JEFFERSON CITY – Today, the Office of Administration announced that Carmela Thornton is the new director of the Office of Equal Opportunity.
The Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) exists to promote a diversified workforce within state government and to assist women and minorities in developing opportunities to contract with the state, economically empowering traditionally under-served communities and improving the overall fiscal vitality of the State of Missouri.
“It is an honor to be the serving as the OEO director. OEO is here to support an inclusive culture that provides equal opportunity for all employees to realize their full potential,” OEO Director Carmela Thornton said. “In addition, we strive to encourage and facilitate the utilization of certified minority- and women-owned business enterprises by state executive departments in state procurements.”
“Carmela’s years of dedication and experience in the Office of Administration made her an excellent fit to take on the role as OEO director,” Office of Administration Commissioner Sarah Steelman said. “She is committed to help minority- and women-owned businesses in our state succeed.”
Carmela Thornton served as the Assistant Director in the Office of Administration’s Division of Purchasing from 2001-2018. She was previously the Minority and Women Business Enterprise (M/WBE) Certification Coordinator and the M/WBE Program Coordinator in the Office of Administration’s Minority Program, what is now called OEO.
She holds two certifications as a Certified Public Procurement Officer (CPPO) and Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity (CPSD).
As the new OEO director, Carmela Thornton brings an astute understanding of the issues and challenges facing today’s employees and businesses. In her new role, Carmela Thornton said she’s most looking forward to meeting and networking with OEO stakeholders, which includes the office’s strategic business partners, and assisting in the coordination and implementation of the state government’s workforce diversity program.
Carmela Thornton earned both her bachelor’s degree in marketing and a master’s degree in business administration in management from Lincoln University. She is currently working on another bachelor’s degree in management information systems from Columbia College.