2017 ERG & Council Conference:
People, Purpose & Passion -
Making a Difference!
Presenters & Featured Events
Keynote Maestro, Celebrated Performer & Thought Leader
First Day Opening Event: Teamwork: Diversity and the Power of Human Harmonics
Freddie Ravel, is the internationally acclaimed Keynote Maestro who blends his infectious passions for business breakthroughs and the power of music to unlock the minds, hearts and potential of audiences around the world.
Have you ever heard a great-sounding band or orchestra where everyone is a soloist? It doesn’t exist. For over a decade, the Gallup polls reveal that four out of five employees are disengaged in their work, costing the U.S. economy over $500 billion annually in lost revenue.
The Keynote Maestro shares personal stories of how minorities and women have opened doors to his ongoing success from being hired by Brazilian producer Sergio Mendes at age 23 to being the only white guy in the all black band named “Earth, Wind and Fire.” In addition to his collaborations with Dr. Martin Luther King’s daughter, Yolanda King as guest author in Open My Eyes, Open My Soul alongside Stevie Wonder, Muhammad Ali, Robert Kennedy, Jr. and Maya Angelou, he’s played the GRAMMY’s with Prince, recorded with Madonna for her major motion picture debut, Evita and toured the world to packed stadiums with Latin rock legend Carlos Santana.
Freddie Ravel drives home the message that when we embrace teamwork and inclusion, our collective Melodies, Harmonies and Rhythms achieve the ultimate SCORE—a world where human potential is raised and diversity drives organizations to gain the distinct advantage needed in today’s hyper-competitive marketplace.
Illuminating the properties of Human Harmonics to resolve conflict and create breakthroughs, Freddie will help teams and individuals learn how to better listen, engage and achieve collaborative success.
Model, Producer, Trans Rights Advocate
Second Day Opening Event: Talking Transgender Issues - Speaking Up for Those Without a Voice
Geena Rocero, born and raised in Manila, Philippines, is a Model, Producer, Trans Rights Advocate and co-host of award winning TV Show ASPIREist for USA Network. She uses her platform to share a powerful story.
On March 31, 2014, in honor of International Transgender Day of Visibility, Rocero came out as transgender at the annual TED Conference, her viral talk has since been viewed more than 3 million times. Geena is the founder of Gender Proud, an advocacy and media production company that tells stories to elevate justice and equality for the transgender community.
She, along with Gender Proud Productions produced and presented "Beautiful As I Want to Be" on LogoTV highlighting trans youth, and received the 2016 GLAAD media Award. Gender Proud also produced "Willing and Able", a 2017 GLAAD Media nominated web series about transgender employment with Fusion TV and most recently worked with Fusion/Univision to produce a TV documentary about transgender athletes, "No League of Their Own".
Geena has spoken at the White House, United Nations, and been featured on E's I am Cait, Magazine Cover of Candy Magazine, Vanity Fair: Trans America, Marriott's #LoveTravels Campaign and CoverGirl Cosmetics #GirlsCan Campaign. Most recently, she was on the cover of Harper's Bazaar India.
She has been featured in media publications such as CNN, Al Jazeera America, MSNBC, Today Show, NHK World Channel, HuffPost Live, New York Magazine, Mashable, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Vanity Fair, Elle, Entertainment Weekly, People, Variety, Take Part, The Advocate, MTV and others.
Linda Stokes: Event Host & Workshop Facilitator
President & CEO at PRISM International, Inc. and
the Association of ERGs & Councils
Workshop Facilitator:ERG & Diversity Council
Linda founded PRISM in 1992 with the mission of increasing organizational performance by creating more inclusive workplaces that value the contributions of all employees and that connect D&I strategies and tactics to the business of the organization. Under her leadership, PRISM has provided D&I consulting services, training and products to millions of employees in hundreds of organizations around the globe.
She is the co-author of Multicultural Customer Service: Providing Outstanding Service Across Cultures, author of numerous journal articles, media contributor on topics of organizational strategic and tactical D&I, and a curriculum developer of over 120 cross cultural and D&I consulting and training programs. She is a recognized leader in the field of D&I and coaches and mentors Executives, CDOs and diversity professionals at several American and European global firms. As a women-owned certified business headquarter in Central Florida, Linda’s leadership and success was recognized by the Women’s Executive Council of Orlando when she was awarded their Women’s Achievement Award for Business.
