November 4-5 2021
Best Practices in DEI Action
The Ultimate Ways To Move Us Forward
Friday, Nov 5, 2021 - 10:00 am to 12:00 pm Eastern
Executive Vice President of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau (GBCVB)
Hilina D. Ajakaiye brings more than 15 years of sales, marketing, and operations expertise as well as an international perspective to her position at the GBCVB.
A native of Ethiopia, she immigrated to the United States in 1987, perfected English as a second language, and simultaneously graduated with her high school diploma and an associate degree at age 17. She went on to pursue her undergraduate studies at the University of Massachusetts and later earned her MBA in International Marketing Management from Northeastern University in 2017.
Responsible for growing Boston's market share of visitors, Ajakaiye has specific oversight of the day-to-day operations across a variety of functions, including human resources, membership development, finance, leisure destination services (including two Visitor Information Centers), marketing and operations, operating budgets, financial practices and revenue generation.
Previously, Ajakaiye worked for more than 15 years for Ahold Delhaize, an international grocery retail company servicing more than 54 million shoppers weekly. She was promoted throughout her tenure, during which she led 150+ direct reports across 22 stores with 3,600+ employees and received national recognition for her success in leading multiple teams and overseeing an operating budget of $805 million in annual revenue.
Ajakaiye is passionate about initiatives and causes to advance young women and women's empowerment overall, especially in underserved communities. She has been called on to serve on The Network of Executive Women (NEW), as a board director for Big Brothers, Big Sisters, and Progreso Latino, as a board trustee for the Woodward School for Girls, and currently as co-chair for the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee for Destination International.
Ajakaiye is an inductee into the Big Brothers, Big Sisters "People We Admire" program and is a graduate of The Partnership, Inc.'s Leadership Program in Boston and of Leadership Rhode Island. She was named 2019 "Rhode Islander of the Year" by Rhode Island Monthly for her work as the Founder of the R.I.S.E. Women's Leadership Conference.
Ajakaiye enjoys traveling and spending time with her two children and husband.
James Cater is the program lead for Eversource's EV (Electric Vehicle) charging station program, which is enabling the installation of more than 3,500 electric vehicle charging points across Massachusetts and is developing a similar program in Connecticut. Prior to leading the EV charging station program, James was the Eversource Energy Efficiency liaison for the City of Boston.
James serves on the newly established Eversource Racial Equity Task Force that advises on the company's progress and plans to address racial equity and social justice efforts. He is a resident of Boston and is passionate about helping to ensure opportunities for advancement and careers exist in the clean energy space for those that traditionally have been sorely underrepresented.
Austyn Ellese Mayfield
Associate Director, Strategic Content & Organizational Effectiveness, Boston Medical Center
From poet to journalist to producer and content strategist, Austyn Ellese Mayfield has spent the better part of 15 years entrenched in crafting messages and experiences that move audiences to think, feel, and respond.
Austyn Ellese launched her career in the fashion and lifestyle arena, overseeing and producing written content, events, and web-based video that highlighted noteworthy stories in footwear, restaurants, nightlife, the arts, and health and wellness.
In 2013, She joined Boston University's Development and Alumni Relations and led the department's creation of an internal production house with an integrated content strategy that generated more than 170 content deliverables in FY19 alone supporting content across web, social, email, and live event platforms.
Currently, Austyn Ellese serves as the Associate Director of Strategic Content & Organizational Effectiveness at Boston Medical Center Health System where she uses her integrated content strategy and branding knowledge to develop and deploy compelling messaging and equity, inclusion, and engagement initiatives for the organization's nearly 10,000 employees and volunteers.
Ron Ancrum is an expert in nonprofit management and organizational development. His professional career includes college admissions officer, professor, consultant, nonprofit executive, philanthropist, and jazz musician. Ron is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and UMass McCormack Institute for Public Affairs, and IEL Education Policy Institute.
Ron has just published a Memoir entitled,
Keep On Moving: My Journey in the Fourth Quarter.
He is currently a principal with Ancrum Strategic Advisors. Most recently, he was Associate Professor for Macro Practice at Boston College School of Social Work and VP for External Partnerships at Nurtury Boston.
Over his career, he has provided consulting services to more than 50 organizations and has built networking relationships across many levels, from college presidents to community organizers. Ron has served on numerous boards, been appointed to committees, and is a founding member of several organizations. This list includes Trustee at The Boston Conservatory, Steering Committee of Leadership Pioneer Valley, appointed by MA Governor Patrick to the Commonwealth Corps Board, Founding Board member of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network and New England Conference on Black Philanthropy, co-organizer 2000, 2004, and 2008.
Born in Stamford, Connecticut, he lived and worked in Boston, Massachusetts for most of his professional career. He now resides in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his wife and daughter.