Presenters & Facilitators
More presenters & facilitators for the 2021 conference will be announced soon.
Keynote Speaker, Author, Musician & Broadcaster
Alvin challenges his audience members to examine their current perceptions of themselves, other people and the world around them so they can then overcome the same obstacles that Alvin was able to overcome – not how to live and function with no arms, but how to be a successful, compassionate, positive and engaged human being that leaves the world a better place than how they found it.
Born with no arms as a result of the drug Thalidomide, Alvin was adopted by a family who taught him to use his feet for hands – and who by doing so gave him the gift of freedom. Alvin's mission is to spark a worldwide Attitude Revolution. Attitude Revolutions happen because people are inspired, from within themselves, to practice cultivating a more proactive and effective outlook on their lives. Alvin knows, and demonstrates to his audiences, that attitude is not about touchy-feely platitudes or 'thinking positive' – attitude is how we look at and interpret life overall. It is a skill that can be learned, and that must be practiced. It is a tool that can be used. Most importantly, it can't be imposed upon people – it has to come from a genuine place.
Alvin uses his story to challenge audiences to rewrite the negative stories they tell themselves about themselves; to stop feeling like victims in their lives and get proactive; to stop making excuses and start making choices. His fusion of storytelling, musical performance and down-to-earth humour connect with his audiences at an intimate, intense and individual level. Over 7,500 organizations on five continents have used Alvin to ignite, engage and transform their people.
In addition to being a professional speaker, he is a trained broadcaster, fundraiser, award-winning musician and bestselling author. He has earned the designation of Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), an honour possessed by less than ten percent of professional speakers worldwide. In 2009, Alvin was inducted into the Canadian Association of Speakers (CAPS) Hall of Fame.
Activist for Social Justice
Mandy Carter has been at the forefront of social justice activism since 1965 when the Quaker-based American Friends Service Committee visited her high school in Schenectady, New York. That experience, followed closely by a role in the 1968 Southern Christian Leadership Conference's Poor People's Campaign, sparked a fifty-plus year journey – a journey that led to her role as co-founder of NBJC, Southerners On New Ground (SONG), and Equality North Carolina. One of the first Black, openly gay/same gender loving elected members of the DNC and national steering coordinator for the 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, Mandy has held major leadership roles in campaigns and organizations focused on raising the voices of underserved and marginalized groups.
In 2005, Mandy was nominated as one of the "1000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize" recognizing the peace work of women from around the world. She co-edited We Have Not Been Moved: Resisting Racism and Militarism in 21st Century America, which Maya Angelou called "so needed...in this age and this climate of political posturing and posing." In May of this year, Mandy received a Black Women Legendary Elders Wisdom Award in a ceremony hosted by the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) and AARP. Mandy's work to transform cultures – to create just, equitable and inclusive environments – parallels the important work being done by councils, ERGs and BRGs. Her experiences offer a wealth of lessons learned about influencing others, tackling tough topics, building resilience and turning challenges into opportunities
Sr. Partner, Executive Strategy, Talent Dimensions
For twenty years Craig Served as the Director and the Diversity Strategist, at the University of Houston's - International Institute for Diversity & Cross-Cultural Management located in the C.T. Bauer College of Business. He also founded the Equitable Workplace Institute and is responsible for developing, training, and implementing strategic solutions helping organizations create equitable workplaces. His approach includes integrating inclusive strategies to develop, hire, retain, recruit, promote, on-board, create inclusive succession plans, conduct talent and organizational culture assessment, and establish inclusive talent management practices.
A seasoned keynote speaker, Craig also developed the diversity profit equation and the diversity earnings per share factor. His outreach includes many of the Global 500 and has travelled to over a dozen countries. He has been interviewed on radio and TV affiliates of NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, and PBS. He filmed a half hour special on PBS on workplace bullying and has an upcoming book called: "Being Tolerant Is For Cowards."
Chief Operations Officer, Talent Dimensions
Lynn Cowart has extensive experience working and consulting in senior‐level human resources positions for industries including financial services, aerospace, food service, and utilities. She has facilitated executive coaching, change management and strategic staffing initiatives for mid and senior level executives as well as career transition programs, retention and engagement strategies, assessment interviewing and training for all organizational levels.
