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Gift & Home Trade Association Announces New Initiatives by Diversity + Inclusion Committee

Posted on 6/6/2024
Gift & Home Trade Association Announces New Initiatives by Diversity + Inclusion Committee

(Marietta, GA - May 13, 2024) -- The Gift & Home Trade Association (GHTA) is proud to announce several new initiatives by its Diversity + Inclusion Committee, established to explicitly affirm and enhance the association’s commitment to diversity within the industry. Insights from committee member Adriana de Mello, CEO of Keena, catalyzed the formation of this committee. de Mello highlighted the need for GHTA to not only continue its inherently inclusive practices, but also to make a deliberate and intentional statement about its commitment to inclusion to all current and potential members. 

“While GHTA has always embraced diversity, it was time to be intentional about our inclusivity and ensure that this commitment is clear and evident in all our actions,” said de Mello. “Our industry thrives on creativity and inclusivity, and we are committed to reflecting this in every aspect of GHTA.”

Committee members include: 


Adriana de Mello, Keena

Terence Morris, ANDMORE

Committee Members:  

Sushil Arora, Danica Brands

Janice Dayon Christensen, nora fleming

Andrea Padilla, Transpac

Cynde Stewart, RAZ Imports

Following the formation of the committee, a survey was conducted among GHTA members from December 2023 to January 2024 to establish a baseline of intelligence regarding the organization's current demographic makeup and to assess attitudes towards Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). The survey revealed a strong desire among members for more diversity in leadership roles, the recruitment of diverse speakers, and the active inclusion of all people.

GHTA Executive Director Laurie Burns emphasized the association's commitment to these values, stating, “GHTA has always been a place where diversity is welcomed. We are prioritizing that our community remains as diverse and inclusive as it is supportive and innovative.”

In response to the survey, the Diversity + Inclusion Committee has outlined several key initiatives:

Increasing the diversity of panelists and speakers at  GHTA events.

Creating a mentorship program to support new members from diverse backgrounds.

Implementing an anonymous submission process to share DEI-related suggestions.

Regular updates through a newsletter detailing the association's progress on DEI efforts.

Janice Dayon Christensen, President of nora fleming and committee member, highlighted the association's proactive approach: “We are actively rethinking our recruitment strategies to ensure our membership mirrors the diverse fabric of the United States. GHTA is about building a supportive community, and we are dedicated to extending our reach and inviting diverse voices to join us.”

The committee recognizes the importance of continual learning and adaptation in its DEI efforts. “This is a learning journey for all of us,” said de Mello. “We are not experts, but we are committed to making meaningful changes and adapting our strategies to better serve all members of our community.”

For further information, to join the GHTA, or to participate in upcoming events, please visit: www.giftandhome.org

About the Gift and Home Trade Association:

GHTA is the gift and home industry’s professional trade association formed in 2000 to help vendors, sales agencies, retailers, and industry affiliates who are involved in an industry that is fast changing, with the expectation of making it better together. GHTA's mission is to create a national forum connecting industry leaders in their pursuit of ideas, innovations, and best practices to advance business progress. GHTA can be reached by email at info@giftandhome.org. For more information on the Gift and Home Trade Association visit www.giftandhome.org.

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