W5-E Necessary Alliance: Promoting Further Unity Between the Latino and African American/Black Community
About Eric Watson
Eric Watson joined Food Lion as Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion in October 2003. He is responsible for the development and implementation of Food Lion’s diversity and inclusion business strategy. He is also responsible for leadership and associate development, and measuring progress in the areas of culture and environment, diverse supplier development, minority recruitment and retention, education and training, and assisting in growing and sustaining a diverse market presence.
From 2007 through 2009, Watson also led the Talent Acquisition department for Food Lion, LLC, which included, strategic sourcing, recruitment, managing strategy, and measuring processes and resources. From 2007 through 2009, Watson served on Food Lion, LLC’s Executive Committee. In January 2010, he became Vice President of the Office of Diversity & Inclusion for Delhaize America, which comprises the Food Lion banner (Food Lion, Bloom, Harveys, Reid’s), Bottom Dollar Foods, Hannaford Brothers, and Sweetbay Supermarkets).
Watson brings 29 years of experience in operations management, with more than 16 of those years in the field of diversity. Watson has developed strategies to impact business success by creating a vision to manage diversity, designing leadership mentoring programs to promote diversity and establishing an accountability system for business diversity.
Immediately prior to joining Food Lion, Watson was the Executive Director of Diversity and Workforce Capability at the Williams Companies Inc. From 1994 to 2000, he served as Vice President of Global Diversity for the St. Paul Companies Inc.
He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Executive Leadership Council (ELC), and the Next Generation Network (NGN). He is a member of the Conference Board Council on Work Force Diversity. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the University of North Carolina-Center for International Understanding, and the Urban League of Central Carolinas in Charlotte, where he also chairs the Urban Youth Empowerment Program (UYEP). He is a member of the Board of Visitors and the Corporate Alliance Program at Johnson C. Smith University, the Board of Visitors at Livingstone College, the Leadership Team of the Community Building Initiative (CBI), the North Carolina NAACP Youth & College Division Advisory Board, and the Board of Directors of The Park in Charlotte, NC.
Watson holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Livingstone College in Salisbury, N.C.