CINCINNATI - Toyota announced three new members to its North American Diversity Advisory Board during its 18th annual Opportunity Exchange (OE) minority business conference and trade fair.

As one of the largest minority business events in the country, OE is designed to provide minority business enterprises (MBEs) across the nation with the opportunity to network and develop relationships with approximately 300 of Toyota Tier I suppliers. Since 1990, OE has generated more than $100 million in new contracts. Nearly 800 MBEs were expected to attended today's event where Bob Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television, was the keynote speaker.

The Advisory Board, formed nearly six years ago, provides outside perspective and guidance to Toyota and establishes clear goals for the company's efforts and commitment to nurturing inclusion and diversity in the workplace.

New Advisory Board members include Phyllis Campbell, President and CEO of the Seattle Foundation; Gilbert Casellas, Vice President, Corporate Responsibility for Dell Inc.; and James Lowry, Senior Advisor for the Boston Consulting Group.

The Advisory Board's chair will continue to be held by current member and former Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman, one of the nation's most recognized thought leaders in strategic corporate diversity. The eight-member advisory board also includes retired Federal Appellate Judge Nathaniel Jones; former Congressman and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Jack Kemp; former Congresswoman Susan Molinari; and former Transportation and Energy Secretary Federico Peña.

"Toyota believes that diversity and inclusion are essential to our long-term success," said Dian Ogilvie, Senior Vice President of Toyota Motor North America. "Our Diversity Advisory Board's invaluable guidance, service and dedication for the past half decade have led to a number of significant achievements for our company. The Board is imperative to our efforts, helping move us forward in the right direction."

The Advisory Board meets regularly with senior management several times a year and provides objective advice and guidance to the highest levels of Toyota's North American management with respect to the content, implementation and further development of Toyota's 21st Century Diversity Strategy.

Irene Hirano and Sara Martinez Tucker, who have been with the Advisory Board since its inception, have stepped down to pursue other interests in their respective fields.

"It was an honor to work with Irene and Sara who brought their expertise and insight to the Advisory Board," said Chair Herman. "Their ideas and commitment helped develop a strong foundation for the Board and they will both be missed by all. We are however gaining three members who are highly respected and whose contributions will make an immediate impact."

The eight members of the Advisory Board represent a cross section of American expertise in business, law, labor and government. The members include:

  • Alexis Herman, Chair.
  • Phyllis Campbell.
  • Gilbert Casellas.
  • Nathaniel Jones.
  • Jack Kemp.
  • James Lowry.
  • Susan Molinari.
  • Federico Peña.
  • Originally posted on Fleet Financials