Chief Social Innovation Officer & Chief Diversity Officer, Toyota Motor North America
Tellis Bethel is group vice president and chief social innovation officer for Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) and chief diversity officer for Toyota Motor North America. Bringing his personal passion for advancing equity, he oversees TMNA’s strategic partnerships, philanthropic efforts, and diversity and inclusion activities. With the goal of ensuring mobility for all, Bethel directs initiatives to expand access to opportunities and create a culture of inclusion that strengthens both communities and TMNA.
As Chief Diversity Officer, Bethel leads Toyota’s long-standing efforts to advance diversity and inclusion through an integrated, holistic strategy that addresses the workplace, the marketplace and society and reflects the company’s core value of respect for people. He drives conversations, strategy and actions to attract, grow, and retain top talent at Toyota while fostering a culture of inclusion. He believes in the value of sharing best practices and leveraging diversity of thought to drive innovation and develop better solutions.
With over fifteen years of experience with Toyota Financial Services, Bethel’s background in finance and analytics enhances his current position, connecting the dots between data and market share and substantiating the impact of TMNA’s social innovation efforts on business and relationships.
Bethel began his Toyota Financial Services career in risk management planning with an emphasis on financial hedging activities. He subsequently assumed roles of increasing responsibility in the risk, sales, marketing, and analytics departments.
Bethel holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from Clark Atlanta University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Kelly School of Business at Indiana University.
With a commitment to enhancing accessibility for everyone and making inroads for future generations, Bethel devotes his time and resources to marginalized groups, including the Boys & Girls Club of America, Junior Achievement USA, North Texas Food Bank, TutorMe, and HBCUs (including his alma mater), as well as HSIs. Within Toyota, Bethel participates in affinity groups focused on women and LGBTQ+ segments and has been recognized with the Diversity Champion Award for 2022 and the president’s award for his community involvement.
In his free time, Bethel enjoys following the financial markets, exercise and travel. He and his wife Crysti are the proud parents of two children, Myles and Nia.