a 13-year high in 2020 and continuing to spike throughout 2021.
  • Boat sales were up 30% through March 2021 compared to the previous year’s average.
  • First-time boat buyers are expanding diversity across the market, averaging younger in age and being 1.5 times more likely to be women than any other buying group.
  • Entry-level boat styles including personal watercrafts, wake sport boats, freshwater fishing boats, and pontoons are all driving record retail sales, highlighting the trend in younger, more active first-time buyers entering the market.

Though trends were already pointing towards industry growth in both RVing and boating before the start of the global pandemic, the reality of life with COVID-19 has only furthered families’ desires for outdoor recreational activities and quality time spent with loved ones. These market shifts don’t seem to be slowing down any time soon, either.

With the continued prevalence of remote work and flexible schedules, more individuals and families in the RV market are exploring the ideas of RV-based office space, home schooling, or long-term travel lifestyles going into the new year.

As for the water, boating and fishing continues to hold the top spot as the largest recreational activity in the U.S. and approximately 100 million Americans go boating each year. Heading into 2022, the market is expected to keep growing and diversifying as people continue to discover the mental health benefits, joys, and freedoms of getting out on the water.

The recent global supply shortage has also shifted the types of RV and boating products consumers have access to. Rather than waiting months for new items, many people are choosing to buy used alternatives. By purchasing used, families can get into a unit quickly at a lower cost, then update or customize later to meet their specific needs. Owners are embracing upgrades—such as additional lighting, tables to support work, or bling in the form of a new battery-lit table—to help prolong the life and value of their investment.

Despite challenges for many across the last year, outdoor recreation is still on the rise and the future looks hopeful when it comes to getting outside, exploring new ways of living, and spending time with loved ones.

Sources: National Marine Manufacturers Association, RV Industry Association

ITC Chooses Michigan CASA as its 2021 Giving Tuesday Recipient

November 29th, 2021 by ashleyv

#GivingTuesday has become a global generosity movement and ITC is joining the power of people and organizations to transform communities. ITC has chosen Michigan CASA  (Court Appointed Special Advocate) as our Giving recipient for 2021 Giving Tuesday and we invite you to support this wonderful non-profit with us by purchasing a gift for your Boater or RVer or yourself from our ITC Manufacturer’s Select® shop. ITC will donate 20% of sales from Tuesday, November 30 to Friday, December 3 in order to help Michigan CASA ( help provide CASAs to the over 1300 abused and neglected children in the family court system in Michigan. Below is a letter from the president of Michigan CASA, with a story of how a CASA can change a child’s life path. Michigan CASA is part of the national organization with dedicated state programs, so if you would like to learn more about the organization visit

A letter from Ms. Patty Sabin, President of Michigan CASA:

Patty Sabin, President/CEO of Michigan CASA

The holidays are upon us and for many, that means thoughts of family gatherings, tables filled with goodies, mittens and hats, and presents peeking out from under decorated holiday trees. For many, joy and thankfulness abound.

But in my role, I know all too well that this time of the year can bring sadness, stress, and incredible difficulty for many children across our state. The idea of happy family gatherings, food-filled tables, or presents under trees is a distant or forgotten dream – and for some unthinkable.

I want to share with you the turnaround story of Stephanie. As an energetic younger girl who would romp in the yard, her round face was once framed by silky, curled hair.

A neighbor noticed over time that Stephanie’s hair had begun to change. Now seven, she would slowly walk the sidewalk, shoulders hunched, her boots barely lifting from the ground. Her once-vibrant locks now hung in lank, sparse wisps. Concerned, the neighbor called for help and a social worker was dispatched.

And it was a good thing: Under the winter coat, Stephanie was found to be covered in bruises and scars and wouldn’t speak but an occasional whispered word. A doctor found evidence of sexual abuse , malnutrition, untreated bone fractures, and severe developmental delays. Stephanie’s parents claimed to know nothing saying, “she’s clumsy, falls a lot, pulls at her hair.”

While Stephanie’s life was far from right side up, that day – just weeks before Christmas – it was suddenly turned even further upside down when she became a ward of the court and sent to live in a foster home.

Although now living in a stranger’s home, Stephanie did end up receiving a holiday blessing that year. It showed up in the form of Margot, a CASA, or Court Appointed Special Advocate, who dedicated herself to learning more about her young charge and helping the fragile little girl find the very best outcome for a much brighter future.

