The Wichita Regional Chamber has named Ricki Ellison as its new director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). Currently the Clinical Educator and Academic Advisor for the Sport Management Department of the College of Applied Studies at Wichita State University, Ricki’s first day at the Chamber will be October 1st.
Ellison got her start at Wichita State working in the Admissions Office where she was the Diversity (Multicultural) Recruitment Manager, managing from selection to training to deployment.
In this role, Ellison will serve as an ambassador and advocate for inclusive and equitable initiatives, as well as act as a strategic partner to Chamber leaders, DEI workgroups and key stakeholders and investors. She will also work to align DEI initiatives with business strategies focusing on the overall workforce, marketplace and community, and develop and deliver innovative inclusive programs that align with business objectives.
“In selecting the next DEI Director it was important that we found someone who was invested in our community and who understands the importance of the DEI space. It was also an opportunity for us to champion our words with action, by investing in our own and retaining our young professionals,” said LaShonda Garnes, director of Inclusion, Equity and Diversity for Fidelity Bank and member of the interviewing team.
“I’m so excited that Ricki will be joining the Chamber in an area that I am personally so passionate about. I see commitment and opportunity to view ALL Chamber work through a diversity lens and Ricki’s proven leadership abilities will be able to elevate that work in the DEI space making us even more valuable to our members,” said Junetta Everett, interim director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce and immediate past chair of the Chamber board.
Since working at Wichita State, Ellison has earned three promotions and progressive responsibilities. A bright, motivated and energetic personality allow her to follow her passion of diversity education. She believes that diversity, equity and inclusion are how we unleash the power and true potential of a business or organization. Ellison strives to help educate, prepare and connect those she surrounds for their successes.
Ellison currently serves on the WSU Alumni Association Board of Director, WSU College of Engineering Diversity Advisory Board, LGBTQ+ Task Force, WSU College of Applied Studies Diversity Committee, Steve Clark YMCA Board of Directors and is a WSU on-campus advisor for Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and co-advisor for the Black Student Union.