Meeting Mentor Magazine

December 2023

ConferenceDirect Forms Diversity Advisory Committee

Earlier this summer ConferenceDIrect’s CEO Brian Stevens announced the company has formed an internal advisory committee to, as Stevens said in a communique to the company’s associates, “help our company create concrete, sustainable and measurable plans to combat prejudice and discrimination, and to undo the legacies of racism that produce disproportionate harm toward Black communities.” The committee, led by CD Executive Vice President and Chief Talent Officer Brian Richey and CD Senior Vice President, Operations, Rob McCulloch, has been holding virtual meetings throughout the summer to develop an action plan on how the company can help lead the charge against racial inequity in the meetings and events industry and beyond.

“The killing of George Floyd and the upheaval that followed it have had a huge impact on our nation, our world, and of course our company,” said Stevens. “We want ConferenceDirect to be a leader in inclusion, equity and diversity efforts in our industry.”

As Stevens noted, only 8.6% of U.S. meeting, convention and event planners Black, while 78% are white, demographics that do not reflect the U.S. population, which is almost 13% Black, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, Black Americans are overrepresented in the essential services roles in the hospitality industry, comprising 15-25% of the food, service, reception and cleaning staff, and 37% of baggage porters, bellhops and concierges.

“In addition to making our position clearer — that we condemn racism just as emphatically as we do homophobia, sexual harassment and any other form of prejudice and discrimination, we are taking steps to further our progress as a diverse and inclusive organization.

“The advisory committee we have formed internally will be a key guiding voice in ConferenceDirect’s long-term strategy for making our company a place all people are proud to work and be themselves, and in our external efforts of advocating for diversity and equity in the meetings, hotel and travel industry.”

In addition to Richey and McCulloch, committee members include Amrita Nichols, CMP, CMM, Director, Global Accounts; Brian Chisolm, Director, Global Accounts; Kimberly Corbin, CMP, CDS , Director, Global Accounts; Jeff Leung, Vice President, Global Accounts; Segi Desta, Vice President, Global Accounts; Lori Jenaire, CMP, CDS, Vice President, Global Accounts; Mary Sanchez Quigg, CDS, Vice President, Global Accounts; and Jeremy Marquard, Director, Global Accounts/Team Director.

“At ConferenceDirect, we believe that #BlackLivesMatter,” Stevens said. “We are committed to listening, to learning, and to doing our part in creating a just and equitable world for all.”

Look for updates on the committee’s action plan in an upcoming issue.


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About ConferenceDirect
ConferenceDirect is a global meetings solutions company offering site selection/contract negotiation, conference management, housing & registration services, mobile app technology and strategic meetings management solutions. It provides expertise to 4,400+ associations, corporations, and sporting authorities through our 400+ global associates.

About MeetingMentor
MeetingMentor, is a business journal for senior meeting planners that is distributed in print and digital editions to the clients, prospects, and associates of ConferenceDirect, which handles over 13,000 worldwide meetings, conventions, and incentives annually.

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