Q1 has wrapped, and the Minority Business Accelerator is in full swing. Program Director Avril Stinson, invited current Tampa Bay Chamber Chair Yvette Segura, to share some of her insight regarding the Chamber’s Inclusive Organization Pillar and the importance of DE&I to our business community.
- Please introduce yourself. “Who is Yvette Segura?” I am the Regional Vice President for USAA operations in Tampa and I’ve proudly been with USAA for 32 years. I’m an Air Force brat and have moved many times growing up and throughout my professional career. My career has provided me some great opportunities to grow as a leader and often as a party of one, being female and a minority. Fortunately, that is changing and is happening intentionally.
- Please briefly share USAA’s stance on DE&I. USAA recognizes the strength that comes with a variety of perspectives and beliefs and has an environment that encourages respect and trust. We believe attracting, retaining and developing talented, diverse professionals—including women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, LGBTQ+, veterans, among others–helps us achieve our goal to purposefully include diverse perspectives to achieve superior business results and fulfill our mission. It is a USAA business imperative to drive growth, promote innovation and sustain competitive advantage in the marketplace.
- As Chair, why is DE&I important to the Tampa Bay Chamber? Because Tampa Bay is so diverse, it’s important that our Chamber appropriately reflect the entire business community while embracing the various perspectives each brings, and to be intentionally inclusive in that journey.
- Why do you support the Chamber’s Minority Business Accelerator? The goal of the Chamber’s Inclusive Organization pillar is to create an environment where all feel welcomed. Programs like the Minority Business Accelerator help to lift all businesses. True inclusivity requires the involvement and engagement of everyone. Through the experience and perspective of other Chamber members, we can all work together to accomplish our vision.
The Chamber can’t do this alone and needs the help and support of its members to continue the success of this program. Everyone has a role to play in using their networks, reaching out to suppliers and others in referring companies to the program. Volunteering is another great way to get involved, share knowledge and experience from a variety of vantage points. It’s also a wonderful way to connect and learn from others while strengthening the bonds of our community.
The MBA program started with just a few companies and continues to grow. It is a great opportunity to build momentum and extend its reach – but we have a long way to go. I look forward to supporting this program for many years to come.
If you are interested in learning more about the Minority Business Accelerator, please contact Avril Stinson.