Victoria Russell joined Beam Suntory as its first Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer in January 2021. In this newly created role, Russell joined the company’s Senior Leadership Team and leads diversity and inclusion across talent acquisition, career development and employee retention, marketing, community relations, and building organisational capability to better recognise bias and further drive inclusive mindset. Russell also supports the development of diversity guidelines for the company’s supplier base and champions Employee Impact Groups and leaders across the business.
Before joining Beam Suntory, Russell had a successful 14-year career at Papa John’s International, ultimately stepping up during difficult times in 2018 to become the first to lead Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. In that role, Russell was credited with step-changing the company’s actions to build a diverse, equitable and inclusive organisation comprised of 120,000 team members. She previously held marketing analytics roles of increasing responsibility, providing valuable insights into the business, and the customers and communities they serve. Prior to Papa Johns, Victoria held compensation and marketing roles at Lexmark, Humana, and Brown-Forman and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration and a M.B.A in Marketing from the University of Kentucky.
Victoria serves on several non-profit boards including GLI, Leadership Louisville, Fund for the Arts, Women Influencing Louisville and the Chestnut Street YMCA. In 2019, she was named “Woman Making A Difference” by Louisville Business First and selected as one of Louisville’s Forty Under 40. She was also featured in The Business Journals’ Influencers: Rising Stars, a national list of influential young executives. Her other recent accomplishments include Leadership Louisville Class of 2020, University of Kentucky 2019 Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence Award, founding member of the Adweek D&I Council and named of one the Adweek & Adcolor 2020 Champions of Diversity & Inclusion. Victoria was also named to the Executive Leadership Council, honoured as a Daughter of Greatness by the Muhammad Ali Center and featured as Today’s Woman 2020 Most Admired Woman in the Corporate Category.