RRAR Hires First-Ever Director of Diversity & Inclusion

Published Friday, February 12, 2021 5:00 am

The Raleigh Regional Association of REALTORS® recently announced the hire of Michele Xiong as the new Director of Diversity and Inclusion. Xiong will be the first to hold this position in the organization’s almost 100-year history.

Xiong comes to RRAR after working as a Senior HR Assistant at Amazon. A graduate in Psychology from UNC Greensboro, Xiong is currently finishing her MA in Industrial and Organizational Psychology at Meredith College with a focus in data research and studying the impacts of diverse workforce alignment.

"We have a staff and culture here at RRAR that is built perfectly for pioneering brave new ideas and concepts focused on achieving excellent things in the service to our members and our community,” RRAR CEO Andrew Sims said. “It’s far past time to bring excellence to this area of DEI for our organization so that all of our members truly feel at home and like there is an open and welcome place for them to get engaged in their association.”

Xiong’s position comes as one of the recommendations to the RRAR Board of Directors by a Presidential Advisory Group, formed in 2020 by RRAR’s then President Lewis Grubbs, called “Making Room at the Table”. This work group was a diverse group of REALTORS® who over several meetings discussed issues in the current local marketplace and how RRAR could work to tackle some of these issues in both the short and long-term.

"We are so excited to bring someone of Michele’s talents and passion to our staff team,” said 2021 RRAR President Brett Bushnell. “We are fortunate that one of our many strengths at RRAR is our diverse and talented volunteer leaders. Our success today and tomorrow rests on our ability to make sure all voices can be heard, validated, and that everyone feels like they have a hand in the victory.”

This position will play an essential role in the managing and coordinating all RRAR’s new Diversity programming, including leadership trainings, broker-in-charge and agents' seminars, and any events in support of the Association’s strategic plan and goals. As part of the Association’s policy and engagement team, this position will develop and manage relationships across Wake County with community leaders and experts to build allies, source opportunities for collaboration, and drive community diversity initiatives.

“The Director of Diversity and Inclusion will be vital in offering counsel and representation to many of our underrepresented groups, ensuring that all voices are heard equitably by our leadership team here at RRAR,” said Casey Angel, Vice President of Policy and Engagement and staff liaison to RRAR’s award-winning Global Advisory Group.

RRAR hosted several Diversity workshops over 2020 and those videos can be found at www.rrar.com/together. Xiong will begin work officially in March and can be reached at [email protected].

Media Contact: Susan Franklin, Director of Communications
[email protected] • (919) 654-5400

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