Tommi Paris is the Senior Vice President of DEI Strategy for IPG DXTRA, a global collective of 28 marketing specialty brands that bring together uniquely configured solutions inspired by truly diverse teams to help our clients meet challenges as they come. IPG DXTRA works across experiential, public relations, sponsorships, innovation, brand, influencer, digital, social and analytics categories as diverse as sports, healthcare, entertainment, CPG, luxury, tech, and financial services.
She previously served as Director of DEI for Southern Company Gas, a subsidiary of Southern Company, a $3B premier energy company, delivering energy services to 9 million customers through its subsidiaries across North America of 30,000+ employees. Southern Company Gas is the natural gas services subsidiary of Southern Company with more than 4,300 employees serving more than 4.2 million customers across North America.
In her role with Southern Company Gas, Tommi was responsible for the direction, development and execution of the company’s DEI strategy and supported the overall goals of Southern Company, which is consistently recognized as one of the top companies in the nation for DEI. Southern Company was recently named as one of the Top 50 Companies for Diversity by both DiversityInc and Black Enterprise magazine. For the 10th consecutive year, the company was ranked as a Best for Vets Employer by Military Times EDGE magazine. Additionally, the Disability Equality Index recognized Southern Company as one of the Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion. Once again, the company earned a perfect score of 100 from the Human Rights Campaign on their 2020 Workplace Equality Index.
Southern Company Gas was awarded the Roosevelt Thomas Champion of Diversity Award by the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity for fostering equal opportunity and exhibiting outstanding commitment to diversity.
Tommi joined Southern Company in 2013 as an employee communications specialist supporting the strategic communications efforts of Field Operations, Talent Development and the Office of DEI in its inaugural year in 2014. After being promoted to Manager of D&I in the inaugural year, Tommi partnered with leaders and employees across the company to expand the employee resource group (ERG) program to nine groups with active chapters in four states. In 2018, as Director of DEI, she began leading the continued evolution of the employee resource group program, which was recently ranked #5 out of #10 by Talent Dimensions for program expansion and evolution. Additionally, she oversaw the development and execution of employee engagement and education strategies to build leadership capabilities and foster an inclusive work environment.
Tommi earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga and a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology and women and gender studies from Furman University. She also is a Certified Diversity Professional through the Society for Diversity and is a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory. Additionally, she is currently pursuing a certificate in Diversity and Inclusion through Cornell University.
An active DEI practitioner, Tommi serves as a board member for the Atlanta Diversity Management Advocacy Group and was an inaugural member of Disability: IN Greater Atlanta, a nonprofit business association committed to disability inclusion. She recently ended her tenure as Vice Chair of the DEI Council and Chair of the DEI Committee for Southern Gas Association and previously served on the programs and professional development committee for the American Association for Blacks in Energy (AABE).
A lifelong athlete, Tommi enjoys sports and physical activity. This year, she will sunset her almost decade-long career as a NCAA Division I women’s college basketball referee, a pastime that allowed her to practice conflict resolution and manage competitive tension, which she considers to be her super powers