Vanderbilt Business School and Christoph Communications join to advance city’s diversity

Eric Johnson and Renuka Christoph
Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management and Christoph Communications are teaming up to promote Nashville’s ethnic community through Nations in our Neighborhood, which showcases Nashville restaurants organized by country. A team of students from the Turner Family Center for Social Ventures will work with Christoph to launch a citywide campaign on “Embracing the Nations in our Neighborhood” and assist in the development of cross-cultural training. 
 
“We are always excited to see our students collaborating with local ventures that positively impact Nashville,” said the dean of Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School, M. Eric Johnson.
 
Renuka Christoph, owner, explains that a rich collection of cultures converge right here in Music City and sees ethnic dining as a great way to connect with diverse communities.
 
“Food is a powerful cross cultural connector and a great way to engage with other cultures. By learning about cuisine and etiquette, we can form valuable relationships personally and professionally,” she stated.
 
A team of Owen graduate students will work on the business plan, which includes citywide partnerships to advance diversity and inclusion and development of training models for effective cross-cultural communication. The long-term goal is a national establishment, covering dining in other cities and corporate training on etiquette.
 
“The Turner Family Center’s Social Enterprise Consulting is very excited to partner with Christoph Communications. An interdisciplinary team of graduate students will generate multifaceted and innovative business solutions. This partnership will develop our participants consulting and technical skills, while providing scalable and sustainable solutions for Nations in our Neighborhood,” said Kayla Armgardt (MBA ’18).
 
The Center, directed by Mario Avila, was founded in 2015 and is supported by the Turner Family Foundation. It connects graduate students with local business partners.
 
Christoph and Turner students will also be partnering with Nashville Public Library during its annual Nashville Reads, featuring The Potlikker Papers. NPL will facilitate a book discussion at select ethnic restaurants including Bavarian Bierhaus. Students will present on cultural etiquette. Details to come.
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