The Kansas City-based agency reached into its own community to hire Adam as its first director of diversity and inclusion. Adam is a Kansas State University graduate and Fulbright Scholar who comes to Barkley from the higher education world. He was previously a postsecondary coach at Kauffman Scholars and director of the Green Fellowship program at Teach for America, a role he was instrumental in elevating to a national level.
Adam is active in the Kansas City community, promoting diversity through The BrandLab and as a board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters. He is also co-owner of The AV Collection, a virtual winery that leverages winemaking as a conduit to give back through various charities and drive inclusion in the wine industry.
At Barkley, Adam will be responsible for recruitment and helping to drive the four initiatives of the agency: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEI+B). Under those initiatives are four pillars, which are represented by groups within the agency: Our Work, which aims to integrate a DEI+B mindset into the agency’s ideas; Educate & Discuss, which seeks to break down concepts of race, culture, society and inequality; Diversity at Barkley, which aims to increase diverse representation in the agency; and Inclusion and Belonging, where each partner’s value is celebrated.
“Recruitment is more than just offering a referral program. Attracting a diverse population of talent starts with creating a space for people to bring their authentic selves to work every day,” said Adam. “At Barkley, we will be reverse engineering the model of recruitment, retention, and culture.”
“By embracing everything that makes our partners who they are and what makes them unique to the world around them, we create the conditions and capacity to help creative, original thinking thrive,” added Jeff King, Barkley CEO. “As an agency, we believe that equity and belonging are essential to the changes we want to make and the agency culture that we want to foster, and we believe that Adam is the person to help us make those changes.”