Jason Dunn, one of the most visible leaders working on issues around diversity and equity in the meetings and conventions industry, has been named executive director of the National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals.
Dunn, who had a 17-year career with Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau, left his post as group vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion to head up the Alexandria, Va.-based organization.
Dunn has served on the NCBMP board of directors for many years, including as 2019-2020 chairman when the organization cemented two key relationships: NCBMP announced a five-year strategic partnership in June 2020 with Destinations International that includes working together on an annual destination organization report card that measures diversity and inclusion in the broader hospitality industry. NCBMP also inked a partnership in July 2020 with Meeting Professionals International, which provides MPI-member benefits to NCBMP members, and vice versa.
Dunn is currently co-chair of the Events Industry Council’s Equity Task Force, launched in 2020 to bring greater inclusion to the global business events industry. Its recently released Equity Benchmarking Study is phase one of the Equity Task Force Acceleration project.
Commenting on his goals as executive director, Dunn said that in addition to growing NCBMP's strategic alliances and increasing the equity of those partnerships, supporting a members desire to compete was critical. "In order for our members to compete, we must continue to educate, inspire, challenge. and maximize every opportunity to affirm an ROI to our stakeholders." Dunn also said he wants to "position NCBMP to succeed by building equitable financial resources to our peers. Our members are keenly aware of their economic impact to destinations and the immeasurable contributions that they make to the industry. However, the industry has been slow to equally invest with their treasures as they do with our peers. My goal is to unpack the “why” and build a bridge to establish open communication in an effort to achieve monetary parity."
NCBMP, which currently has close to 1,000 members, has been operating without an executive director. The announcement of Dunn’s new role comes just weeks before the association’s annual meeting November 16 to 19 at Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront, and in advance of the organization’s 40th anniversary year in 2023.
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“Knowing that the authenticity of Jason’s leadership, the passion in which he builds his relationships, and his ability to move the moral consciousness of all around him, aligns with our founders’ vision and truly makes him the best person for the job,” says NCBMP Board Chairman Kevin Richardson, owner of Convention Resources in Atlanta. “We are now better positioned to compete, educate, and highlight the impact of our business as we approach our 40th anniversary.”