2015 ERG & Council Conference:
Creating Impactful Change!

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Speakers & Facilitators

"Breaking Ice"



Breaking Ice is a customized professional theatre experience created for organizations and businesses that need help with difficult issues both interpersonal and institutional. Because every organization wrestles with communication – often based on misunderstanding or cultural differences. But you don't have to let those differences block your organization's ability to move forward and succeed.

How Does it Work?

Through research and training, our professional staff develop a customized, highly specific performance that incorporates the issues that confront your organization.

Imagine what happens when the same discussions and dialogues you hear whispered at your workplace are illuminated on stage in a safe theater setting? It's a powerful, dramatic, and entertaining way to step back and get a fresh perspective while gaining a more intimate understanding of how individuals relate to each other.

Following the performance, Breaking Ice facilitators lead participants in discussions designed to foster better understanding and communication, exploring the tough stuff together. More than 200 organizations have since Breaking Ice began in 1996.

Maysoon Zayid


Maysoon Zayid is an actress, professional standup comedian, and writer. She received a BA in Acting from Arizona State University and is the co-founder/co-executive producer of the New York Arab American Comedy Festival. Maysoon was a full-time On-Air Contributor to Countdown with Keith Olbermann, and has recently appeared on The Queen Latifah Show and Huffington Post Live. Maysoon is a recurring columnist at The Daily Beast and was a speaker at TEDWomen 2013.

Maysoon has appeared on Comedy Central, PBS, CNN, HBO, MTV, ABC, BBC, and had a feature role in Adam Sandler's You Don't Mess With the Zohan. As a professional comedian, Maysoon has performed in top New York clubs and has toured extensively at home and abroad. She was a headliner on the Arabs Gone Wild Comedy Tour and The Muslims Are Coming Tour.

Maysoon's screenplay, LAW, was chosen for the Sundance Middle Eastern Screenwriters Lab. She was a delegate at the 2008 Democratic National Convention and named one of 21 leaders of the 21st century by Women's Enews. She is the founder of Maysoon's Kids, an education and wellness program for disabled and wounded refugee children. Maysoon was delighted to be a 2013 honoree of United Cerebral Palsy of NYC's Women Who Care Awards and currently sits on the planning committee.

The Flame Band

Presented by



The Flame Band is a group of talented musicians from upstate New York who happen to have disabilities and is capturing the world’s attention. In 2003 the band, from Lexington – Fulton County Chapter, NYSARC, Inc. started changing the world through their music. Since then, requests to hire Flame have poured in from all over the world. Flame averages 70 paid performances per year, including concerts in 16 different states and in Europe.

They are a phenomenon that connects with people of all ages and backgrounds like no other, from singing children to dancing executives. Parents of children with special needs are often overcome with emotion watching Flame, because they see that it’s possible to have their own child achieve great things, and even more importantly, have a fun and fulfilling life, like those in the band.

Their mission is to bring Flame’s music and message to the rest of the world to help change how the public perceives people with disabilities and increase the awareness and acceptance of all people.

Flame has released five CDs; the newest release, “Still Burning”, celebrates Flame’s 10th Anniversary. The band travels on a custom tour bus in the greater Northeast area and uses commercial airlines to fly all over the world, helping them inspire and give hope to others.

Recent events have catapulted Flame into the national spotlight – performances at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the House of Blues, both in Cleveland, Ohio; a feature story in People magazine; and a segment on ABC TV’s Good Morning America.

Linda Stokes: Conference Host &
Workshop Facilitator

President & CEO at PRISM International, Inc. &
the Association of ERGs & Councils

Workshop Facilitator: ERG & Diversity Council Leadership Academy™

Event Host
Event Host

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 taking 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.

Kevin Bradley: Session Facilitator
Senior Manager Diversity & Inclusion at Discover
Financial Services

Session Facilitator: How we Discovered the Business Case at Discover

Kevin is the Senior Manager Diversity & Inclusion at Discover Financial Services with over 25 years of experience in Compliance and Diversity/Inclusion. His role includes the oversight of the company’s Employee Resource Groups, the diversity learning curriculum, and building relationships with diverse organizations. He has performed D&I work with global companies including United Airlines, RR Donnelley &Sons, and McDonald’s Corporation. Most recently he was the Director of Diversity & Inclusion with Assurant, Inc., a specialty insurance company headquartered in New York.

