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2021 SPEAKERS

The Premiere Personal Brand Experience for Leading Women to Level Up

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Event Keynote Speakers for 2021. Leave Feeling: Inspired
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Johnny C. Taylor, Jr.
SHRM-SCP President and CEO

SHRM

Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, is President and Chief Executive Officer of SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management. With over 300,000 members in 165 countries, SHRM is the largest HR professional association in the world, impacting the lives of 115 million workers every day. 

As a global leader on the future of employment, culture and leadership, Mr. Taylor is a sought-after voice on all matters affecting work, workers and the workplace. He is frequently asked to testify before Congress on critical workforce issues and authors the weekly USA Today column, “Ask HR.”

Mr. Taylor’s career spans over 20 years as a lawyer, human resources executive and CEO in both the not-for-profit and for-profit space. He has held senior and chief executive roles at IAC/Interactive Corp, Viacom’s Paramount Pictures and Blockbuster Entertainment Group, McGuireWoods LLC, and Compass Group USA. Most recently, Mr. Taylor was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

He is a member of the White House American Workforce Policy Advisory Board and chairs the President’s Advisory Board on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He serves on the boards of the University of Miami, Jobs for America’s Graduates, the American Red Cross and Guild Education. 

In 2020, Mr. Taylor was named one of Savoy magazine’s “Most Influential Black Executives in Corporate America” and later that year received the Distinguished Executive of the Year Award from the Academy of Management.

He is licensed to practice law in Florida, Illinois and Washington, D.C., and is a Fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources.

Dana Rixter
Director, D&I Culture & Retention

BAE Systems

Dana Rixter is a thoughtful, strategic and compassionate leader who consistently leads with both head and heart. Uniquely adept at building trust and bridges across difference, Dana is well-known for successfully designing, implementing and leading large-scale diversity, equity, inclusion and culture change efforts.

 

Referred to as the “Resident expert in belonging,” Dana currently serves as the Director of D&I Culture and Retention at BAE Systems, Inc. Curious, compassionate, and deeply committed to anti-racism and uplifting others, Dana co-created and led CARE (Colleagues Advancing Racial Equity) — a multi-dimensional, award-winning effort to drive systemic change and racial equity across an organization of over 30,000 employees.

 

A highly revered thought leader and speaker, Dana holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Boston University, a Global Leadership Professional designation from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and serves on multiple advisory boards.  Dana lives in Fairfax, VA with her husband and two exceptionally wonderful (and exhausting) young sons.

Melissa Dawn Simkins
CEO, Velvet Suite

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Think of Melissa Dawn Simkins not as merely a trusted advisor to Fortune 100 C-Suite executives and prominent influencers, but a visionary personal brand leadership pioneer on a mission to reinvent the way we learn, live and lead.

Melissa is CEO of Velvet Suite, a leadership innovation consultancy advancing the future of profit through people. For nearly two decades, Velvet Suite has provided consultation to renowned brands including: Procter & Gamble, Boston Scientific Corporation, Kraft, The National Basketball Association, Lincoln Financial Group and more. She is Founder of The Brand Leadership Institute (BLI), a 24-week e-learning technology platform addressing leadership gaps within Fortune 500 high-potential women with proven results. She hosts the annual She-Suite Summit, a national experience for influential leaders.

Affectionately known as “The First Lady of Personal Branding,” Melissa has been the brains behind some of the world’s most beloved brands. Throughout her career, she has helped launch Swiffer, developed the first multicultural marketing plan for Victoria’s Secret and launched the NFL Player Brand University, the first professional athlete brand leadership program in all of professional sports. She has also worked one-on-one with well-known celebrities such as Shania Twain, Mary J. Blige, Common, Hill Harper, Carmelo Anthony and more.

Today, her understanding of personal brand strategy and leadership innovation make her a highly-sought after keynote speaker. Melissa is a former contributor to Inc.com and CNN and frequent guest on the news and business media including HLN, MSNBC, Essence and more. She is author of the book, Brand Me. Make Your Mark: The Ultimate Playbook for Personal Branding.

Melissa is grounded by her faith, love for her best friend and purpose partner husband, Will and children and the opportunity to live in purpose each day.

“My greatest joy is the hundreds of women I’ve been fortunate to support on their journey toward leading a significant life and a successful career.”

