MEMA Names New DEI Head, Renews DEI Focus

MEMA Names New DEI Head, Renews DEI Focus

April Buford will help provide a roadmap to assist members in engaging in their own DEI journey.

MEMA, The Vehicle Suppliers Association, announced it named April Buford its Executive Director of DEI, in a move that reinforces MEMA’s focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (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, the association says.

“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,” says 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, MEMA says.

These programs 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.

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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