Tellis Bethel

  • Group Vice President, Chief Social Innovation Officer
    Toyota Motor North America

Tellis Bethel is group vice president and chief social innovation officer for Toyota Motor North America (TMNA). Bringing his personal passion for advancing equity to the role, he oversees TMNA’s strategic partnerships, philanthropic efforts, and diversity and inclusion activities. With the goal of ensuring mobility for all, Bethel directs initiatives to expand access to opportunities and create a culture of inclusion that strengthens both communities and TMNA.

With over fifteen years of experience with Toyota Financial Services, Bethel’s background in finance and analytics enhances his current position, connecting the dots between data and market share and substantiating the impact of TMNA’s social innovation efforts on business and relationships.

Bethel began his career with Toyota Financial Services as a Graduate Management Team Member (GMTM) in risk management planning with an emphasis on financial hedging activities. He subsequently served as financial risk manager, analytics manager, sales finance manager, business marketing manager, credit risk senior manager, and general manager of Finance and Business Analytics. Most recently, Bethel was vice president of Voluntary Protection Products, where he led the business unit responsible for $300M+ in operating income annually from the origination of optional products when financing Toyota, Lexus, and Mazda vehicles.

Bethel holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from Clark Atlanta University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Kelly School of Business at Indiana University.

With a commitment to enhancing accessibility for everyone and making inroads for future generations, Bethel devotes his time and resources to marginalized groups, including the Boys & Girls Club of America, Junior Achievement USA, North Texas Food Bank, TutorMe, and HBCUs (including his alma mater), as well as HSIs. Within Toyota, Bethel participates in affinity groups focused on women and LGBTQ+ segments and has been recognized with the Diversity Champion Award for 2022 and the president’s award for his community involvement.

In his free time, Bethel enjoys following the financial markets, exercise and travel. He and his wife Crysti are the proud parents of two children, Myles and Nia.

Favorite Quote: “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” – Richard Branson

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