Dr Robin
President

Fearless Won

Dr. Robin Smith, “Trauma Surgeon for the Heart and Soul”, is a licensed Psychologist and ordained minister with a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, who has worked with Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies to offer conflict management, diversity and inclusion training, and performance coaching. An experienced media and television personality, she is author of the New York Times #1 best-selling *Lies at the Altar: The Truth About Great Marriages, translated in 14 languages, and has also written the soulful memoir, *Hungry: The Truth About Being Full* and the book *Inspirational Vitamins: A Guide to Personal Empowerment*.

Dr. Robin has worked as a national and local television correspondent and appeared numerous times on news and entertainment television and radio programs. Her contributions include appearances on Super Soul Sunday, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Anderson Cooper, CNN, MSNBC, NBC/The Today Show, ABC News/Good Morning America, CBS/The Early Show, The Fox News Channel, The Steve Harvey Show, The Queen Latifah Show and many other news and talk show formats. Dr. Robin also hosted a five-day a week call-in program on Oprah Radio/Sirius XM for 3 years where listeners got their daily dose of Inspiration, Information and Empowerment for Fearless Living.


Dr. Robin is known for her inspiring passionate messages, whether delivering a keynote speech, moderating a panel, leading a workshop, or appearing on television, social media or radio.
Dr. Robin’s commitment is to All Things Fearless, and her mission is to help change the world – One life, One family, One community at a time – To Wake Up, Show Up, Grow Up, Rise Up, and to live Fear-Less!

Kim Dolan Leto
Best-selling Author, Brand Founder & Developer

Kim Dolan Leto is the author of the best-selling Christian fitness book, 10 Steps to Your Faith Inspired Transformation, F.I.T., a faith-filled inspirational speaker, creator of the Faith Inspired Transformation, F.I.T. DVD workout series, and the host of the Strong. Confident. His. Podcast.

Kim holds a BSBA from the University of Arizona. She is a Dale Carnegie trained speaker, and has certifications as a Fitness Instructor and Specialist in Fitness Nutrition.

She is an ESPN Fitness America Champion and proudly represented America as the only American in the top five for Fox Sports Ms. Fitness World.

Kim’s work has been featured on the 700 Club, TBN, CBN, FOX, Babbie’s House, ESPN and ABC and published in Relevant, Oxygen, Muscle & Fitness Hers, Fitness, Success, Faith and Fitness Magazine, Train and many other health, fitness and Christian publications. She was the longstanding Faith and Fitness expert for HIS Radio.

Undergoing her own body and life transformation, Kim knows first hand the importance of doing food, fitness and confidence through Christ.

With 20 years in the fitness industry and a lifetime of Jesus working in her, she’s dedicated her life to teaching women to get fit and find confidence– His way.

Kim’s mission is to equip women through Word-based strategies, daily action steps, and the tools they need to achieve a Faith Inspired Transformation in their health and live Strong. Confident. His.

Letena Lindsay,
Vice President of Global Communications,

Peloton

Letena Lindsay is Vice President of Global Communications at Peloton. In this role, she oversees internal communications, corporate and product communications, and Peloton’s Canadian press. Prior, Lindsay was the founder and CEO of L2 Public Relations, a communications consultancy focusing on strategy development, media relations, brand launches and repositioning. Her clients included O, The Oprah Magazine, Essence, TIME magazine books’ division, Money magazine and the L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth Awards. 

Previously, Lindsay served as Vice President of Corporate Communications for Bauer Publishing, where she oversaw the press and re-positioning efforts for nine magazines. Her prior positions include PR Director at Hearst Magazines, where she headed press efforts for nine of the company’s 19 titles, including Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, Redbook and Harper’s Bazaar, as well as PR Manager at Essence Communications. She has also held media relations positions in Chicago at Fleishman-Hillard and R.J. Dale Advertising & Public Relations. Lindsay graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia Journalism School.

William A. Simkins President

Velvet Suite Financial LLC

William A. Simkins III is a trusted wealth advisor and President of Velvet Suite Financial LLC. Simkins has over 20 years of proven performance in comprehensive financial services including retirement, business planning, life insurance and employee benefits. His practice uniquely serves high net worth individuals as well as small to midsized businesses with a concentration in qualified and non-qualified retirement plans.  