Throughout his career, Kevin has managed and supported Employee Resource Groups and Diversity Councils, created and facilitated diversity training classes and workshops, led external partnership initiatives, and managed a supplier diversity initiative. His work includes the engagement of employee groups as they progressed from networking groups to contributors to innovation, inclusion, and revenue growth. He has also managed external partnerships to enhance the brand of his employers in various communities and potentially increase profits as well as create diverse applicant pools.

Kevin is a founding Board member of the U.S. Business Leadership Network, a business to business consortium that seeks to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities and was the Employer Subcommittee Chairperson on the President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, serving two U.S. Presidents in that role. He has also recently served on the national Board of Directors of the National Association of Asian American Professionals.

A Chicago native, Kevin received his B.A. in Psychology from Northern Illinois University.

Darrell Butler: Workshop Facilitator
Senior Consultant & Facilitator at PRISM International, Inc.

Workshop Facilitator: The Elephant We Can’t See™

Darrell is a PRISM Senior Consultant & Facilitator specializing in work environment productivity through personal empowerment and inclusion. He is recognized as a leading resource in the field of leveraging diversity and professional development. For more than 20 years he has assisted major companies, non-profit organizations, and government and academic institutions with innovative strategies to transform relationships into high performance results.

Darrell holds a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Physiology and Anatomy from Cornell University and a Masters in Business Administration from the John M. Olin School of Business, Washington University in St. Louis.

Whitnee Dillard: Session Facilitator
Agent Development Programs Manager at the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, Inc. (IIABA)

Session Facilitator: How the Big "I" Insures That Diversity Makes an Impact

Whitnee is the Agent Development Programs Manager for the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America IIABA). She co-leads the development and implementation of various diversity and inclusion initiatives for the Big “I” Diversity Task Force which is a cooperative industry group comprised of member agents representing the Latin American, African American and Asian American communities along with leading insurance company executives. The task force’s mission is to engage and develop a sustainable diverse independent agency network by partnering with state associations, carriers, and industry affinity groups. In addition to her role as a diversity ambassador, Whitnee plays an instrumental role in the marketing and communications efforts for the Big “I” Agents Council for Technology and Virtual University.

Whitnee is a graduate of the University of Michigan where she received her B.A. in psychology and political science.

TOP 10 Recipient of the 2014 ERG & Council Honors Award™

Madelyn Flannagan: Session Facilitator
Vice President Agent Development, Research and Education at the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, Inc.(IIABA)

Session Facilitator: How the Big "I" Insures That Diversity Makes an Impact

Madelyn is the Vice President of Agent Development, Education and Research for the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America IIABA). She leads the national association’s efforts to provide education, technology, agent development and research support to its state associations and member agents. She administers the IIABA’s Council for Best Practices, a joint agency-company mission to develop and promote the use of agency management tools as well as the Big “I” Virtual University, an award-winning online insurance information and education resource.

Madelyn oversees the Future One’s Research Task Force and has been instrumental in the publication of several consumer and marketing studies that help insurance agents and companies better understand the insurance buyer. Her work with the Task Force includes the Agency Universe Study, a complete demographic profile of the Independent Agency System that is carried out every two years. She is the staff leader of the Big “I” Diversity Task Force, cooperative industry group comprised of Big “I” agents and brokers, IIABA state associations and members of groups representing Latin‐American, African‐American and Asian‐American agents, and ten leading insurance companies.

She works closely with IIABA's communications department to promote the virtues of the independent agency system and to translate insurance into “real life” in a variety of mediums. Acting as a spokesperson for the association, Madelyn has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Nation’s Business, Entrepreneur, Money and Ladies Home Journal, USA today, Reader’s Digest, and the Bloomberg Report and has appeared on the nationally syndicated Wall Street Report, CNN’s First Business, ABC’s World News Tonight, and Good Morning America. She is a published insurance writer, with articles appearing in National Underwriter, Business Insurance, Rough Notes, Best Review, and IA magazine. She has been twice honored by IIABA leadership with a Presidential citation for her work on behalf of independent agents nationwide.

TOP 10 Recipient of the 2014 ERG & Council Honors Award™

Michael Fosberg: Workshop Facilitator
Author & Actor, President, Incognito, Inc.

Workshop Facilitator: The Elephant We Can’t See™

Chicago native Author, Actor Michael Fosberg has been working to create a national dialogue on race and identity since 2001 when he launched his one-man autobiographical play Incognito.

His memoir, Incognito: An American Odyssey of Race and Self-Discovery, was released in February 2011. He is currently working on a screenplay version of his story, along with his latest book, Nobody Wants to Talk About It…ten years in the trenches talking about race, stereotypes, & identity.

Michael s frequently featured in the media sharing his expertise on current race and identity issues.

