Monifa Drayton was recently named the board chair of the Mecklenburg County Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board.
Drayton was sworn into her role on Tuesday alongside new board directors Marcus Kimbrough and Beverly Thorpe.
Drayton is the first Black woman to hold this position in Board history.
“We are honored to bring on community leaders like Marcus and Beverly while promoting Monifa to Board Chair to continue bettering our organization and the community. It’s truly a symbol of hope and progress for the organization and diverse vendors,” Keva Walton, CEO of the Mecklenburg County ABC Board, said in a statement.
Drayton joined the organization in 2018 as a board of directors member, helping with community involvement. She succeeds former Board Chair Earl Leake.
Drayton said she was “elated” when she learned of her eventual promotion in February. It was fitting that the news came during Black History Month.
“There was a 75-year history [of the ABC board], and within the 75 years, there had never been a black woman to chair, “ she told QCity Metro. “I was really just excited to be able to be a trailblazer in this space.”
In her role, she is tasked with balancing the direction of the board’s safe and responsible consumption of alcohol in the area and establishing solid relations between consumers and local businesses.
She said she wants to continue the board’s efforts to improve social impact and community engagement.
This includes continuing initiatives like Operation Restoration Hope, where ABC officers partner with local volunteers to clean up Uptown and provide water and snacks to people who are homeless.
“Over the last three years, we have really redesigned and created a new business model, which focuses on customer service and community engagement.,” she said. “ We worked throughout the pandemic to create a strong model, so we are gonna continue to build upon that.”
For the last 20 years, Drayton has served in multiple leadership positions within the healthcare industry, including operations and business development. She is currently the CEO of Drayton Leadership Group, LLC, which specializes in leadership development, equity and inclusion.
Drayton earned several awards throughout her career, including Carolinas HealthCare System Pinnacle Award Finalist (2017), Community Leader of the Year Award (2016) and Outstanding Emerging Business Leader of the Year Award (2014).