SearchWide Global Seeks Chief Diversity Officer for Massachusetts Convention Center Authority

April 5, 2023 – Executive recruitment firm SearchWide Global was recently enlisted to find a chief diversity officer for the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) in Boston. Executive recruiter Donna Thornton is leading the assignment.

The chief diversity officer will be expected to provide effective leadership to enable the MCCA to become more diverse and inclusive in developing its workforce, working environment, regional convention industry partnerships, procurement, and contracting, said SearchWide Global. This leader must work to enhance employment opportunities for women, minorities, veterans, and people with disabilities. This position also guides and coordinates all efforts to define, understand, assess, foster, and cultivate diversity as a fundamental organizational commitment.

The chief diversity officer also works with individuals at all levels of the organization to support the development, delivery, communication, and assessment of programs that address the interests and needs of all staff, clients, and the regional convention market, said the search firm. This position is also responsible for overseeing policy development, oversight, outreach, assessment, and education and training programs as assigned and providing content knowledge and leadership, and ensuring all initiatives are aligned with organizational diversity/inclusion strategy.

“The chief diversity officer is a mission-driven, strategic, and inspiring professional who works as part of the MCCA management team,” said SearchWide Global. “This person plays a critical role in shaping and sustaining efforts prioritized by the executive director, that advance a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture across the MCCA. This person is an experienced and effective advocate for transformational change, a creative thinker, an effective collaborator, and a project manager. This employee has a demonstrated ability to lead the development and implementation of effective DEI strategies, along with the skills to facilitate authentically inclusive dialogue among all groups.”

Essential duties and responsibilities of the role will revolve around strategic business, access and opportunity, the regional convention industry, and employment.

Key Qualifications

Candidates should have a bachelor’s degree in business management or a related field, with four to six years of experience, of which three years have been at the management level, said SearchWide Global. Preference will be given to candidates with a demonstrated ability to create and execute effective organizational strategies and transformations, as well as prior service building a diversity function and strategizing for organizations with diversity initiatives.

A proven record of success in project management, with a particular focus on the establishment of quality standards, results tracking and evaluating outcomes is required. It is preferred that candidates have knowledge of supplier diversity and contracting. An equivalent combination of education/experience may be substituted for the degree requirement. Proven experience interfacing with multiple public agencies and oversight groups is also desired.

Related: SearchWide Global Assists Big Sky Chamber of Commerce and Visit Big Sky in CEO Search 

Prospects should also have a demonstrated record of professional accomplishment and an ability to work with all levels of management and employees. Experience with analytical tools such as Excel is required. MCCA is seeking a well-organized individual who is a team player and can relate to people at all levels of an organization. He or she should possess excellent communication skills and flexibility and be committed to the MCCA’s mission.

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The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority owns and oversees the operations of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, the Lawn on D, the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center, the MassMutual Center in Springfield, MA and the Boston Common Parking Garage. The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority’s mission is to generate significant regional economic activity by attracting conventions, tradeshows, and other events to its world-class facilities while maximizing the investment return for the residents and businesses in Massachusetts.

Respected Recruiters

SearchWide Global, based in St. Paul, MN, is a full-service executive recruitment firm primarily for companies in the travel, tourism, hospitality, convention, trade association, venue management, and experiential marketing industries. The firm specializes in C-level and director-level executive searches for companies ranging in size from Fortune 500 corporations to mid-sized public and private companies and associations.

Ms. Thornton has more than 20 years of experience in sales and business development, including serving several years as a senior sales manager for a convention and sports authority. She assists with director and C-level searches and business development initiatives for SearchWide Global. Ms. Thornton received her bachelor’s degree from Dillard University, where she studied English.

Last year, SearchWide Global assisted in the recruitment of Sophia Hyder Hock as chief diversity officer of Destinations International. Senior vice president Kellie Henderson led the assignment. “Since implementing equity, diversity, and inclusion as a strategic goal for the association in 2017, Destinations International has been working to lead and engage diversity initiatives and opportunities within our industry,” said Don Welsh, president and CEO of Destinations International. “Sophia will lead the organization’s overall strategic plan as we continue to push our industry forward on these important initiatives.”

Related: SearchWide Global Recruits Chief Diversity Officer for Destinations International

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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