Championing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in Palm Beach County

With a strong focus on DEIA initiatives, DTPB is making great strides in ensuring that Palm Beach County is a place embracing people of all persuasions.

Understanding and supporting the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) has become increasingly important for nearly every travel destination.

Discover The Palm Beaches has become a solid example of an organization dedicated to creating the appropriate mindset with internal staff and community partners to ensure a welcoming and inclusive environment for all visitors and residents. As the official Destination Marketing Organization for Palm Beach County, Florida, Discover The Palm Beaches (DTPB) not only promotes the county as a diverse and inclusive travel destination but, as indicated, also fosters an internal culture celebrating diversity and empowering all employees and stakeholders.

With a strong focus on DEIA initiatives, DTPB is making great strides in ensuring that Palm Beach County is a place embracing people of all persuasions, regardless of their sexual orientation, race, origin, or cultural background.

Discover The Palm Beaches Internal DEIA Committee

Recognizing the need to adapt to a rapidly changing society, DTPB formed an internal DEIA Committee in the summer of 2020.
 
The committee was established to review the organization’s practices in areas such as staffing, culture, governance, training, and marketing, and to drive meaningful change during a time of social transformation in the United States. Over the course of two years, the committee undertook various projects and programs aimed at advancing DEIA within the organization and enhancing messaging to reflect these fundamental values.
 
In the first months of 2023, the DEIA committee progressed into the Community Values Committee (CVC). The CVC, which comprises voluntary participants from within the organization, serves as a platform for collaboration and dialogue on DEIA efforts. The committee focuses on areas such as culture, marketing, staff development, and community engagement, with the goal of finding common ground, appropriate policies, and expanding the organization’s presence throughout the community it serves.

Key DEIA Goals and Initiatives

The Community Values Committee has set forth several essential goals to further the organization’s DEIA initiatives:

The Community Values Advisory Group

In tandem with the internal efforts, DTPB established an external advisory group known as the Community Values Advisory Group (CVAG). Comprised of esteemed individuals from diverse backgrounds, the CVAG serves as a sounding board for the company’s DEIA marketing and community engagement efforts and provides valuable feedback on internal DEIA changes and initiatives. Moreover, the group plays a vital role in expanding DTPB’s presence and a broader understanding of the role it plays for the community it serves.
 
Through the Community Values Committee and the Community Values Advisory Group, DTPB continues to foster dialogue, collaboration, and meaningful change, ensuring that Palm Beach County remains a vibrant and inclusive destination for people of all backgrounds. DTPB’s brand positioning statement is a clear reflection of its commitment to portray a welcoming environment for visitors and residents alike.

Members of the CVAG

Alexandria Ayala – Palm Beach County School Board District 2.

A proud Latina from Palm Beach County, Alexandria Ayala has dedicated her career to serving the community. Ayala is dedicated to creating opportunities for every child’s success, narrowing the achievement gap, and ensuring transparency in decision-making. As the Director of Community Engagement at The Markarian Group, she collaborates with public and private organizations to serve the community and contribute to its progress and prosperity. Ayala prioritizes a safe and inclusive school environment, responsible fiscal management, and the preservation of arts, choice, and career academy programs vital to student education and achievement.
 
Peter Cruise – Development and Marketing for Nonprofits First, PBC Commission on Ethics
Peter is a Palm Beach County native with a rich academic and professional background focusing on improving the ethical climate in public sector programs and organizations in the community. Since graduating with his Ph.D. in Public Administration, his professional career has included positions such as Executive Director of the LeRoy Collins Public Ethics Academy and Affiliate Associate Professor at Florida Atlantic University.
 
Varisa Lall Dass – Port of Palm Beach Commissioner Group 2.
Varisa Lall Dass, appointed as Port Commissioner for Group 2 in December 2022 is the first Trinidadian-American woman to serve as a Port of Palm Beach District Commissioner. Dedicated to making a meaningful impact, Varisa holds degrees from Stetson University College of Law, the University of Florida, and the University of South Florida. Beyond her professional endeavors, Varisa actively engages in various committees and organizations, including the Citizens Advisory Committee for the Transportation Planning Agency and the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority.
 