Erby Foster Jr.: Session Facilitator
Director of Diversity & Inclusion, The Clorox Company

Session Facilitator: Managing your ERG as a
Strategic Brand

Erby 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.

Tayana Johnson: Session Facilitator
Officer Global Inclusion at State Street Corporation

Session Facilitator: Aligning Personal Values and ERG Objectives to the Corporate Mission

Tayana is Officer Global Inclusion at State Street Corporation and provides inclusion and diversity strategic consulting, including employee engagement and retention efforts. She builds strategic client partnerships with internal and external constituents based on knowledge of their needs and by exceeding mutual expectations. She collaborates with marketing communications, corporate citizenship, employee affinity groups and other major stakeholders to insure alignment of diversity and inclusion strategy, mission and goals to business imperatives.

Prior to this role, she served as U.S. Asset Control Reconciliation Manager at State Street where she managed and led a global team of associates in North America, India and China and was responsible for the daily reconciliation of over a $2 billion worth of assets and income held under custody and keeping operation losses and aged exceptions to a minimum on a daily basis.

She holds a B.A. in Management from the New England College of Business and Finance.

Thank You Sponsor!

TOP 25 Recipient of the 2014 ERG & Council Honors Award™

Karen Jones: Session Facilitator
Manager Diversity & Inclusion and Career Development at
Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

Session Facilitator: Increasing Impact on Patient Care
& Delivery of Quality Service Through Diversity

Karen, as Manager of Diversity, Inclusion and Career Development, manages the diversity, inclusion and cultural competency initiatives at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. Her duties include overseeing the development of programs and processes that reflects and celebrates the diversity and cultures of the medical center’s patients, employees and community. Also presenting will be Richard Bennett, M.D., President, Renee Blanding, M.D., Vice President, Medical Affairs; Daniel Hale, Ph.D., Special Advisor to the President and Rev. Paula Teague, Sr. Director of Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy.

TOP 8 Recipient of the 2014 ERG & Council Honors Award™

Melanie Miller: Workshop Facilitator
Senior Consultant & Facilitator at PRISM International, Inc.

Workshop Facilitator: Women in Leadership–Growing Your Career™

Melanie s a PRISM Senior Consultant & Facilitator with over 23 years of achieving success in linking persuasive human relations skills with sound business practices for leading organizations in varied industries across the U.S and around the globe. Her focus is optimizing organizational effectiveness, leveraging diversity and inclusion and increasing cross-cultural effectiveness.

As an advocate for women's professional development, Melanie was a featured speaker at the Harvard University’s Women’s Leadership Institute and helped IBM implement their groundbreaking Minority Women in Leadership Institute. She has received rave reviews for her facilitation of PRISM's Women in Leadership–Growing Your Career™ workshops in organizations across the U.S.

Melanie received her Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Jacksonville State University.

Melodie Jermont "MJ" Roach: Session Facilitator
SVP, Regional Sales Manager at PNC Financial Services, Inc.

Session Facilitator: Using ERGs for Driving
Performance and Making Real Business Impact

MJ is a Senior Vice President and Regional Sales Manager for the PNC Financial Services Group. She has been leading employees, clients, and communities to financial success the majority of her professional career. She started with PNC in 1997, she has held many positions most concentrating on developing employees to have successful careers in Financial Planning for others. MJ has been in her current position as the East Regional Sales Manager in South Western Pennsylvania since 2005.

She teaches financial literacy classes for community groups, college seminars, and religious organization in her spare time. She also volunteers for several local non profit organizations and has lead her employees to do the same totaling about 800 volunteer hours a year. MJ has held several board positions over the years: Homeless Children’s Educational Fund, President of the African American Employee Business Resource Group, Council Member for the Diversity and Inclusion Council for PNC Southwestern PA, East Region Girl Scout Cookie Director, Secretary of Operation Better Block in Homewood PA, Pittsburgh Children’s International Theater, Vice Chair of Three Rivers Youth, Alumni of Leadership Pittsburgh Class of 2012 cohort 28 , and currently Jack and Jill Chapter Program Director. MJ is a new elected officer of Jack and Jill and a 2012 alumni of Leadership Pittsburgh.

MJ holds a Bachelors Degree in Marketing from Marshall University, a Masters degree in Management with a minor in Personal Finance from Katz School of Business at University of Pittsburgh, and most recently a Graduate Degree in Banking from Furman University.

Thank You Sponsor!

