Local Man Joins Toyota’s Diversity Advisory Board

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Robert Davidson Jr.

First published in the Aug. 25 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.

Toyota Motor North America recently announced the appointment of three new members to its North American Diversity Advisory Board (DAB), including Pasadena resident Robert Davidson Jr.
Davidson is among a trio that also includes Domenika Lynch, executive director of the Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program, and retired Army Maj. Gen. Tammy Smith.
Davidson was chairman and CEO of Surface Protection Industries, a paint and specialty coatings manufacturing company he founded in 1978. Under Davidson’s leadership, the company grew to become the largest African American-owned manufacturing company in California. Previously, Davidson co-founded Urban National Corporation.
He also served as chairman of the board of Morehouse College and Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design. Additionally, Davidson is on the boards of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, City First Broadway and vice chairman of the board at Smithsonian American Art Museum. Additionally, he continues in his pursuit of museum-quality historic African American art from the 19th and 20th centuries to add to his collection, mentors young entrepreneurs and is involved in giving back to his community.
Davidson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Morehouse College and an MBA in marketing and finance from the University of Chicago.
“Toyota’s core philosophy of Respect for People is part of our DNA and is reflected in our long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion,” said Sandra Phillips Rogers, senior vice president, corporate resources and chief diversity officer of Toyota Motor North America. “The addition of Robert, Domenika and Tammy bring powerful voices to the DAB which will help us continue developing a diverse and inclusive workforce and innovate our business to be ready to meet the challenges of the future.”
Created in 2002, Toyota’s DAB plays an integral role in fostering a more diverse and inclusive company culture. Working closely with the organization’s senior leadership, the Advisory Board — led by former U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman — helps drive adoption of best practices and ensures executive accountability.
“Like the other Board members, Tammy, Domenika and Robert have worked tirelessly for decades to educate and advocate for DEI and bold new ideas, said Alexis Herman, DAB Chair. “We look forward to hearing and learning from them as we continue this important work.”