While Stephanie didn’t have many presents under that foster home tree, she did begin to realize that in Margot, she had gotten a gift: an advocate – someone she could trust, would listen to her, and speak on her behalf. And for Stephanie, that meant the world.

In the ensuing months, Margot learned a lot about Stephanie and her family: her younger brother had also been removed from the home; her “father” was not a biological parent; and Stephanie’s developmental delays had become obvious to teachers a full year prior.

With Margot’s advocacy, a case was brought against the parents with a recommendation that neither Stephanie nor her brother be returned to their mother. The man Stephanie thought was her father was convicted and sent to jail.

Today Stephanie is 10. Because of Margot’s advocacy and research, Stephanie now lives with her Aunt Cee – her biological father’s sister.

At Aunt Cee’s, Stephanie has her own room she got to help decorate. The blond luster of her cascading curly hair has returned. And she’s made a remarkable comeback at school, now working at grade level and exceling in English.

Margot still visits Stephanie and stands in awe of her progress. The softly spoken one-word answers Margot got when they first met have blossomed into vibrant stories Stephanie tells on their visits.

Last Christmas, Stephanie helped decorate the large tree in Cee’s living room. As the days counted down to December 25, Stephanie saw presents peeking out with her name on them. A smile lit up her round face – a reaction she was experiencing more these days.

And just in time for Christmas this year, Stephanie will get another present when her adoption with Aunt Cee becomes official.

CASA’s like Margot make silver linings like this happen. Stephanie still has a long road ahead of her to be sure, but it’s one now paved more brightly.

There are more than 13,000 other children like Stephanie across Michigan who need caring advocates like Margot to help them find healing and recovery. These kids have seen things, heard things, and gone through things most of us can’t even begin to imagine. Many are scarred so deeply we wonder how they possibly could have survived or how they will ever find “normal.”

But I, and hundreds of CASAs across Michigan, are committed to building brighter futures for each of these children.

We will not fail them. And we can never give up. 

This season of giving, I’d like to invite you to join me in supporting CASAs across the state and to help recruit more Margots.  Will you help brighten the future for children like Stephanie – by making a purchase from one of our dedicated corporate sponsors ITC Incorporated?

Make no mistake: your support will change a child’s life. Thank you!


June 21st, 2021 by cassiel

When Lettuce Grow began to search for a lighting partner to expand their Farmstand into an indoor/outdoor, year-round product, ITC was a great fit. Drawing on years of experience working with customers to provide innovative products, ITC recognized the importance of understanding the Lettuce Grow philosophy when designing, producing, and delivering a lighting solution. Lettuce Grow’s vision is that the company will “provide families access to clean, unprocessed food” while also “decreasing transportation emissions, drastically reducing water usage, and recycling ocean-bound plastics from places that lack recycling initiatives”.

Understanding the driving force behind the Farmstand and the Lettuce Grow mission gave ITC the essential knowledge to take the Lettuce Grow light design concept and engineer a final solution that was consistent with their values and also effective at advancing plant growth.

As an expert in horticultural lighting with ongoing scientific studies on the effects of various LED light spectrums on plant growth, ITC had detailed, validated data to apply to the light spectrum choice. ITC was also able to bring to bear our experience in designing lights that meet strict certification an d quality standards for wet and harsh environments, such as vehicle undercarriage lights, underwater lights, marine lighting, and external RV lighted products. Our expertise in sourcing materials from a variety of vendors and managing quality processes ensured we could meet the required material and quality standards. Because ITC has an established assembly facility and sophisticated supply chain, we were able to help minimize the carbon footprint associated with production, packaging, and shipping.

The final product, Glow Rings™, has received glowing reviews from Lettuce Grow customers. The Lettuce Grow light design concept became a fabulous success story, with comments such as “Beautiful and effective and efficient!”, “Best lighting available.”, “Beyond expectations!”, and “Easy to assemble, everything growing”.

Interested in learning how ITC’s Contract Manufacturing capabilities can help your business develop your unique product solutions and bring a cutting edge to your business? Email us at


June 21st, 2021 by cassiel


ITC has a long, successful history of partnering with our customers to provide contract manufacturing services that add value. Our highly progressive, sophisticated product development processes enable us to provide innovative solutions at any point from initial concept sketch to fully developed drawings for corporations ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies. Core to our contract manufacturing process is attentiveness to the customers’ needs and wishes, and then translating that information into customer specific solutions.
During each stage of product development, ITC’s engineering team focuses on function, aesthetics, material, manufacturability, installation needs, and design enhancement. Our quality team works collaboratively with the engineering team to ensure processes are followed, tolerances are met, testing is completed, and the products meets all the customer’s requirements. These teams coordinate scientific spectrum arrangement, environmental testing, code submissions, and third-party certifications and listings acquisition.


