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Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer Position Created at Atlanta BeltLine
posted in Press Releases // 04/17/18

New executive will have influence over Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. policy initiatives

ATLANTA – Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI) is pleased to announce the hiring of Nonet Sykes as the organization’s first Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer (CEIO). As CEIO, Nonet will provide cooperative leadership, management, and strategic planning for equity and inclusion related to the Atlanta BeltLine.

“The stakes have never been higher for the Atlanta BeltLine to be a catalyst for change in the city,” said Brian P. McGowan, President and CEO of ABI. “As we tackle issues like affordability and income mobility, we need to focus on creating opportunities that benefit everyone, not just a few.”

“The Atlanta BeltLine is in a unique position to spur positive transformation at the deepest level of our city’s fabric,” said Mrs. Sykes. “Building a comprehensive transportation and development network that serves the needs of everyone can level the playing field and shift opportunities and access to resources that can fundamentally address Atlanta’s challenges.”

The new CEIO position will be heavily involved in formulating policies that address health and sustainability in communities, innovation in community outreach and communication, displacement mitigation, and long-term affordable housing efforts.

ABI reviewed dozens of applications in the search for a CEIO. “Ultimately, we were determined to hire someone that could create an organizational culture that sets clear expectations at all levels of the organization,” said McGowan. “Nonet brings that kind of visionary leadership to the table.”

Nonet Sykes was previously the Director of Race, Equity, and Inclusion at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, where her responsibilities included the design and implementation of strategies to operationalize the Foundation’s commitment to racial and ethnic equity and inclusion both within the organization and throughout its programs and grantmaking.

Prior to the Casey Foundation, Nonet was the deputy Executive Director and Director of Programs for the Maryland Center for Community Development where she was responsible for managing capacity building programs to support community development corporations and other non-profit organizations throughout the state of Maryland. Nonet also served as Executive Director of Tri-Churches Housing, Inc. and Community Development Specialist with the Baltimore Community Development Financing Corporation. Nonet’s 20 plus years of experience spans the areas of community development, program strategy and development, nonprofit effectiveness, and organizational culture and change leadership.

Nonet serves on the board of directors for the National Recreation and Parks Association, board of advisors for National League of Cities’ Race, Equity and Leadership Initiative, and board of directors for the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers (ABAG).

Nonet was featured in the book “Big Impact: Insights & Stories from America’s Non-profit Leaders,” the University of Baltimore Magazine in 2016, and the Association of Black Foundation Executives Magazine in 2014. Nonet was also named 2010 Leading Woman by The Daily Record.

A native of Baltimore, Nonet earned a bachelor’s degree in rehabilitation services from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Baltimore where she was a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Fellow., and a certificate in organizational consulting and change leadership from Georgetown University. Nonet is also a diamond life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

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