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  • Debra Nelson


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    Debra Nelson

    Arrival in Las Vegas:
    2005
    Work/Contribution:
    Gaming/Diversity



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    Biography

    Debra Nelson came to Las Vegas in 2005 to work for MGM Resorts International as the Vice President of Corporate Diversity and Community Affairs. Her commitment to diversity and workplace has been recognized nationally.

    She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Alabama. After college, she worked for a television station in Birmingham, Alabama as the Director of Community Affairs. In that position, she developed community relations projects for the station and produced and anchored public affairs programs. She then went to work for the University of Alabama system in media relations where she served as the spokesperson for the university system and conducted new conferences.

    In 1994, Mercedes-Benz hired Debra Nelson away from the University of Alabama where she helped them develop a corporate communication strategy and managed their public affairs and philanthropy program. Four years later, she became the manager for corporate diversity for the entire company. She worked for DaimlerChrysler for she managed external communications and government affairs, and served as chair of the Minority Advisory Board.

    Her reputation drew the attention of MGM Resorts International, and, in 2005, they offered her the position of Vice President of Corporate Diversity and Community Affairs. In that position, she is responsible for the implementation of diversity initiatives for the company, community affairs, and corporate philanthropy. Her leadership in diversity has drawn international attention and publicity for the company.

    In Las Vegas, Debra Nelson has served on several local boards including the CSN Foundation, the Boys and Girls Club, and the Urban League. She was the president of the Urban Chamber in 2010. She also started the Women of Color conference, a professional development, and networking conference. She is also a founding board member of the Chief Diversity Officers Roundtable and the Diversity Professionals Network.

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