Wyndham International, Inc. (NYSE:WYN) announced today the promotion of Donna DeBerry to senior vice president of diversity, assistant to the chairman, furthering the company`s commitment to implement a company-wide program that ensures a diverse work force and creates economic opportunities for minorities and women.
“As we move toward becoming a premier branded hotel operating company, we recognize that diversity not only makes good business sense, it creates a challenging and rewarding experience for all Wyndham stakeholders—our employees, customers, business partners, vendors and the community,” said Fred J. Kleisner, chairman and chief executive officer.
Implementing a company-wide diversity program is one Wyndham International`s top business objectives for 2001, and DeBerry will oversee both its strategic development and tactical execution.
“I want diversity to be more than a corporate initiative at Wyndham,” said Kleisner. “I want it to a be a living part of our culture, a belief system and service philosophy that comes from each of our associates and that embraces and celebrates our differences. And I am personally committed to making this happen. By establishing a culture that focuses on diversity, we not only create a comparative edge, but a competitive one as well.”
Three committees have been created to support Wyndham`s diversity initiatives and to ensure the company is taking appropriate steps: an Internal Diversity Steering Committee, made up of corporate executives who lead these efforts; a Diversity Field Input Committee, made up of employees from throughout the organization who provide guidance and feedback; and an External Diversity Advisory Board, consisting of outside experts who provide counsel on key issues.
“In the last six months we`ve made great strides in the area of diversity. We have created and implemented mentoring and minority internship programs, heightened recruitment from historically black colleges, raised our number of minority and women management positions, and increased our minority supplier and minority advertisement spending,” stated Kleisner. “We will look to Donna in her new role to create expanded opportunities in this important area.”
DeBerry previously served as vice president of diversity and director of national sales for the minority and emerging markets, a post she assumed in November 2000. In her role, she represented all Wyndham brands—including Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Summerfield Suites by Wyndham and Wyndham Luxury Resorts—and hotels in serving diverse meeting planners, businesses and organizations. Prior to that appointment, she handled sales in the diverse markets for Wyndham`s Performance Hospitality Management division.
DeBerry is active in several industry and community organizations, including the Business Council for the United States Conference of Mayors, the National Minority Supplier Development Council, the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners and the lodging industry`s diversity officers committee. She is also an active member of the NAACP and has served on the Rev. Jessie Jackson`s Wall Street Project corporate diversity panel.