 

Simkins career in comprehensive insurance and investment planning began at Northwestern Mutual Financial Network in 2001. Simkins found early success in his financial service practice and was recognized as the top in his class for client acquisition. He went on to obtain his Certified Financial Planner Certificate from Virginia Commonwealth University. Soon after, Simkins transitioned to Mass Mutual Financial Group where he achieved the Blue Chip Council (top five percent of Mass Mutual representatives) and Top of the Council as well as received the highest industry award in insurance and financial services through the Million Dollar Round Table

 

Simkins has spoken at numerous industry and agency meetings on the inclusion of protection and qualified planning into agency practices. He is a member of the greater Washington National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. He has also served as the board of Education Chair for the Capital Region National African American Insurance Association.

 

He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Morehouse College in 1995. As a student-athlete and scholar, Simkins discovered his passion for his career and earned his life and health insurance license his junior year in college. 

 

William is married to Melissa Dawn Simkins and has four sons Kingston, Kevin, Shunn and Amari. William coaches youth and high school basketball and is a member of Grace Covenant Church in Chantilly, Virginia.

Jan Lehman Founder and CEO, CTC Productivity

Jan Lehman started CTC Productivity to help organizations minimize waste.  Wasted time, talent and technology. For over a decade, Jan and her team have helped thousands of clients nationwide to work smart and do more – dramatically improving profitability, employee engagement, and job satisfaction.  CTC has a proven track record of delivering results.

As a Fortune 500 technology executive, Jan created and led highly effective teams that delivered structure and process by streamlining business processes and automating workflows.  Today she works with leaders to leverage insights, strategies and solutions to minimize waste and create a culture of productivity throughout their organizations.

 An international speaker, Jan serves on the Board of Directors for The National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals and is currently writing her first book.  She shares her passion for efficiency in her local community by helping non-profit organizations leverage productivity strategies to improve program effectiveness.

To learn more about CTC Productivity, visit ctcproductivity.com.

Karen Britton
Vice President, Marketing & Communications, Chief Digital Officer

LMI

Karen Britton, former White House chief information officer (CIO) and special assistant to President Barack Obama, leads strategy development and execution of LMI’s corporate communications with a focus on its digital presence. She oversees a team responsible for online platforms, marketing and branding, external relations, and corporate citizenship.  

Previously serving as LMI’s vice president of digital services, Karen directed the delivery of enterprise-wide IT solutions to federal customers. Before joining LMI, she served as chief operating officer of woman-owned IT solutions provider e‑Management and helped expand its federal market practice.  

Karen joined the Office of Administration, Executive Office of the President, as deputy CIO in July 2009; she served as special assistant to the president and CIO from December 2012 to December 2014. During her White House tenure, she spearheaded innovative ways to deliver the president’s message to the American people. She also supported his cybersecurity agenda, protecting the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of unclassified information systems.

Beginning her career as a general engineer with the Submarine Maintenance Engineering, Planning, and Procurement Activity at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Karen subsequently joined the Naval Sea Systems Command Headquarters. She held positions of increasing responsibility, culminating as deputy command information officer directing command-wide IT planning, policy, and budget. She left the Department of the Navy in 2007 to support capital planning implementation and enterprise architecture plan development for the Department of Energy.

Karen received her bachelor’s in industrial engineering and operations research from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and her master’s in management from the Florida Institute of Technology. She is a graduate of the Defense Systems Management College and the Excellence in Government Fellows Program. Karen has received distinguished honors, including the Partnership for Public Service Leadership in Action Awards, the National Women of Color in Technology Awards, and the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award.

Lucy Puttergill
Executive Coach

Lucy spent close to 10 years on the trading floor at two US investment banks but made the difficult decision back in 2020 to take a leap into the unknown and start over again. Having secretly struggled with the pressures of juggling corporate life with a drive to find purpose, she spent a lot of time on my commutes diving into the world of self development, eastern philosophy and psychology in an effort to better manage her mind & find some sense of purpose. 

 

This journey led Lucy to qualify as a yoga teacher back in 2019 whilst still working in finance and then subsequently as a Reiki practitioner, Breathwork facilitator, Ayurvedic consultant & coach. She is now working as a coach, helping people transform their thinking, and in turn their lives, through deep guided self-reflection blended with bodywork, yoga & breath.

Ruth Williams-Brinkley
Regional President

Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States

Ruth Williams-Brinkley is the Regional President of Kaiser Permanente, Mid-Atlantic States . In this role, Williams-Brinkley oversees all of Kaiser Permanente’s care delivery and health plan operations in Washington, D.C., and suburban Maryland, Baltimore, and Northern Virginia. The Mid-Atlantic States Region operates 34 medical office buildings and has 773,547 members.

