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MEMA names diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) director for members and employees

April Buford’s focus on DEI will help MEMA members and staff to engage in meaningful dialogue and share best practices to develop a culture of inclusion

Research Triangle Park, N.C.—MEMA, The Vehicle Suppliers Association, has reinforced its focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) by naming April Buford MEMA’s Executive Director of DEI. Buford’s focus on DEI will help MEMA members and staff to engage in meaningful dialogue and share best practices to develop a culture of inclusion within the vehicle supplier industry.

“As the need for greater diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging becomes more evident, our members consistently tell us DEI is a priority for their business planning and HR practices,” said Buford. “Through new member programming, we will provide forums and resources for sharing best practices, fostering courageous conversations and gaining relevant insight to support members on their DEI journey.”

Many of MEMA’s more than 1,000 member organizations are small to mid-size firms and may not have the internal resources to execute a comprehensive DEI program. In this new role, Buford will help provide a roadmap to help members to engage in their own DEI journey.

These include:

  • Hosting “Courageous Conversations”: Quarterly gatherings on diverse topics for employees and the industry.
  • Providing access to subject matter experts through the MEMA-wide DEI Council, DEI events and other programming.
  • Creating Diversity Matchmaker Events for suppliers and OEMs.

“As an industry-leading organization, we know we must lead by example,” she said. “We are developing and honing our internal practices as we go through this journey with our members.”

Buford is certified DEI professional through the Center for Automotive Diversity, Incision, and Advancement (CADIA) and Cornell University’s eCornell program. Starting in 2020, Buford has led the All Together Team, MEMA’s internal DEI taskforce, and co-leads MEMA’s DEI Council which serves MEMA member companies and the supplier community.

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