As a consultant for Career Systems International, Lynn has led coaching programs and training events for an array of professional business clients. In addition, she has managed programs designed to instill culture changes within organizations by modifying behavioral tendencies within individuals
Lynn recently co-authored the book, Up is Not the Only Way – Rethinking Career Mobility, with Bev Kaye and Lindy Williams, challenging leaders and employees to re-imagine what it takes to achieve ultimate career success through a true mobility mindset.
Lynn received her MBA from the University of Connecticut. She also holds a Bachelor's degree in Business and Communications from SUNY at Buffalo in New York. In addition, she has worked with the University of Pennsylvania on an MS in Organizational Dynamics. She is Lumina Learning certified, International Career Consultant (ICC) certified as well as qualified in Myers Briggs (MBTI).
Chief Business Officer, Talent Dimensions
Cile has 20 years of experience helping organizations address their most important strategy…their talent development strategy. By focusing on the key drivers of retention and recognizing it is not a one-size-fits all proposition, she helps organizations discover how their strategic investments drive sustainable, competitive advantage. In her role as Chief Business Officer, Cile is responsible for sales and marketing, providing strategic direction for global client solutions and ensuring the organization's continued growth and success, as well as global expansion.
Dr. Michelle Brown
Program Manager, Global ERG Network
Dr. Michelle Brown heads up strategy and operations for the Global ERG Network, In addition to her work on GEN, she oversees and assists in organizational processes and strategic implementations across Talent Dimensions, and recruits sponsors for the organization's annual conferences. She holds a doctorate degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, a Masters in Transformative Organizational Leadership, and a Bachelors in Psychology.
Sr. Consultant, Talent Dimensions
Philip brings a uniquely in-depth perspective to cross-cultural talent development, diversity and inclusion, executive coaching, and personal branding.
Through a career in senior positions at Colgate Palmolive, the Clinton Foundation, Procter & Gamble, Digital Equipment Corporation, and the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, Philip understands the critical importance of workplace efficiency and satisfaction in executing a company's strategic goals. He has implemented organizational plans in over 60 countries around the world living abroad in Paris and working in Europe, Latin America, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Russia. His contributions to business challenges such as strategic goal alignment, executive compensation, talent development, diversity and inclusion, and employee management following acquisitions are known as best practices across industries.
Philip's many contributions to organizational effectiveness have earned him awards from Crain's New York; the Feminist Press; Global HR News; the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce; and the National Hispanic Corporate Achievers, among others.
Philip holds an MBA from Xavier University, a master's degree in social work from Columbia University, a bachelor's degree from Queens College, and an associate degree from Manhattan Community College. He is certified by theInternational Coaching Federation and is a certified by New York City and New York State as a minority supplier.
Senior Director, Diversity & Inclusion at Novant Health
Rich is a senior director of diversity and inclusion at Novant Health. In his role, Rich leads strategies and work that create a culture where people feel included, engaged and have a sense of belonging while achieving Novant Health's goals.
Rich's background includes both consulting and internal roles in the areas of organizational development, culture transformation, merger integration, and change management. He has led work for companies such as Motorola, PepsiAmericas, McDonald's, Schering-Plough, Chicago Tribune Company, The Spiegel Group, and Exelon. Rich worked at Bank of America where he held roles responsible for organizational design, culture change, and team effectiveness. Prior to Novant Health, he was a senior consultant at The Center for Intentional Leadership where he helped clients create high-performing teams and cultures.
Rich received an M.A. degree With Honors in Industrial & Organizational Psychology from Roosevelt University and a B.A. degree in Psychology from Huntington University.
Rich is committed to the Hispanic community in Charlotte, and he has recently been appointed to the Governor's Advisory Council for Hispanic/Latino Affairs. Additionally, Rich is a board member of Urban Promise and The Latin American Chamber of Commerce Charlotte.
Rich grew up in Guatemala City where he attended a military school before moving to the U.S. He resides in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife and four daughters. In his rare moments of spare time, he enjoys anything related to his favorite soccer team, FC Barcelona, traveling to other countries, and summers at the beach with his family.