In 2006, she recognized the special needs of Diversity Councils and Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and created the Association of ERGs & Councils. That was followed in 2008 with the launching of the annual ERG & Council Honors Award™ and in 2012 with the first annual ERG & Council Conference™.
In 2014, Linda responded to the growing healthcare needs of providing exceptional service and care by increasing cultural and language competencies by developing a special suite of healthcare skills and tools.
Most recently she has taken confronting our unconscious biases, micro-inequities, and cultural misunderstandings to the next level by creating The Elephant We Can't See™- a unique workshop that uses storytelling followed by interactive, engaging, skill building training to help begin a dialogue about any difference that makes a difference in the organization.
Prior to PRISM, Linda's professional experience included management and executive experience in education, healthcare, banking and international customer service consulting and training. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida and her M.A. in Educational Leadership from Stetson University in Deland Florida.
Fernando Serpa: Event Host & Workshop Facilitator
Executive Director at the Association of ERGs & Councils
Workshop Facilitator: Transforming Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to Business Resource Groups (BRGs): The Next Stage of Affinity Group Evolution
Fernando draws upon his two decades of in-depth diversity and inclusion experience across the public and private sector and excels at building dynamic, cross cultural diversity and inclusion strategies to influence systemic change across organizations. He has led diversity efforts for such Fortune 100 companies as Agilent Technologies, Symantec, JCPenney and Johnson Controls. His responsibilities have included worldwide diversity recruitment and retention, employee network groups, international programs and diversity and inclusion training.
Most recently he served as the Director of Global Diversity at Johnson Controls where he developed strategies to advance diversity and inclusion globally. He also developed and maintained strategic alliances and relationships between the business, affinity groups, and industry organizations, and actively supported workforce planning and talent attraction, development and retention. As the Director of Diversity and Inclusion at JCPenney, he led diversity strategy and training for over 150K associates. At Symantec, he was the Director of Global Diversity and developed a global diversity strategy that was country specific and presented diversity training around the world including Japan, Germany, Ireland, France and Singapore.
A graduate of George Washington University Law School in Washington D.C., he was appointed by the White House to the U.S. Department of Justice where he directed immigration policy and worked with Congress and Federal agencies to develop and implement legislation, policy and procedures. From 1995 to 2000, Fernando served at the United States Commission on Civil Rights where he represented the Commission on civil rights issues to state and local governments, citizen-based groups and corporations.
Bobby Gordon - Workshop Facilitator
Vice President Client Relationships at PRISM International, Inc .
Workshop Facilitator: Becoming an Effective,
Impactful Articulate Advocate
Bobby is Vice President Client Relationships at PRISM where he specializes in developing and nurturing client relationships. Prior to his role at PRISM, Bobby was a cultural diversity trainer with the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) where he developed, revised and conducted training for managers and senior military leaders in communications, organizational effectiveness and conflict resolution.
His DEOMI experience took him to over 30 states and US territories, and also throughout Germany and South Africa. Directly responsible for the needs analysis, instructional design, and leadership duties on diversity seminars for requesting civilian and military organizations, Bobby also served as a participating think tank panelist in developing strategies on increasing the diversity of the Army and Air National Guard. He helped to develop and design a human relation-training program for newly assigned DEOMI staff and faculty members.
Bobby received his Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts from Excelsior College and a Master’s of Science in Transformative Leadership from Bethune-Cookman University.
Paul Mottola: Workshop Facilitator
Senior Consultant & Facilitator at PRISM
Workshop Facilitator:Discovering Biases to Embrace Inclusion
Paul is a Senior Consultant at PRISM specializing in leveraging diversity and inclusion and employment opportunity compliance. For the past 25 years, he has served at PRISM as a Senior Master Facilitator/Consultant and Program Developer helping clients around the U.S. and the world.
