Shelton J. Haynes, the President and CEO of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC), stands as a staunch advocate for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the workplace. Recognizing the power of an inclusive work culture, Haynes embarked on a mission to create a diverse and united team, fostering an atmosphere where everyone’s unique perspectives are valued and embraced.
Upon assuming the role of President & CEO in 2021, Haynes recognized the importance of expanding and fortifying RIOC’s leadership team. He appointed first-time assistant vice presidents and chief of staff for communications, administration, and public safety. As an experienced leader in organizational change, Haynes understood the significance of surrounding oneself with subject matter experts offering diverse viewpoints.
Haynes’ emphasis on inclusion was evident in the expansion of his executive team, which boasts a diverse array of talent, with four women and over half of the members belonging to minority groups. He believes in empowering individuals to write their future and carve unique paths within RIOC, fostering boundless growth opportunities.
Being the first Black chief operations officer and now the second Black president in RIOC’s history, Haynes is acutely aware of the responsibility that comes with his position. He recognizes the alarming underrepresentation of Black chief executives in the United States and is determined to be a catalyst for positive change. His leadership seeks to inspire and empower others, regardless of background, to pursue their aspirations and reach new heights.
Remodeling RIOC: Shelton Haynes’ Vision for Inclusive Excellence
Established in 1984 by the state of New York, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) has a mission to design, develop, operate, and maintain Roosevelt Island. Under Shelton Haynes’ administration, RIOC has undergone significant change, benefiting countless residents and visitors to the island. Haynes’ unwavering commitment to ensuring progress is inclusive and beneficial to all remains a cornerstone of his leadership.
When Haynes took the helm as President & CEO on an interim basis in 2020, he wasted no time creating a master plan to reimagine the corporation amidst the challenges posed by a global pandemic. His mission was to modernize the agency, bringing it up to 21st-century standards across all departments, strongly emphasizing cultivating an inclusive work culture, enhancing efficiency, and improving residents’ quality of life.
Haynes’ approach to restructuring RIOC revolved around assembling a team of top-tier professionals. Regardless of background, he focused on their experience and expertise, ensuring they were best suited for their respective roles. The result was an executive team that exemplified diversity and represented various backgrounds, fostering a collaborative and innovative environment.
The initiatives set forth during his tenure have had a profound impact on the island’s infrastructure and the lives of its residents. From capital projects to internal enhancements, Haynes’ leadership has transformed RIOC into one of the leading public benefit corporations in New York State.
Fostering a Diverse and Empowered Workforce
Shelton Haynes’ tenure at RIOC has been marked by a relentless commitment to fostering a diverse and empowered workforce. As the first Black chief operations officer and now the second Black president in RIOC’s history, Haynes understands the significance of his role as a trailblazer for others in the organization.
Throughout his time at RIOC, Haynes has advocated for promoting internal talent. Under his leadership, 75 individuals, nearly 57% of RIOC’s current workforce, have been announced. Emphasizing measurable results and an individual’s contributions to their respective teams, Haynes ensures that promotions are based on merit and commitment to the betterment of RIOC.
Haynes’ commitment to supporting and advancing a diverse array of professionals has played a pivotal role in RIOC’s remarkable achievements. His dedication to progress has been unwavering, from the impressive growth of the Roosevelt Island Youth Center, providing free after-school programming for children, to substantial investments in the island’s infrastructure.
RIOC’s Bright Future: A Testament to Inclusive Excellence
Shelton J. Haynes’ leadership at the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) has left an indelible mark on the organization, its employees, and the island community. With a relentless focus on building an inclusive work culture, Haynes has assembled a diverse and talented executive team that has propelled RIOC to new heights.
His vision for RIOC was clear from the outset, aiming to remodel the corporation with a strong emphasis on inclusivity and progressive initiatives. The implementation of the 100-day master plan, even amidst a global pandemic, demonstrated Haynes’ unwavering commitment to modernization and advancement.
Haynes’ legacy at RIOC extends beyond capital projects and infrastructure improvements. His dedication to empowering individuals, fostering their growth, and promoting diversity has redefined RIOC’s work culture, making it a model for other organizations.
Shelton Haynes’ transformative leadership at the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) is a testament to the power of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. Through his vision, RIOC has evolved into a thriving organization driven by a diverse and united team. The legacy of his leadership will continue to shape RIOC’s future, leaving an enduring impact on its employees and the Roosevelt Island community.