2014 ERG & Council Conference:
Speakers & Facilitators
The Only Conference Designed Specifically for ERGs and Diversity Councils.
Natalie Spiro: Opening Keynote Owner & Event Facilitator at Drum Cafe West
"Drum Cafe leverages the stunning power of rhythm to engage people quickly and emotionally. We shift attitudes and effect change."
- Natalie Spiro
Natalie Spiro came to the USA in 2000 from South Africa with a Masters Degree in Industrial Psychology and an MBA in Corporate Strategy and Marketing. San Diego was a far cry from her life in Johannesburg, but her insatiable curiosity and hunger to make an impact wherever she lived and worked led her on a passionate path to understand corporate culture in America. She held positions in top global firms within the financial services and hospitality industries, including holding a senior position at the corporate offices of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. Natalie’s African sensibilities ultimately connected her back to her passion for community and collaboration. She became an owner/partner in the world-wide Drum Cafe organization in 2002— and from this point forward, Natalie’s professional destiny came into clear view.
General Ondra Berry: Closing Keynote Special Advisor to the Chief, National Guard Bureau on issues of diversity, leadership and equal opportunity & Vice President Diversity & Inclusion Development at MGM Resorts International.
Berry's Honors Award Reception address last year was so motivational and inspiring that he's back this year to challenge this year's conference participants.View his address from last year.
General Ondra Berry assist in the identification of best practices from the private sector that contribute to a proactive, strategic approach to recruiting, developing, retaining and promoting a diverse workforce and adapts these practices to recommendations that are applicable to the National Guard military and civilian structure. He also assists in communicating the National Guard Bureau’s message on diversity and inclusion to all levels in the National Guard, seeking to emphasize effective diversity management in our rapidly evolving organization. Berry currently works an advisor to the National Guard’s Joint Diversity Executive Council (JDEC). In that role, he works with the NGB diversity office on the oversight of all publications, policy, direction, training and implementation of diversity initiatives for over a half a million National Guard personnel. Berry works closely with the National Guard Bureau’s Diversity office to develop strategies to align the National Guard policy and procedures with the recommendations of the Military Leadership Diversity Commission, the Presidents Executive Order on Diversity, and the NGB Strategic Plan for Diversity.
Linda Stokes: Conference Host & Workshop Facilitator
President & CEO at PRISM International, Inc. (parent organization of the Association of ERGs & Councils)
Linda Stokes 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.
Linda is 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 90 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 Council groups and created the Association of ERGs & Councils. That was followed in 2008 with the launching of the annual ERG & Diversity Council Honors Award™ and in 2012 with the first annual ERG & Diversity Council Conference.
Philip Berry: Conference Host, Workshop Facilitator & Session Facilitator
Executive Director at the Association of ERGs & Councils (a practice group of PRISM International, Inc.)
Philip Berry is the Executive Director of the Association of ERGs & Councils. He is the former Vice President of Global Workplace Initiatives and Corporate Officer for Colgate-Palmolive. He led the company’s efforts to attract, develop and retain a diverse workforce. He was responsible for developing, implementing and evaluating diversity and inclusion strategies on a global basis. He has lived and worked in over 60 countries and gained extensive experience in providing executive coaching and consulting on diversity councils, talent management, leadership training, innovation, organizational effectiveness and global diversity. He s the author of Being Better Than You Believe.
Philip has a history of involvement with the Association before becoming Executive Director in September, 2011. He was the first speaker to welcome and address the audience at the First Diversity Council Honors Awards in Atlanta in 2009. Over the years, Philip served on the Association’s advisory board providing invaluable guidance and direction. Linda Stokes, President & CEO of PRISM International, Inc. and the parent company of the Association, says. "Philip is a natural for our Executive Director. He brings dynamic leadership and a wealth of diversity, global knowledge and Council experience.".
Irene del Corral: Session Facilitator Senior Specialist in Diversity Strategies and responsible for the alignment of 19 EBRGs to the business initiatives at American Airlines and a Five Time Recipient of the Honors Award.
#2 Recipient at the 2013 Honors Award™
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A 28 year veteran with AA, Irene joined the Diversity Strategies team in 2006. In her current role, she is responsible for the strategic direction, implementation, and alignment of the Diversity Advisory Council (DAC) to Business Initiatives, Community Involvement, and Employee Engagement.
The DAC is comprised of two representatives from each of the 19 Employee Business Resource Groups (EBRGs) at American Airlines which include ethnic, faith, generational, and other affinities. In 2007, she led the DAC
in creating a new Charter that connected the Council and Employee Resource Groups to Business Focus. The success from these efforts led American Airlines Diversity Advisory Council to be recognized as one of the Nation’s top 25 Councils by the Association of ERGs & Councils for the past five years.
