Asheville City Manager, Debra Campbell, is pleased to announce that Sala Menaya-Merritt has been named as the City of Asheville’s next Equity & Inclusion Director. Ms. Menaya-Merritt will officially begin her duties with the City of Asheville on January 8 and will spend her first three weeks cross-training with Brenda Mills, the City’s current Director of Equity & Inclusion, who is retiring effective January 31, 2024.
Sala has 25 years of professional experience in government, ranging from City, County and State agencies. Her roles included the Diversion Services Program Manager with Buncombe County, the Organizational Development Administrator for the City of Savannah’s Human Resources Department, and the Savannah Impact Director with the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department. Earlier in her career, she worked in various community based roles with the City of Los Angeles and the City of Hemet, which is located in Southern California.
Currently, Ms. Menaya-Merritt serves as the Impact Focus Area Administrator for the Community Reparations Commission, which is a contracted position where she has worked closely with commission members and both City and County staff.
“The City’s Equity & Inclusion Department plays a vital role in helping to ensure our community is a safe, diverse, and welcoming place where everyone can thrive,” City Manager Debra Campbell said. “We are confident that Ms. Menaya-Merritt will continue to build on the progress and strength of the Equity & Inclusion Department. I look forward to her leadership to continue momentum on several key initiatives that the Department of Equity & Inclusion currently have underway including the implementation of the City’s Equity Action Plan and providing continued staff support to the Community Reparations Commission.”
“Ms. Menaya-Merritt’s background in local government paired with her extensive network in the community and her proven track record serving in different capacities to support the Community Reparations Commission have positioned her well to continue the important work of the City’s Department of Equity & Inclusion and I am glad that she was selected as my successor,” said current Director of Equity & Inclusion, Brenda Mills.