In addition to design and development, we have specialized teams with expertise in each aspect of the supply chain, including material selection, product manufacturing, and delivery of goods. ITC’s wholly owned manufacturing and assembly facilities, which include an ISO-9001-2015 certified production team, have expertise in LED board and fixture design as well as manufacturing lighting fixtures and electronic products. Sourcing materials and components and evaluating, auditing, and overseeing component vendors are part of ITC’s everyday processes, as is navigating the complex logistics of importing and shipping product. For manufacturing technology outside the expertise of our factories, ITC has both a network of vendor partners and the expertise in sourcing new finished-goods vendors.

ITC has successfully provided customer focused product solutions for varied customers in diverse markets by flexing our capabilities to meet the needs of the customer.

Interested in learning more about how ITC’s Contract Manufacturing capabilities can develop and deliver your unique ideas to your customers? Contact our experienced sales team today.

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How Millennials are changing the RV Landscape during COVID

March 22nd, 2021 by ryans


Historically, baby boomers have been the primary group affiliated with RVs. More recently, we’ve seen the industry shift sharply towards a younger demographic, more specifically— Millennials. Millennials, as we have all heard think about life, careers, and family a lot differently than the post-war Boomers. They are more diverse and have split from the older generation on issues such as immigration reform, criminal justice reform and environmental protection. Perhaps the biggest split is the recent fascination with “Van Life” or “Living on the Road” and they are rapidly becoming the largest demographic of full-time RVers. The number of people that consider RVs as their primary home are growing quickly with the ability to travel, work, and live on the go while pulling your home with you to places of interest, beauty, and adventure is a big draw for many millennials searching for freedom.


Millennials are known for their digital savviness and ability to use technology to stay connected 24/7, especially with the continued functional increases of cell phones. Social media, Teams/Zoom, the Cloud and file sharing are all tools used by Millennials for work, family, and social connections. All of this connectivity allows for work to happen anywhere and anytime, providing the freedom to make work fit around life v life fitting around work.


Whether Covid was a motivator or the last straw, it certainly spurred a migration to outdoor/RV living. Ditching the stick and brick house for a travel trailer may sound very appealing to the Millennial but there are hurdles to get over. The first hurdle might be the Baby Boomer parents. Having worked hard for their whole life to buy a house, raise a family, and now buy their Class A to hit the road for retirement, boomers are struggling with the notion of their kids not following these traditional life goals. Millennials are either skipping home ownership entirely or are selling their starter homes and using the equity to fund RV living and many are hitting the road with their kids in tow. Although, kids may present the second challenge, many people feel home school, or trailer school in this case, is a great alternative to online school or dealing with the mask debate. Juggling space for kids’ lessons along with space for a work zoom call, and don’t forget a pet, all within a tight interior of an RV presents challenge number three. On the upside, heading to the warmer states makes the great outdoors a wide-open learning environment where life, nature, and science lessons are plentiful for the whole family.


As with many things, Millennials are setting their own path and defining what is the right way for them to follow their dreams. Millennials are reported by several media outlets such as USA Today, The New York Post and Bloomberg to show the highest increase of RV ownership in the past three years. So, move over Baby Boomers and make way in the national parks, camp grounds, boondocks, and back roads cause the Millennials have a new thought on the American Dream.


  • U.S. Census Bureau reports that Millennials now outnumber the former largest population group – the Baby Boomers, plus they are not only the largest population group they are the largest group of campers, according to the Camping Report.
  • You don’t have to buy new – you can renovate! There are lots of deals on used motorhomes and trailers – you just have to have a good understanding of your needs. Such as, is an exterior shower important? Yes, it is great for the pets, kids, and muddy trail shoes. Should you replace the old overhead lights with newer LEDS? Also a yes – you will appreciate the energy savings and the consistent light color with new LEDS.
  • ITC Incorporated has been a trusted supplier to the RV and Marine manufacturers, plus 6 other industries for nearly 40 years. We support RVers and Boaters with our replacement and upgrade parts available at

ITC President Mike Camarota’s Review of 2020

March 2nd, 2021 by ryans

The last twelve months has been a very strange year that will be remembered for a long time. The last twelve months seem like 36 months. So much has changed; so much has happened. It is almost hard to remember what it was like in January of 2020. Do you remember the Australian wildfires? It was considered the biggest international event of 2020 at the time; now it is a footnote.

