07/25/2022 | by

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 25, 2022) – Nareit has named Ayris Scales as Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility & Global Initiatives.

Scales’ responsibilities encompass the social component of Nareit’s environment, social, and governance work, including diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. She also will further develop and oversee Nareit’s global alliances and relationships.

Commenting on her appointment, Nareit’s President and CEO Steven A. Wechsler said, “Ayris has an impressive history of building consensus among stakeholders to develop and implement impactful economic and social initiatives in the nonprofit, government, and corporate sectors. Her strong relationship skills, business acumen, and experience championing solutions to social challenges will be critical as she leads our global outreach and social responsibility efforts.”

Scales has nearly 20 years of experience in economic and community development. Most recently, Scales was CEO of the Walker’s Legacy Foundation, which provides entrepreneurial, financial, and professional support to improve the economic equality and entrepreneurial prosperity of multicultural women. From 2018–2021, she was chief service officer for the District of Columbia under Mayor Muriel Bowser. In that role, she cultivated strategic partnerships with corporations, foundations, nonprofits, and government agencies to advance mayoral priorities and to create solutions to social challenges.

“A large part of building generational wealth is centered around diversifying income and assets,” said Scales. “But to achieve this, I wholeheartedly believe that people first need exposure and understanding. I also believe that we all play a role in helping close inequity gaps. This role at Nareit offers a unique opportunity to act on both those beliefs by raising the visibility of REITs among communities that may not be as familiar with them and spearheading industry-wide efforts that can lead to a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive real estate industry. I'm thrilled to advance Nareit's commitment to this effort.”

Earlier in her career, Scales was vice president for economic growth and jobs at World Business Chicago and executive director of the DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative. Prior to that role, Scales served as executive director of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. She is also the founder of her own consulting firm, Abel Vision Enterprises.

Scales is an advisory council member for Wells Fargo’s Where We Live Initiative and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. She also previously served as president of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. Scales received a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism from Kent State University, and a Masters of Public Affairs from Baruch College, where she was a National Urban Fellow.

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