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Episode 92: How DEI Should Connect to Your Business Goals and Operations with Kevin Clayton, VP of diversity, inclusion and community engagement for the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers 

There have been so many conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) since 2020, but few of those have discussed a return on investment for money and time spent on DEI. In today’s episode, Kevin Clayton, the vice president of diversity, inclusion and community engagement for the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, is sharing his unique perspective on DEI. In his role, Kevin has worked to connect DEI to all business operations, a key connection that so many organizations are still missing. Kevin also shares his story of how sports taught him about inclusion from a young age, and why it’s important to separate emotions from discussions about DEI.

Connect with Kevin Clayton on Twitter at, LinkedIn, or via email at

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How diversity initiatives have expanded to entail conversations around inclusion and equity
  • How Kevin leveraged playing sports to be included in a predominately white school
  • The business operations behind the Cleveland Cavaliers
  • The risks associated with sports events and the risk mitigation strategies they need to put in place
  • How the Cleveland Cavaliers’ efforts to support diversity, equity, and inclusion are tied to all the systems in their business including metrics, accountability, bonuses and compensation
  • Why you should care about DEI as a director or a VP
  • Why diversity means more than just outward differences between individuals 

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Vanessa Mathews, host

Vanessa Mathews is the founder and chief resilience officer of Asfalis Advisors, where they are focused on protecting the legacy of the leaders they serve through business resilience. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Mathews developed global crisis management and business continuity programs for government and private sector organizations to include Lowe’s Companies, Gulfstream Aerospace, and the Department of Homeland Security.

Jon Seals, producer

Jon Seals is the editor in chief at Disaster Recovery Journal, the leading magazine/event in business continuity. Seals is an award-winning journalist with a background in publication design, business media, content management, sports journalism, social media, and podcasting.

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