Fabiana DesRosiers – CEO, Hispanic Human Resources Council Palm Beach County.
As the Chief Executive Officer of the Hispanic Human Resources Council, Inc. (HHRC) in West Palm Beach, Dr. Fabiana DesRosiers plays a pivotal role in overseeing child development centers and diverse community programs. A graduate of Leadership Palm Beach County, Dr. DesRosiers actively participates in various influential committees and serves on multiple boards, including Opportunity, Inc., HCA JFK Hospital, Friends of MacArthur Beach State Park, and Village of Palm Springs CRA.  
 
Suzy Diaz – Councilwoman, City of Greenacres.
Susy Díaz, a Palm Beach County native and first-generation American, was elected to the Greenacres City Council in March 2022. With a strong background in political and social sciences, she has dedicated nearly three decades to serving her community. Susy has held various roles in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors, including overseeing the Mayor’s Response Team and serving as the Advocacy Lead for the American Cancer Society.
 
Armando Fana – Assistant City Administrator, West Palm Beach.
Armando Fana joined the City of West Palm Beach in 2015 as the Director of Housing and Community Development. In this role, he oversaw funding and programs for attainable housing, community development, and social services. In 2019, he was appointed Assistant City Administrator by Mayor Keith James. Currently, Mr. Fana’s responsibilities include overseeing Development Services, Public Utilities, Engineering, Public Works, and Parking Administration. With a background in business management and international business, he is a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard and serves on the boards of Little Smiles of Florida and The Florida Housing Coalition.
 
Lety Gonzalez – Compass Community Center.
Latisha “Lety” Gonzalez is an accomplished Executive Assistant currently serving as the Marketing Coordinator at Compass Community Center. She plays a pivotal role in enhancing awareness of initiatives, expanding reach, and increasing capital for the organization. With her dedication, innovation, and commitment to helping others, she strives to support Compass Community Center in achieving its goals and making a positive impact in the community.
 
Kimberly McCarten – President/CEO, ARC of Palm Beach County.
Since October 2014, McCarten has held the position of President & CEO at The ARC of Palm Beach County. Leading a team of over 170 individuals, she is dedicated to empowering and enhancing the lives of people with developmental disabilities. Under her leadership, The ARC has experienced program expansion, improved client outcomes, and fostered strong community and donor relationships. The organization’s exceptional work has been recognized through various accolades and has received national recognition for its innovative student mentor program and statewide acclaim for outstanding leadership and service.
 
Christine Sylvain – Path to College.
Christine Sylvain is the visionary Founder and Executive Director of the Path to College Fellowship, dedicated to securing acceptance for high-achieving, low-income students into esteemed universities. With a Master of Arts in Journalism from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts cum laude in Political Science, Christine’s passion for storytelling and education perfectly intersect resulting in concrete accomplishments. She started her career producing Emmy-winning documentaries and discovered her calling in mentoring adolescents. Christine excels in operational management, budget supervision, relationship-building, and leading top-performing teams. Path to College overcomes systemic barriers, empowering overlooked students to unleash their academic potential and achieve remarkable success.
 
Davicka Thompson – Palm Beach County Tourist Development Council Member + Thompson Creative Collection.
Davicka N. Thompson is a seasoned communications executive with over 20 years of experience in public service and the private sector. Her expertise lies in leading public relations and community outreach initiatives, particularly in the government sector focusing on infrastructure, transit, aviation, maritime, transportation, and capital improvement programs. Davicka possesses a comprehensive understanding of the community, public policy, and political landscape, enabling her to navigate decision-making processes effectively. She actively engages the public, promoting public awareness projects and implementing diversity plans to ensure fair and equal participation in projects across the South Florida metropolitan area.

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