TOP 1 Recipient of the 2014 ERG & Council Honors Award™
TOP 15 Recipient of the 2014 ERG & Council Honors Award™
TOP 18 Recipient of the 2014 ERG & Council Honors Award™

Karinna Rojas: Session Facilitator
Employer Branding & Diversity Officer Americas HR at Siemens Corporation

Session Facilitator: Aligning Diversity Initiatives to Increase Organizational Impact

Karinna is the Employer & Diversity Officer for Siemens in North America. She joined Siemens in 2008 and has been a member of the Siemens HR leadership team as Senior Director HR Americas Projects. In this role Karinna partners with Americas’ Countries HR Leaders to manage and coordinate HR activities/projects across the Americas, identifying efficiencies, cost savings opportunities and streamlining capabilities. Cultural sensibility and commitment to multicultural understanding have been key competitive advantages for Karinna.

In 2003, Karinna joined Lexmark International and became a strategic member of the Latin American Management team – the first female to join the regional leadership team. In her position as the Regional Human Resources Lead, she initiated and implemented HR operations for Latin America’s countries, contributing to making Latin America one of the fastest growing geographies in the business.

Karinna holds a BA with specialization in Human Resources. She is a frequent international lecturer and has delivered Human Resources, Compensation and Multicultural Skills and Competences training in over twenty countries. Karinna is fully bilingual (Spanish and English) and has professional working proficiency in Portuguese.

Thank You Sponsor!

TOP 4 Recipient of the 2014 ERG & Council Honors Award™

P. Victor Rowe: Session Facilitator
VP, Branch Manager at PNC Bank, Louisville, KY.

Session Facilitator: Using ERGs for Driving
Performance and Making Real Business Impact

Victor is a Vice President and Branch Manager at PNC Bank, Louisville, KY. He has more than 30 years of banking experience, including roles within several community and large banks as branch manager, loan underwriter and loan administrator, sales coach covering multiple states, and as regional manager.

In 2012, he led the Kentucky Market for PNC in establishing the areas first EBRG to support PNCs core values of Diversity and Inclusion, specifically to recognize the LGBTA employee base, clientele and community.

Working with PNCs office of Diversity and Inclusion to promote employee and business growth within the LGBTA community has proven to be one of the most career satisfying efforts of his banking career.

He holds a Bachelors Degree in Business in finance and accounting from the University of Kentucky.

Thank You Sponsor!

TOP 1 Recipient of the 2014 ERG & Council Honors Award™
TOP 15 Recipient of the 2014 ERG & Council Honors Award™
TOP 18 Recipient of the 2014 ERG & Council Honors Award™

Natalie Spiro: Workshop Facilitator
Owner & Event Facilitator at Drum Cafe West Coast

Workshop Facilitator: The Rhythm of Inclusion

"Drum Cafe leverages the stunning power of rhythm to engage people quickly and emotionally. We shift attitudes and effect change." - Natalie Spiro

Natalie is the owner & Event Facilitator at Drum Cafe West Coast. She came to the U.S. 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.

Derek Stapleton: Session Facilitator
Lead Chief of Staff at AT&T

Session Facilitator: Increasing Employee Engagement and Organizational Impact

Derek is currently the Lead Chief of Staff for AT&T’s Group President and Chief Strategy Officer (a direct report to AT&T's CEO). He is a proven leader with extensive experience delivering complex software and network solutions to both external and internal customers. Most recently, he has been assigned to assist with the ongoing mergers in Mexico. In addition to his normal responsibilities, he is the National Chief Operating Officer for oxyGEN, and employee resource group focused on Attracting, Developing, and Retaining Future Leaders.

Derek received his B.S. in Finance from George Mason University.

TOP 9 Recipient of the 2014 ERG & Council Honors Award™
TOP 23 Recipient of the 2014 ERG & Council Honors Award™

Kelly Thayer: Workshop Facilitator
Senior Consultant & Facilitator at PRISM International, Inc.

Workshop Facilitator: The Elephant We Can’t See™

Kelly is a PRISM Senior Consultant & Facilitator specializing in diversity and inclusion, harassment and discrimination prevention, cross-cultural communication, equal employment opportunity compliance and personnel management. With over 30 years of experience, Kelly has dedicated her life to ensuring individuals are treated with respect and dignity and assisting organizations in becoming the Employer of Choice.

Kelly has a Master of Arts in Human Resources Development from Webster University and a Bachelor of Science in Social Psychology from Park College. She is a certified mediator having received certification from the Centre of Conflict Resolution from Cape Town, South Africa and from the Department of Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute.

Presented by:

Association of Diversity Councils

PRISM International