Prior to PRISM, he worked extensively with the U.S. Department of Defense, and was the Deputy Director of External Training for the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI). Paul was DEOMI’s subject matter expert on affirmative action and gender integration.
Paul received a Master of Science in Management from Florida Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Engineering from Cornell University. He also received a certificate, Basic Mediation Skills & Community Conflict Intervention, from the Center for Conflict Resolution, Cape Town, Republic of South Africa.
Wil Lewis - Session Facilitator
Senior Vice President Global Diversity & Inclusion at Bank of America.
Session Facilitator:Crafting a Purpose Driven Strategy
Wil Lewis is a Diversity & Inclusion Executive with accountability for Bank of America’s global military, disability & LGBT strategies. He also has the responsibility for the firm’s Global Employee Networks. In this role, he is responsible for 11 networks with more than 230 chapters in forty countries with 90,000+ members.
Prior to this role, Wil led Diversity & Inclusion for the bank’s Retail & Preferred & Merrill Lynch Wealth management businesses which encompassed more than 100,000 of the firm’s employees. Before joining the Diversity & Inclusion team, Wil was a Staffing Executive leading recruiting activities in Bank of America’s Retail Banking group. Wil’s team drove recruiting activity for Bank of America’s nearly 5,800 banking centers across the US with over 25,000 hires a year. During his tenure at the bank Wil has also led Executive Recruiting, the staffing efforts for Small Business Banking, Sales Service & Execution, LaSalle Global Trust Services and E-Commerce. Wil joined Bank of America in 2006 from the LaSalle acquisition where he held the position of Head of Talent Acquisition for LaSalle Bank and ABN Amro North America, headquartered in Chicago, IL.
Before coming to Bank of America, Wil was a team member at Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation, a manufacturing organization of 32,000 world-wide associates. During his time at Smurfit-Stone, Wil led employee relations, talent development and staffing. He created new business processes in 23 countries and centralized multiple functions for the organization resulting in a significant benefit to business.
In his career, Wil has been committed to driving diversity in the workplace. He has served as executive sponsor to Latino, African American and Native American affinity groups. Additionally Wil has worked diligently to create a strong connection with the communities we do business in.
Wil has held roles in both, sales and operations before starting his career path in human resources. Wil is actively engaged in many community activities including serving on the board of the Mahogany Foundation an organization committed to providing a quality education to under privileged youth and Centers for New Horizons a social service agency focused on child & elder care, foster and adoption needs on Chicago’s south side. Wil is a graduate of Drake University and resides with his family in Chicago, IL.
Alan Partin - Workshop Facilitator
Vice President Client Relationships at PRISM International, Inc.
Workshop Facilitator: Becoming an Effective,
Impactful Articulate Advocate
Alan is Vice President Client Relationships at PRISM where he specializes in developing and nurturing client relationships. Prior to his role at PRISM, while working in the banking industry.
Alan discovered the bottom line impact that can be achieved by leveraging a diverse workforce to meet marketplace goals. By implementing a comprehensive D&I process and starting a Hispanic sales force to address the needs of an emerging Hispanic market, he was able to increase his department’s sales by 20% over a 2-year period. Because of Alan’s vision, hard work and determination, he was the youngest employee ever appointed to the company’s President’s Advisory Board.
Alan received his Bachelor of Arts in Marketing from the University of Central Florida.
Stephanie Piimauna - Session Facilitator
Director Diversity & Inclusion at MGM Resorts International
Session Facilitator: Creating Inclusive Environments through Power of Recognition – Ubuntu
Stephanie is the Director of Diversity & Inclusion at MGM Resorts International. She works closely with the company’s Chief Diversity Officer in developing Diversity & Inclusion metrics, measurements, and goals as well as supporting the 12 CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Councils and 16 ENGs (Employee Network Groups).
She has been in the customer service and learning and development industry for the past 20 years. Over the last 12 years, she has traveled across the United States and Europe facilitating leadership training and delivering motivational speeches for many organizations including Boeing, Northrop Grumman, U.S. Airforce, and U.S. Army, the Four Seasons, Nacro UK, SMCOV and many other organizations.
Stephanie received her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. She also holds numerous certifications in leadership and diversity.