The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce (MBACC) and Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is pleased to announce the appointment of Danette Patton as Director of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). In this capacity, Patton will continue to elevate DEI initiatives at MBACC and CVB and across the Grand Strand’s business community.
Patton will report directly to MBACC and CVB President and CEO Karen Riordan and serve as the staff liaison on the chamber’s DEI Council.
“The team and I are excited to welcome Danette to the chamber. She has a proven track record in DEI that will be a huge asset as we work to implement our DEI strategy both internally and with our chamber and CVB member investors,” Riordan said.
Patton is completing her doctoral degree in communication studies at Southern Illinois University after receiving her master’s at California State University in San Bernadino and her bachelor’s at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa.
Prior to joining the chamber, Patton was an assistant professor of rhetoric and communication at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with her course work primarily centered around aspects of culture, identity and justice. She also served as the DEI co-lead at Coe College where she worked to enhance the success and well-being of students from diverse backgrounds; connected with faculty to discuss and encourage implementing DEI initiatives in their everyday practices; and identified DEI training needs, emerging trends and best practices.
“I’m thrilled to join the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber and CVB in this role and look forward to taking measurable actions to enhance diversity within the chamber as well as assist our investors with creating stronger organizations through DEI efforts,” Patton said.
While her most recent home was in Iowa, Patton was born and raised in Pittsburgh and has lived in Portugal’s Azores islands, California and Illinois. She’s also no stranger to the South and has lived in Charlotte, N.C., and Augusta, Ga., where she taught Communication Studies at the University of South Carolina, Aiken. She currently lives in Myrtle Beach with her family, including a miniature schnauzer named Simon.
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