Sonya Hughes is an award-winning, nationally recognized expert in diversity, equity, inclusion, and cultural intelligence.
Sonya has worked in the diversity and inclusion space since 1988. Most recently, she was Vice President of Inclusion with Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce in Grand Rapids, Michigan. During the course of her 19 years with the organization, Sonya developed the first Chamber of Commerce Diversity and Inclusion Department in the nation—a noted model of excellence in the field.
For the Chamber of Commerce, Sonya led efforts to align diversity and inclusion in the overall organizational growth strategy. She oversaw staff development, program innovation, and the creation and delivery of strategic diversity consulting services for the organization’s members.
Among her many accomplishments, Sonya managed an award-winning Institute for Healing Racism, the only Chamber of Commerce program of its kind. Additionally, she led the growth of the organization’s Multiracial Association of Professionals, West Michigan Minority Contractors Association, ELEVATE Minority Business Program, and OutPro (an LGBT professional network).
Before joining the Chamber of Commerce, Sonya served as Diversity Programs and Adult Development Director with Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore.
Sonya is a CQ Advanced Professional certified by the Cultural Intelligence Center. She also holds an Unconscious Bias Training Certification. She also holds a Diversity Professional Certificate from Cornell University and a Diversity Management Certificate from the University of Houston, Bauer College of Business.
Sonya is a member of The Society of Diversity.