Rolling Out

Karmetria Burton shares what service and sisterhood mean to her

Karmetria Head Shot
Photo courtesy of Karmetria Burton

Karmetria Dunham Burton, director of corporate supplier diversity and sustainability for Delta Air Lines, develops and executes a global supplier diversity program.

Delta Air Lines’ vision as an industry leader is making minority- and women-owned businesses a natural and integral part of their core business. Prior to her current career, she’s worked for Fortune 500 companies including Xerox, AT&T, Union Pacific Railroad and Intercontinental Hotels Group.

A rising star in her field, Burton has received a plethora of recognitions and awards including the Trailblazer Award presented by the Black Business Professionals and Entrepreneurs organization (2005); was recognized by Who’s Who of Black Atlanta in 2010. In 2012 and 2013, Burton was honored as one of the Top 25 Women Impacting Diversity, by Diversity Inc. magazine. A well-respected authority in supplier diversity, she is a contributing writer for MBE magazine, which focuses on minority business development. Also in 2013, she was honored by Kentucky State University with the Thorobred Award. In 2014, she was noted as a woman of Excellence by the Atlanta Daily World Magazine. Her work and her passion has gained her notoriety in several publications; Black Enterprise, AMOI and Diversity Inc. In 2015, she was awarded the InfluenceHER award and was featured in the June issue of Black Enterprise magazine for her work at Delta Air Lines in supplier diversity, along with being awarded as one of the Top 25 Women of Atlanta by this publication.

Burton holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Southern University-Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Nebraska, her doctorate degree from Argosy University, and she has an honorary doctorate degree from Global Oved Dei Seminary and University. Burton has instructed business, procurement and diversity related courses at Kennesaw State University as well as Shorter College, Strayer University, Georgia State University and Monroe Community College in Rochester, New York. Burton is a sought after speaker by women’s organizations, youth empowerment groups and entrepreneur forums.

A native of Houston, Burton is married to Horace A. Burton, and resides in Atlanta.

Read what she has to say.

Where were you initiated in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated?
Nu Lambda Omega Chapter in Atlanta.

What does sisterhood mean to you?
Sisterhood is a bond between women who share common goals and can come together to move the agenda forward.

Sisterhood means, showing love, compassion and grace to other women in spite of race, religion, or socioeconomic status.

Empower, build up, motivate and encourage your sister. Share your story to encourage other women.

What does service mean to you?
Service is the act of giving of yourself, through time, knowledge or talents.

To serve acknowledges you realize there is a greater force than you, it takes humility and submission to serve.

One of the most important questions you can ask yourself is “What are you doing for others?” MLK Jr.

If there was something you could share with pre-AKA Karmetria about the experience of being a professional and member of this sorority, what would it be?
1. Don’t allow society to dictate where your life should be. ( Marriage, children, etc)
2. Never allow the title or the role to define you. The title of the role should never be more important than the task.
3. Show up! Every day, be intentional with all you do.

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