Williams-Brinkley reports to the group president for markets outside California, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Hospitals. Williams-Brinkley joined Kaiser Permanente in November 2017, serving as president of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals of the Northwest. She oversaw all of Kaiser Permanente’s care delivery and health plan operations in Oregon and markets in Vancouver and Longview/Kelso, Washington.

Prior to that she served as CEO of KentuckyOne Health, Kentucky’s largest integrated health system. KentuckyOne was a division of CommonSpirit Health, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit health systems. Prior to her tenure with KentuckyOne, Williams-Brinkley served as president and CEO of Carondelet Health Network in Tucson, Arizona, and as president and CEO of Memorial Healthcare System in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Williams-Brinkley has often appeared on Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Women in Healthcare and Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare, and was named one of Becker’s Most Admired CEOs. She holds bachelor’s and Master of Science degrees from De Paul University, and an honorary doctoral degree from Spaulding University in Louisville, Kentucky.

Tchernavia Rocker
Chief Administrative Officer

Under Armour

Tchernavia Rocker has been Chief People & Administrative Officer since June 2020. Before her current role, Tchernavia served as Chief People and Culture Officer from February 2019 to June 2020.  She is responsible for executing Under Armour’s people and culture strategy and overseeing the global Transformation Office.

Since joining Under Armour, Rocker has enhanced and accelerated the brand’s efforts to continue supporting a diverse workforce of top talent, including the creation of development programs focused on underrepresented groups, launching the company’s first-ever Global Diversity Council, and elevating the role of Under Armour’s nine Teammate Resource Groups to drive strategic impact across the business in the areas of culture, career development, community outreach and commerce. Additionally, she has been a champion for establishing Under Armour’s purpose-driven culture, which has guided product development initiatives such as the UA Black History Month and Women’s History Month Collections that pay homage to the communities the brand supports. 

Prior to joining Under Armour, she served more than 18 years in Human Resource leadership roles at Harley-Davidson, Inc., including Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer from June 2016 through January 2019 and General Manager, Human Resources from January 2012 through May 2016. Before joining Harley-Davidson, Inc., Tchernavia served in various Human Resources and operations roles at Goodyear Dunlop North America Tire Inc.

Desiree Ralls-Morrison
Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

BSCI

Desiree Ralls-Morrison is Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Boston Scientific Corporation.  She provides global legal leadership across all of the businesses, regions and functions, and oversees the global compliance function.  She also advises the Board of Directors and CEO.

Before joining Boston Scientific, Desiree was SVP, GC and Corporate Secretary, and head of the global litigation, government affairs and public policy organizations, for Boehringer Ingelheim USA, Inc.  Prior to that, she spent nine years at Johnson & Johnson, most recently as General Counsel for the consumer group, and previously progressed through roles of increasing responsibility, including Senior Counsel, Assistant General Counsel, and Vice President of law for the women’s health, nutritionals and over the counter businesses.  Earlier in her career, Desiree was a senior attorney and assistant counsel at Merck & Co, Inc., and held litigation roles at Kelley Drye & Warren LLP and Shipman & Goodwin LLP.

Desiree serves on the Boards of Directors for DICK’S Sporting Goods, Inc. and The Partnership, Inc.  She is a Founding Member of The New Commonwealth Racial Equity and Social Justice Fund in Massachusetts.  Desiree was named one of the most powerful women in corporate America by Black Enterprise Magazine in 2019 and one on the top innovative General Counsels around the world by the Financial Times in 2020.

Desiree earned her BA in economics and political science from Wesleyan University and her JD from Harvard Law School.

Dolvett Quince
New York Times Bestselling Author

Dolvett Quince is a New York Times Bestselling Author, International Keynote Speaker, Celebrity Fitness Trainer and Personal Development Expert with 20+ years of experience educating and equipping people to turn potential into strength and influence. With expertise in developing self-love, healthy wealth and fitness, he has coached people from all walks of life, and is most recognized for his seven seasons as a trainer on NBC’s longtime hit television show, “The Biggest Loser.” 

 

Today, through books, keynotes and guest appearances, Dolvett is helping hundreds of thousands of people overcome self-doubt by giving them a clear vision, growth mindset and practical system on finding their best path forward. His mission is personal, as his own narrative threads through the story of overcoming challenges, finding forgiveness and building mental and physical strength. 

