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MEMA Names Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Director for Members and Employees

Date: January 16, 2023

Research Triangle Park, N.C. -- MEMA, The Vehicle Suppliers Association, has reinforced its focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) by naming April Buford MEMA’s Executive Director of DEI. Buford’s focus on DEI will help MEMA members and staff to engage in meaningful dialogue and share best practices to develop a culture of inclusion within the vehicle supplier industry.
“As the need for greater diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging becomes more evident, our members consistently tell us DEI is a priority for their business planning and HR practices,” says April Buford, MEMA executive director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. “Through new member programming, we will provide forums and resources for sharing best practices, fostering courageous conversations and gaining relevant insight to support members on their DEI journey.”

Many of MEMA’s more than 1,000 member organizations are small to mid-size firms and may not have the internal resources to execute a comprehensive DEI program. In this new role, Buford will help provide a roadmap to help members to engage in their own DEI journey.
These include:

  • Hosting “Courageous Conversations”: Quarterly gatherings on diverse topics for employees and the industry.

  • Providing access to subject matter experts through the MEMA-wide DEI Council, DEI events and other programming.

  • Creating Diversity Matchmaker Events for suppliers and OEMs. 

“As an industry-leading organization, we know we must lead by example,” says Buford. “We are developing and honing our internal practices as we go through this journey with our members.”
Buford is certified DEI professional through the Center for Automotive Diversity, Incision, and Advancement (CADIA) and Cornell University’s eCornell program. Starting in 2020, Buford has led the All Together Team, MEMA’s internal DEI taskforce, and co-leads MEMA’s DEI Council which serves MEMA member companies and the supplier community.
About MEMA
MEMA, The Vehicle Suppliers Association, is the leading trade association in North America for vehicle suppliers, parts manufacturers, and remanufacturers. It has been the voice of the vehicle supplier industry since 1904. Its more than 1,000 members are Strong by Association.
Companies join MEMA via two membership groups: MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers and MEMA Original Equipment Suppliers. Automotive and commercial vehicle suppliers are the largest manufacturing sector in the United States and lead the way in new vehicle innovations.
Members conceive, design, and manufacture the OE systems and technologies that make up two-thirds of the value of every vehicle and supply the aftermarket with the parts that keep millions of vehicles on the road, fueling international commerce and meeting society’s transportation needs. MEMA members are committed to safety and sustainability.
MEMA has offices in Southfield, Mich.; Research Triangle Park, N.C.; and Washington, D.C. Learn more at

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