Enrico A. Della Corna : Session Facilitator Executive Vice President, Market Manager Corporate Banking at PNC Financial Services Group, Inc..
#21 Recipient at the 2013 Honors Award™
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Enrico is the Executive Vice President, Market Manager Corporate Banking at PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. and the leader of PNC's Middle Market and Corporate Finance businesses in the Greater Washington, D.C., area. In addition to his management responsibilities, he is also a member of PNC's Corporate and Institutional Baking (C&IB) Diversity Council. He is a leader in C&IB's talent management and recruiting efforts, driving its highly successful efforts at Penn State and contributing significantly to the design and execution of its training program.
Della Corna serves on the board of directors for the following organizations: the Northern Virginia Technology Council, the Pennsylvania State University Smeal College of Business Corporate Associates Advisory Board and Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, where he also serves as treasurer on the executive committee.
He is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University, and holds a B.S. degree in business administration with a major in marketing. He is also a graduate of Thunderbird (The American Graduate School of International Management) where he earned a master's degree in international management.
Porfirio Esparra, Jr.: Session Facilitator Senior Director Human Resources at Humility of Mary Health Partners
#11 Recipient of the 2013 Honors Award™
Porfirio Esparra, Jr. is the Director of Employee Relations with Humility of Mary Health Partners St. Elizabeth Health Center. He is a trained Facilitator, having certifications in Effective Communications, Equal Employment Opportunity and Quality Improvement. He belongs to numerous civic community organizations and currently sits on the Board of Turning Point Counseling, Ohio Society of Health Care Human Resources Administrators, Mollie Kessler Community School YSU Partners for work Place Diversity, Villa Maria Residential Services and the Mahoning County Juvenile Justice Center Advisory Board. He attended Youngstown State University where he received a dual degree in Social Work & Spanish.
Erby Foster Jr.: Session Facilitator Director of Diversity & Inclusion, The Clorox Company
Erby L. Foster, Jr. is the Director, Diversity & Inclusion, for The Clorox Company. He advises senior management and board of directors at The Clorox Company on diversity strategy, employment-branding initiatives, external partnerships, as well as supports employee resource groups. He is a CPA with broad experience creating business strategies that increase customer satisfaction, drive profitable growth, and expand market share.
Erby serves on Board of Directors of Enactus, Glide Foundation, Museum of African Diaspora, and Network of Executive Women. Prior to Clorox, Erby held senior positions at AAA Chicago, McDonald's Corporation, and PepsiCo.
A native of San Francisco, Erby is a graduate of University of Southern California and has been featured in Black Enterprise, CFO, Diversity Matters, Hispanic Network, Professional Women, and Wall Street Journal.
Andres E. Gonzalez: Session Facilitator Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Baystate Health
#22 Recipient of the 2013 Honors Award™
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Andres Gonzalez is the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Baystate Health. He is responsible for leveraging diversity and inclusion in advancing Baystate Health’s mission; developing, administering and monitoring Baystate Health’s strategic plan for diversity and ensuring coordination in the implementation of the diversity and inclusion strategy throughout the system; provide expert advice and counsel to President and CEO and President’s Cabinet on matters of diversity within the organization and within the community and serve as an advocate and spokesperson for diversity and a champion for change.
He previously served as the Director of Diversity, Community Outreach and Supplier Diversity at Cleveland Clinic Health System in Cleveland where he was responsbile for overseeing the Diversity and Inclusion initiatives and responsible for the creation of 10 employee resource groups, 21 diversity councils, language enrichment and supplier diversity programs.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Master’s Degree in Education with a concentration on Community Agency Counseling from Cleveland State University.
Tina Hallenbeck: Session Facilitator Manager of Diversity/AAP for FedEx Freight in their Regional Headquarters, Harrison, Arkansas and a Five Time Recipient of the Honors Award.
#20 Recipient of the 2013 Top Honors Award™
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During Tina’s 8 years with FedEx Freight she has been involved with growing their Diversity Council to 200+ members across North America; developing companywide CBE’s focused on Basic Diversity, Managing Diversity and Cultural Competence; developing education for Diversity Council Members which is delivered virtually each month during Diversity Council Webinars and face-to-face bi-annual Diversity Council Conferences; managing Company Wide Diversity Council projects focused on building inclusive teams in Freight’s 500+ locations; and for the past 3 years leading the Diversity/AA Team to grow their Diversity & Inclusion strategy in new and innovative ways.
Most recently Tina, with the help of a talented team, established the FXF Executive Diversity Council and together they have moved the council’s focus toward the top business strategies of the company, demonstrating senior and middle management involvement in the D&I process.