COVID changed everything.  First, it attacked China and we watched in awe and fear as the government shut down cities and provinces.  We sympathized with the sick and mourned with families that lost loved ones.  We believed at first that the virus could be contained to region, but we were so wrong.  COVID expanded beyond Wuhan and millions of people were put in lockdown throughout China.

The lockdowns were not enough to stop the spread.  Next, COVID hit Europe and then many other countries including the United States.  Each of us will remember forever where we were when the world stopped or at least slowed down a lot!  Dominoes fell one by one!  Sports, restaurants, events, weddings, businesses, states and countries all underwent some form of lockdown.  New words entered our vocabularies like social distancing,  quarantine and virtual.  Misinformation or at least lack of information ran rampant. Some countries like China recovered more quickly but others like the United States limped through all of 2020 with staggering death and hospitalization rates.

Still, as we return from Chinese New Year there is hope.  Death and hospitalization rates have dropped significantly in the past month in the United States and few cases in China are reported.  Vaccinations are starting to roll out even if they are slower than desired.  We can start to envision a life beyond the tightest grips of COVID, not completely free of it, but at least not as fully constrained by it.

One major disruption caused by COVID lingers and that is our ability to connect with friends and family! Please look to your right and to your left.  These are your ITC friends and family.  These are the people that have helped you and us weather the tumultuous events of 2020.

Our business over the past year was filled with rush, stop, slow, surge, delays, overtime, pressure, and anxiety!  Lots of anxiety!  We went from nearly zero shipments in February 2020 to 19 containers in January and the first week of February 2021.  As the demand for our products surged, we expanded our China labor force by over 100 people. Today, we have over 360 members in the ITC family with more than 250 in China. Through diligence and commitment by the people in this room, we were able to produce a record amount of product during the last half of 2020.  Further, we were able to make this product with shorter lead times and at the lowest warranty record in our history.

Our vendors were also instrumental in this production success story.  They invested in material and people resources to meet the surge in demand.  Even though the surge was not forecasted and every forecast we provided seemed too low, the vendors stuck with us and did everything they could to improve their processes to meet the quality and on-time requirements.  We could not have done it without them.

What’s next, I don’t know! The current ITC outlook is very good.  Demand in the Marine and RV market is very strong as many Americans are looking for family social distant activities.  Most companies in these industries have orders extending out until November 2021.  Besides office furniture, our other markets are also growing nicely.  We expect 2021 to be our strongest revenue year yet.  However, 2020 has taught us one lasting lesson.  We do not know what will happen next.  We need to prepare each day and be ready to adjust.  I am just glad to figure it out with team that is resilient as you!

I do not know why it is or whether it should really be so, but I find that the holiday season in the USA and have been told the same is true for Chinese New Year, generates a certain attitude among people. Regardless of religion, culture or country, people are just a little kinder to one another and recognize more often the good in our neighbors, friends and co-workers.  We also fondly remember those far away and who have been lost and there certainly has been a lot of loss this year.  At the end of last Chinese New Year all we could see ahead of us was more loss in the form of life or business interruption. This abundance of loss and fear is why this Chinese New Year celebration is especially important. We both need and deserve to feel special after a year of so much anxiety.

We have responded admirably to adversity and I am proud of our team of employees and vendors. Additionally, I am inspired by a phrase uttered by recovered COVID patient in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA who said about his nurse who was the sole person with him on the pivotal night that he nearly died, “To the World we are just one person, but to one person we can be the world!”

Please remember that what you say, do and act matters in far reaching ways! Each of us can be the world to those around us!  It takes just one interaction! My family is blessed to share time with you. I very much look forward to the time when I can return to China and share a meal with you.  I miss you all. May you be blessed and may you be a blessing to others.

Rachel Perales, ITC Customer Care Receives Honor from Newmar

November 13th, 2020 by ryans

Rachel Perales was presented the 2020 Customer Service Award from Newmar. Newmar is one of ITC’s largest RV customers and has been using ITC’s products in their RV’s for over 20 years.  The award, presented via video last week, was a big surprise for Rachel.