Executive Vice President & Chief Diversity, Inclusion & Equity Officer at Novant Health
Tanya Stewart Blackmon is Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Officer (CDIEO) for Novant Health, a $5 Billion healthcare system. Tanya leads a system-wide culture change strategy to embed diversity, inclusion and equity across the Novant Health system of 30,000 team members. Under her leadership, Novant Health has earned national recognition for diversity, inclusion and equity including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Inaugural Health Equity Award, Human Right Campaign Healthcare Equity Index Leaders in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality, NACD NXT Board of Trustees as #1 Diversity Innovator in America for Nonprofits, American Heroes for NC Liberty Award, Forbes' list of Best Employers for Women and Best Employers for Diversity.
Tanya joined Novant Health in 1992 as the Director of Inpatient Discharge Planning. During her tenure with Novant Health she has held a wide variety of leadership roles including President of Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center, Chief Operating Officer of Novant Health Charlotte Orthopedic Hospital and Director of Clinical Improvement and Community Care Services, where she developed programs to provide care for the underserved. During her 25-year tenure at Novant Health, Tanya has led thousands of professionals and driven significant increases in both market share and revenue. These experiences, along with numerous achievements, led Tanya to her current position on Novant Health's executive team. As a result of the significant outcomes that Tanya has achieved for the organization in the area of diversity, inclusion and equity, she has established the Novant Health Inclusion Strategies, LLC for external consulting.
Tanya's years of social work and community outreach, as well as extensive leadership experience within the organization, enabled her to develop an understanding of the needs of both patients and team members. Now, she is leading a culture change strategy needed within the healthcare industry. Under her leadership, Novant Health has implemented a five-year strategic plan for embedding diversity and inclusion that has already produced several internal and external initiatives with remarkable results in team member engagement, patient satisfaction, market share growth in emerging populations, supplier diversity program expansion and health equity. Her expertise within healthcare and passion for collaborative transformation creates a clear vision that is driving the organization toward its strategic imperatives.
Ms. Blackmon holds an MBA from Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina, a Master of Social Work degree from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina, a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work from North Carolina A&T State University and a Certification in Diversity and Intercultural Competency from Wake Forest University. She has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) since 1993.
In acknowledgment of her leadership and community service, Ms. Blackmon has earned numerous awards and recognition. She was also featured in Modern Healthcare Magazine, "Addressing Systemic Racism," Pride Magazine's "Making Herstory" and recognized as a Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare by Modern Healthcare Magazine. .
Assistant Director for Employer Relations at UNC Charlotte
Matthew French (They/He) is the Founder and '90s-nostalgic brain behind Awesomely Authentic, which focuses on the unique experiences of LGBTQ+ people as they navigate the milestones of choosing a college to attend or searching for that perfect job and internship.
Matthew currently works and resides in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he works as the Assistant Director for Employer Relations at UNC Charlotte to connect employers with UNCC students and alumni.
With ten years of experience working with the LGBTQ+ community, eight years of professional career coaching, and a love of the '90s, he has blended all of these aspects together to create an authentically, high-energy tailored experience for all. His work has been highlighted in national career development associations, CNN Business, LGBTQ+ non-profits and more!
Sr. Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging (DIB) Specialist, Bell
Anila is currently a Sr. Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging (DIB) Specialist at Bell where she is involved with projects that align the DIB strategy with the company goals. She also leads the ERG/BRG relationships for Ascend North Texas. Previously she was at American Airlines, were she gained diverse experience in human resources, global sales strategy and analytics, account management, and customer experience training. In her last role at American, Anila was the Inclusion & Diversity, Senior Specialist responsible for developing and growing external partnerships, EBRG coordination, diversity advisory council lead and I&D programing and project management.
She is the recipient of the Earl Graves Award for advocacy in diversity, Inclusion and equity and American Airlines Chairman Award of Excellence in 2016 for her exemplary commitment and dedication in advancing the inclusion and diversity narrative at American Airlines and supporting the vision and company imperatives .
Anila continues to serve under-represented groups thru affiliations with organizations like North Texas Disability:IN; Advisory Board of Elevate, Spectrum Knowledge; and Global Champions for Out & Equal. We are excited to have a dynamic DIB subject matter expert in delivering innovative strategies to promote accountability and create a culture of belonging through driving employee engagement and building key partnerships.
