MDI, a Minnesota-based nonprofit social enterprise with the mission to serve people with and without disabilities by offering inclusive employment opportunities and services, elected two new board members – Rhonda Graves, Retired 3M Chief Diversity Officer and Head of Talent Acquisition, and Jonathan Palmer, Executive Director of Hallie Q. Brown Community Center, Inc. Grave’s experience increases the organizations’ inclusion and diversity knowledge, while Palmer’s background brings deep expertise in community-based activism and leadership.
“Rhonda’s corporate experience supports our inclusion and diversity efforts, and Jonathan brings a wealth of business and community activism experience to the MDI board, ” stated Peter McDermott, President and CEO of MDI. “We are pleased both have joined our board. We look forward to their support and counsel in growing our business, and expanding integrated employment opportunities to people with disabilities.”
Graves recently retired from 3M with 35 years of service. For the past year, she served on the MDI Human Resources/Employment Services Committee. Rhonda has many years in HR of increasing responsibility and strong commitment to strengthening diversity and inclusion. Rhonda’s commitment and passion helped lead 3M as a company striving to build a high performing and diverse global workforce that represents the markets and customers served. Rhonda has a double major in business administration and psychology from Augustana College, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, along with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Scranton University.
Palmer serves as the Executive Director for Hallie Q. Brown (HQB) Community Center, Inc., an African American, nonprofit social service agency open to all. Founded in 1929 as a settlement house, it has evolved from an independent human services provider to a multi-service center hub, and is the administrative body of the Martin Luther King Center. Prior to joining HQB, Palmer held positions of increasing responsibility as the Director of the Minneapolis Empowerment Zone, a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Renewal Initiative designation which worked to improve the quality of life for residents in the most impacted areas of Minneapolis through economic and community development strategies. Palmer holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in theater from Morehouse College.