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Hattie Hill Named Tourism Diversity Matters Interim CEO

Follows Dismissal of Former Executive Director

By Todd McElwee

Hattie Hill has been selected to serve as Interim CEO of Tourism Diversity Matters (TDM), an organization created in 2021 to help enhance diversity, equity and inclusion in the tourism industry.

A tenured nonprofit leader, author, entrepreneur, and consultant, Hill has served as interim CEO for various organizations, including most recently the Texas Women’s Foundation. TDM announced her appointment on May 7.

“Not only do I believe in the organization’s mission, but I have also seen the direct impact Tourism Diversity Matters can have in helping organizations meet the business demands of the moment by creating a more equitable and inclusive culture to achieve even greater success,” said Hill. “I see my time in this role as an important step toward re-imagining the organization’s future so that it can effectively serve the travel and tourism community for decades to come.”

The appointment comes roughly three months after TDM fired Executive Director Greg DeShields following multiple accusations of bullying, belittlement, and toxicity towards women. TDM’s founding CEO Mike Gamble, President & CEO, SearchWide Global, elected to step down.
Hill joins TDM with more than three decades of experience developing comprehensive diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies for corporations, nonprofits, and foundations. Her experience spans across 80 countries and dozens of collaborations with Fortune 500 companies. She also previously was interim CEO at Women’s Foodservice Forum and T.D. JAKES Foundation.

Hill will take over day-to-day CEO responsibilities, including operations, programming, marketing, stakeholder relations, and business development. In addition, she will partner with TDM’s chair, board, and team members to establish a foundation for the organization’s governance framework, growth strategies, and search for a long-term CEO. The length of Hill’s role as interim CEO has not been determined.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Hattie to the TDM team,” said Adam Burke, TDM Board Chair, President & CEO, Los Angeles Tourism. “She has firmly established herself as one of the most respected, trusted voices in DEI, exemplifies mission-driven leadership, and has consistently demonstrated the ability to help organizations achieve strategic clarity and operational excellence. We look forward to the next phase of TDM’s evolution under her expert leadership.”


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