Rachel has spent her career as a customer service professional and has been an integral part of the ITC Customer Care team for the past seven years.  She feels this prestigious award should be shared with the whole company, including those she works closely with each day; purchasing, sales, production, and her Customer Care teammates.

Thank you Rachel for representing ITC with such great Customer Care!

Read the RV Business article recognizing Rachel for her outstanding dedication to Customer Care.

ITC Incorporated Continues its Growth Path

November 3rd, 2020 by cassiel

ITC Incorporated is enthusiastic about the surging demands in our markets and we are doing everything possible to keep pace with the dynamic requirements of our customers, provide the quality products our customers expect, and continue to develop innovative high-quality products.

ITC continues growing, despite the uncertainty brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since returning to work from the government mandated shutdown, ITC has been ramping up production as quickly as possible to meet the surging consumer demand our customers have been experiencing for COVID-19 friendly activities.  Our dedicated teams in both the USA and China allow ITC to provide a continuous, around-the-clock work force, thus providing our customers highly responsive solutions.

ITC has increased the capacity of our internal production lines, which manufacture LED and other electronic products and components, both in the USA and in China. We have expanded our production team by over 50 people since April.

ITC currently has 300 employees worldwide and plans to increase the number of employees to nearly 350 in the coming months to meet the exploding demand for products. We have invested in new equipment, including extrusion machines and soldering stations, to improve output. Our Alliance Supplier Partners are similarlydedicated to meeting rising customer orders and have flexed their staffs to react as quickly as possible.

Our focus on developing innovative, high-quality products, especially in LED and other electronics, has not stopped. ITC is excited to showcase expanded product offerings this year. Our product development team has several new products nearing the launch stage which will be unveiled in the coming months. Our new linear overhead lighting, waterproof shower light, and the adjustable wall mount table leg are just a few of the exciting new products scheduled for launch in the next few months.

ITC is committed to providing the quality products our customers expect in a timely manner and to delivering innovative customer focused product solutions. As 2021 approaches, ITC continues to investment in people, equipment, and core competencies to enhance the customer experience in 2021 and beyond.

ITC Diversity Commitment

September 1st, 2020 by cassiel

A Message from ITC President, Mike Camarota

In early June, I reaffirmed ITC’s commitment to diversity and inclusion as well as our aspirations for an environment in which every individual is shown respect and dignity. Bigotry should not be tolerated in any form or place. Each person needs to feel safe and secure. People need to believe that they will have fair opportunities to succeed and that their freedoms will be protected. We sympathize with the many that do not yet feel they are respected, afforded dignity, or are safe at this time. The events in the last week related to the shooting of Jacob Blake and the reactions of members of his community and the nation at large indicate that we still have a long way to go toward achieving a society in which all people, regardless of the color of their skin, the faith they follow or gender, feel that their rights will be respected equally. Nobody expected that we would resolve race relations issues in a couple of months. Still, the recent events are a sad reminder of how far we need to go to eliminate racism and bigotry as well as limit violence in our communities.

As I watch Fortune 500 companies issue statements on diversity commitments and pro athletes use their platforms to push for change, I am left wondering what we can do to improve the situation. How can we support the pledge that I made earlier to listen to all perspectives and to support positive interactions and more constructive relations among all races and people? We do not have the resources or the platform of Microsoft or Lebron James to reach millions of people. As everyday citizens, we seemingly do not have the power to bring about police reform, end racism, or to stop protests from turning into destructive riots.

The answer came to me from one of my favorite Ted videos by Drew Dudley called Everyday Leadership. The central premise of this video is that leadership for most of us does not originate with a speech or tweet recorded by national media. Instead, it comes from everyday interactions. Even if we do not recognize the impact of these interactions, each interaction has the potential to be positive or negative. We do know that there are billions of interactions every day and that if even a few more of them could be positive, there would be a substantial change for the good. So, in our quest to improve race and culture relations within the United States, we can start by reflecting on our interactions with those around us. Each of us can consider how our speech and conversations with others tacitly accept or support the morals we espouse as individuals and leaders at ITC. Opportunities to indicate that comments or actions could be considered inflammatory, derogatory, or racist should be taken. It should be our goal to be not just a passive supporter but rather an ally for race relations improvements. To be an ally, we must be willing to actively reflect and take affirmative actions that support our commitments.

I hope you will join me in my journey to be an ally for improved experiences of equality and safety for all races and cultures, one interaction at a time.

Best Regards,

Mike Camarota