 

The seeds of his backstory started with an abusive family environment in the projects of Connecticut where fear dominated much of his childhood until one day, when God’s whisper became louder than man’s words, he found the courage to look fear in the face—starting with his father—and forgive. It started Dolvett on a self-development path towards emotional healing, empowerment and leveraging natural gifts, and inspired a mission to help others do the same. 

 

Dolvett’s first book, “The 3-1-2-1 Diet: Eat and Cheat Your Way to Weight Loss” became an instant New York Times bestseller, introducing an unconventional approach and innovative 21-day program to reduce fat while gaining muscle. His second book, “Work Out the Doubt,” slated for Winter Quarter 2019, will guide readers on a journey to improve their health in all aspects of life, from mental and physical, to social and spiritual. 

 

An internationally respected charismatic speaker and thought leader, Dolvett engages diverse audiences through conference keynotes and online masterclasses at every place from hotel chains, business training workshops and industry leaderships events, to mega churches, universities and women empowerment seminars. He speaks on the topics of personal identity, business development, fitness science, emotional intelligence and overcoming self-doubt, and is a guest contributor on nationally syndicated news shows, including CNN.

Dr Julie Lopez
CEO, The Viva Center

Speaker, Author, Mental Health Expert

Dr. Julie Lopez, an award winning clinician and entrepreneur, is the founder of Viva Partnership, the leader in DC’s brain and body based therapeutic scene. After her beginnings as a systems engineer, she transitioned to focus on the most complicated system of all, the human system.

Through her mastery of human change, she delights in empowering leaders to optimize their own performance as a conduit for inspiring and improving their organizations. Her book Live Empowered! illuminates the invisible aspects of human performance that lead to maximum productivity and happiness results. Over the years, Dr. Julie has been cited as a trauma and addictions expert and has been featured by the Associated Press, Fox News, Telemundo, and a host of other print and broadcast publications. She also served as adjunct faculty for the Catholic University of America in their graduate program for nearly a decade. Her clinical specialty is working with implicit memory (hidden, cellular memories) by utilizing advanced brain-based therapies, including EMDR, Brainspotting, and Neurofeedback.

Due to her thorough understanding of how the body adapts and survives the stumbling blocks of life, Dr. Julie speaks and works with individuals and teams in a way that’s both effective and relatable. By leveraging brain science, Dr. Julie loves to illuminate hidden pathways to increased excellence, empowering her audiences talk by talk.

Dr. Julie’s relatable style and engaging stage presence, make her a sought after speaker and trainer. Committed to giving back to her community, she has been mentoring and coaching budding entrepreneurs for over 20-years. Dr. Julie is the principal architect of the free online mental health repository, The Resilient Brain Project, aimed at empowering users while reducing the stigma and isolation that often surrounds those that struggle with their mental health.

Sidoney Samuels-Buckridge
Head of U.S. R&D, Employee Engagement

AstraZeneca

Associate Director, Executive Engagement & Stakeholder Relations, AstraZeneca
Author: Pain to Purpose: My Journey to Redemption

Sidoney is Head of Employee Engagement for the Gaithersburg site. Charged with working with the Gaithersburg Site Leadership team to develop and execute effective engagement strategies and drive inclusion and diversity priorities to the approximately 4,000 employees on the campus.

Sidoney is a senior communications and engagement advisor to C-suite leaders in the life sciences, consulting and media industries. She is an award-winning communications professional with more than 20 years’ experience in public relations, journalism, corporate affairs and executive engagement in various industries. Sidoney is a strong project leader with consulting and writing experience in national and global environments.

Sidoney is an esteemed member of the Healthcare Business Women’s Association where she currently serves as the President of the Montgomery Corridor Chapter. In addition, she is a member of the Association for Women in Science National Governing Board. Sidoney is the recipient of several awards and recognition including the AstraZeneca CEO Award and the MedImmune Global Excellence Award in 2017 for a program she designed, planned and executed to address diversity and inclusion in the organization.


Sidoney has a passion for people and she spends a lot of her time mentoring young professional women, especially helping women of color, navigate the corporate world. Sidoney lives in Maryland with her husband, two sons and mom. She enjoys playing scrabble, working out and selfcare. Sidoney is an avid reader and has written several published articles. She published her first novel Pain to Purpose: My Journey to Redemption in January 2021.

