Author of the book, The Multiplier Effect of Inclusion: How Diversity and Inclusion Advances Innovation and Drives Growth, Dr. Byers is best known for leading and revitalizing Starbucks’ highly respected and successful D&I function and programming. As Head of Global Diversity and Inclusion, Dr. Byers developed and lead the company’s strategic direction to drive engagement, innovation and business growth. Prior to Starbucks, his impressive track record in large matrix multinational organizations included Cargill, where he led diversity programs throughout North America and a pioneering role as a transformational D&I leader at H.J. Heinz. At Heinz, he created the company’s global diversity and inclusion function from the ground up, creating and building model programs and practices. With 20+ years working in the field, Dr. Byers brings a diverse set of experiences and thinking to his D&I practice, including work in the nonprofit and education sector, as an organizational management consultant and as an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota, Metropolitan State University and the University of Wisconsin. He holds a Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Development and a M.A. in Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, California. His doctoral thesis focused on effective strategies for building support for diversity programs among senior leaders.
As Dr. Byers has observed, “We’ve been working on diversity and inclusion for 50 years and we’re really not happy with where we’re at. That means we’re either not doing something right, or we need to do something different.” His thought-provoking presentations challenge old mindsets and inspire both individuals and organizations to stretch their imaginations and move beyond awareness of our differences and towards utilization that fosters innovation and growth. With a call to look within and leverage our cultural insights and diversity, Dr. Byers provides key strategies to increase personal, professional and organizational success. Whether you’re a D&I professional, an affinity group, or any organization looking to build a better culture while boosting the bottom line, you’ll leave inspired, empowered, and seeing diversity and inclusion in a fresh new light.