By: Mary Tucker, Sr. PR/Communications Manager
Necoya Tyson, CEM-AP, CGMP, CCEP is the Vice President of Education and Events at the Texas Bankers Association located in Austin, TX. With more than 17 years of experience in the exhibitions and events industry, she leads the professional development and educational needs of the association’s members throughout every stage in their careers. Her strategic thinking and innovative approach help members keep education at the forefront of their minds.
Necoya was previously the Director of Meetings and Conventions for the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA), where she managed the production and execution of the ATSSA Annual Convention & Traffic Expo, chapter how-to meetings and the association’s mid-year meeting and activities. Prior to ATSSA, Necoya worked for National Trade Productions, Inc. as the Director of Operations and Conferences.
An active IAEE member, Necoya also serves on the CEM Faculty teaching CEM classes all over the world on topics such as event operations, sponsorship sales, and strategic planning and management.
Necoya is a graduate of the oldest HBCU (historically black college/university) in the South, Shaw University, with a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications. She is also a certified corporate event planner, certified exhibition manager-advanced professional, and certified government meeting professional.
Here, she shares with IAEE her vision for advancing diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) within the exhibitions and events industry.
IAEE: What inspired you to serve on the IAEE Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee?
Necoya: My life experiences prompted me to serve on this committee, as well as my desire to educate the masses on what people who are different deal with on a daily basis. I thought it prudent that an individual who has both academic training in this subject matter and relevant life experience serve in this capacity. I bring my whole self when I show up and that whole adds value, flavor, perspective, insight, inclusivity and a drive for excellence in every endeavor.
IAEE: What has been your experience/observations with how the industry addresses DE&I?
Necoya: I’ve found that some companies think DE&I is something they have to do rather than a foundation principle from which they operate. I recognize when organizations have made DE&I a part of mandatory training for their staff versus those who have incorporated this into the DNA of the company. In the former case, it is still beneficial for organizations to focus on this work because for some, that is the impetus to create a space to ground everything in this foundational precept.
IAEE: What overall advances would you like to see in the industry regarding DE&I?
Necoya: I’d like to see everyone develop their culture from practices that highlight DE&I to the point where needing this type of intensive reframing is not necessary.
IAEE: How do you think that companies can help advance DE&I?
Necoya: Companies must do an honest assessment of their practices and norms to determine how mature their initiatives are and then identify goals to grow. It’s important to measure progress and continuously strive for progression. It starts at the top!
IAEE: What suggestions do you have for individuals who would like to learn more about and/or help increase awareness and advances in DE&I within the industry?
Necoya: Join committees, do your research, and be active in the DE&I initiatives not only at work but in your community.
IAEE’s goal is to engage as many members as possible who are willing share their experience to our community on the importance of DE&I. If you have a story to tell, please email Karen Gonzales, CMP, and we will spotlight your experience.