Sidoney holds a Certificate in Leadership Development from University of Maryland University College; 2020 graduate of The Brand Leadership Institute; a Master of Mass Communications degree in Journalism from the University of South Carolina, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Elizabethtown College.

Jessica Myrice WATCHMAN Regional Clinical Advisor, Boston Scientific Corporation

Jessica L. Myrice came to Boston Scientific, WATCHMAN in May of 2015. She worked in the Cardiac Cath Lab for several years in both Interventional Cardiology and Electrophysiology as a scrub technician. Jessica earned her A.S. Degree in Radiography from Polk State College. She also earned her certification and registration through the ARRT as a Registered Radiologic Technologist RT(R) and Cardiac Interventional (CI) Technologist. Jessica is also certified through Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI), as a Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist. She earned her bachelors in Health Care Management from Ottawa University. Jessica is the RCA, Regional Clinical Advisor for the Southern Tide in Florida.

Jessica was a graduate of the Class of 2019 Brand Leadership Institute. Her purpose is being a passionate energetic teacher coach who uses strong clinical acumen to drive the best possible patient outcomes. Solidify professional and personal relationships while transforming the lives of her peers and friends with relatable and real positive life experiences.

Jessica lives North of Tampa Florida in Dade City, population less than 7000 with her significant other Orlando and she has two children, her daughter Sadie Anne (26) is a Registered Nurse and her son Hayes (23) is an Electrical Lineman.

In her free time, she enjoys sitting by the pool with Daisy Mae her five-year-old yellow lab, her YaYa’s (7 high school BFFS) and family!

Martha Murphy
Senior Vice President, System Office Chief Human Resources Officer

Trinity Health

Martha Murphy is Senior Vice President and System Office Chief Human Resources (HR) Officer for Trinity Health, one of the nation’s largest Catholic health care organizations. Murphy has served in various Trinity Health leadership roles since 2003, including Vice President, System Office HR Operations & Labor Relations, and Vice President and Chief HR Officer at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital. In her current role as Chief HR Officer, Murphy leads HR for Trinity Health System Office, continuing care National Health Ministries, and Mission Health Ministries which service communities throughout the country. She leads mergers and acquisitions for HR, serves on the HR Executive Council and serves as the Executive Sponsor for one of Trinity Health’s Business Resource Groups, Women’s Inclusion Network, which promotes professional growth for female colleagues. Most recently, Murphy has led work teams responsible for making key decisions to support colleague safety in various work environments and helping colleagues thrive in a remote work environment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Murphy’s career has been focused on leading transformational change and growth strategies to support strategic objectives and building safe, healthy and just work cultures. Her background includes more than 20 years of HR experience in health care and insurance industries along with several years in roles outside of HR. During her time at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, she worked extensively on patient experience and employee engagement, improving results in both areas. In addition to her health care experience, Murphy served in multiple roles at AAA Michigan (now the Auto Club Group) including Assistant General Counsel/Corporate Secretary, Strategic Planning Consultant, and Product Planning and Development Manager. In these roles she participated in the startup and implementation of a Strategic Planning and Project Management Office, assisted senior leadership in development of legal, financial and HR structures that fostered significant growth through mergers and acquisitions, and developed new products in the financial services area including the opening of a Federally Chartered Thrift Bank and the launch of a financial card. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration and a Juris Doctor degree, both from Wayne State University.

EJ Henry
Head of US Inclusion & Diversity

AstraZeneca

EJ leads, designs and delivers AstraZeneca’s Inclusion and Diversity strategy for the US Business. Partnering with key stakeholders including USLT, HR teams, the global and local Inclusion Councils, and leaders across other US locations, EJ develops both the strategies and tactics needed to accelerate the development of AZ’s strategy. He is responsible for understanding the internal and external environment and bringing thought leadership to the business with an aspiration of creating a culture where every person feels like they belong. EJ joined AstraZeneca in 2017 as Senior Manager, Learning and Development and has managed activities supporting the US Business priorities and pull-through of global initiatives like Leading Self and Leading People. In addition, EJ has led the Inclusion and Diversity strategy for the US Business and has been pivotal in delivering two Inclusion Symposiums, reinvigorating our Employee Resource Groups and laying a strong foundation for the future of our inclusion work. Prior to joining AstraZeneca, EJ led Campbell Soup’s Learning and Development Center of Excellence where he deployed the global learning strategy for managers and employees. Prior to that, he worked at Comcast designing, developing and implementing learning solutions for Comcast University and their advertising sales division. EJ holds a Master of Science in Interactive Instructional Technology from Bloomsburg University and an Executive MBA from Temple Fox School of Business.