Sr. Director Diversity/Inclusion & Talent Pipeline, Banner Health
Jackie Hunter, DC, MHA is a multifaceted leader who serves as Banner Health's Sr Director of Diversity and Inclusion & Talent Pipeline. In addition to her role within Banner, Dr. Hunter is a proud mother of 3 children (ages 16, 15, and 13) and the wife of an Army Veteran. As a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, she is a servant leader, courageous and not afraid to challenge the status quo and encourage a different way of thinking.
Dr. Hunter's journey into healthcare evolved from delivering Chiropractic care to becoming an advocate for change. Today, she aims to influence and demonstrate to not only her children, but also those who she works alongside at Banner or in our communities, to embrace who they are as well who others are - despite our differences. For more than 5 years, Jackie has successfully led the Diversity and Inclusion council which allowed her to create a dedicated department that focuses on diversity and inclusion strategy systemwide. Dr. Jackie Hunter has accomplished several milestones including, but not limited to the rollout of systemwide unconscious bias trainings, successfully created an Administrative Fellowship Program, and created more inclusive practices and policies that foster a safe and welcoming environment for all. She has also developed partnerships with community leaders to tackle healthcare disparities in the communities that Banner serves. Within her Talent Pipeline space, she oversees the Banner Center for Health Careers which serves over 15,000 students and interns in Banner. The departments efforts work to empower Banner's employees to purse higher education by providing and facilitating grants, scholarships, tuitions reimbursement, and academic partnerships for current team members. Within this space, her team helps to diversify Banner's Talent Pipeline through sourcing efforts and programs such as the Veterans Fellowship, Project Search, and Business Intern Program.
At Banner Health, with the rise of women leadership, Jackie has seen a rise in the culture that is founded on the principles of people. From the Mission, Vision, Values and to the strategy of the organization, Banner is really putting people first. The rise of women leadership not only brings awareness about a woman's capability to lead and give more opportunity for leadership development and advancement, but it begins to acknowledge and respect the roles we all hold personally and professionally and aims to provide every one of us life balance without compromising one or the other.
With her team, Jackie strives to empower and challenge them by thinking outside the box, going above and beyond, not being limited by their titles, being involved in the community and integrating who they are into the work they do so we can truly make life better for all.
Senior Consultant, PRISM International, Inc.
Keith is a PRISM Facilitator specializing in diversity and inclusion, harassment and discrimination, cross cultural communication, implicit bias, equal opportunity and human resources development.
With 24 years experience, he has assisted organizations through climate analysis, employee development, and organizational cultural change.
Keith is a nationally recognized Master Facilitator and has developed and facilitated for organizations like the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Office for Personnel Management, the National Security Agency, Verizon, Munich Re, Siemens. John Deere, Philips66, Textron and American Airlines.
Keith holds a Master of Arts in Human Resource Management complimented by two years of PhD work completed in Organizational Psychology.
Dr. Theresa M. Welbourne
Founder, President, and CEO of eePulse, Inc.
Dr. Theresa M. Welbourne is the founder, president, and CEO of eePulse, Inc., a human capital technology and consulting firm. Dr. Welbourne's expertise is in the areas of leadership and human capital management in high growth and high-change organizations. She has a large body of work on initial public offerings; in addition, she works in the areas of employee energy and engagement as well as managing a large project on employee resource groups (ERGs). Theresa also holds an appointment as an affiliated senior research scientist with the University of Southern California's Center for Effective Organizations. She also is Executive Director of the Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute as well as the Will and Maggie Brooke Professor in Entrepreneurship at the Culverhouse College of Business.
Dr. Welbourne's research and work have been featured in popular publications such as Inc. Magazine, Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, Business Week, New York Times, and Entrepreneur Magazine and published in books and in journals such as the Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, Leader to Leader and Organization Dynamics. Theresa is a prolific writer, well known speaker, and she focuses on turning rigorous research into practical tools that are being used by organizations around the world. Theresa was awarded the 2012 Academy of Management Distinguished HR Executive Award (for contributions in research, teaching and practice). She was named a Top Technology Trendsetter in 2014 by Survey Magazine, and in 2017 she was inducted as a Society for Industrial Organizational Psychology (SIOP) fellow.