Tina serves as member and facilitator of the FedEx Freight Executive Diversity Council; and member of the FedEx Enterprise Diversity & Inclusion Alliance Team and the University of Arkansas Walton College Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board. She graduated from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville whith a Bachelor’s of Science in Social Work and did Masters Studies in Counseling Psychology through Goddard Graduate School, Vermont College.
Cal Jackson: Workshop Facilitator Diversity & Inclusion Leader for Tech Data Corporation
Cal is the Diversity & Inclusion Leader for Tech Data Corporation a global technology distributor.
He previously served as Senior Diversity Practitioner at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida in the Corporate Learning & Development department. During his tenure he initiated 7 employee networking groups, served as a consultant to various internal Diversity Business Councils and provided consultation for Diversity interventions across the company.
After 5 years as a television news reporter, Cal served as a press secretary for the mayor of Atlanta. He began his journey as a corporate leader with MCI Telecommunications and Prudential Insurance.
Cal serves on the board of directors of NE Florida Community Hospice. He is a steering committee member of the Mayor’s Study Circles Initiative and is facilitating dialogue sessions around Jacksonville to improve race relations. He has produced and directed “Where Does It End?” a movie on racism with the Jacksonville Youth Initiative. Cal serves as the Co-chair of the Jacksonville Blueprint for Prosperity’s Racial Harmony and Unity Foundation. He has received numerous accolades for his work from the Florida Diversity Council, the Conference Board, Jacksonville Business Journal, Indo-USA Chamber of Commerce of Jacksonville, FL, and the First Coast Asian American Chamber of Commerce.
Renee Arrington–Johnson: Session Facilitator Senior Industrial Engineer and Co-Chair of GM's People with Disabilities Affinity Group at General Motors
#9 Recipeint of the 2013 Honors Award™
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Renee is a Senior Industrial Engineer at General Motors and Chair of GM's People with Disabilities Employee Resource Group. In her 35 years with GM her various responsibilities have impacted the integrity of GM’s products, the wellbeing of GM’s employees, the efficiency and effectiveness of manufacturing processes and the respect for a diverse work force.
As Chair of GM’s People with Disabilities ERG, Renee facilitates the recruitment, employment and retention of people with disabilities. The PWD ERG maintains relationships with organizations that advocate for and provide assistance to people with disabilities. These include not for profit, education, athletic, government organizations. Renee also maintains relationships with other business leaders who are active in their company employee resource groups. With Renee’s leadership, the GM PWD ERG plans and produces events at GM that are beneficial to GM employees with disabilities and those who care for children with a disability or aging parents. Renee is the group liaison with product research and design ensuring the sharing of knowledge regarding GM products that will benefit customers who have a disability.
Renee is a graduate of General Motors Institute (Now Kettering University) and very active in her community. She is a charter member of the Clinton Township Cultural Diversity Committee and has served as the Chair, Vice Chair, secretary and treasurer. She is a member of the Interfaith Center for Racial Justice where she has served on the board and chaired the annual Martin Luther King Dinner for two years. Renee is the Vice President of her township’s Civil Service Commission and a graduate of Leadership Macomb VII.
Ellen Krider: Session Facilitator Vice President-Financial Advisor and Co-Chair of the GLADE ERG at RBC Wealth Management
#6 Recipient of the 2013 Honors Award™
Ellen is a Vice President-Financial Advisor and Co-Chair of the GLADE ERG at RBC Wealth Management. As an ally (straight supporter) of the gay and lesbian community, Ellen has built a significant portion of her business in this growing client market and she regularly works to build diversity awareness both in the branch and the local community.
Within RBC, Ellen is the co-chair of the Gay, Lesbian, Allied and Diverse Employees network, a position she has held for two years. In 2012, Ellen represented RBC WM at the national Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) awards dinner. In addition, she is an active board member of the Woman's Association of Financial Advisors.
In the community, Ellen is a board member of Our Fund, a south Florida LGBT community foundation and is a council member of Equality Florida, an organization sponsored by RBC WM that raised more than $300,000 during the 2012 Broward Gala. Notably, Ellen is part of the Founders Circle of the Pride Center at Equality Park, the Fort Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Community Center. She was also the tailgate sponsor of the South Florida Gay Polo Match.
She graduated from Nova Southeastern University School of Entrepreneurship with a Certificate of Specialization in financial planning.
Cathy Laffan: Session Facilitator Managing Director at State Street Corporation
#25 Recipient of the 2013 Honors Award™
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Cathy Laffan is a Managing Director at State Street Corporation with 20 years of experience in the project management field and is certified as a Project Management Professional. Her area of expertise is in leading dispersed teams to successfully deliver project results. She is a proven leader of large, global, cross-functional project teams.
She is the chair of an enterprise-wide Employee Relationship Group on Flexible Work that seeks to provide an inclusive environment, promotes open communication, and creates connections for employees using flexible work arrangements. She has been working remotely on a full time basis for 4+ years.
