Jonathan Mayes

DEI Expert, Former Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at Albertsons Companies
Jonathan Mayes Speaker
  • Twice named a Top 100 DEI Executive who developed award-winning initiatives as SVP at Albertsons Companies, a leading supermarket and pharmacy retailer
  • Offers a unique philosophy on organizational success rooted in conscious leadership and forward-thinking business practices
  • Challenges audiences to recognize reality of bias and shares valuable tools for creating more innovative, successful, diverse, and inclusive workplaces
  • Shares sought-after insights on leading with inclusion to develop diverse, industry-leading teams

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Among the most influential retail industry executives for nearly three decades, Jonathan Mayes has been one of the leading voices in elevating diversity, equity, and inclusion within the organizations he has served. Mayes is the former senior vice president and chief diversity & inclusion officer at Albertsons Companies, one of America’s largest grocery store and pharmacy chains, where he oversaw the organization’s government relations, communications, sustainability, and philanthropy teams, and launched award-winning initiatives designed to position the business for success with DEI and corporate social responsibility at its foundation. He is a visionary who continues to drive the change toward a more representative and equitable workforce and has been twice recognized as one of the Top 100 Diversity & Inclusion executives in the U.S., in addition other honors and awards. 

Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, Mayes is committed to “moving the ball down the field” when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. His talks are equal parts thought-provoking and action-oriented as he challenges audiences to identify areas where they are falling short in meeting the needs of underrepresented groups in the workplace — both as an organization and individually. He shares what it means to lead with inclusion, as well as real-life examples of the positive impact it plays in meeting strategic business objectives. His tools and resources for letting go of our unconscious biases and hiring and developing top diverse talent can be leveraged by any company making a conscious effort toward diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Prior to his role as Albertsons’ senior vice president of external affairs and chief diversity and inclusion officer, Mayes spent several years at Safeway in various senior leadership roles before the two companies merged. As senior vice president of public affairs, government relations, CSR, and philanthropy, his team represented Safeway’s reputation and image in the media, advanced the company’s efforts as an industry leader in corporate social responsibility and sustainability, and provided strategic leadership on government relations. Mayes began his career in law as an attorney associate at Donahue Gallagher Woods, LLP and later as a senior attorney at American Stores before accepting his first role with Safeway in 1994. Today, he is the CEO of Jonathan Mayes & Associates, which advises organizations seeking to launch or enhance their DEI efforts.

In addition to being a Certified Diversity Executive and a sought-after expert on DEI and CSR, Mayes serves as a chairman, vice chairman, and board member for several leading organizations, including the California Grocers Association, the California Retailers Association, and the California Chamber of Commerce. He was previously a guest lecturer on public policy and government relations at UC Berkley’s Goldman School of Public Policy and continues to serve as a guest lecturer at the USC Marshall School of Business and Portland State University. Mayes is a recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Service Award from Willamette University, where he completed his Juris Doctorate degree, as well as the 2022 Esther Peterson Award for outstanding service to the supermarket industry by the Food Marketing Institute. He is also the recipient of honors from the San Francisco Bay Area Minority Bar Coalition and Charles Houston Bar Association for his exemplary contributions to the legal community. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Warner Pacific University and has been honored as the university’s Alumnus of the Year.   

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Speaker Video

Jonathan Mayes: DEI - 4 Steps to Overcoming Our Implicit Bias

2019 Willamette Law Commencement

Lead with Inclusion. Regarded as a transformational leader, former Albertsons and Safeway senior vice president Jonathan Mayes continues to be an important voice and catalyst in driving diversity, equity, and inclusion forward in the workplace. He draws from close to three decades building diverse, industry leading teams to lead an important conversation on DEI in today’s organizations and why it matters now more than ever.

Mayes is refreshingly candid as he shares areas where organizations are falling short in meeting the needs of their underrepresented team members, while challenging leaders to recognize their unconscious biases, become allies to diverse groups, and be forces for positive change when it comes to hiring and developing talent with regard to diversity, equity, and inclusion. He arms audience members with the tools and resources necessary to lead with inclusion and develop actionable DEI strategies, while pointing to real-life examples of how the organizations he has led achieved and exceeded challenging goals as a result of a more intentional focus on DEI.

Buying In to Corporate Social Responsibility. For close to three decades as a senior executive at Albertsons and Safeway, Jonathan Mayes set the example for leading high-performing teams that had a positive impact on their organization’s bottom line and an even greater influence on their communities and the world. Mayes uses examples from his experiences spearheading corporate social responsibility and philanthropy at two food and drug retail industry giants to highlight why having a defined CSR strategy is vital to the success of every business and share valuable insights for how organizations in any industry can do well by doing good.    

ESG: An Ethical Framework for Business Success. Environmental, social, and corporate governance principles are top of mind for stakeholders and, in many cases, investors are looking at how businesses conduct themselves ethically in these three areas before contributing capital. As a former senior vice president at Albertsons and Safeway driving forward corporate social responsibility and sustainability initiatives at both companies, Jonathan Mayes is expertly positioned to demonstrate what ESG is beyond being a buzz term and why it should serve as a guide for how organizations can operate ethically and be stewards for a better world, while continuing to meet their business objectives. In this talk, Mayes provides audiences with a framework for developing an ESG strategy and successfully integrating it into their businesses.

Finding Success and Happiness in the Workplace. In addition to success, now more than ever, people are looking to find purpose and fulfillment in their careers. As former Albertsons and Safeway senior vice president Jonathan Mayes shares, workplace happiness is a vital component to the success of each individual and the development of high-performing teams. In this inspiring session, Mayes provides powerful lessons for anyone to define their own vision of career success and happiness and how to achieve it. As he shares, there are no shortcuts; instead, he demonstrates actionable tactics and strategies anyone can use to achieve meaningful goals.  

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