Tourism Diversity Matters Expands Team to Meet Growing Demand for Organizational DEI Expertise and Data-Driven Strategies

DEI and Multicultural Tourism expert Yvonne Drayton named new Director of Operations

October 12, 2022 — Tourism Diversity Matters (TDM) today announced the expansion of its executive leadership team. Since its inception in 2020, TDM has solely dedicated its efforts to all dimensions of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), guiding the tourism industry forward with outstanding expertise to advance DEI excellence. Now, the organization will expand its capacity and capabilities to meet the growing demand for apprenticeships, organizational assessments and strategies as well as workforce development.

“The tourism industry is rebuilding and reenergizing, which is no easy task given the significant workforce shortage,” said Elliott Ferguson, chairman of the board at Tourism Diversity Matters and president and CEO of Destination D.C. “TDM serves as an expert resource to support organizations with urgent workforce development needs, as well as integrate new strategies to strengthen workplace culture. By embracing DEI, organizations can fuel innovation, grow their business and become an employer of choice. Given our team’s deep roots in tourism as well as academia, we pride ourselves on understanding both the macro and micro challenges tourism organizations are facing. This gives us the necessary perspective and passion to advance both the organizations and destinations we serve.”

“There’s major momentum and demand in the tourism industry to prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Greg DeShields, executive director of Tourism Diversity Matters. “Because our work at TDM is highly customized, allowing organizations to engage wherever they are in the process, it is essential for us to build capacity. Since you’ve first met us, we’ve expanded our staff and grown our consulting team to 10 members to meet the increased demand for DEI organizational culture assessments and strategy development. Today, we are thrilled to announce DEI and multicultural tourism expert, Yvonne Drayton, as director of operations, a newly created position to support these efforts.”

“Joining TDM as the director of operations was an easy decision,” said Drayton.  “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is a long-standing passion and I look forward to strengthening TDM by developing and executing strategies to evolve the organization as we increase our capacity to serve the hospitality and tourism industry as a valued resource.”

In her new role, Drayton will support the development and reach of TDM’s DEI organizational culture assessments, educational training, and workforce development, which includes the national apprenticeship program. Prior to joining TDM, Drayton was the lead principal of Drayton Cross Consulting, where she conducted culture analyses and devised data-driven strategies to build DEI competencies across organizations in the commercial and nonprofit sectors. Drayton also brings to the team extensive tourism and meetings knowledge as her firm provides multicultural marketing and tourism development; public relations; and large-scale meeting, conference and event planning services for national organizations. Prior to that, she served as president & CEO of Riscoe & Associates, Inc. for three years and executive vice president for eight years, where she honed her operations skills, along with business and strategic partnership development.

Also joining the team is Sofia Mendoza as Executive Assistant. Mendoza will support both communications and operations of the organization at a critical time of development. She brings office managerial and executive assistance experience from both agency and manufacturing settings at Torrid and Lucrescent Bearing Corporation, along with international marketing capabilities from her time at IBG America in El Salvador.

Since its founding in 2020, TDM has worked with numerous clients across the country, including the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, Visit Mesa and the San Diego Tourism Authority. The organization is also working toward its goal of supporting 30 apprentices in its national apprenticeship program across the tourism sector.