Suzanne Lee: Session Facilitator Director of Strategic Marketing IA Division and Chair of Siemens Cross Disabilities Employee Resource Group at Siemens Industry U.S.
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Suzanne Lee is Director of Strategic Marketing for Industry Automation at Siemens in Atlanta. She started with Siemens in 1999 in Munich at the company's mobile phones division. She is a leader in the Siemens USA affinity group for people with disabilities. Its pillar program is LIFE@Siemens - an internship program for high school students with intellectual disabilities.
Prior to joining Siemens, Suzanne worked as an analyst and speechwriter at the U.S. Department of State, The Wall Street Journal Europe and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. She earned a Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics.
Schartyce Mason: Session Facilitator Senior Learning Strategy Consultant in the Learning & Development Organization at American Airlines and a Five Time Recipient of the Honors Award.
#2 Recipient at the 2013 Honors Award™
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Schartryce Mason is a Senior Learning Strategy Consultant in the Learning and Development organization of American Airlines. Her primary areas of focus are Human Resources, Leadership / Professional Development, Information Technology and Finance. In addition, she manages the corporate educational partnerships allowing employees to pursue higher education through various channels. She previously worked in the business departments of Corporate Tax, Passenger Interline Accounting and Passenger Reservations.
She is passionate about diversity and community programs. She serves the Diversity Advisory Council (DAC) representing the Generation Now Employee Business Resource Group. Additionally, she serves as the Community Affairs Chair for the African American Diversity Network, and National Secretary for the Christian Employee Business Resource Group.
Paul Mottola: Assembly Session Facilitator Senior Consultant, PRISM International, Inc.
Paul is a Senior Consultant at PRISM specializing in leveraging diversity and inclusion and employment opportunity compliance. For the past 20 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.
Marie Pettinos: Session Facilitator Program Director, Siemens Medical Solutions, and Siemens Healthcare ERG National Lead Executive Sponsor.
#8 Recipient of the 2013 Honors Award™
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Marie Pettinos is Program Director with Siemens Medical Solutions with 31 years of healthcare management, business and technology experience. During her tenure as Chair of Siemens Healthcare USA Diversity & Inclusion Council, Marie used her skills as a proven leader, change agent and decision maker to help advance D&I to increase employee awareness, understanding, and engagement and foster a work environment that makes full use of all employees' contributions.
Marie currently serves as an Executive Advisor to the company’s 9 ERG National Leaders, supporting over 70 chapters in the US. Marie regularly partners with employee resource groups to help drive business value by leveraging strategic programs and activities, such as those related to new employee orientation, diversity training, development, work-life balance, community involvement, etc… She has a particular interest in cross-generational topics, and is currently working closely with Siemens Sage and Next ERGs on a series of information exchanges to foster knowledge transfer, mentoring, reverse mentoring and networking.
Marie earned a Computer Science Degree from Trinity College, University of Dublin and Mini-MBA from Wharton School, Pennsylvania. In addition to her love of travel, Marie has had global assignments in England, Ireland, Japan, Germany, and India.
Joshua Stewart: Session Facilitator Vice President and Manager of Diversity and Inclusion at the PNC Financial Services Group Inc
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#21 Recipient of the 2013 Honors Award™
Joshua Stewart is a Vice President and Manager of Diversity and Inclusion at the PNC Financial Services Group Inc. Responsible for the management of workplace D&I initiatives, Joshua’s primary focus areas are enterprise-wide D&I training , line of business Diversity and Inclusion Councils and the comprehensive D&I recognition strategy. Recognized by the Out for Work organization as an influential ‘out’ professional in corporate America, Joshua also holds the office of President of PNC Proud the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Allies Employee Business Resource Group at PNC Bank.
He also serves as a volunteer for PNC’s Grow Up Great program, actively supports several organizations that serve Pittsburgh’s LGBT community and sits on the HIV/AIDS procurement panel for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation.
Joshua earned a B.A. in Communications from the University of Pittsburgh School of Arts and Sciences and holds a certificate in Diversity Management from Cornell University.
Miguel Valenciano: Assembly Session Facilitator Senior Consultant, PRISM International, Inc.
Miguel is a Senior Consultant at PRISM specializing in leveraging diversity and inclusion and increasing cross cultural effectiveness. For the past 16 years, he has served at PRISM as a Senior Master Facilitator/Consultant assisting clients around the U.S. and the world.
He is a native speaker in Spanish and is versed in French and Italian. He has lived and worked around the globe in countries such as Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, Peru, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Palau, Marshall Islands, Philippines, Indonesia, Samoa, Tonga and many of the eastern European countries.
Miguel received his Master of Arts in Education from the University of Oregon and his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Costa Rica.