Dr. Lisette Garcia
Assistant Vice President for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Pennsylvania State University

Dr. Lisette Garcia is the Assistant Vice President for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DIB) at Penn State University. In this role she is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the University’s strategic plan for DIB for the University Park Campus and the 20+ campuses across the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Prior to accepting this role, Garcia was the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR), a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. HACR works with Fortune 500 companies to develop and evaluate their Hispanic inclusion strategies for talent, suppliers, and corporate leadership. A trained researcher with degrees from The Ohio State University, Virginia Tech, and Penn State, Garcia has dedicated her career to exploring educational and employment issues within the realm of corporate social responsibility, discrimination, and diversity and inclusion. Garcia has published several articles on employment discrimination and Latino educational attainment in scholarly journals.

Amy Whiteman
Director, Operations and Value Creation

Velvet Suite Inc.

Amy is Velvet Suite’s Director, Operations and Value Creation and is responsible for process alignment across the organization and building a strategic operations model to support the expansion of our product portfolio.

Amy is an operations management strategist with over 25 years of experience streamlining operations to fuel growth at organizations. She is a career problem solver and results-driven leader. Before joining Velvet Suite and The She-Suite Team, Amy worked with entrepreneurs, and as an entrepreneur herself, repositioned small companies for increased profitability through process efficiency.

Prior to that, Amy spent 8 years at CEB (now Gartner) as a Senior Director in the Finance & Operations Practice where she advised C-Suite executives in audit and risk management, operations, supply chain and quality management. Earlier in her career Amy worked for Shell Oil in various roles from account management and distribution operations to strategy and portfolio management.

Amy holds an M.B.A from Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a B.S. in Logistics and Operations from Penn State University.

Optional: Amy loves sports and being outdoors, reading and volunteering in her community. She enjoys spending her free time with her husband and three kids.

Amy Whiteman
Director of Programs & Engagement

Velvet Suite Inc.

Deidra Freeman is a results-driven servant leader who has spent her career advocating for individuals to achieve their fullest potential. As the Director of Programs and Engagement, she focuses on leading program operation and execution across Velvet Suite’s portfolio of business-critical programs. Deidra has delivered programs and events across multiple continents that bring the career interests of women to the forefront. She has served as Senior Director of Programs for AnitaB.org, where she led the production of several Hopperx1 global events, the programming, and the content for the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing; the world’s largest gathering for women technologists. Deidra’s 10-year technology foundation began as an Engineering Project Manager for Motorola. She transitioned to spend 15 years as an Educator and Instructional Administrator for Chicago Public Schools. She holds 2 master’s degrees and multiple licenses in the education field, and a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Northwestern University. She is a wife and mother of two beautiful daughters, and is a certified group fitness instructor who enjoys making jewelry in her spare time.

Rajiv Satya
Comedian & Corporate Consultant

Rajiv Satyal is a Los Angeles-based comedian/host.  He’s been featured by Amazon, Netflix, NPR, GQ, The New York Times, The LA Times, WSJ, and Ad Age.  Rajiv has shared a stage with everyone from Dave Chappelle to Jerry Seinfeld.  His videos have over 50 million online views.  This University of Cincinnati engineer and former P&G marketer has done standup at more than 100 colleges.  Rajiv has spoken to audiences from Fortune 500 companies to NFL players on humor, innovation, inclusion, and personal branding. His corporate clients include P&G (14 times), GE (8 times), Google, General Mills, Quaker, Toyota, Cisco and more. He runs a consulting business called the Standpoint Agency, which helps marketers generate insights for their brands.  Rajiv gave a TEDx Talk, “The Jester Is King.”  Satyal has acted in national commercials and in TV shows.  His writings have made the front page of Medium and received hundreds of thousands of views on Quora.  Satyal ran a Kickstarter — which was 100% funded in one day and exceeded 2x its goal ($56K total) in one month — the purpose of which was launching his own talk show.  Satyal has interviewed many notable figures, including Hasan Minhaj (Satyal’s old roommate), Seth Godin, and Deepak Chopra.  Satyal is the only person ever to perform standup comedy on all 7 continents. 

Fatimah Moody Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of LinkVisum Consulting Group,

Fatimah Moody, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of LinkVisum Consulting Group, a full-service management consulting firm that provides strategy and process improvement advisory services. LinkVisum is dedicated to helping organizations identify, develop, and successfully implement tailored solutions that yield business enhancing results – whether those be a restructured department, streamlined processes, information technology strategies, strategic planning business-improving applications, strengthened communications, or improved human capital strategies.

Fatimah has demonstrated the ability to lead teams successfully to assess key business indicators and design/implement effective, sustainable solutions. She has over twenty-five years of experience including an expertise in organizational development, training, executive coaching, strategic planning and change leadership.  Fatimah has developed and delivered numerous strategic planning, senior executive meetings, team building, and leadership development programs and served as Project Director for Organizational Development consulting for a non-profit organization in which they were seeking improved processes in all areas and overall strategic direction.   As a trusted advisor, leadership coach, and organizational development consultant, Ms. Moody has successfully supported many organizations in both public and private sectors.   

Fatimah dedicates her time and expertise to programs related to leadership development for the youth, college planning workshops, and fundraising.  Fatimah serves on several boards including Loudoun County Family Advisory Services; LEAD (Leadership Education Development) an organization that is focused on providing higher education access and career preparation to high potential youth of diverse background; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. National Strategic Planning Committee; and Syracuse University Multicultural Board.  

Fatimah was the recipient of Washington Business Journal Women Who Mean Business award and LinkVisum was recognized for its growth and strategy by Inc Magazine. 

Lauren Wiley Talent Acquisition Manager, BAE Systems

By the time she was in the third grade, Lauren Wiley had already made a name for herself. She was known as “Little Miss Dynamo”, a radio personality on a college radio station in her home state of Virginia. She went on to channel her love of public speaking and working with college students into a bachelor’s degree in communications from Old Dominion University and a master’s degree in higher education administration from Virginia Tech.

Lauren began her career working in colleges and universities recruiting and advising students. Leveraging her expertise in attracting top diverse talent, she made a seamless transition to the defense sector and now works for BAE Systems, where she leads enterprise-wide talent acquisition initiatives for early career professionals. She is passionate about working with college students and grads as well as diversity, equity and inclusion.

With a mission to lead and serve others, live a fulfilling life, and make a positive impact, she seeks to live out her purpose daily, creating connections and turning ideas into reality. Lauren is a BLI C/O 2020 graduate who is eager to connect with other alumna and expand her community of She-Suite Sisters.

 

Laurinda Rainy Managing Director and General Manager of the United Airlines CoBrand Portfolio, Chase

For more than 20 years, Laurinda Rainey has transformed teams, projects and organizations with her strategic approach, innovative problem-solving and extensive marketing and CRM experience. Driven by her curiosity of consumer psychology, Laurinda surgically studies market trends and pairs learnings with analytics to enhance products, processes and marketing campaigns that drive growth and deepen customer loyalty.  

At JPMorgan Chase, Laurinda is a Managing Director and General Manager of the United Airlines CoBrand Portfolio.  Prior to this, Laurinda led the Travel and Affinity Card portfolios including global brands like Intercontinental Hotel Group and British Airways where she negotiated contracts, designed cross-brand promotions, and launched new products. Laurinda’s proven track record of building relationships across teams and with partners repeatedly delivers targeted customer strategies, differentiated product positioning, and unique campaigns that increase new accounts and customer engagement. 

Beyond travel marketing, Laurinda held leadership roles at Walmart and American Express. At Walmart, Laurinda led a team in the Sam’s Club Division which helped transform offer strategies, promotional plans and partnerships to continually optimize performance of media mix, improving conversion rates and yielding higher ROI on marketing spend. During her tenure, Laurinda also designed breakthrough programs that delivered deeper engagement – including a club program which drove increased traffic and sales in new shopping categories. 

At American Express, Laurinda developed go-to-market strategies for new products, managed card acquisitions across 23 luxury and mass-market products, and oversaw a digital innovation project which doubled online conversion rates and was awarded the company’s top honor of “Chairman’s Award for Innovation.” Laurinda holds multiple degrees from Duke University’s undergrad and business schools: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Certificate of Markets & Management Studies and an MBA with a Product Management concentration.